FUNAFUTI, TUVALU - NOVEMBER 28: An aerial view of downtown and the airport runway, between the Pacific Ocean (L) and lagoon (R), on November 28, 2019 in Funafuti, Tuvalu. The low-lying South Pacific island nation of about 11,000 people has been classified as ‘extremely vulnerable’ to climate change by the United Nations Development Programme. The world’s fourth-smallest country is struggling to cope with climate change related impacts including five millimeter per year sea level rise (above the global average), tidal and wave driven flooding, storm surges, rising temperatures, saltwater intrusion and coastal erosion on its nine coral atolls and islands, the highest of which rises about 15 feet above sea level. In addition, the severity of cyclones and droughts in the Pacific Island region are forecast to increase due to global warming. Some scientists have predicted that Tuvalu could become inundated and uninhabitable in 50 to 100 years or less if sea level rise continues. The country is working toward a goal of 100 percent renewable power generation by 2025 in an effort to curb pollution and set an example for larger nations. Tuvalu is also exploring a plan to build an artificial island. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Tuvalu is a small island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean, between Australia and the Hawaiian Islands. It consists of nine small atolls and coral islands, with a total area of just 10 square miles. Unfortunately, the country is facing an unprecedented environmental crisis, as the rising sea levels are threatening to submerge the islands entirely.

As the sea levels continue to rise due to climate change, the islands of Tuvalu are in danger of being swallowed up by the ocean. The archipelago is only an average of 4.5 feet above sea level, making it particularly vulnerable to flooding and coastal erosion. The nation is already experiencing the effects of sea level rise, with some areas of the islands already submerged.

The people of Tuvalu are having to contend with the growing threat of their disappearing homeland. As the sea levels continue to rise, the impact of flooding and erosion is becoming increasingly severe. The islands freshwater resources are also being contaminated as saltwater from the ocean seeps into the ground. In addition, the coastal areas are increasingly vulnerable to tropical storms and tsunamis, caused by the rising ocean temperatures associated with global warming.

The government of Tuvalu is taking steps to protect the islands from further inundation. They have built sea walls and sandbagging around some of the most vulnerable areas, and have also implemented a strict building code. These measures have helped to slow down the rate of erosion, but they are only temporary solutions.

The only longterm solution to the crisis facing Tuvalu is to reduce global carbon emissions and limit the warming of the planet. This is something that all nations must work together to achieve if Tuvalu is to be saved from vanishing beneath the waves. Until then, the people of Tuvalu can only hope that their islands remain above the rising seas.

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