MNN Galleries

14 islands threatened by climate change

By: Katherine Butler on Jan. 10, 2018, 11:44 a.m.
Thursday Island's highest point is a mere 341 feet above sea level.

Photo: John Crux/Shutterstock

12 of 16

Torres Strait Islands

The Torres Strait Islands are 274 islands in the namesake strait between Australia's Cape York Peninsula and the island of New Guinea. Fourteen of the islands are inhabited, but that doesn't mean raising sea levels aren't a threat to the little over 4,000 people who call the islands home.

Or the dead that call it home, for that matter. On the northernmost island, Boigu Island, cemeteries are staring down inundation, and roads are being swept away by the sea. The island also has a failing seawall. To the southeast, Masig Island, which isn't even 2 miles long and less than half a mile across at its widest point, is being "eaten" by the sea. Evacuating the island may be the only option for residents.