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Ocean warming and Sea level rise

Updated on July 26, 2009

According to experts, the end of this century will see sea levels rising by one to several metres. This is the result of the ocean warming and the melting of the glaciers. Sea level increases will result in global warming, changes in climate, more frequent cyclones, hurricanes, storms, intrusion of salt water, etc. Low-lying coastal areas and islands will not be fit for living.

Bangladesh, India, China, Vietnam and few islands in the Pacific, Caribbean and Indian Ocean will face a lot of displacement of population to other safe places. Netherlands and some of the low-lying countries have protected their populations successfully by constructing barriers like dikes and dams. According to Dutch Delta Committee, future investments for such protective measures along its 322 kms. coastline will be approximately Euro 1.5 billion for the remaining period of this century.

Richard Tol has estimated that an estimated $800,000 is required for protecting every mile of the coastline from two to three feet of sea level rise but even then 20 to 50 per cent of the population will be vulnerable to be affected. Hence, experts have to work on new innovations to combat this problem of sea level rises as the age-old systems of constructing barriers like dikes and dams may not work in future.

Displacement and migration have led to serious refugee problems, especially to developing countries. Therefore, the upcoming COP-15 at Copenhagen will have to address this issue urgently according top-most importance and priority to this.

Here is a related topic on environment.


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