More than 1,000 tropical islands may become ‘uninhabitable’ soon due to climate change: study

More than 1,000 tropical islands may become ‘uninhabitable’ soon due to climate change: study
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A string of more than 1,000 small tropical islands including and near the Marshall Islands in the Pacific could become uninhabitable by the middle of the 21st century due to flooding caused by climate change, according to a study published Wednesday.

The study, published in Science Advances, found that the current pace of global emissions will cause a combination of rising sea levels and wave-driven flooding that could wash out these coral atoll islands near the equator.

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As water creeps into the islands, the study argued, the land’s infrastructure would be devastated and it would no longer have access to clean drinking water.

The Department of Defense supported the study because it has a base on one of the islands, and surrounding islands are home to more than 1,000 Americans, The Washington Post reported.

"While no decisions have been made about Department of Defense activities on the islands based on the study, DOD continues to focus on ensuring its installations and infrastructure are resilient to a wide range of threats," Defense Department spokeswoman Heather Babb said in a statement to The Washington Post.

"The department’s understanding of rising sea levels will enable the military services and agencies in affected areas to make informed decisions on how to continue to execute their missions," she added.

Environmental activists and advocates have argued that the Environmental Protection Agency has been dismantling policies and regulations that help prevent worsening climate change.