The blue dots that are overlayed on this map of the United States represent one of the most vulnerable countries on earth.
I created this image using the web site TheTrueSize.com, which I often use to make size comparisons among countries and/or U.S. states. The site is especially useful for illustrating the misperceptions that arise from our overuse of the Mercator projection, but it is also just a convenient way to make comparisons among all kinds of landmasses. The results can be especially surprising when archipelagos are examined.
To create the image, I cleared the map and then entered "Kiribati" in the search box. This highlighted all of the islands of this Pacific archipelago, which I carefully clicked and dragged toward the continental United States. I positioned it so that the bulk of the islands were superimposed on California. This would result in several islands being in New Mexico and Texas, with others as far away as Indiana and Florida. Kiribati, is spread over an area more than half the stze of the "lower 48" states.
The blue does exaggerate its landmass, however, as each outlines an island that would be invisible at the scale of this map. The total size of all of the islands of Kiribati is only 313 square miles -- less than one-third the size of Plymouth County, Massachusetts.
This word is an unusual spelling of "Gilbert" and is pronounced "Kiribahs." I have written about its vulnerability as a low-lying island nation, most notably in my 2015 post Climate Attack.
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