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  • 17 February, 2023

  • 7 Min Read

Global Sea-level Rise and Implications: WHO

Global Sea-level Rise and Implications: WHO

According to a recent assessment by the World Meteorological Organization, (WMO), the countries that are most at risk from sea level rise worldwide are India, China, Bangladesh, and the Netherlands.

The Findings of the report:

  • India, China, Bangladesh, and the Netherlands are the countries that are most at risk from sea level rise internationally, according to the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) report, "Global Sea-level Rise and Consequences."
  • The hazard posed by the sea level rise affects a number of major cities on all continents.
  • Shanghai, Dhaka, Bangkok, Jakarta, Bombay, Maputo, Lagos, Cairo, London, Copenhagen, New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, and Santiago are a few of these.
  • Significant economic, social, and humanitarian challenges are involved.
  • According to the research, sea level rise endangers human lives and means of subsistence along with coastal farmlands, water reserves, and infrastructure resilience.
  • Storm surges and tidal variations, as was the case during the landfall of hurricane Sandy in New York and Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, amplify the effects of average sea-level rise.
  • The WMO warned that future predictions based on climate models and ocean-atmosphere physics are unknown on how quickly Antarctica's greatest global ice mass may melt.
  • Sea-level rise varies geographically and is not consistent globally, but the research warns that it would "encroach on coastal settlements and infrastructure and condemn low-lying coastal ecosystems to submersion and loss".
  • If urbanisation tendencies in vulnerable places continue, this will worsen the effects and provide greater difficulties when access to energy, water, and other amenities is limited.
  • Increases in the frequency, intensity, and severity of droughts, floods, and heatwaves, as well as continued sea level rise, will increase risks to food security in vulnerable regions.
  • Climate change will also put increasing pressure on food production and access, particularly in vulnerable regions, undermining food security and nutrition.

Findings related to India:

  • Mumbai: By 2050, there could be a sea level rise that will have an impact on 998 structures and 24 km of roads.
  • A 5 km long road in Chennai and 55 buildings are at risk; in Kochi, 464 structures are anticipated to be affected by 2050, with a peak of 1,502 buildings.
  • Thiruvananthapuram: 349 and 387 buildings, respectively, are projected to be affected by sea-level rise by 2050 and sea-level rise with high tide.
  • By 2050, approximately 206 structures and 9 km of the city's road system are anticipated to be submerged owing to potential shoreline alterations.
  • The Ministry of Earth Sciences reports that over the past century, the sea level along the Indian coast has generally been seen to be rising at a rate of about 1.7 mm/year (1900-2000).
  • A 3 cm sea level increase could result in a 17-metre inland sea intrusion. This might result in 300 metres of land being submerged by the water in a century at current rates of 5 cm/decade.

India is more Vulnerable:

  • Due to the multiplicative effects of sea level rise, India is most at danger.
  • Due to the ocean's rapid warming, the volume of water has expanded, contributing to half of the sea level rise in the Indian Ocean.
  • Glacier melt does not contribute as much.

What suggestions are made?

  • We must deal with climate catastrophe and deepen our knowledge of what generates instability.
  • It is crucial to actively back community resilience initiatives to combat climate change and enhance Early Warning Systems.

What is raising the sea level?

  • The global mean sea level is rising due to several factors, including global warming.
  • First, ice sheets and glaciers around the planet are melting and replenishing the ocean with water.
  • Second, as the water gets warmer, the ocean's volume grows.
  • Aquifers, lakes and reservoirs, rivers, and soil moisture all contribute less to the decrease in liquid water on land, which is a third factor contributing to sea level rise. Groundwater pumping is largely to blame for this movement of liquid water from the land to the ocean.

About World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

  • It is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories.
  • It was established by the ratification of the WMO Convention in 1950.
  • WMO became the specialised agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology, and related geophysical sciences a year later.
  • The UN Economic and Social Council is the parent organization of WMO.
  • WMO is headquartered in Geneva.

Source: The Indian Express

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