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14 islands threatened by climate change

By: Katherine Butler on Jan. 10, 2018, 11:44 a.m.
Mahé Island is the largest of the Seychelles islands.

Photo: Hansueli Krapf/Wikimedia Commons

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An archipelago and country comprised of 115 islands, Seychelles is home to a little over 94,000 people in the Indian Ocean. Most of the islands are uninhabited, but they do function as nature reserves. The islands total around 2 and half times the size of Washington, D.C., but around 16 percent of this land is less than 16 feet above sea level. When you factor in that 80 percent of the country's population and economic activity is on coastal areas, even a 3-foot increase in sea level could be dire for the islands and result in a 70 percent loss of land mass.

Like many island nations, Seychelles has relied on mangrove forests and coral reefs to fight back against climate change. However, ocean acidification has worn away coral reefs in the area, and the country lacks the economic resources to invest in the infrastructure necessary to give a way to properly fight back against the rising sea levels.