The Most Endangered Countries From Rising Ocean Levels
Geographical data show that Earth’s climate has been changing faster than ever over the last few decades. Although there are natural and human impacts, the main factor that makes our planet’s atmosphere change is human activities.
The Ocean and the Human: Violation of the Balance of Coexistence
According to a report from IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), scientific observations show that economic and population growth caused gas emissions to go higher, the atmosphere has warmed, and the ocean level has risen. The emissions produced by human activities cause heat and are known as greenhouse gases. Among them are:
- CO2 (Carbon dioxide): It enters the environment by burning fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, coal, also by solid waste, and biological materials. Besides, CO2 is created through some chemical reactions.
- CH4 (Methane): It is a component of natural gas resulting mainly from the oil and gas industry.
- N2O (Nitrous oxide): About 40% of N2O comes from human activities, particularly from the spheres of agriculture, land use, industrial activities, fossil fuels, and wastewater treatment.
Climate change can lead to a global ecology crisis because of an increasing number of droughts, storms, heatwaves, melting ice streams, and warming oceans. Various countries can be underwater because of ocean level rise.
What Measures Are Being Taken to Protect Against Rising Sea Levels?
Current climate change speed requires new solutions to protect coastal countries from flooding. Shields like dikes, walls, and barriers may not be able to prevent the impacts.
We need to reduce gas emissions and find new ways to cope with the challenges. There are several steps that various organizations are taking:
#Step 1: Apply hard engineering techniques
#Step 2: Plant more trees
#Step 3: Disallow development in risky areas
#Step 4: Support businesses that use environmentally-friendly solutions
#Step 5: Provide people with information tools and guidance
#Step 6: Track the efficiency of policy
#Step 7: Provide funds to cope with the issues
What Is the Speed of Sea-Level Rise? Forecasts of Recent Years
Sea-level records and satellite measurements show that in the last several decades, the ocean has begun to warm up almost 40% faster compared to the middle of the 20th century.
From 1880 to the present day, the average level of the ocean has risen by about 8–9 inches (21–24 centimeters). Note that about 2.9 inches (7.5 cm) resulted over the last 25 years. Per year, the sea rises by another 3.4 millimeters (0.13 inches).
The numbers can seem insignificant, but the rate at which sea level is changing today is 2.5X higher than it was just ten years ago.
US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) alarms if we keep the high amount of emissions, the ocean level may rise by 8.2 feet (2.5 meters) by 2100, and coastal countries may disappear because of devastating floods.
Can Humans Adapt to a New Situation in 50 Years? What Complications Are Expected in the Future?
There is expected to be an increased number of wildfires, longer droughts, and intense storms because of global warming.
People can adapt to a new situation and reduce impacts by facing challenges together.
Countries That May Soon Disappear From the World Map
Rising ocean levels caused by climate change threaten low-lying countries all over the world.
Here is how the ocean will look in 2080, according to NASA’s projection tool:
Located in the Northwestern of Europe, about 27% of the Netherlands ‘ territory is below sea level. The country’s coasts are washed by the North Sea, an arm of the Atlantic ocean.
Being in a constant battle with the ocean, Netherlands has developed various structures such as dikes, barriers, and pumps to hold back storms. They have formed a part of architecture which has become one of the reasons why visit the Netherlands.
However, as the climate continues to change, there is a need to find new ways to deal with the issues of the ocean rising.
The Republic of Maldives is the world’s flattest country. While the main answer of the island’s around 600.000 yearly tourists to why visit Maldives is the ocean, white sand beaches, and coral reefs, the country is at significant risk of disappearance.
80% of Maldives area lies below 1 meter above average sea level.
Currently, the country faces environmental challenges such as periodic floods and a lack of drinking water. If the ocean level rises 1 meter yearly, the country can completely be underwater by around 2085.
Direct Impact of Forests on Sea Level. Why Invest in Reforestation Right Now?
Forests play an essential role in the ecosystem, but global deforestation has been shrinking green areas extensively.
This has a significant influence on climate change as trees help fight global warming by absorbing greenhouse gasses. Besides, cutting trees causes CO2 stored in them to go into the surroundings.
Less forest area means more greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere, which speeds up global warming and causes sea level rise.
If each of us invests in world reforestation, reducing climate change impacts will become possible. By doing so, we will also help to provide habitats where most plants and animals live.
The Great Green Wall – Can It Save Us?
Different organizations worldwide are taking measures against the reshaping of our planet by preventing tree cutting, managing forest resources, and planting new trees that replace the ones that are gone.
One of the most significant initiatives against global deforestation is the Great Green Wall. The initiative was launched in 2007 by the African Union to restore Africa’s ruined landscapes and make the lives of millions in the Sahel region better.
The Great Green Wall’s destination is to build an 8000 km long wall of trees extending across the full width of the continent by 2030.
Building a barrier against climate change across the Sahel region that separates the Sahara Desert to the north and tropical savannas to the south, the Great Green Wall contributes to dealing with the eco challenges.
The environmental non-profit tree-planting organization NobleLand shares the objectives of saving our planet through reforestation. One of the specialties of the project is its goal of creating a self-sustainable ecosystem of forests.
Another specialty is planting management. Owners of the trees can be sure that their trees have been planted as the project sends them GPS locations of trees. Thus, contributors can go and see trees themselves.
Taking simple steps like plating and using renewable energy, we can help to fight climate change.