Rising Sea Levels May Force Residents Of Kiribati To Relocate



While for most of us the threat of rising sea levels caused by global warming is just a topic of discussion, for the people who live on the island of Kiribati it could be a life-threatening situation - One that could submerge their tiny nation forever. While that may not be anywhere in the near future, their progressive President is taking no chances. He already has a back-up plan in mind - Relocating his people to a different country!

Though that may seem a little extreme, Kiribati, that lies across the equator close to the International Date Line is in serious danger of disappearing even if water levels climb slightly. That's because many of its atolls lie just a few feet above sea level. In fact, with seawater encroaching its underground fresh water supply, the island is already beginning to feel the impact. Not only that, the weather, tidal and storm patterns have changed dramatically and are beginning to pose a serious threat to the livelihood of the 100,000+ people who call the islands home.

Over the years, the officials have thought about many different options ranging from building sea walls to even creating a whole new floating island. While the former, which they are going to implement around some of the really lower lying areas will provide a temporary solution, the latter was too expensive for the poor country. So, when the nation's president, Anote Tong heard about a church group that was trying to sell about 6,000 acres of fertile land on the nearby Fijian island of Viti Levy for 9.6 million USD, he decided to bid for it.

The sale still has be approved by the Fijian authorities who may not be thrilled at the prospect of having Kiribati's 103,000 residents showing up on their islands and settling there some day in the future. The president is hoping they will agree so that he can provide a sure-proof insurance policy for his people - One that they will hopefully never have to cash in.

The Republic of Kiribati comprises of 32 atolls and one raised coral island dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometers in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. With an annual GDP of about $1600 USD per person, it is one of the world's poorest nations. Fortunately however, there are some foreign reserves left from phosphate mining in the 1970's, which is what the president is planning to use to buy the land in Fiji.

Rising sea levels pose a real threat to not just Kiribati, but also, a number of islands in the Pacific and other low lying areas around the world. Though the water is currently rising by only about 2 millimeters a year, scientists believe that the pace will accelerate rapidly in the near future, thanks to continued impact from global warming. We sure hope not!

Resources: Yahoo.com, wikipedia.com,inhabitat.com

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  • popsiclepanda
    popsiclepandaMonday, March 4, 2019 at 5:14 am
    No this is so bad! This can’t happen! You now there’s going to be rising sea levels hear in America too! Florida’s going to be gone in about 40years and we have to all do something about it! All of this is caused because we don’t treat our one earth right! Taking car trips, and huge machine works that blow out all that gross stuff cause the overfloods and wildfires. It’s happening here to not just in Kiribati, have you ever seen New York the beach has gotten smaller and smaller it’s going to have to reach the city at one point. The wildfires in Cali, millions of animals have died and its our fault they did. So CHANGE something about Your life, meatball stake the bike and not the car, use solar energy, but something in this world has to change and it starts by YOU!
    • chlooe
      chlooeThursday, February 28, 2019 at 4:46 pm
      No! I don't want anything to die! #Support #SupportFromJKV
      • NedmacFriday, February 12, 2016 at 5:04 am
        The wall was broken by Titans!
        • JImmy ChoosThursday, February 11, 2016 at 10:43 am
          • ???Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 11:04 pm
            They should making a bigger wall and quickly to learn swimming so they can survival later on the future
            • AveryThursday, August 27, 2015 at 10:11 am
              The people on Kiribati should move to America.
              • AveryThursday, August 27, 2015 at 10:09 am
                That is so sad, I wouldn't want to live on Kiribati.
                • Bubble gumWednesday, August 26, 2015 at 2:19 pm
                  Thats just sad man
                  • DawnWednesday, April 8, 2015 at 8:50 am
                    That is the sadest place ever in the world I think that are invirment should help that place
                    • ari12
                      ari12Monday, August 25, 2014 at 7:14 pm
                      oh thats sooooooo sad and one of my m8s from my class is from kiribati and that is ajaz awwwwwww thats soooooooo sad hope all of their families are okay and i hope your family is ok awwwwww it has brung tears to my eyes :((((((((((((((