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The world's biggest risks
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How 25 percent of global GDP could be washed away

South Pacific islands, Vava'u, Tonga.

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Risky business

You've probably heard the one about the tiny island nation in the South Pacific that is at risk of being wiped away by climate change. It's like the spotted owl of the global warming movement. And it's easy to conclude that the advanced nations of the world and their economies will be fine as sea levels rise and if extreme weather events that can be linked to climate change persist—even if some exotic honeymoon locales are wiped off the face of the planet.

In fact, a recent ranking from the United Nations University for Environment and Human Security, its WorldRiskIndex, does show that the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Fiji and Vanuatu are among the most exposed countries to climate change, but you might be surprised by the other nations that are high up on this risk rating—some of the top 50 GDP nations globally.

Kim Westerskov | Getty Images