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Story on erosion of coastal beaches had wrong scientific information



I was irritated by the explanations provided on the accelerated erosion of coastal beaches at Kipini in the story, “Kipini: Green paradise that the deep, blue ocean swallowed up” (Sunday Nation, December 2).
County director of meteorology Isaiah Munga is quoted as saying that the “rise in temperature causes the ocean to warm up and become dense, hence rising. Kipini is already at sea level…and the ocean is seeking extra space since there is no other channel.
“Even the freshwater River Tana becomes salty in the morning until about noon. It then goes back to its fresh nature in the afternoon-that is a result of thermal expansion.”
As a hydrologist who has carried out extensive research on the Tana, including the Tana Delta and other estuarine systems along the Kenya coast, I find these explanations non-factual and baseless allegations that are not well grounded on scientific research. The rise of the ocean temperature, a fact in the Indian Ocean, does not make the ocean water dense. As ocean water temperature rises, the water becomes less dense! While coastal erosion along the Tana Delta, in which Kipini is located, can partly be attributed to thermal expansion of the Indian Ocean, studies show that alteration and modification of the hydrology of the river, occasioned by construction of hydro-electric power dams in the Upper Tana basin, is also a culprit.
Seek Information on technical and scientific issues from reputable experienced scientists to avoid embarrassing misrepresentation of facts.