Nov 19 2012

 

 

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As the waters rapidly rise at a pace greater than even the biggest pessimist imagined, some nations around the world very existence are in jeopardy. In Manhattan, we got a taste from Hurricane Sandy what is in store for the city in several decades as climate change rises the oceans. However, Americans can move inland or build up protective barriers and flood control measures.

For some nations, there is no option except moving all their people to other countries. BusinessInsider.com has a story about this threat but here are three nations that are feeling the effect now and will certainly be history in a decade or two more.

Maldives:

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The Maldives, consisting of over 1,100 islands to the west of India, is the world's lowest-lying nation. On average the islands are only 1.3 meters above sea level. The 325,000 (plus 100,000 expatriate workers who are not counted in the census) residents of the islands are threatened by rising sea levels.

A documentary called The Island President tells the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives as he confronts the rise of the sea level in his country. A rise of just three feet would submerge the Maldives and make them uninhabitable.

Kiribati:

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The president of Kiribati, Anote Tong, is in talks with Fiji's military government to buy up to 5,000 acres of land in order to relocate the 102,697 people that live in his country.

President Tong tells The Telegraph that this is their last resort: "Our people will have to move as the tides have reached our homes and villages."

Kiribati is about halfway between Hawaii and Australia and is made up of 32 low-lying atolls and one raised island. Most of its population has already moved to one island, Tarawam, after the rest of their land disappeared beneath the ocean.

Villagers on Abaiang, one of the Kiribati Islands, had to relocate the entire village of Tebunginako because of rising seas and erosion.

Tuvalu:

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Tuvalu consists of six true atolls and three reef islands that has a population of 11,636 that was estimated in 2005. The highest point in the country is less than five meters above sea level, but most of it is less than a meter above.

In 2003, Saufatu Sopoanga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu, told the United Nations General Assembly: "We live in constant fear of the adverse impacts of climate change. For a coral atoll nation, sea level rise and more severe weather events loom as a growing threat to our entire population. The threat is real and serious, and is of no difference to a slow and insidious form of terrorism against us."