National Geographic : 2001 Feb
On the Waterfront A third of the people in the world live in coastal zones. Populations concentrated in river deltas such as the Ganges in Bangladesh or the Nile in Egypt are in immediate danger of losing their homes to rising sea levels, along with some of their countries' richest farmland. Marshall S slands + Kiribati uru f Samoa Tuvalu+ American t Samoa Tongan Niue French Cook * Polynesia Islands ouenos H. .t Wellington" ,- --- - - I II [:] Select regions at risk * Sea ice % Glaciers [ Select islands at risk * Land ice sheet Ground Zero By the end of this century low-lying islands in the Caribbean could be uninhabitable, as could small coral atolls such as those in the Marshall Islands and the Maldives. Polar Ice Because most Arctic ice is already float ing in the Arctic Ocean, its increased melting will not raise sea levels. The danger lies in ice sheets attached to land masses like West Antarctica's coastal ice shelf. The rest of Antarctica is less vulner able because even a rise in temperature of a few degrees would leave it below freezing and could lead to snow, which would simply add to the existing ice sheet.