Rise in sea levels threatens millions

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 14 July 2010

Sea levels are rising unevenly in the Indian Ocean, placing millions at risk along low-lying coastlines in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, scientists say in a study.

The Seychelles Islands show the largest sea-level drop.

Researchers from the University of Colorado and the National Centre for Atmospheric Research say the rising sea levels are caused in part by climate change and are triggered by warming seas and changes to atmospheric circulation patterns.

In his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, US President Barack Obama warned that if the world does nothing to confront climate change, “we will face more drought, famine and mass displacement that will fuel more conflict for decades”.

The authors of the latest study say higher seas could exacerbate monsoon flooding, placing crops, homes and livelihoods at greater risk. They argue a better understanding of the changes are needed to improve risk assessment planning for the future.

Sea levels in general are rising globally by about 3mm (0.1181 inch) a year. Scientists blame rising temperatures caused by the growing amounts of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, that trap heat in the atmosphere. Continue reading