The impacts of climate change are becoming increasingly worrisome and they threaten the survival of thousands of humans and species.
Since 2006, sea levels have been rising at a rate of about 4 mm per year. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this increase could be a hundred times higher if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced. Therefore, sea levels could rise by more than 50 centimeters by 2100.
This is alarming for coastal residents. Indeed, rising sea levels are endangering the lives of about 300 million people, and many lands are threatened to disappear completely within a few years.
Island regions are the main areas at risk of being submerged by water. Although islands represent only 5% of the world’s land area, 41% of the most endangered species and 20% of the world’s biodiversity are found there.
Here are only a hand full of all the threatened islands :
The Maldives, a popular luxury travel destination, is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean. It consists of more than 1000 coral islands and 26 atolls. Also, this tropical country is known for its white sandy beaches, reefs, and turquoise lagoons that charm more than a million tourists a year. Their low altitude makes them quite vulnerable to climate change.
Located in the South Pacific, this sovereign state is made up of hundreds of islands and atolls. With climate change, five reef islands have already disappeared and several villages have been destroyed. As a result, since sea levels are rising dramatically, the islands are only 6.6 feet above sea level.
For 50 years, this small Alaskan island has been slowly disappearing. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, it has lost 100 feet. Within 20 years, it will disappear completely. Its residents are therefore forced to relocate, but financial resources are limited.
French Polynesia, which includes several islands that are very popular with tourists, such as Bora Bora and Tahiti, is a destination that is in danger of disappearing within 100 years. Spread over more than 2,000 km in the South Pacific Ocean, 30% of the territory will potentially be submerged by the end of the century.