Within Decades, Floods May Render Many Islands Uninhabitable

This article describes how sea level rise will make many islands uninhabitable.

Wave-induced floods—abetted by rising seas—could ruin the water supplies of thousands of islands, a new study claims.

For the Marshall Islandsclimate change isn’t some distant, future danger: It is already wreaking havoc across the Pacific country’s more than 1,100 low-lying atolls.

Now, a new study claims that climate change may soon deal the country’s water supplies a death blow. As sea levels rise around the islands, bigger waves will flood farther inland than ever before. If enough of these waves hit in succession, flooded saltwater will irreparably taint the islands’ freshwater supplies.

Outside researchers say that the study, published on Wednesday inScience Advances, is best viewed as a worst-case scenario. That said, researchers praised the study for its modeling—and the grave warning it gives.

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