"A potential ocean rise of up to 1 meter by 2100 will have devastating consequences for this island archipelago, where the highest natural point is only a little over 2 meters above sea level," said
The report, titled , predicts the six countries--
Without changes to current global resource use behavior, the
A 1-meter sea level rise would inundate 66% of the archipelago's total land area, causing widespread damage and displacement of communities. Warmer seas, which bleach coral reefs and harm reef fish stocks, would also negatively affect tourism, the mainstay of the country's economy. Dengue, a vector-borne disease which is already endemic, could spread across atolls and potentially reach epidemic proportions.
Rising saline contamination of limited groundwater supplies, along with changes in rainfall patterns and dry spells also pose a serious threat, with rain providing the main source of drinking water for over 90% of households. Increased beach erosion and flooding from storm surges are other future challenges.
The cost of climate change adaptation measures in
The report does not provide adaptation cost projections on a country basis, but highlights a broad variety of measures that economies can take to respond to climate change. These include the use of drought-, flood- and saline-resistant crop varieties, more integrated coastal zone management, improved disease and vector surveillance, and more protection of groundwater resources and greater use of recycled water. In the case of energy, the
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