This makes the archipelago in the Indian Ocean particularly vulnerable to sea level rise. With global sea level rising 3 to 4 millimeters per year, and that rate expected to rise in coming decades, some analysts anticipate a grim future for the Maldives and other low-lying islands. The extra height could make the island a refuge for Maldivians who are eventually driven off lower-lying islands due to rising seas. Other research shows that healthy coral reefs can grow upward even when seas are rising by producing abundant sediment. Islands that are being built on reclaimed land must factor in sea level rise and build higher off the ground,” said Murray.