As scientific research evidence upon our Earth reveals, it has been estimated that sea and ocean levels will continue to rise during the 21st century. Some calculations suggest that sea levels around the world would rise by at least one (1) meter by 2100. Why is this happening?
According to NOAA National Ocean Service, sea levels are annually rising due to two reasons: 1) the accelerated and increased melting of glaciers and ice sheets (e.g. in the Arctic region); 2) the warming oceans, a consequence of our oceans absorbing most of the atmospheric heat caused by us human beings e.g. in the form of greenhouse gas emissions.
Why is this to be taken very seriously? Why should we care if and when our ocean and sea levels rise? Sea level rise should be taken very seriously. Here are some of the main reasons listed:
- When ice sheets and glaciers melt, it causes not only the sea levels to rise, but affects the whole world´s climate, varying from one geographic region to another. This includes more rainfall in some regions, whereby it affects the growing of crops. This has already been identified in many countries which experiment with and invest in completely new ways of producing food, such as vertical farming. In short, vertical farming is a future way of growing certain food products, if and when these can no longer be farmed through traditional agriculture.
- When ice sheets and glaciers melt, with our oceans and seas becoming warmer, extreme weather temperatures are becoming increasingly much common. Drought in extreme heat waves are examples, but also floods and hurricanes that are much more powerful than previously. Unless well-prepared, regions affected by these extreme weather events will suffer immense, both non-material and material consequences, as we have seen many times only in 2017 e.g. in Bangladesh, in the United States, and Puerto Rico. These only being some of the examples.
- Perhaps one of the worst reasons we should take rising sea levels very seriously is when considering all states that are low-lying, especially low-lying island nations and low-lying coastal cities. If sea levels continue to rise at the current rate, without anything being done to a) prevent it from rising further b) protect the infrastructure and topography of these coastal cities, nations, and island nations, the consequences of sea level rise hitting these regions will be detrimental. If one geographical region becomes inhabitable due to sea level rise, all the people affected will be obliged to find new homes. This is why it is also estimated that the number of climate change refugees will grow significantly already by 2050.
As an example, learn what our world would look like if ALL the ice melted, a video published by BI Science:
Connect with me on Twitter @annemariayritys. For climate/environment-related posts only @GCCThinkActTank. Subscribe to Leading With Passion to receive my latest posts.
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