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Down to Earth

Global warming: A drowning planet

Rising sea levels are an inevitable consequence of global warming. Scientific research indicates that sea levels worldwide have been rising at a rate of 0.14 inches (3.5 millimetres) per year since the early 1990s. The trend puts thousands of coastal cities and even whole islands at risk of being claimed by the ocean. Down to Earth went to two countries threatened by the phenomenon.

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As rising sea levels submerge the coast of Nigeria, we look at how the nation is responding with floating slums and artificial islands on a world-class scale. On track for a one-metre rise by the end of the century, the phenomenon and its effects are accelerating.

But what if locals take advantage of the threat? We also head to The Netherlands, where living on water has been a matter of survival for centuries.

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