Quantifications of the impacts of sea-level rise in small island states are urgently needed. Focusing on flooding from sea-level rise, a study now estimates the impacts in terms of cost, land loss and population exposure across all small islands worldwide.

However, for many islands, quantitative assessments of climate change impacts at the national level are still lacking. Writing in Nature Sustainability, Vousdoukas et al. fill this gap through a global quantitative assessment of the direct impacts from sea-level rise (SLR) on the people, land and economies of SIDS. Their study shows in grim clarity the unavoidable impacts of SLR for SIDS even under a 1.5 °C scenario, but also underscores what negative impacts can still be avoided if urgent climate action is taken.