Sinking States: Climate Change and the Pacific
Looking to the canary in the climate change coal mine — low-lying island states that are slowly being swallowed by the sea — offers a clear warning of the perils associated with a warming planet.
With sea levels steadily rising, spurred by melting glaciers and ice sheets and thermal expansion of the ocean as the water warms, small island developing states (SIDS) are increasingly besieged, their shores nibbled away by a swollen tideline. Latest reports by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) project a sea level rise in the range of 26 to 82 cm by 2100. The rate of rise is dependent on whether the temperature increase is kept to a minimum forecast of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, or whether it reaches worst-case projections of 4.8 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
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