Global sea levels are rising and the world’s land ice is disappearing. Sea levels have risen 6 to 8 inches in the past 100 years, and Antarctica has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometers of ice per year since 2002, according to NASA satellite data.
By the year 2100, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that sea levels will rise as much as 20 inches.
While rising sea levels ultimately influence the entire planet, they pose the greatest threat to the islands currently residing at sea level.
Here are some of the islands — many of them small nations — likely to face this crisis first.
The people of Kiribati may want to rethink their plans to relocate to Fiji, as this 7,056-square-mile island nation in the South Pacific is pondering its own solutions to the challenges of climate change. While its larger islands include mountains that reach high as 4,000 feet above sea level, Fiji is still concerned about the effects of climate change. Indeed, some families are already moving further inland to escape rising sea levels.