Tuvalu has come to epitomize the approaching catastrophe of worldwide climate change and sea-level rise. Although the island nation has a population of just under 12,000, Tuvalu has become a “poster child” for encroaching environmental disaster, a case that has been well documented through films and newspaper, magazine, and journal articles.

The nation is an island group made up of nine coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and Australia. Tuvalu means “eight standing islands,” and refers to eight islands that have supported the population for at least several hundred years. These islands are Funafuti, Nanumaga, Nanumea, Niutao, Nui, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae, and Vaitupu. Altogether, Tuvalu is composed of nine atolls and reef islands, and has a land area of ...

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