Rising Seas, Vanishing Coastlines

Topics: Ocean, Oceanography, Sea level Pages: 1 (313 words) Published: December 1, 2012
The oceans have risen and fallen throughout Earth’s history, following the planet’s natural temperature cycle, and now we are in a new warming phase, where the oceans are rising again after thousands of years of stability. As long as we continue to power our global economy by burning fossil fuels that pollute the air with heat-trapping gases, we are contributing to the increase in global temperatures. Consequently, the ice sheets in places like Antarctica and Greenland are melting, thus causing the sea levels to rise. This past summer, in a disconcerting new scientific study by the climate scientist Michiel Schaeffer and his fellow colleagues, had suggested that no matter how quickly we cut this pollution, we are unlikely to keep the seas from climbing; subsequently, what is worse is that rising seas can raise the launching pad for a storm surge. Accelerated rates of erosion are another cause that attributes to the sea level rise. For erosion causes large economic losses around the world each year due to the close proximity of buildings and critical infrastructure, this also includes transportation systems, gas and oil lines as well as electricity lines and power line. Most developed coasts and beaches have buildings that are very close to the ocean, hence this leaves very little room for the ever-expanding ocean. Over half of the world’s population lives within a hundred kilometres of the coast, therefore the future effects of sea level rise on coastal civilization over the entire world are of great concern. In conclusion, we need to protect ourselves from the rising sea level. This could be accomplished by cutting pollution, or to prepare for it by defence and retreat. In order, to truly do the job, we must do both, for we have lost the chance to prevent it. Therefore, if emissions do not slow down, all coastal cities would disappear.
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