Island biodiversity at risk from rising sea levels

Rising sea levels caused by global warming are putting island habitats that hold 20% of the world’s biodiversity at risk.

According to research from the University of Paris Sud, island ecosystems are among the most vulnerable to rising sea levels, causing destruction of habitats.

Sea levels, which have been expected to increase by 0.5 meters to 2.3 metres by the end of the century, could potentially immerse and wipe out islands with low elevation. Self-contained ecosystems living in these habitats could be destroyed.

The study used 1,269 islands from areas that France had colonised, with New Caledonia and French Polynesia found to be facing the highest risk.