When talking about climate, we talk about the average weather in a particular area over many years. Climate change is the alteration of the average weather. While there are many causes to climate change, the main cause is human activities. Human activities also lead to global warming, which is the increase of the average temperature of the Earth. With global warming, there are many changes that occur globally such as sea level rise.
The main contribution to sea level rise is the melting of glaciers and ice sheets globally and expansion of sea water as it warms. Other than the obvious loss of ice coverage, there are also numbers behind sea level rise to further prove that the sea level is in fact rising. According to Rebecca Lindsey, “Based on their new scenarios, global sea level is very likely to rise at least 12 inches (0.3 meters) above 2000 levels by 2100 even on a low-emissions pathway. On future pathways with the highest greenhouse gas emissions, sea level rise could be as high as 8.2 feet (2.5 meters) above 2000 levels by 2100.” The data goes to show that the damages done to the Earth by human activity is irreversible. Even on the lowest emissions of greenhouse gases, sea level is likely to rise. While this would be the best case scenario, it is still a bad outcome when we look at the damages that have occurred.
The increase in sea level plays a role in flooding and storms. About 40 percent of the US population live in coastal areas, which puts them in a vulnerable position. According to Lindsey, “Higher sea level also means more frequent high-tide flooding, sometimes called “nuisance flooding” because it isn’t generally deadly or dangerous, but it can be disruptive and expensive.” Rising sea levels will threaten the infrastructure, local businesses, and many more.
Sea level rise also causes stress on the ecosystem and contaminate freshwater aquifer, which help sustain the city’s water supplies. While adapting to sea level rise will be a difficult task, it is not impossible. The easiest yet most unrealistic solution would simply be to relocate from coastal areas. More realistic solutions would be building seawalls, making sure roads will not get effected by large bodies of water, and planting vegetation to absorb water. While these are more realistic, there is no real way to measure the effectiveness of these solutions until a disaster actually occurs. According to Christina Nunez, “In Jakarta, a $40 billion project will aim to protect the city with an 80-foot-high seawall.” As we can see, countries around the world are already trying to adapt to sea level rise and its devastating outcomes. Indonesia is an island, which means that it is surrounded by water. Other countries that are surrounded by bodies of water will likely take the same measures as Jakarta. Overall, more than adapting to rising sea levels, countries should try to mitigate the damages that may come with sea level rise.
In conclusion, climate change and global warming has played a role in the rise of sea levels globally. Throughout history, we have seen the diminishing effects of human activities on our planet. Rising sea levels occur because of melting of glaciers and ice sheets and expansion of sea water. There will be many casualties on cities on coastal areas due to rising sea levels. While there are not many ways to adapt to this, countries have taken proper measures in order to mitigate further damages.
Lindsey, Rebecca. “Climate Change: Global Sea Level.” Climate Change: Global Sea Level | NOAA Climate.gov, 14 Aug. 2020, https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding- climate/climate-change-global-sea-level.
Nunez, C. (2021, May 3). Sea level rise, facts and information. Environment. Retrieved October 22, 2021, from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/sea-level-rise-1