Sea Level Rise

With global warming on the rise, small island nations are already noticing the negative effects. The Cook Islands are said to be the subject of drastic sea level rise within the next 25-40 years. With that, the residents of these islands must face the harsh consequences that affect the things they are most reliable on: marine resources, agriculture, water resources, and even the stability of a home. Coral reefs, which hold many economic and cultural values, begin to fail with ocean levels rising. In addition, salt intrusion starts to diminish the productiveness of their crops and abundance of freshwater on the islands. Also, the rising sea levels (along with the severity and increased occurrence of storms due to global warming) take a toll on the homes of residents. Each of these features is a key part to the survival of the people on the Cook Islands. If sea levels rise to a point where these islands become inhabitable, then their traditions, culture, and possibly language become in jeopardy of becoming nonexistent. We need to put more effort into figuring out a way to combat these challenges that sea level rise bring before we begin to lose the rich culture of the people who resides on these islands.

Sources:

http://www.pacificclimatechange.net/index.php/country-profiles/cook-islands

http://coralreefsystems.org/sites/coralreefsystems.org/files/u8/jar_reef5_smith_450.jpg

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