The climate of the world is changing fast, and perhaps none will be more affected by it than these 10 countries that will be underwater due to global warming.
Global warming in the world is resulting in thermal expansion. The temperature of the oceans has increased by 0.18°F over the past century due to greenhouse gasses emitted by several human activities. While this may not seem like much, it has actually been quite hazardous for planet Earth. Due to the rise in temperature, which has penetrated the ocean to a depth of approximately 2,300 feet, water is expanding. Simply put, sea levels are rising at a very high rate. Observation of the last twenty years shows that the annual increase has been 0.13 inches per year, twice the number of the preceding eighty years of the century!
Another consequence of the increase is the occurrence of more storms, cyclones, and hurricanes. Some countries possess more blame for the steady increase in temperature than others and you can find out more about them through our piece on the 11 worst countries that are responsible for global warming.
Environmentalists have predicted that the heat in the oceans will be extremely injurious to marine life and is expected to render various species completely extinct. However, that is not the only outcome, nor is it the most detrimental one. It has been forecasted that large portions of some countries will be fully submerged in a matter of decades. Considering this alarming repercussion of global warming, we decided to form a list of 10 countries that will be underwater due to global warming. To compile the list, we did heavy research relating to the effects of rising ocean levels on different countries. It was shocking to discover how severe the impacts are even at this point in time. One can only imagine what the future will bring.
The majority of the countries that face this risk are island nations and understandably so since these countries are composed of chains of tiny islands that can very easily be destroyed with one huge wave. Studies suggest that 147 to 216 million people currently reside in areas which will be below sea level by the time this century reaches its conclusion. While every human being hopes that this is not true, it seems quite inevitable. Keep reading our list of countries that will be underwater due to global warming for more details.
The nation of Fiji has under its name approximately three hundred islands, and a little more than a hundred are inhabited. Fiji has been suffering from several floods caused by violent seas over the last few years. These have done damage to their crops and caused people to contract certain waterborne illnesses. The most recent disaster that impacted Fiji with gigantic force was in the month of February of this year: the mighty Cyclone Winston that caused the deaths of fifty people in a country of less than a million people. Along with other consequences, the entire event resulted in a monetary impact of almost a billion dollars! Naturally, it was a huge financial blow for this modest island nation.
9. Papua New Guinea
The people of Papua New Guinea, the country that ranks 9th in our list of countries that will be underwater due to global warming, were declared the first refugees of global warming when in 2009 Cartarets were forced to leave their precious homes and move to Bougainville, another Papua New Guinean island. Since then, rising sea levels have been a stark reality for the nation and islanders, especially the ones living on small pieces of land, who have been on edge, praying that theirs is not the home that the tide takes next.
One of the only non-island countries on our list of countries that will be underwater due to global warming, Egypt faces severe risk of going underwater. Since the coastal line of the country is densely populated, the number of people who face this peril is astounding. Home to one of the longest rivers in the world, Egypt stands to lose 6.1 million residents if there is even a single meter of increase in the surface of the Mediterranean Sea, according to this report. However, as time goes by, the people and area likely to be affected by this danger keep on increasing since thermal expansion appears to be a steady process.
The Philippines ranks 7th in our list of countries that will be underwater due to global warming. It comprises of thousands and thousands of islands, and it is estimated by environmentalists that 167,000 hectares of the nation’s land will soon be underwater. One of the major reasons for this is that the country experiences extremely heavy rains continuously from July until October. The government of the country is trying to take precautionary measures to curtail the hazardous future presenting itself. It is struggling to educate the residents living in the risky areas and hoping to save 6.2 million who might lose their lives and property in the impending disaster. Whether it will be successful remains to be seen.
Although Bangladesh has merely 7% of its population at risk of being flooded, the number of its people in danger amount to more than 10 million. The lives of that many people being at stake is certainly a hair-raising matter. Floods, cyclones, heavy rains and tornadoes are the norm in this area and are events that occur on an annual basis. Thousands have died and millions have lost their lives’ work due to these calamities. However, the government of the nation is not very well equipped to handle the matter, leaving Bangladesh at number 6 on our list of 10 countries that will be underwater due to global warming.
5. Solomon Islands
The archipelago of Solomon Islands tjat rank 5th in our list of countries that will be underwater due to global warming holds massive historical importance as it houses plenty of sites that were particularly relevant for World War II. But will these sites remain safe from the effects of climate change? Only time will tell. However, it seems unlikely since five islands of the nation just recently succumbed to the raging sea according to The Guardian. These islands were not populated but the coasts of some areas that double as villages have already started to erode as the approaching sea threatens the islanders with its gigantic waves.
Up next in our list of countries that will be underwater due to global warming is Tuvalu that is a tiny country with merely nine islands in its name and covering just ten square miles. Furthermore, it is as little as two meters above sea level. Tuvalu has been experiencing volatile weather for a long time. It alternates between droughts and heavy rains and cyclones. In 2011, the drought faced by the islands was so terrible that a state of emergency was declared in the country by the authorized officials, even through the usual average rainfall in the country is 8 to 16 inches per month! That’s how fickle global warming can make the climate. In spite of everything the island has been through, experts have predicted that it will be underwater in the years to come. How many exactly is a question nobody knows the exact answer to.
The island nation of Kiribati has been under threat of rising waters for a very long time. Almost twenty years ago, in 1999, two of its islands vanished due to the change in sea levels. Luckily, none of these housed any citizens, but will the inevitable floods of the future be as innocuous? The nation was scared to such an extent of the prospect of being swallowed by the ocean that in 2012, the government purchased a piece of land on one of the larger, less risky islands of Fiji, in order to persuade its people to evacuate their homes. Kiribati has been making similar extensive plans for relocation to save its people.
2. Marshall Islands
With a population below seventy thousand, this modest country constitutes a group of volcanic islands that are considered a part of Oceania. The Marshall Islands have been a victim of global warming with extreme effects. In 2008, the nation was hit by a huge wave flooding the capital. In 2013, however, the state experienced a drought so severe that people were left without water to drink. Yet in the same year, a high tide hit the capital once more leaving the residents with no choice but to evacuate to other cities. However, the officials there have not yet resorted to the relocation of their people. Our advice though is that they should, with the country exposed to such high risks.
Considering that the Maldives is merely five feet above sea level on average, Ecowatch has declared it the first country that will go underwater due to climate change. According to the site, 77 percent of the nation may be submerged by the end of the century or even earlier if global warming is not curtailed. Maldives got a taste of the impending doom when the tsunami of 2004 hit the nation with immense force, and caused numerous casualties. The reason that the beautiful country of Maldives is so sensitive towards the rise of ocean levels is the fact that it is an archipelago and melting glaciers are threatening to engulf the group of islands.
With Maldives, we wrap up our list of 10 countries that will be underwater due to global warming. The future of the planet seems quite foggy with so many dangers in reach. Hopefully, the human race will soon be able to control this crisis.