• More than a thousand low-lying tropical islands risk becoming “uninhabitable” by the middle of the century — or possibly sooner — because of rising sea levels, upending the populations of some island nations and endangering key U.S. military assets, according to new research published Wednesday.

….The threats to the islands are twofold. In the long term, the rising seas threaten to inundate the islands entirely. More immediately, as seas rise, the islands will more frequently deal with large waves that crash farther onto the shore, contaminating their drinkable water supplies with ocean saltwater, according to the research.

The islands face climate-change-driven threats to their water supplies “in the very near future,” according to the study, published in the journal Science Advances.

 ….The U.S. military supported the research in part to learn about the vulnerability of its tropical-island installations. The Pentagon base on Roi-Namur and surrounding islands supports about 1,250 American civilians, contractors and military personnel.

….The research was commissioned by the Pentagon’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program and published in a more lengthy form earlier this year, in a report that partly focused on helping the military identify sites where its assets could be vulnerable….