(ORDO NEWS) — A team of researchers from Nanyang Technological University, along with a team from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and colleagues from ETH Zürich, have found evidence that parts of many large coastal cities are submerging due to rising sea levels.
In their paper, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, the group describes the use of satellite radar to measure land subsidence in 48 of the world’s largest cities.
Previous research has shown that global warming is causing ice to melt around the world, leading to rising sea levels.
This rise in sea level is a major concern for cities and towns located on the sea’s edge. But many cities also face another problem – subsidence, in which the earth sags due to the removal of groundwater or gas and soil compaction due to the heavy weight of the buildings located on top of it.
In this new work, the researchers noted that rising sea levels, combined with land subsidence, could lead to major problems for coastal cities in the coming years.
To learn more about the extent of the problem, the researchers accessed and analyzed radar data from NASA satellites that measure the height of the earth around the world.
In total, the researchers measured land subsidence in 48 of the world’s largest cities between 2014 and 2020.
They found that almost all the cities they studied experienced land subsidence to some extent. And in 44 of them, some areas sank faster than the sea rose.
Previous studies have shown that sea levels are rising by about 3.7 mm/year. In their study, scientists found that in some areas of some cities, land subsidence occurs at a rate of up to 20 mm / year. The average for Ho Chi Minh City, for example, was 16.2 mm/year.
They also took a closer look at some cities, such as Rio de Janeiro, and found that about 2 square kilometers of land within city limits would be under water by 2030 if measures were not taken to contain the rise of the sea.
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