Special Report

20 Islands That Will Disappear in Your Lifetime

11. Tangier Island, Virginia
> 2018 Population: 706

Tangier Island, Virginia, also called the soft-shell capital of the world, is on the front lines of climate change in the United States. The highest point of the island is just 6 feet above sea level. The island has lost two-thirds of of land area since 1850 because of the longer term effects from what is called glacial rebound. The island has been sinking by about an inch a year because of rising sea levels. Storm-powered erosion and sea-level rise may force people to flee the island. The state of Virginia has offered $3 million to build a wall around the island’s harbor, but residents think they need a wall around the whole island to save it from being inundated.

Source: jalvarezg / Getty Images

12. Cape Verde
> 2018 Population: 543,767

Cape Verde is a nation comprising a group of islands off the west coast of Africa. Like many island states, Cape Verde is vulnerable to climate change impacts because of its small surface area, high population density, inadequate infrastructure, and a shortage of potable water resources. Because of its geographic vulnerability, Cape Verde is also prone to natural catastrophes. The archipelago has embarked on a strategy to integrate environmental issues into its planning goals and promote sustainable development.

Source: JohnHodjkinson / Getty Images

13. Kiribati
> 2018 Population: 115,847

In 2017, low-lying Kiribati declared that global warming was literally killing it. The nation, which consists of 33 islands, with a total land mass of just 309 square miles, that are about 6 feet above sea level, may actually become the first to be completely submerged by global warming. Rising sea levels have already swallowed sections of coastline. The country is expected to become uninhabitable long before it’s completely under water.

Source: Sergio Calleja (Life is a trip) / Wikimedia Commons

14. French Polynesia
> 2018 Population: 277,679

French Polynesia is home to two of the most exotic travel destinations in the world — Bora Bora and Tahiti. With the island group threatened by rising seas, the California-based Seasteading Institute has introduced the “Floating City Project,” which is a proposed self-sustainable community whose energy is provided by solar and wind power. The Pacific nation became the first country in January 2017 to sign an agreement to locate the floating islands off its coast. The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said sea levels in French Polynesia are expected to rise by as many as 32 inches by the end of the late 21st century.

Source: PietroPazzi / Getty Images

15. Vanuatu
> 2018 Population: 292,680

Vanuatu, formerly called the New Hebrides, is an island nation in the South Pacific, northeast of Australia and west of Fiji. Like many islands in the Pacific, rising ocean temperatures as a result of climate change will have a profound impact on the nation’s fisheries, one of the most significant sources of food in Vanuatu, and the impact will be felt also in tourism. The nation is already feeling the effects of coastal erosion and ocean acidification. Vanuatu is signatory to the Paris Agreement that aims to limit greenhouse gases, and it has adapted plans to reduce the risk of disaster from these inevitable changes.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.