It is no longer a secret, global warming is not without its consequences for the oceans in the four corners of the planet. Let us remember that the sea level has continued to rise by about 2.6 mm per year over the last twenty years … The situation is all the more serious as another phenomenon occurs at the same time: the sinking along the coasts of the world.
What’s happening ?
When the sea rises, the coastal regions sink. This is what researchers all over the world have found. For example, last month a team of scientists discovered that San Francisco Bay was gradually settling towards the sea as the water level gradually rises along the coast.
The situation is all the more alarming given that, according to a study recently published in the journal Nature Climate Change, British researchers suggest that sea level rise is four times faster on the side of the coastal regions suffering from subsidence.
Human activities are to blame for this
If the rise of the oceans is mainly due to the massive melting of ice at the North and South Poles, then the subsidence of the coasts is caused by human activity. Indeed, as explained by Robert Nicholls, coastal engineer at the University of East Anglia in the UK and lead author of the study published in Nature Climate Change.
“The rapid sink rates in the deltas and especially in the cities of the deltas are […] mainly due to groundwater pumps, oil and gas production and sediment replenishment, which are prevented by upstream dams, flood protection, sand extraction or mining. “”
In coastal areas affected by subsidence, sea level rise is four times faster. Photo credit: Shutterstock / MainlanderNZ
Coastal populations endangered
It is time for Robert Nicholls and his colleagues to act, because if nothing is done, entire regions will be swallowed up by the sea. Millions upon millions of lives are at risk knowing that “roughly 58% of the world’s coastal populations live in limp deltas,” says Nicholls. “The impact of sea level rise today is far greater than the global figures reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “”
To illustrate the urgency of the situation, the researcher specifically mentioned the case of Indonesia, whose capital Jakarta was relocated to Borneo: ” […] The city is sinking due to the extraction of groundwater from shallow wells … Jakarta might just be the beginning. It remains to be seen whether efforts will be made to counter the phenomenon or even stop it …