10 islands you need to see before they sink

10 islands you need to see before they sink
(Picture: File)

With white sand beaches and stunning coral reefs, these are the tropical paradises many dream about visiting.

But with global sea levels expected to rise up to 16 inches in the next century, it might be better to book those tickets sooner rather than later.

Here are 10 beautiful islands that are slowly sinking into the sea.

*Estimates calculated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

 

1) Tuvalu

While the tiny South Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu looks idyllic, life on the island is harsh. There are no streams or rivers here and islanders must collect rainwater to survive.

Not only that but the nation is under threat of disappearing altogether due to rising sea levels.

The former UK colony, called Ellice Island before declaring independence in 1978, is a mere 14.8 feet above sea level with some low lying areas only 9.8 feet.

BKXPFY Funafuti atol on Tuvalu form the air threatened by global warming induced sea level rise
Funafuti atol on Tuvalu (Picture: Alamy)
An island that forms part of the marine park, near the Tuvalu mainland
A marine park near the Tuvalu mainland (Picture: Getty)

2) Maldives

Pitted as the ultimate honeymoon destination, what many fail to realise is that many of the tropical islands in the Maldives are at risk of being swallowed by the sea.

Some of the corals islands, with their stunning white sand beaches, are just 5.9 feet above sea level putting it at threat from global warming.

With a population of 324,000 there would be a huge upheaval should the sea start claiming the land.

Maldives, Baa Atoll, aerial view
Maldives, Baa Atoll (Picture: Getty)
Maldive Islands, Atoll Faafu, small port of an inhabited island
Maldive Islands, Atoll Faafu (Picture: Getty)

3) Fiji

Surging tides have already forced some villagers from their homes in Fiji, the collection of 800 or so volcanic and coral islands.

One village – Vunidogoloa – had to be moved a mile up onto a hill after it started sinking into the Pacific.

Other villages such as Nukui and Vunisavisavi are also under threat of disappearing altogether.

Aerial of Treasure Island Resort surrounded by coral reef.
Aerial of Treasure Island Resort (Picture: Getty)
Fiji, Beach and dive boats at Matangi Private Island Resort
Fiji, Beach and dive boats at Matangi Private Island Resort (Picture: Getty)

4) Micronesia

There is a cemetery in Micronesia that has already started sinking into the sea.

Gravestones to the west of the island of Majuro can be seen poking out of the waves along with discarded coconut husks and palm leaves.

Not only that but the sea water is killing off crops, making life for the 102,624 islanders even more of a struggle.

Micronesia is a group of 600 or so islands in four states: Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap. A 3.3 foot rise would make the islands uninhabitable.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX Shutterstock (3968707a) Micronesia, Palau, Peleliu, lagoon with palm-lined beach VARIOUS
Lagoon with palm-lined beach in Palau, Micronesia (Picture: REX)
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Design Pics Inc/REX Shutterstock (5329128a) Nauru's rocky coastline Nauru VARIOUS
Nauru’s rocky coastline (Picture: REX)
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Design Pics Inc/REX Shutterstock (5329113a) Sandy beach and lush vegetation along the coastline Nauru VARIOUS
Sandy beach and lush vegetation along the coastline Nauru (Picture: REX)

5) Seychelles

The Indian Ocean archipelago would be completely uninhabitable if the ocean rose as little as three feet, rendering its 87,122 homeless.

Given the islands rely heavily on tourism – if the beaches disappear this could make things very difficult for islanders.

Aerial view, Anse Aux Courbes and Anse Royal, Southern Mahe, Mahe, Seychelles, Africa, Indian Ocean
Aerial view, Anse Aux Courbes and Anse Royal, Southern Mahe, Mahe, Seychelles, Africa, Indian Ocean (Picture: Getty)
Sunset at Anse Source d'Argent
Sunset at Anse Source d’Argent (Picture: Getty)

6) Torres Strait Islands

Locals on the islands are terrified every time there is a high tide, despite many having lived by the sea for generations.

Maria Passi told one newspaper journalist: At night I can’t sleep if the tide is high.’

The population on the 274 Torres Strait islands is more than 8,000.

An aerial view of the rocky Waier Island, part of the Murray Islands group in the Torres Strait.
An aerial view of the rocky Waier Island, part of the Murray Islands group in the Torres Strait. (Picture: Getty)
Thursday Island township
Thursday Island township (Picture: Getty)

7) Carteret Islands

High tides have flooded these islands, destroying crops and homes.

The south-west Pacific islands are home to just 2,500 people and some suggest the islands could be rendered uninhabitable within months.

BGP1GM young girl walks between coconut palms on the coastline of Puil Island, Carteret Atoll, Papua New Guinea
A young girl walks between coconut palms on the coastline of Puil Island, Carteret Atoll, Papua New Guinea (Picture: Getty)

8) Solomon Islands

East of Papua New Guinea are the Solomon Islands.

Researchers placed a marker at the end of the beach – and just seven years later that marker had disappeared under water.

These researchers are carefully monitoring the 992 islands now, which have a population of 584,578.

Aerial view over islands of the Central Province
Aerial view over islands of the Central Province (Picture: Getty)
Clear shallow bay and coral reef, typical wooden dugout canoe, Malo Island, Santa Cruz Island group, Solomon Islands, Melanesia
Clear shallow bay and coral reef, typical wooden dugout canoe, Malo Island, Santa Cruz Island group, Solomon Islands, Melanesia (Picture: Getty)

9) Palau

The eight main islands and 250 smaller ones are already seeing a decline in land mass.

This is threatening to cause major problems for the 20,000 people living there, especially as the sea begins to affect crops and its valuable reefs.

Palau rock islands and tropical water from above
Palau rock islands and tropical water (Picture: Getty)

10) Republic of Kiribati

Villagers in the small town of Tebunginako have already have to relocate after rising seas swallowed their homes.

Kirabati, which is halfway between Hawaii and Australia, has already seen most of its population move to the island of Tarawam due to land disappearing into the sea.

Channel facing Buota Island.
Channel facing Buota Island (picture: Alamy)

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26 November 2015 | 5:19 pm – Source: metro.co.uk

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