Low-lying Pacific atolls could survive the effects of rising sea levels, according to a new study out today.
It shows islands in Kiribati and Tokelau are more likely to adapt to rising seas rather than disappear beneath the ocean, as previously predicted.
Auckland University researchers tested a scale model of Fatato, an uninhabited island in Tuvalu, against the effects of global warming.
It found the highest peak of the island grew as strong waves and rising sea levels washed sand and gravel towards it.
Researchers say the effects of climate change on individual islands will vary, with each one having a unique response to rising sea levels.