The End of the Maledives?
The Maledives , a paradise with tropical beaches and pure white sand, attracts about 500,000 tourists every year. But the natural beauty of this island nation may soon disappear.
The 1,100 islands that make up the Maledives may disappear from the surface of the Earth in the next century because of global warming. According to scientists, the sea levels will rise by about 60cm in the next one hundred years.
The islands are protected by coral reefs. The rise of the oceans, however, will lead to higher waves and destroy the reefs. As a result , more salt from the ocean may spread to and destroy the ground and soil of the islands.
Global warming will also damage the fishing industry of the island. Plankton lives deeper when the water becomes warmer. So tuna fish, the most important type of fish, live in deeper areas too. That means they are much harder too catch.
Tourism in the Maledives is in danger too. The white sandy beaches could disappear as fast as the reefs. People wouldn’t come to dive in the colourful water any more.
The island’s leaders are aware of the dangers. Plans are underway to find a new living area for the population. Finding a new homeland is not easy. One plan calls for the rescue of at least a few of the islands . It may be possible to make them higher.
- aware of = to know about something
- coral reef =a line of hard roks made by coral ; usually can be found in warm water
- disappear = to go away
- dive = to swim into deep water, usually with bottles of air so that you can breathe
- rescue = save
- soil = the top layer of earth