Threat to Islands Mon 26 Sep 1988. A gradual rise in average sea level is threatening to completely cover this Indian Ocean nation of 1196 small islands with-in the next 30 years, according to authorities. Sea level could rise 2.6 feet. 33 year old prediction.

Threat to islands (1988, September 26). The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), p. 6. Retrieved June 14, 2021, from https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/102074798#

MALE, Maldives:
A gradual rise in average sea level is threatening to completely cover this Indian Ocean nation of 1196 small islands with-in the next 30 years, according to authorities.
The Environmental Affairs Director, Mr Hussein Shihab, said an estimated rise of 20 to 30
centimetres in the next 20 to 40 years could be “catastrophic” for most of the islands, which
were no more than a metre above sea level.
The United Nations Environment Project was planning a study of the problem.
But the end of the Maldives and its 200,000 people could come sooner if drinking
water supplies dry up by 1992, as predicted.

What the Future Holds  (It’s supposed to be gone already kids.)

After looking closely at the volume of water that could come from glacial and ice sheet melt by the year 2100, scientists estimate that sea level could rise 2.6 feet (80 centimeters)—and that as much as 6.6 feet (2 meters) is possible, depending on the pace at which heat–trapping emissions are released.16

Given mid–level scenarios for those emissions,17 the Maldives is projected to experience sea–level rise on the order of 1.5 feet (50 centimeters) by around 2100.4,9 The country would lose 77 percent of its land area by the end of the century.4 If sea level were to rise by 3.3 feet (1 meter) and the Maldives did not pursue further coastal protection measures, it would be nearly completely inundated by about 2085.18

Back in 1837 one of the islands really did sink.

It’s impossible that the “experts” studying these islands don’t know this.

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/4173156#

The natives observe the atolls to be wasting away; in some the cocoanut trees are standing in the water ; in another the black soil of the island is discernible at low water thirty feet from the beach ; the south-east side of an island in Phaidee Pholo Atoll is entirely gone, but is marked by a banyan tree in the water.
They say that some islands have disappeared entirely and instance near the island Wardoo a rocky shoal, which (they say) was once an island in Atoll-Milla-Dou. Some of the outer edges of
the islands have fallen into the sea, which is fathomless in those parts.