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Tuvalu Geography Profile 2018

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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)
Population distributionover half of the population resides on the atoll of Funafuti
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 issueswater needs met by catchment systems; the use of sand as a building material has led to beachhead erosion; excessive clearance of forest undergrowth for use as fuel; damage to coral reefs from increasing ocean temperatures and acidification; rising sea levels threaten 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 January 20, 2018