The Marshall Islands — an island country that sits between Australia and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean — are hidden gems for many travellers.
And while Marshall Islands’ many beaches are stunning, their true beauty lies beneath the surface. The islands are made up of coral atolls, making diving the biggest draw for tourists.
But the islands are threatened by shifting conditions that are the result of climate change, including rising sea levels and storm surges. Tour guide Haraoki Ueda also said that he has noticed extensive coral bleaching, which happens when water temperatures rise. This increases the chances of coral dying, which leaves fish and other aquatic life without a home.
On Saturday, nearly 200 nations signed a groundbreaking climate agreement in Paris that seeks to limit an increase of the earth’s temperature. And though some environmental groups have praised it, many still don’t think it goes far enough.
“This climate deal falls far short of the soaring rhetoric from world leaders less than two weeks ago,” said Craig Bennett, CEO of Friends of the Earth. “We still don’t have an adequate global plan to make this a reality. This agreement leaves millions of people across the world under threat from climate-related floods, droughts and super-storms.”
If the global climate continues to warm at its current pace it would leave places like the Marshall Islands at serious risk, especially as 2015 is on track to be the warmest year on record, according to the
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Story and editing by Andrew Fowler
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