Re: pacific islanders?
"I know about how coral islands are dynamic structures that track sea level - but I'd be interested in any verifiable evidence of scaryness."
The warmer sea waters are killing off the corals. Leading to the opposite effect due to erosion. Even so corals grow very, very slowly and it does so after the fact (coral does not grow out of water). Flooding the land with salt water for a century or so is not a great plan for keeping it habitable. Nor is making the volcano underneath the coral produce some more rock (for the smaller islands, Hawaii seems to be doing okay with that approach, but its not an option for the smaller islands.
The biggest issues are not even about water actively covering the land. The other effects that preceed it are worse - the islands water table is flooded with salt water as the rise in sea level adds external pressure and pushes the clean potable water out. The vegetation that can cope with this salty situation are not sufficient to sustain the inhabitants or most local wildlifes food requirements. Loss of vegetation also opens up land to storms (which have higher storm surges and faster wind speeds now) and erosion dragging it down closer to the sea level where the flooding and water table changes have more effects. Its a vicious cycle from lovely tropical island to sandy desert island.
Tuvalu started their planning 2001. A decade later the situation appears not to have changed much, but note the context of 0 population growth as residents are migrating away as fast as they can get approved.
Catarets reached tipping point in 2009 with a forced total evacuation of one island. The others are following with only slightly less urgency: