The First Country That May be Completely Wiped Out by Climate Change
This beautiful country of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean could be the first to be completely decimated by climate change.
In fact, some researchers are stating that the country of Tuvalu may be completely underwater in less than 100 years.
Where Is Tuvalu?
Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a country in the Polynesia region between Australia and Hawaii.
It is composed of three reef islands and six atolls, or ring-shaped islands that encircle lagoons, and is home to almost 11,000 native residents.
Tuvalu Is a Beautiful Oasis With Very Few Visitors
Because of Tuvalu’s remote location, it sees very few visitors. The small population lives essentially unbothered by the world, and their culture and way of life are completely unique.
They live a simple life of relaxation, playing sports, and spending Sundays at the local Protestant church. And while they do speak their own language, Tuvaluan, young students are also taught English, as the country is still a part of the British Commonwealth.
For Centuries, Life in Tuvalu Has Gone on Uninterrupted
On these small islands, where the average daily temperature is between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the fish are plentiful, and the beaches are pristine, life hasn’t changed much in the past few hundred years.
But sadly, scientists and climate change researchers have reported that it is all about to change for the Tuvalu people.
United Nations Development Programme Reports That Tuvalu Is “Extremely Vulnerable”
A recent report stated that due to climate change, the global sea levels have been increasing around 0.12 inches every year since 1993.
This means that small islands such as Tuvalu are what they call “extremely vulnerable” to the current effects of climate change.
Funafuti Only Has a Maximum Elevation of 15 Feet
In fact, Tuvalu’s capital city of Funafuti, which houses more than one-third of the country’s population, sits almost completely at sea level.
The highest elevation of the city is only 15 feet above sea level, and with the rate at which the sea level is rising, many are incredibly concerned for Tuvalu.
Saltwater Flooding Is Already Hurting the Residents of Tuvalu
Parts of Tuvalu are already flooding with salt water, and it is causing damage not only to homes and businesses, but also to one of their major food suppliers: Crops.
The Tuvaluans grow taro and cassava to provide themselves with sufficient food and a well-balanced diet, but sadly, many of these crops drowned this year.
The Floods Will Also Affect Future Crop Growth
Sadly, the saltwater floods will also prevent the land from successfully growing crops in the future.
This means that even if Tuvalu can survive the ever-increasing sea levels, life will become infinitely more expensive as they will need to pay for imported foods instead of being able to eat what they’ve grown themselves.
It’s Not Just Rising Sea Levels That Pose a Threat
In addition to the very real threat of the rising sea levels completely drowning the country of Tuvalu, there are also other problems on the horizon.
As climate change continues to affect this planet we live on, extreme weather, such as tropical storms, will likely hit islands like Tuvalu the hardest.
Floods & Storms May Leave Tuvalu Alone and Starving
What’s especially concerning for the people of Tuvalu is that the flooding and storms could cut off their connection to the mainland if planes cannot land or take off from the island.
This means that these beautiful people, once visited by Queen Elizabeth, would be left floating on a sinking island without food or clean water.
What Can Be Done to Help the People of Tuvalu?
From rising temperatures to extreme weather and rising sea levels, Tuvalu is experiencing the majority of the negative effects of climate change.
With droughts and floods, these residents are living with an extreme lack of fresh water and food, and they are asking for help in the form of funding from the British Commonwealth.
Something Needs to Change to Save the Children of Tuvalu
In order to save the children of Tuvalu, the country needs to construct a higher island to live on. However, with a price tag of $300 million, it’s unlikely that they will get the funding they need to do so.
Former prime minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopaga, is arguing that his government needs to adapt to the ever-changing climate and find a way to continue to live in their homeland. But sadly, it may be too little too late for the beautiful country of Tuvalu.