A Visit to Tuvalu, Surrounded by the Rising Pacific

Fiona Goodall, a photographer working with Getty Images, recently visited the tiny South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, a country battling rising sea levels with limited resources. Goodall reports that high tides regularly bring flooding that “inundates taro plantations, floods either side of the airport runway, and affects people’s homes.” While a study released in February showed that Tuvalu’s land area had actually increased by 2.9 percent since 1970, due mostly to wave-driven beach buildup, the elevation of the nation’s nine islands was not growing—and the sea has been rising by approximately 0.2 inches (5 millimeters) every year, above the global average, since 1993. The government of Tuvalu is working with public and private groups from around the Pacific to develop hardy crops, shore up vulnerable beaches, and move toward a goal of becoming 100 percent renewable-energy dependent by 2025.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP / Getty

    Devastated by Dorian: Photos From the Bahamas

    Recent images of the hard-hit islands of the Abacos and Grand Bahama, as residents receive aid, recover what they can, and contemplate their next steps

  • Ulet Ifansasti / Getty

    Fires in Indonesia Blanket Islands and Cities in Smog

    Thick clouds of smoke and haze are blanketing much of Southeast Asia, due to largely illegal efforts to burn thousands of acres to clear land for farms and palm-oil plantations.

  • Smithsonian Institution

    Photos of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair

    In April 1904, St. Louis opened its doors to the world, welcoming millions to see the fascinating buildings and exhibits of art, technology, and history on display at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

  • Randall Hill / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Baobab Alley, Armed Mob, River Rescue

    A beard-and-mustache battle in Los Angeles, a sleepy young rhino in France, a shepherd among Turkish foothills, the Corso Zundert flower parade in the Netherlands, the “Futurium” in Berlin, and much more