EXAMPLES: Papua New Guinea has already evacuated some of the world’s first climate refugees from the Carteret Islands, as rising tides divided the low-lying island in two and salt water intrusion made growing traditional crops impossible.4 In 2009, the Maldives held their first underwater cabinet meeting to draw attention to the issue.5 President Mohamed Nasheed explained, "We are trying to send our message to let the world know what is happening and what will happen to the Maldives if climate change isn't checked."6 In 2012, the nation of Kiribati announced it was looking to buy land from Fiji to relocate, as tides began to inundate villages across the low-lying atoll nation.7 WHAT’S IN STORE Updated projections from the most recent studies show that we are likely to see 0.7–2 meters (2–6.5 feet) of sea level rise in the 21st century.9 One meter (about 3 feet) of sea level rise would lead to a displacement of 30 million people in Bangladesh.10 Immediate effects, such as salt-water intrusion and increased coastal erosion are already happening around the world, costing millions of dollars.10 More than one tenth of the world’s population lives in low-lying coastal areas, including 15 of the world’s 20 largest cities.11 1. http://www.climate.org/topics/sea-level/index.html#sealevelrise 2. http://epa.gov/climatechange/effects/coastal/index.html 3. http://www.climate.org/topics/sea-level/index.html 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00kj9z1 5. http://www.climate.org/publications/Climate%20Alerts/Autumn2009/HighStakesforSmallIslands.html 6. http://articles.cnn.com/2009-10-17/world/maldives.underwater.meeting_1_maldives-climate-change-sea-levels?_s=PM:WORLD 7. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/kiribati/9127576/Entire-nation-of-Kiribati-to-be-relocated-over-rising-sea-level-threat.html 8. http://www.climate.org/topics/sea-level/index.html#sealevelrise 9. http://www.skepticalscience.com/sea-level-rise-predictions.htm 10. http://www.ecy.wa.gov/climatechange/risingsealevel_more.htm http://www.ecy.wa.gov/climatechange/ipa_hightide.htm 11. http://www.earth.columbia.edu/news/2007/story03-29-07.php Means Worse More Since 1993, sea level has risen twice as fast as it did from 1950 to 1993. Climate change causes sea levels to rise in several ways: Like any other fluid, ocean water expands as it gets warmer. Warming also causes ice sheets and glaciers to melt, which drains more water into the ocean. And because dark ocean water absorbs more heat than white ice, more of the Sun’s heat is absorbed, accelerating the cycle of warming and melting.1 1 Photo taken by Sofwathulla Mohamed while standing on his doorstep in the Maldives, one of the many island nations facing destruction due to sea level rise.