A tiny Pacific island nation threatened by rising sea levels plans to create a digital copy of itself in metric

Tuvalu may be completely submerged by the end of the century.Mario Tama/Getty Images

  • Tuvalu is trying to replicate itself in the metric before sea levels wipe the map.

  • Climate change is an existential threat to Tuvalu, which is predicted to be underwater by 2100.

Tuvalu plans to become the first country to create a full metric replica of itself as rising sea levels threaten to completely submerge the tiny island nation.

Tuvalu’s foreign minister Simon Kofe announced the project in a virtual speech to world leaders at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.

“The tragedy of this result cannot be overemphasized. But because the world did not act, we must,” he said.

“Our land, our oceans, our culture are the most valuable assets of our people and to keep them safe from harm, no matter what happens in the physical world, we will move them to the cloud.”

Kofe also issued a warning to other nations: “Tuvalu could be the first country in the world to exist entirely in cyberspace. But unless global warming continues, it won’t be the last.”

Located about halfway between Hawaii and Australia, Tuvalu is made up of three reef islands and six coral atolls. There are about 12,000 people, and a total land area of ​​just 10 square miles.

For Tuvalu, climate change is an existential threat. The low-lying island nation has been classified by the United Nations as “extremely vulnerable” to global warming, and experts predict it could be completely submerged by 2100, according to Chatham House.

The first phase of Tuvalu’s digitization project is recreation of Teafualiku Island – the smallest island in the country, and the first part of the country that is expected to be lost due to the rise of sea levels.

In his address to COP27, delivered against the backdrop of a digital replica of Teafualiku, Kofe said: “Islands like this will not survive rapid temperature rises, rising sea levels or drought, so we will virtually recreate them. Piece by piece we will preserve our country, provide comfort for our people, and remind our children and grandchildren what our home once was.”

Kofe also urged other nations to take serious action on climate change to help Tuvalu avoid the “worst case scenario”. He told delegates: “Only a concerted global effort can ensure that Tuvalu never moves permanently online and never disappears from the physical plane.”

This is not the first time that Kofe has attracted global attention on behalf of Tuvalu. At last year’s COP26 climate summit, he grabbed headlines by addressing the conference while standing deep in the sea to highlight Tuvalu’s vulnerability to climate change.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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