Sea level rise is an inevitable consequence of climate change and one that will affect thousands, if not millions of people.
When the sea rises, low lying islands and coastal communities are in the most danger, with entire countries becoming submerged.
Here’s why rising sea levels are a very real threat and why we need to act now.
It is one of the consequences of global warming and Greenland’s ice sheet melting.
When all of it melts, almost every major coastal city in the world will be inundated.
In July 2022, the Greenland ice sheet shed 6 billion tons of water in just 3 days.
Melting is now outpacing the mass gained from snow each winter.
The ice sheet melts every year but rising temperatures have increase the melting rate.
In August 2021, for the first time on record: Instead of snow, rain fell on the peak of greenland’s ice sheet for the first time.
Temperature at the summit had almost never surpassed freezing, but it did for the third time in less than a decade.
The rain dumped 7 billion tons of water on the ice sheet, causing surface snow to melt and stream into the ocean.
If the entire Greenland ice sheet melts, the global sea level would rise 7.2 meters.
Climate models predict local warming in Greenland will be 3°C (5°F) to 9°C (16°F) in this century, which would initiate the long-term melting of the ice sheet, the world’s second largest body of ice.
A sea level rise of this level would inundate almost every major coastal city in the world including: Tokyo, New York, Venice, Shanghai, Bangkok, Honolulu, and Jakarta.
Almost 226 million people in 36 coastal cities will be affected in the next years.
Pacific Islands countries like Tuvalu are already feeling the effects.
“We must take bold alternative action today to secure tomorrow”
Raise awareness through climate action initiatives.
Pressure governments to:
- Implement measures to help the most vulnerable communities within and outside their countries
- Restrict carbon emissions and limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C
- Build coastal protection structures to mitigate the effects of floods