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Four Reasons Why You Should Pay Attention to Sea Level Rise Now

Apr 09, 2016 04:30 AM EDT
Global Warming Imapcts On Australian Antarctic Territory
Sea level rise is continuously threatening our world--and we are part of both the problem and the solution.
(Photo : Torsten Blackwood-Pool/Getty Images)

As global warming continues to rapidly heat up the Eath, the mighty glaciers are rapidly melting, disrupting the natural movement of the water on earth.

Researchers say that in 2100, the sea level will rise up to more than six feet, a phenomenon which could flood and submerge major cities in the world.

Experts urge everyone to be more involved because these changes affect each and everyone one of us. Here are some major reasons why sea level rise should concern us as individuals.

1. Climate change is the main culprit behind rising sea levels. If a rise takes place, chances are more natural disasters are about to happen.

According to a report, the Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) has risen by 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) over the past century. That data, however, threatens to move higher and faster due to climate change and increased carbon emissions.

The hotter the world gets, the faster the glaciers will melt and the faster it is for the sea level to rise. These changes have caused various disasters worldwide, including floods, super typhoons and the El Nino and La Nina phenomena.

Naturally, sea level rise can be prevented by nature's ability to balance the melting of glaciers and the time when melting goes to a halt during cold weather. But according to the same report, the Earth is having difficulties balancing out the melting process due to extremely hot temperature.

Extreme hot weather also causes other problems, such as coral bleaching. Research says that 93 percent of the heat are absorbed by the oceans, causing the algae sticking to the corals and leaving them exposed to the sun.

In March, the Great Barrier Reef experienced massive coral bleaching, posing a threat to our marine ecosystem.

2. It doesn't only affect coastal areas; it threatens the cities, too.

Research says that in the year 2100, the sea level will be six feet higher than what it is now. Six feet is too high a number, and if it happens, it can affect not just the coastal areas but it will flood cities, too.

According to Climate Central's Dr. Ben Strauss, vice president of Sea Level and Impact, if the planet continues to be hotter by 4 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit), the rising sea levels will submerge most monumental landmarks.

Climate Central launched a program that maps data to visually explain sea level rise. They merge images and statistics so that it will be easier for the people to understand sea level rise. For example, based on their research, London, Vancouver, Rio de Janeiro and Hong Kong would be submerged or flooded by the year 2100.

They put flood in known landmarks so people can easily relate and understand what that means. Everyone can watch their mapping choices and visuals here.

In the U.S., according to a recent study, if the projected sea level rise in 2100 occurs, it will be "enough to swamp many of the cities along the U.S. East Coast."

3. It is happening, and it's happening really fast.

According to Climate Central, 2014 was the hottest year ever recorded in history. The coldest year was 1911, and it is most unlikely to remain the coldest year in history as the world is moving towards hotter temperatures and not lower.

With the rate of carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses, sea level rise is threatening to disrupt the world's natural order. According to research, it can displace half a billion people residing on land if the world continues to be as hot as it is today.

Reports say that due to rapid glacier melting, sea level rise is rapidly increasing. The increase in sea level started rising abnormally in the 90s. The sea level rises at the rate of 0.14 inches (3.5 millimeters) since the 1990s.

One concrete example of this increase in sea level is the rising of the mighty Mississippi river. In a study conducted by Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, it appeared that the sediments holding the delta plain of the Mississippi River are slowly dissolving due to sea level rise.

And in 2100, the Mississippi river could drown. "The team, therefore, estimates that as much as 5,200 square miles (13,500 square kilometers) of delta land could disappear by 2100".

4. You are part of the problem, but it's not too late to change that.

An NGO called Take Part suggests people should burn lesser fossil fuels. According to Climate Central's study, reduction of four specific pollutants, namely methane, tropospheric ozone, hydrofluorocarbons and black carbon, could help prevent the rate of sea level rise by about 25 to 50 percent.

It is everyone's social responsibility to nature and to Earth to get involved. The people have the power and capability to prevent the perils and threat of sea level rise from happening.

The more we don't do anything about it, the stronger the chances are for floods to reach your front door.

Anyone interested to be involved in the fight against climate change and sea level rise may contact the following organizations.

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