New Island Emerges off the Coast of Germany
Norderoogsand, a new island in the North Sea, is already a home to many birds and plants.
By Jennie Wood
A new island has emerged from the North Sea, off the coast of Germany, located sixteen miles from the German state, Schleswig Holstein. The 34 acre island has been named Norderoogsand, but it is being referred to as Bird Island because many birds, including sea gulls, grey geese, ducks, and peregrine falcons have been found there nesting or feeding. Forty-nine plant species have also been found on the island.
The island appeared slowly over a ten year period from 2003 through 2013. The land mass emerged due to tidal action, not global warming. The island's appearance surprised scientists because that area of the North Sea has strong winds and shifting tides. However, Norderoogsand was helped by its position between other islands. The surrounding islands helped to shelter it. Also, there have been very few storm surges in the area over the last decade.
In early 2013, Martin Stock, a National Park Management biologist, said in a statement, “A strong storm flood could wipe the island out overnight. The plants do not have the roots necessary yet to bind the dunes together.“ Other scientists have also warned that a major storm could destroy Norderoogsand, but, for now, birds and plants have a new home.