- Underlining how climate change-linked rise in sea level poses a threat to countries like India, China, Bangladesh and the Netherlands, World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said the rise has been 4. 5mm per year during 2013-22.
- It could continue through this century, recording a total rise of 0. 6m by 2100, as compared to 1995-2014 level, even under the low greenhouse gas (GHG) emission scenario.
- This will affect not only small island nations but also big coastal cities.
- Several big cities on all continents are threatened, such as Shanghai, Dhaka, Bangkok, Jakarta, Mumbai, Maputo, Lagos, Cairo, London, Copenhagen, New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires and Santiago. It is a major economic, social and humanitarian challenge.
- It said human influence (activities) was the main driver of the rise since 1971 compared to the rise of 1. 3mm peryear between 1901-1971. Global mean sea-level has risen faster since 1900 than over any preceding century in at least the last 3000 years.
- Rising temperatures are contributing to it through melting of polar ice sheets and glaciers.
- The danger is especially acute for 900 million people who live in coastal zones at low elevations and also for assets worth up to $14. 2 trillion by 2100 within the coastal floodplains.
Sea-level rise is a threat multiplier
- WMO findings noted how even if global heating is limited to 1. 5
o Celsius by 2100, there will still be a sizeable rise in sea level.
- Referring to Nasa’s findings that Antarctica is losing an average of 150 billion tonnes of ice mass annually and the Greenland ice cap is losing 270 billion tonnes per year.
- Over time, Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers will shrink.
- And rising sea levels combined with a deep intrusion of saltwater will make large parts of their huge deltas simply uninhabitable.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB