As one of the youngest nations on Earth, Tuvalu could be among the first nations to disappear from the face of the Earth as rising sea levels render the islands uninhabitable.
Just over 11,000 Tuvaluans live on the 9 islands of Tuvalu. Tuvaluans have inhabited their archipelago for thousands of years.
Located about midway between Hawaii and Australia, Tuvalu became an independent nation state in 1978 and the 189th nation to join the United Nations in 2000.
Today, Tuvalu earns significant income from commercializing the “.tv” internet domain name, selling beautiful postal stamps and from commercial fishing in its Exclusive Economic Zone of nearly 350,000 square miles.
Sea level gauges on Tuvalu’s largest atoll, Funafuti, document that the water has been rising approximately twice as fast as the global average. A leading cause of sea level rise is fossil fuel use in our buildings and transportation.
The highest point on Tuvalu’s 10 square miles of land area is just 15 feet above sea level. Will a nation underwater still have an Economic Zone to call its own? Maybe the future is Drawdown Solution’s of ocean farming?
The 2018 IPCC Special Report 15, Global Warming of 1.5 °C, makes clear that any increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases will increase ocean temperatures, triggering coral extinction, ocean acidification and sea level rise.
If global average temperatures rise by less than 2°C, only 70-90% of the world’s coral will be wiped out. At 2°C, virtually all coral reefs will be extinct. No surprise that the most vulnerable nations, such as Tuvalu, were the most vocal in calling for this latest IPCC report on the difference between 2 degrees warming and just 1.5 degrees.
Why should 11,000 Tuvaluans be among our earliest climate refugees, because the rest of us failed to drawdown carbon?