Rising sea levels are one of the effects of global warming and this is a major problem that our world faces today. Briefly global warming is a greenhouse effect on the Earth that is linked to deforestation and an increase in industrial gas emissions into the air. Rising sea levels are caused by polar ice caps in Antarctica and Arctic melting from the warmer temperatures due to global warming. Rising sea levels pose a major problem for large populations living on the coast and this can cause a massive movement of refugees looking to live in-land or in other countries.
Many scientists around the world are working on a solution for the problem, but several scientists are contradicting each other on various topics. The main cause of rising sea levels is major melting of mountain glaciers in Antarctica. Ideas as to a possible sea-level rise are estimated at “up to 100 centimetres over the next 100 years”. The Pew Centre on Global Climate Change (‘PCGCC’) have stated that sea levels have risen 25 centimetres in the last 100 years and they say they will rise another 50 centimetres in the next 100 years.
The effects on coasts if sea levels were to rise are mass erosion of beaches; major flooding in low areas and loss of wetlands. More than 50% of the United States population live on or near the coast and are considered vulnerable to rising sea levels; the ‘PCGCC’ have believe the effect could be worsened if it were to be accompanied by storm activity. The Maldives consists of almost 1,200 islands, which extend in a line 800km long. These islands are under a major potential threat to a rise in sea levels because 80% of the Maldives is less than 1 metre above sea level.
The estimated 100cm rise in sea levels could affect up to 13 millions people in Bangladesh, up to 72 million people in China and up to 6 million people in Egypt. These figures show 91 million people from only 3 countries that could possibly become refugees fleeing inland or to other countries. The Japanese coastal zone is identified as being under threat – it is noted that, “around 50% of Japan’s industrial production is located along the coast. ” The loss of bio-diversity might be another consequence of rising sea levels.
Coastal regions are the most biologically important areas on Earth. The coasts are the most highly productive and diverse places on Earth and this could be threatened in the next 100 years by a 1 metre rise in sea levels that could wipe out around half of the world’s coastal wetlands. Other effects that result from Climate Change are changes in eco-systems, which are very delicate cycles and could affect plants and animals not linked to the problem directly.
The way the land is used by living things on Earth would be altered and therefore change the way of life for many creatures mainly the ones that rely directly on single sources of living. This could include the loss of food for animals in the wild due to drought and flood or native tribes being driven out of their land because of climate change and rising sea levels. The basic theory of this problem is that climate change results in rising sea levels. So if climate change causes rising sea levels, what causes climate change? The causes of climate change are both natural and man-made.
Natural causes of climate change include the tilting of the Earth’s axis, which puts different surfaces of the Earth closer and inturn further away from the sun and makes different parts of the Earth hotter/colder than usual. Continental drift and plate tectonics affects climate by latitude and movement of the continents caused by plate tectonics. Evidence from volcano’s dust that gets trapped in the stratosphere and cools down has caused shortened summers in South East Asia. The last time the Earth experienced a climatic change as dramatic as now was when it came out of its last ice age.
The man made effects of climate change are the more destructive causes and they are doing more damage every year. These man made effects include the ozone killing chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s), which are produced by aerosol spray cans and old refrigerators. In recent years CFC’s have been substituted for hydrocarbons with are ozone friendly. Greenhouse gases, which are produced by methane, the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, increase the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gas concentrations are currently at their highest level ever recorded. The U.
S department of state have said that dark soot particles, which are caused by incomplete combustion, absorb sunlight and heat the air. This dark soot then reduces the amount of sunlight reaching the ground and it heats the lower atmosphere and can be transported to other regions of the world, this causes surface warming in distant locations. The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica is resulting in the climate becoming hotter and melting glaciers. Rising sea levels and climate change pose a major threat for the whole Earth and still not much is known on the causes of it.
It is a problem that not only the human society has to deal with, but all eco-systems around the globe. The hazard of Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect will not disappear overnight and all human populations are being effected because of its large-scale impact. It can however be controlled by major industrial companies following guidelines as to releasing harmful gases into the atmosphere. So Global Warming, Climate Change and Rising Sea Levels will always be their during our lives but it can be prevented so it will not harm our future generation’s way of living.