One of horrifying repercussion of human induced climate change is the rise in global sea level due to melting of glaciers. There are numerous evidences, which echo’s that not only is there an rise in sea level, but the rate of seal level rise is also accelerating.
However, the impact of sea level rise is not equally felt around the globe. Some areas are more vulnerable to sea level rise, due to its terrain, wind patterns, and ocean currents. This global warming related repercussion is more threatening to coastlines and the cities located along them. Life of hundreds of millions of people around the world who live in low lying areas near the coast is at stake due to this rise.
Report on Mediterranean region by ENEA
The report released on March 1, in Quarternary International (The Journal of the International Union for Quaternary Research on climate change by Italian National agency for New Technologies, Energies and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) says that the floating city Venice, which stretches across 116 small islands along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy is vulnerable to climate change and could very well sink in just a 100 years. According to this Report, as the Mediterranean Sea rises up to five feet in the year 2100 the queen of Adriatic is on risk of disappearing under water.
The Mediterranean Sea region, which is the largest semi enclosed sea in Europe, is home to 480 million people living across the continents like Europe in north, Africa in south and Asia in east, surrounded by 22 countries which together share the coastline of 46,000 kilometre. About one third of Mediterranean population is concentrated along its coastal region. Around 75 per cent of the Italian populations are estimated to live within 10km of the coast.
Who are the most vulnerable?
As we are indeed aware, most of the large cities around the world such as New York, London, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata are located along the coast and so are more vulnerable to sea level rise.
It is important to note that transgression of sea by rise in its level leads to eroding of beaches and damaging coastal wetlands. Many weather anomalies like intense tropical cyclones are more frequent now largely because of warmer sea due to global warming.
What is at stake?
- Rising sea level is threat to people who lives near the coast as this area will have more frequent flooding.
- Wetlands or swamps around the world, which provide natural habitat for plant and animal species and act as natural barrier and protects shore during flood, are already facing habitat loss.
- Mangroves are also at greater risk of being badly affected. These mangroves played a crucial role in safeguarding many locations the Indian coast during the 2004 tsunami.
Effect of climate change on Indian Ocean
- A World Bank study in Jan 2014, also found that there is a progressive salinization of water in world heritage site of Sundarbans in Bay of Bengal due to transgression of sea triggered by climate change, which will significantly affect the aquatic species, and could alter the rich ecosystem of Sundarban.
- As per IPCC assessment report March 1, Maldives may face serious threat of permanent inundation from sea level rise .Maldives which is an exquisite island in Indian Ocean is also on threshold of submergence, due to rise in sea level by warming of Indian Ocean. India’s financial capital Mumbai which is drowned every year also narrates transgression of sea due to climate change.
As global warming is already a well established phenomenon and will be experienced in future with a greater intensity, it is our responsibility to work to overcome this reality, so that the livelihood of millions are not jeopardized