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6 island nations threatened by climate change

Flying over Chuuk, Micronesia

Photo: mattk1979/Flickr

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Federated States of Micronesia

Micronesia consists of 607 islands containing both mountains and low-lying coral atolls in the Pacific. It lies 1,800 miles east of the Philippines. This 270-square-mile nation holds a population of 102,624. “The threat is to our existence, survival, not only as a people — as a culture. ... We now have just flat beaches — the wash comes in and hits the roots of coconut trees,” Masao Nakayama, permanent representative of the Federated States of Micronesia to the United Nations, said in 2009. Experts say sea levels will rise more than 3 feet in the next 90 years, and Nakayama contends that “even a small rise of 1 meter” will be devastating to the nation.