Climate

Tropical; marine, hot and humid, moderated by trade winds.

Terrain: mostly low-lying coral atolls surrounded by extensive reefs.

Natural hazards: typhoons can occur any time, but usually November to March; occasional tornadoes; low level of some of the islands make them very sensitive to changes in sea level.

Geography - note: 21 of the 33 islands are inhabited; Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean - the others are Makatea in French Polynesia, and Nauru.