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Climate Change & Rising Sea Level Threatens Future Generations

Sea-level rise is one of the most severe consequences of the climate crisis. Global mean sea level has risen by more than 3 cm per decade since precise satellite measurements began in the 1990s. The global mean sea level increased by 0.20 m between 1901 and 2018. Rising sea levels will have a dramatic impact on many coastal regions and cities. A climatecentral video shows the fate of capital coastal cities under rising sea levels.

In particular, the average rate of sea-level rise p.a. was

  • 1.3 mm p.a. between 1901 and 1971,
  • increasing to 1.9 mm p.a. between 1971 and 2006, and
  • further increasing to 3.7 mm between 2006 and 2018.

Human influence was very likely the primary driver of these increases since at least 1971, an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. The global sea level will continue to rise over the 21st century. Relative to 1995–2014, the likely global mean sea level rise by 2100 is 0.28–0.55 m under the very low and 0.63–1.01 m under the very high emissions scenario.

Thermal expansion explained 50% of sea-level rise during 1971–2018, while ice loss from glaciers contributed 22%, ice sheets 20%, and changes in land-water storage 8%.

Sea level rise is just one of the dramatic effects of climate change due to warming. Infertile soils will lead to famine and global migration. The world will undoubtedly look significantly different in 50 years.

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