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
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
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
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.