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How nations are coping with rising seas

By: Laura Moss on July 11, 2011, 10:19 a.m.
A view of Tuvalu from an airplane

Photo: maloff/Shutterstock

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Force of nature

As the planet warms and ice sheets melt, sea levels are rising worldwide. During the last century, the oceans rose about 5-9 inches, according to the EPA, and sea levels could increase by up to 5 feet by 2100, threatening 180 U.S. coastal cities. But in some parts of the world, entire countries are at risk of vanishing beneath the seas. From Alaskan coastal communities to tiny Pacific island nations like Tuvalu (pictured), political leaders and concerned citizens are working together to save their homes, their sovereignty and their identities from disappearing beneath the waves.