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Sea level rise: causes and consequences

Surely you have ever heard about the effects of climate change: increased temperatures, droughts, extreme weather events and rising sea levels, among others.

In this AgroCorrn article we will talk about sea ​​level rise, its causes and consequences . In addition, it will explain the measures that can be taken to prevent the continued rise in sea level every year larger and more pronounced. If you are interested in discovering everything about sea levels and global warming, be sure to read this interesting article.

You may also be interested in: Thaw in Greenland: causes and consequences

Sea level rise – current situation

The seas and oceans are suffering great impacts. In addition to the pollution of the sea , it is known that the level of this is increasing. Do you really believe that our species has water around its neck? The answer would be yes, since in the last 100 years it has risen between 10 and 20 cm , although by the end of this century, the rise in sea level is expected to be much higher, between 10 and 68 cm . [1]

This is due to the increase in temperature that is causing the frozen territories to melt, as well as a thermal expansion in the water. We will explain these causes in more detail below.

Causes of sea level rise

We can summarize this issue by saying that the main cause of the increase in ocean levels is the increase in global warming that has been occurring for several years now. Climate change that is being accelerated causes the global temperature to increase and, therefore, there is less ice that becomes liquid water in the oceans and seas. Anyway, we can detail the causes of the rise in sea level as follows:

  • The melting of the polar caps and glaciers: they are large ice structures that are melting due to the increase in temperature. In general, when summer arrived, part of these icy formations melted, but in winter they returned to their solid state. Currently not all the ice returns to its original state, since climate change is causing the snow rains to be less strong, as well as the early spring and the winter being delayed. We recommend that you also read these other AgroCorrn articles on the Consequences of the melting of the poles and the Facts on the melting of the poles .
  • The melting of the frozen areas of Greenland and West Antarctica: these territories are also affected by melting ice, but also the filtration of fresh water must be added, this helps to weaken and melt the ice sheets, as well as making slide in the direction of the sea. You can learn more about the Greenland Thaw: causes and consequences .
  • Thermal expansion: it is a process caused by the increase in temperature, this causes a physical body such as water to increase its volume. That is why thermal expansion is another cause that causes sea level to rise.

Consequences of rising sea levels

The consequences of the rise in sea level is something that is already evident, but what is worse still, the forecasts for the not too distant future do not bode well. These are some of the consequences that are being suffered and will continue to be suffered in the coming decades:

  • The coastal areas are the most affected, as it causes the erosion of the land and threatens all the crop fields that are nearby.
  • It is also a threat to all those constructions on the beach, such as restaurants, apartments and leisure areas, constructions specially designed for tourism. Therefore, the impact is not only environmental, but also economic and social.
  • Disappearance of those cities built below sea level, which need drainage systems to maintain them. We have Venice as an example, which has already been seriously affected in the last two years. Learn more about the Cities that could disappear under the waters due to the global thaw with this other post.
  • The islands would end up disappearing, and all those indigenous people from the place would have to be displaced to other areas.
  • As the sea level rises, there is contamination of the water in the aquifers and the wetlands are flooded. Affecting the life of the flora and fauna that inhabit these ecosystems.
  • Alteration of the climate that causes atmospheric phenomena with greater intensity: storms, tsunamis, torrential rains, etc.

Solutions to slow sea level rise

To stop sea level rise , we would first have to stop global warming . To put a solution it is necessary that the temperature for the future does not increase more than 1.5 ° C. The IPPC [2] launches a report on global warming 1.5 ° in which it insists that decisions must be made to limit the increase in temperature and in it it explains the benefits it would have for ecosystems and human health .

This goal is supported by nearly 200 countries and in order to meet it, net greenhouse gas emissions should be drastically reduced to the point where they are zero by 2040. How to achieve it? The burning of fossil fuels and industrial activity are the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Here are some of the changes that would need to be made in order to achieve this goal:

  • Reduce the burning of fossil fuels for transportation uses.
  • Change the use of non-renewable energy for renewable energy (solar, wind, hydro …)
  • Innovation in the automobile industry, and change from diesel or gasoline vehicles to electric or hybrids.
  • Support industries and facilitate the use of renewable energy.
  • Prohibit planned obsolescence, so that technological products last longer, and thus reducing production.
  • Change the economic model, as the capitalist system seeks mass production to offer products to consumers. And mass production is what is generating most of the emissions that cause global warming.

On the part of the population, we can also make changes at a more individual level:

  • Use the private vehicle only when it is really necessary.
  • Make more use of the bicycle or public transport.
  • Avoid the use of aerosols.
  • Reduce our consumption, and actually buy products when we need them.

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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