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By Tim Radford
For atoll dwellers across much of the world, the island freshwater on which they depend may be in jeopardy within a couple of decades.
The combination of sea level rise and ever more extreme storm conditions—each a consequence of global warming and climate change—could make many of the world's coral atolls uninhabitable within one human generation.
A new study published in Science Advances Wednesday has bad news for the residents of low-lying atolls: If current greenhouse gas emission rates continue, climate change will render most of these islands uninhabitable by mid-century, not by the end of the century as previously believed.