For the past 100 years, the sea level has risen by 6 inches (14.4cm) and in China it has increased by 5 inches (11.5cm). The reason for the rise in sea level is the thermal expansion of seawater. With the warming of the ocean, icebergs are melting in the north and south poles of the Earth. The direct impact of sea level rise has the following aspects:
Lowland flooding: Britain’s Sky Rafts Deal with Climate Warming: Global warming also increases the intensity and the frequency of storms. In Britain, the high sea levels are preventing them from raising the flood control embankment. According to statistics released by the British government, for the past 20 years, the Thames River has increased due to global warming. In order to protect the safety and property of its residents, Local government agencies had to raise the flood protection embankment 88 times. Reports state on average the dikes are raised four times a year. It is estimated that before 2030, the use of its levees will reach 30 times a year.
Tourism: In China, their tourism industry is in jeopardy because the sea level has risen by 50 meters. Coastal tourism areas like Dalian, Qinhuangdao, Qingdao, Beihai, and Sanya have been back 31-366, with 24% loss on the beach and 60% loss on Beidaihe beach. In a 2002 China Land and Resources Bulletin report, coastal tourism has become the largest industry with a production value of 250.3 billion yuan, accounting for 34.6% of the total value of the marine industry.
Economics: Rising sea levels threaten the lives of coastal and island country residents that accounts for one-third of the world’s population. If the polar ice cap melts, the economically developed and densely populated coastal areas will be destroyed by the sea. Low-lying island areas such as the Maldives and Seychelles will disappear, so will other coastal cities like Shanghai, Venice, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, Bangkok, New York. Countries like Bangladesh, the Netherlands, and Egypt will also be unable to escape. The impact of climate change will affect us all.
It is true that China’s richest coastal cities could be swamped by rising oceans from the result of climate change, there are about 145 million people under threat. Other coastal countries will also receive different levels of influence.“Roughly a quarter of the worlds population who live on land who are at risk from 4 degree Celsius warming currently live in China. That is more than twice as many as who live on vulnerable land in Europe and the US combined” said Climate Central’s lead scientist, Benjamin Strauss. He also mentioned there is more than 20 million people who will possibly lose their homeland just by Shanghai itself. Many people think that climate change is what happens in other places and only affects other people. However, in many coastal communities in the United States, people are witnessing the phenomenon of sea level rise caused by climate change. For example, New York was severely affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, it destroyed the New York City Subway system and caused major losses to other parties. We all live on the same planet, it is the common responsibility for 195 countries or 1.3 billion people to protect the Earth.
Such an interesting blog. Allow me to also share some words about my hometown Karachi as well. Karachi is close to the Indus River Delta, where the Indus flows into the Arabian Sea. Due to rising sea levels, the delta is now almost at-level with the Arabian Sea. This threatens the stability of the ecosystem because it leads to land erosion and increases the salinity of creeks flowing from the Indus, creating an inhospitable environment for aquatic creatures and mangrove trees that depend on fresh water. Sea intrusion can cause temporary and permanent flooding to large land areas, negatively impacting local ecosystems and fresh water supplies that villagers rely on for food security and drinking water.
Thanks, Tahir, for sharing your story from another part of the world, and how your hometown has been affected by climate change.
Sea level rise has always been a big problem. China is the largest populated country with land area of 9.6 million square kilometers. Cities in China will be the biggest victims of global sea level rise. At present China has about 145 million people living in coastal areas that will be threatened by rising sea levels. Aside from the consequence on economic, tourism and flooding there’s other dangerous consequences with sea level rise. Sea level rise is a slow onset disaster, but its long-term effect makes coastal erosion, salt tide, seawater intrusion and soil salinization more serious and also increases wave and tidal energy, enhanced storm surges, increased coastal slopes, and changes in coastal sediment composition. The coastal water-proof and drainage infrastructure is reduced, and storm surges occurring during high sea level will move inland damaging more houses and infrastructures. Coastal erosion is further exacerbated in coastal areas because it is more difficult to repair eroded coasts. Sea level rise makes seawater intrusion and soil salinization, affecting coastal ecosystems and industrial and agricultural production. And these effects are already showing between 2014 and 2015, the length of the erosion section Beidaihe area in Qinhuangdao, Hebei Province is 42.1 kilometers, with total erosion area of 105,700 square meters, and the annual average erosion distance is 1.25 meters per year. Another consequence that sea level rise brings, which I think is the most serious, with a temperature increase by 2 °C all coastal cities will be endangered by becoming submerged. I remember seeing a prediction of China in the year 2100 that one third of the country is under water. Beijing will become a new coastal city. Even though I may not be around anymore it is still sad knowing that maybe one day all those beautiful cities may be wiped out.