See Tuvalu while it lasts

Island nation believes it's in danger of disappearing beneath the Pacific Ocean.

Tuvalu is one of several Pacific island nations closely watching predictions about rising ocean levels. It's 700 miles north of Fiji. Residents there say the months of highest tides are already worse and wetter than historically. Homes and precious farm land have been lost. Well water is becoming salty. The CIA summary on Tuvalu states it succinctly. "Tuvalu is concerned about global increases in greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on rising sea levels, which threaten the country's underground water table."

Tuvalu and its 12,000 residents have been promised admission to New Zealand if the the nation's nine atolls become uninhabitable. None of the other low-lying island nations have yet found a willing partner. Possibly threatened if seas rise: Vanuatu, Kiribati, Marshall islands, Cook Islands, Fiji and Solomon Islands. Mountainous islands will not be submerged but could lose valuable farmland and coastal towns.

As many as five million Pacific Islanders could be facing an uncertain future if global warming predictions come true.

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    Harry Fuller escaped from television work to be executive editor at CNET News.com.

     

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