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Climate Change Makes Seas Rise Faster And Faster

Climate Change Makes Seas Rise

According to recent research, sea levels rise quicker than expected, putting 40 percent of people living in coastal areas in danger. The United Nations has cautioned that sea levels will rise faster than they have in the past, implying that we must step up our efforts to combat climate change.

The effect of climate change on sea levels

The world's average sea levels are increasing for two major causes. Land-based ice, such as glaciers, has been melting due to rising air temperatures. Eventually, the water finds its way into the world's seas. According to William Sweet, it accounts for roughly two-thirds of worldwide sea-level increases. As an oceanographer, he works at the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at Silver Spring, Maryland. The remaining third is due to the warming of saltwater. Warmer water takes up more space.

Sea levels are increasing at a rate of around 3 millimeters each year across the world. Sweet estimates that this equates to approximately 1 inch every eight years. It's not much. However, it may cause various issues, including coastal flooding at high tides and larger storm surges when storms land.

However, by 2100, worldwide sea levels are expected to be between 0.3 to 2.5 meters greater than in 2000. The high number represents the worst-case situation. It is assumed that individuals will not adjust and that greenhouse gas emissions will continue to rise.

The rate of increase in sea level is not the same everywhere across the globe. Higher-than-average increases are being seen in northeast, southeastern Australia, eastern Asia, and northern Europe. The rises in Western Africa or the Pacific Northwest of the United States are smaller. Glacial rebound is one of the reasons behind this. Ice squashed down huge sections of land during the previous ice age. Since the ice receded, the squished-down earth has gently risen. Other places which had been pushed upwards are now sinking. One state that exemplifies this is Louisiana. The spinning of the Earth, gravity, natural climatic cycles, and other factors all contribute.

Concerns on the coast

Coastal regions are home to more than half of the world's biggest cities. By the end of the century, large portions of several of them may be submerged. Shanghai, Dhaka, China, India, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Lagos, Brazil, Sao Paolo, and Jakarta, Indonesia are just a handful of the cities threatened. Low-lying island countries may vanish entirely.

These countries will not be drowned by a gradual, predictable increase in coastal seas. The water will instead rise in fits & spurts. The weather on any given day has an impact. A storm surge, for example, maybe caused by a hurricane's powerful winds. The excess water is swept onto the ground. Flooding is exacerbated if the surge occurs at the same time as the high tide.

Changing habitats and increasing sea levels

Sea level rise will have a direct impact on humans. However, when plants and animals are included, things get a little more complex. Whole ecosystems are changing because of climate change. Some species' ranges are growing, contracting, or changing. Some of these shifting ecosystems may protect coastal regions. Others may exacerbate the effects of rising sea levels.

Take, for example, mangroves. Salty, subtropical coastal regions support these woody trees and shrubs. They help to keep the ground from eroding. They also aid in the formation of soil, which raises land levels somewhat. Both may aid in the protection of coastal regions from rising sea levels.


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