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Showing posts from May 29, 2011

Island Nations Looking To Maintain Sovereignty If Lands Become Uninhabitable Due To Sea Level Rise

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Island Nations Looking To Maintain Sovereignty If Lands Become Uninhabitable Due To Sea Level Rise


Global sea level rise has put a handful of nations at risk of extinction -- small island states in the Pacific and Indian oceans. But this week, a collection of international lawyers and politicians have begun work to ensure that doesn't happen.

They can't prevent what many scientists see as the physical inevitability: a rise in ocean levels of 1 to 2 meters (3 to 6 feet) by 2100, even if all greenhouse gas emitting into the atmosphere were to cease tomorrow. Rather, they are exploring ways to use existing formal and informal rules that would allow many nations to continue as legal entities entitled to ocean fishing and mineral exploration rights, even if their entire populations were forced to relocate elsewhere.

The tiny nations of the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati and more are among those at most risk in the Pacific. These atoll nations are among the lowest-lying in the wor…