Video Of The Day: Kiribati Sinking

A Sinking Nation” from NPR on Vimeo.

Kiribati (pronounced kirr-i-bas) is an island nation spread across a chunk of the Pacific Ocean as big as Alaska two times over. But for all of the room Kiribati covers in distance, it accumulates virtually no space vertically. The average height of Kiribati land is just six and a half feet above sea level. Composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral, most of the nation’s 100,000 inhabitants cluster in near the nation’s capital, Tarawa. But space is running out. A single storm effortlessly vanishes houses into the sea and unfortunately, this is the fate most scientists and citizens believe belongs to Kiribati: the sea. According to this video produced by NPR, the island nation is especially vulnerable and in danger. Kiribati President Anote Tong has voiced concern over the rising seas, stating that it could ultimately lead to the demise of island countries like Kiribati. These statements have been loosely countered by findings published in the New Scientist magazine stating that the island is actually expanding due to coral debris. However hopeful land accumulation via coral debris may seem to some, the heart of the matter is that the core of Kiribati may soon be washed away and even newly risen land will likely face the same fate in this low-lying nation.

President Anote Tong's Dilemma