The average global sea level rise by 3,40 mm per year – and the rise accelerates
A significant sea level rise is one of the major anticipated consequences of climate change. There are two main factors related to global warming: the added water from melting land ice and the expansion of sea water as it warms.
Sea-level rise threatens cities around the world, and people need to grasp the potential dangers and costs. Hundreds of millions of peope live close to the oceans, and the majority of the world’s biggest cities are situated in vulnerable areas for salt water intrusion, wave erosion and inundations.
Sea level rise will vary around the world. Some land areas are rising, some sinking. Areas in the vicinity of large melting glaciers like Greenland. might experience a slightly sinking sea level due to gravitation differences. Other areas closer to the equator may experience particularly rapid sea level rise.
Rising sea levels imperil lowlying areas like Bangladesh, Egypt, West-Africa, The South-East of the US coastal areas, parts of England and most big cities of the world. Low islands cannot expect to be inhabitable the second half of this century.
The Nile delta
The Nile Delta is one of the oldest intensely cultivated areas on earth. It is very heavily populated, with population densities up to 1600 inhabitants per square kilometer.
The low lying, fertile floodplains are surrounded by deserts. Only 2,5% of Egypt’s land area, the Nile delta and the Nile valley, is suitable for intensive agriculture.
Most of a 50 km wide land strip along the coast is less than 2 m above sea-level and is protected from flooding by a 1 to 10 km wide coastal sand belt only, shaped by discharge of the Rosetta and Damietta branches of the Nile.
Erosion of the protective sand belt is a serious problem and has accelerated since the construction of the Aswan dam.
Graphic: UNEP / GRID-Arendal
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- Carbon pollution is destabilizing both the Arctic and Antarctic. (Feb 2017)
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- Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2◦C global warming is highly dangerous
- Florida mayors beg debate moderators to discuss sea level rise. Local scientists fear mass exodus. (March 2016)
- Abrupt Sea Level Rise Looms As Increasingly Realistic Threat (May 2016)
- Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun. Scientists’ warnings that the rise of the sea would eventually imperil the United States’ coastline are no longer theoretical (NYT Sept 2016)
- James Hansen: ‘Emergency Cooperation Among Nations’ Is Needed to Prevent Catastrophic Sea Level Rise (July 2015)
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- Hansen, J. (2016) Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms Video Abstract
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- Climate Model Predicts Melting of West Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Double Sea Level Rise (March 2016)
- Defense Department to Congress: Global warming is a ‘present security threat’ (July 2015)
- NATO: Climate Change Is Significant Security Threat and ‘Its Bite Is Already Being Felt’ (Oct 2015)
- TEDxPentagon – Rear Admiral David Titley, USN – Climate Change
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- New Climate Research Predicts Looming ‘Disaster for Many Low-Lying Cities’
A new report suggests that the worst case climate scenario is closer than we think. (March 2016)
- Josh Fox: It’s Time for Coastal Cities to Wake Up (April 2016)
- Sea Level Rise Is Here, And Is Gobbling Up Islands (May 2016)
- Rising Sea Levels Could Cost U.S. Homeowners Close to $1 Trillion (Bloomsberg, Aug 2016)
- Rising sea level infographics
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- Why scientists are so worried about sea-level rise in the second half of this century (Nov 2016)
- Sea Levels Could Rise at Fastest Rate in Human History (Nov 2016)
- Here’s How the Rising Sea Will Remake the Coastlines of Endangered U.S. States and Drown Much of the World We Know New York could be unlivable by 2085 (Nov 2016)
- Global warming to cause fastest rate of sea level rise in human history (Nov 2016)
- Runaway ice: Pine Island Glacier break reveals new mechanism for collapse (Dec 2016)
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- Atlantic City and Miami Beach: two takes on tackling the rising waters (March 2017)
- Sea level rise is accelerating as Greenland ice melt increases (June 2017)
- Sea Level Rise to Flood Major U.S. Cities (July 2017)
- Massive Iceberg Finally Breaks Off: Antarctic Landscape ‘Changed Forever’ (July 2017)
- The Unfolding Tragedy of Climate Change in Bangladesh. A three-foot rise in sea level would submerge almost 20 percent of the country and displace more than 30 million people—and the actual rise by 2100 could be significantly more (Aug 2017)
- Rising Seas Are Flooding Virginia’s Naval Base, and There’s No Plan to Fix It
The giant naval base at Norfolk is under threat by rising seas and sinking land, but little is being done to hold back the tides. (Oct 2017)