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What to Do When Your Country is Drowning

The wild and desperate ways island nations are fighting the effects of climate change

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne

The Maldives is drowning. The island nation’s leaders have been trying their best to communicate this to the world for at least six years, though their efforts have often been ignored or swatted away by skeptics. But according to a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this isn’t a topic that’s up for debate—it’s just math. Over the next century, sea levels will rise by at least one foot, with some climate experts estimating the increase may be as high as four feet. The Maldives is, on average, three feet above the water. Thus, the Maldives, and several other island nations like it, will be submerged within generations, and it seems like the rest of the world has decided that they’re on their own—these people will have to save themselves.

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