(ORDO NEWS) — The sea level is rising too fast. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the rate at which it is growing has more than doubled, from 1.4 millimeters per year for most of the 20th century to 3.6 millimeters per year from 2006 to 2015…
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believes sea levels could rise by 40 and 63 centimeters by 2100. If this is so, then chaos will begin throughout the globe.
What cities and countries may disappear?
Today, most of the Netherlands is already below sea level, but is not disappearing because the Dutch are building and maintaining their coastal defenses. However, if many cities are already facing such problems, it will only get worse in the future.
In the future, countries with the lowest altitudes will be the first to suffer. Consisting of 1,200 small coral islands and home to about 540,000 people, the Maldives is the flattest country on Earth, with an average height of just 1 meter, according to the UCS scientists. If only 45 cm of sea level rise occurs in the region, then by 2100 the islands will lose about 77% of their land area.
Another country with extremely low average elevation is Kiribati (1.8 m above sea level). This small island in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, with a population of around 120,000, could lose two-thirds of its land mass if the sea level rises by 90 cm.
In fact, almost all islands in the Pacific Ocean will be seriously affected by rising sea levels. About 3 million Pacific Islanders live within 10 km of the coast and may therefore need to move to another region before the end of the century.
Will large countries suffer?
The Pacific islands, although in great danger, tend to have relatively small populations. Which larger countries could be hit the hardest?
First of all, it is China. 43 million people in the country live in dangerous coastal areas. Other countries that may face severe sea level rise challenges include Bangladesh (32 million people at risk by 2100), India (27 million future affected).
Can entire countries disappear?
Scientists agree that by 2100 no country will completely disappear, but many large cities will be at very serious risk of flooding. One of the most visible examples of sea level rise today is Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.
Jakarta has over 10 million people and has been voted “the fastest sinking city in the world”. The city sinks 5-10 cm a year due to “excessive groundwater drainage”.
Combined with rising sea levels, this leads to disaster. Most of Jakarta could be underwater by 2050, according to the World Economic Forum.
Alas, by 2100 Dhaka, Bangladesh (pop. 22.4 million); Lagos, Nigeria (pop. 15.3 million); and Bangkok, Thailand (pop. 9 million) could also be completely flooded.
Sea level rise is also likely to have a significant impact on the United States. Based on recent projections, many US cities could face major challenges by 2050, with vast tracts of land potentially uninhabitable.
New York is the most at risk, according to Climate Central. The report says that by 2050, nearly half a million (426,000) New Yorkers will be living on “endangered land.”
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