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Tuvalu Geography Profile 2017

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LocationOceania, island group consisting of nine coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way from Hawaii to Australia
Geographic coordinates8 00 S, 178 00 E
Map referencesOceania
Areatotal: 26 sq km
land: 26 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative0.1 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline24 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climatetropical; moderated by easterly trade winds (March to November); westerly gales and heavy rain (November to March)
Terrainlow-lying and narrow coral atolls
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 2 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 5 m
Natural resourcesfish, coconut (copra)
Land useagricultural land: 60%
arable land 0%; permanent crops 60%; permanent pasture 0%
forest: 33.3%
other: 6.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land0 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardssevere tropical storms are usually rare, but in 1997 there were three cyclones; low levels of islands make them sensitive to changes in sea level
Environment - current issuessince there are no streams or rivers and groundwater is not potable, most water needs must be met by catchment systems with storage facilities; beachhead erosion because of the use of sand for building materials; excessive clearance of forest undergrowth for use as fuel; damage to coral reefs from increasing ocean temperatures and acidification; Tuvalu is concerned about global increases in greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on rising sea levels, which threaten the country's underground water table; in 2000, the government appealed to Australia and New Zealand to take in Tuvaluans if rising sea levels should make evacuation necessary
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - noteone of the smallest and most remote countries on Earth; six of the nine coral atolls - Nanumea, Nui, Vaitupu, Nukufetau, Funafuti, and Nukulaelae - have lagoons open to the ocean; Nanumaya and Niutao have landlocked lagoons; Niulakita does not have a lagoon

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017