There are certain cities in the world that are prone to ocean rise. However, if the world’s temperatures increases above 1.5 degrees Celsius, then global sea waters would rise by more than 15 inches in 2100. Also, if the world’s temperatures get to 2 degrees Celsius, then the global sea waters would also rise by more than 20 inches in a century time. However, it is necessary to know that a global rise in the world’s temperatures could have a detrimental effect on cities prone to storms and floods due to the geographical plan.
The above findings are from Christian Aid and this organization has stated 8 cities that could be affected by an ocean rise due to climate change. It is important to know that Christian Aid report is one of the few reports today that has been issued at the time when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was also issued on how our planet can be able to achieve the Paris Agreement goal: making the world achieve 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The IPCC report, scheduled to be released on Monday, is expected to say that the 1.5° goal is possible with urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Christian Aid report helps to give more light to the present climate situation of the world today.
“These global metropolises may look strong and stable, but it is a mirage. As sea levels rise, they are increasingly under threat and under water,” report author Kat Kramer told The Guardian.
Hence, here are the 7 cities in the world that could be affected by an ocean rise.
1. Jakarta, Indonesia:
Jakarta is the world’s fastest sinking city and this is at a rate of 25.4 centimeters (approximately 10 inches) annually. Its high ability to be affected by ocean rise is due to improper geographical planning. In Jakarta, wells are dug illegally to access groundwater, due to the fact that there is a high level of pollution on surface drinking waters.
Additionally, due to the fact that 97% of the city is covered by concrete, surface waters are not refilled by rainfall. Jakarta is worsening due to the weight of high-rise buildings. Nonetheless, natural flood barriers such as trees have been cut down to clear space for housing and other infrastructures.
2. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is another city facing the same fate as Jakarta. It is also sinking as a result of high-rise buildings. A report by it government stated in 2015 that within 15 years, it could be underwater. Bangkok has taken some action to preserve groundwater, such as the Ground Water Act of 1977 that restricted the amount of groundwater extracted. The city is now sinking at a slower rate than before, and water is being pumped back into the ground, but it is not enough to save the city from rising seas.
3. Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos is built on the coast and incorporates a series of islands. Poor drainage worsened the impact of devastating floods in 2011, and some estimates say that just 20 centimeters (approximately 8 inches) of sea level rise could render 740,000 people across Nigeria homeless. Lagos also faces the problem of excessive groundwater extraction.
In addition, authorities are planning the construction of a new island called Eko Atlantic, planned as a new capital and financial center and designed to be protected by a sea wall. There are concerns the new development could worsen flooding for the rest of coastal and island Lagos by pushing flood waters its way.
4. Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dhaka is sinking at a rate of 1.4 centimeters (approximately 0.55 inches) per year, and sea level rise in the Bay of Bengal is apparently around 10 times the global average. About 1.5 million people have already migrated from coastal villages to the city’s slums. Dhaka’s woes are made worse by groundwater extraction. The fact that the Indian plate and Burman sub-plate are moving in a way that causes Dhaka to subside adds to its woes, though groundwater extraction plays a larger role in its sinking than plate tectonics.
5. London England
During the last ice age, glaciers pressed down on Scotland, causing the south of UK land mass to rise. Now that the glaciers have melted, Scotland is rising at a rate of 1 millimeter (approximately 0.04 inches) per year, and the south of England, including London, is sinking. The Thames Barrier, opened in 1984 to protect London from a one-in-100-year flood, was expected to be used two to three times a year. It is currently used double that, six to seven times yearly.
6. Houston, Texas
Houston sits on the Buffalo Bayou and is naturally flood prone for that reason, but it also is sinking due to groundwater extraction and, ironically, from the extraction of oil and natural gas from the ground beneath it. The Houston-Galveston area has already lowered by three cubic meters (approximately 105.9 inches), and the northwest is sinking by two inches a year.
7. Manila, Philippines
Manila is also sinking due to groundwater extraction at a rate of 10 centimeters (approximately 4 inches) per year, 10 times the rate of climate-caused sea level rise. Another problem is its extensive rice fields, which consume more water than other crops and increase flood risk when illegal fish ponds are built in tidal channels.