Case Study: Rising Sea Levels in the Maldives

As level geography for the WJEC syllabus.

A short fact-file on rising sea levels in the Maldives. Can be used as a case study for rising sea levels and the impacts of the melting of the Arctic ice caps.

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  • Created by: Ellie
  • Created on: 04-05-11 21:38
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Rising Sea Levels in the Maldives & the Impact on People and Society
The effects of global warming on the Maldives could create a volatile situation within
the country. Rising sea levels threaten the country's tourism-dependent economy and the
very existence of the country. The Maldives are comprised of nearly 1,200 islands and atolls
in the Indian Ocean. The combined land mass of all the islands is 115 square
miles--approximately twice the size of Washington, DC. Climate change and rising sea
levels are of great concern to the Maldives, which is only 8 feet above sea level at its
highest point.
To show how sensitive the Maldives can be to climate change, we can look at the
The Asian tsunami of December 26, which 2004 killed 82 people, displaced an additional
12,000 and caused extensive damage to the country's important tourism industry. As well as
the 2004 tsunami, the 1987 high tides illustrate that climate change is already affecting the
Maldives. Much of the country's economy relies on beautiful beaches and scenery. All the
things that would be affected by rising sea levels, increased beach erosion, and stronger
storms. If the country is unable to provide for their citizens through tourism, a primary focus
of the economy, a grim situation may become inescapable.
Not only will rising sea levels affect the tourists and therefore the Repu
blic of the Maldives' income, but more so the people living there. Since 80% of its 1,200

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Maldives could become
uninhabitable. If this occurs, the country's 360,000 citizens would be forced to evacuate. The
question is, where do they evacuate to? The Republic of the Maldives had a GDP averaging
between 8.1 in 1990 and 1996. This is fairly low and if the country is unable to pay for citizens
to move to another country, other countries such as, the US or Japan could assist at their
own cost.…read more


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