by Michael Bobelian 3/12/2012 @ 2:52PM
The Marshall Islands is approaching extinction. The threat is not from a plague or a warring neighbor. It is the very ocean that surrounds this archipelago of islands and atolls located in the Pacific Ocean just above the equator.
The math is as simple as it is deadly. As global temperatures rise, so will sea levels from three to six feet by the end of the century according to the Columbia University Earth Institute. The speckles of flat land that make up the Marshall Islands rise about seven feet above sea level.
In a few decades, scientists predict that rising ocean levels, combined with stronger, more frequent storms, will erode coastlines and destroy fresh water and agricultural supplies of low-elevation island nations (not to mention low-altitude coastlines across the globe).