One in 10 people in the world will have to move if sea levels continue to rise

An increase in greenhouse gas emissions is causing the planet’s seas and oceans to rise (AP FOto/Dita Alangkara, File)

About 90% of the excess energy that accumulates in Land due to increased concentrations Greenhouse gasesGoing to oceans And the seas. As the water temperature rises, the volume increases. Thermal expansion, as well as the melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica and glaciers around the world, have created sea ​​level.

The problem of sea level rise is increasing risk That 1 in 10 people will have to move because water will advance in coastal areas, according to two recent forecasts. scientific studies.

One of the works has been published by the World Meteorological Organization. The other was carried out by experts from Data for Sustainability in the Netherlands and published in magazine Earth’s future From the American Geophysical Union (AGU for its English acronym).

Air pollution has already affected people on the coasts of Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and elsewhere. (Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images)

The study in the AGU journal concluded that the largest increase in flooding would occur after the first 2 metres from sea level rise. This means that water will cover more than twice the land area than ancient models of sea level rise predicted.

The study used high-resolution measurements of the Earth’s elevation from NASA’s ICESat-2 lidar satellite. Previous assessments used to rely on radar data, which is less accurate.

“he radar unable to completely penetrate vegetation and thus exaggeration said Ronald Fernemin, a sustainability data researcher who led the study. “A lot of coastal areas are smaller than scientists think,” he said.

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Underestimating land elevation means that coastal communities have less time than expected to prepare for sea level rise, and that the biggest effects of sea level rise will occur sooner than previously thought.

A study by researchers from the Netherlands found that the larger impacts of rising seas will occur sooner than previously thought.

After measurements, Vernimmen and Aljosja Hooijer, co-author of the study, found that coastal areas are much lower than the old radar data suggested. Analyzes of the new model revealed that a two-meter sea-level rise would cover up to 2.4 times the land area observed by previous radar-based models.

For example, a two-meter rise in sea level could put most of them to rest bangkok, Thailand, a population of 10 million below sea level. Whereas previous data indicated that Bangkok would remain substantially above sea level with the same amount of sea level rise.

In total, after a two-meter rise in sea level, Ferenmin and Hoyer calculated that 240 million people More will live below Mediterranean level. After a sea level rise of 3 and 4 meters, this number increases by 140 million and 116 million, respectively.

Amsterdam’s strategy in the Netherlands must take into account the future because more cities may be flooded (Reuters/Peruchka van de Wooo)

Cities that remain below sea level in the future will not necessarily be submerged in water because dams and pumping stations can protect some areas from sea level rise. Amsterdam and New Orleans are recent examples of this situation.

However, these preventive measures can be very expensive and take decades to implement. If vulnerable communities want to minimize damage, they must act before the sea rises those first metres, according to Frenmin.

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Meanwhile, in the Security Council’s first debate, UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed that sea level rise would pose “unimaginable” risks to billions of people around the world.

“The impact of rising sea levels is already creating new sources of instability and conflict,” said Guterres, who opened the meeting a few days ago. He called for action on causes and prevention within the framework of existing human rights and regulations.

Already, rising sea levels are creating new sources of instability and conflict, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

He noted that some countries’ coastlines have already seen average sea levels rise three times, and warned that in the coming decades, low-lying communities – and entire countries – could disappear forever. We will bring a Mass exodus of entire peoples.” He stressed that there would be increased competition for fresh water, land and other resources.

“The global average sea level has risen faster since 1900 than in any other century in the past 3,000 years. The global ocean has warmed faster in the past century than at any time in the past 11,000 years,” Guterres said.

“Meanwhile, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is telling us that even if global warming is miraculously limited to 1.5 degrees, there will still be significant sea level rise,” the UN address said.

Melting glaciers also affects risks of sea level rise over coastal regions / Alun Hubbard (CAGE/UiT)

The rate of sea level rise has doubled since 1993. It has risen by nearly 10 mm since January 2020 to reach a new record in 2022. The past two and a half years account for only 10% of the global sea level rise since satellite began measurements of nearly 30 years.

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Guterres warned the Security Council that in any scenario of rising temperatures, countries would love to Bangladesh, China, India and the Netherlands They will be in danger. Major cities on all continents will suffer disastrous consequences. pointed to lakes (Nigeria), Bangkok (Thailand), Mumbai (Hindi) f Shanghai, China), london, united kingdom), Buenos Aires (Argentina) f New York (United State).

The risk is particularly acute for the approximately 900 million people who live in low-lying coastal areas. That is, one in ten inhabitants of the planet.

Countries like Bangladesh, China, India and the Netherlands, among others, will be at risk of flooding from rising sea levels (AFP)

Xaba Krusi, the current President of the General Assembly, also addressed the Council, stating that climate change is “the greatest challenge of our generation”. He pointed to the projections: Between 250 and 400 million people will likely need new housing in new locations in less than 80 years.

He also warned of dire consequences for the “breadbasket” of the world, particularly the Fertility Delta in Nilehe Mekong and other rivers. “What is needed now, as always, is the political will to act,” he said.

Read on:

Sea level will rise by at least one meter in the next 130 years
Can high temperatures and humidity affect mental health?
Buenos Aires is among the 50 cities that will suffer the most physical damage from the climate crisis

Freddie Dawson

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