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Watch Climate Change Eat This Canadian Island

The residents of this small island are losing as much as three feet per year to the rising sea.

by Jon Christian
Dec 20 2015, 8:00pm

The waterbound Pacific nation of Kiribati isn't the only island that's being swallowed by the ocean. A new video by National Geographic shows the rising Atlantic eating away at the low-lying Lennox Island, an aboriginal community in Prince Edward Island province that's also threatened by the rising seas.

"When I first came to live here, we had the children out playing baseball in the front yard," said David Haley, a property manager who lives on the island, in the clip. "They can't do that anymore. That land is gone."

The short video cuts between residents of the island, who mourn the loss of what Haley said has been up to three feet of land per year, and gorgeous, snow-dusted shots of the shore and its shifting border with the water. In addition the loss of land, the island's occupants—many of whom are members of the Lennox Island First Nation—have dealt with washouts, erosion, basement flooding and damage to the roadways.

As global warming starts to have more and more dramatically tangible effects on the Earth, coastal and island towns face the prospect of being swept away. Recently, a faux real estate company called Higher Tides was even created, "claiming to sell undervalued real estate that will increase in value as climate change causes cities from New York to Miami to eventually slip beneath the rising sea." The project was satire, but it fooled a lot of people—hopefully highlighting that sea-level rise is a very real and urgent concern.

But nothing is quite as powerful as seeing the faces and hearing the stories of people whose entire communities and livelihoods are at risk. The world is slowly waking up to the threat of global warming, but so far it's too little, too late.