Some coastal areas will be severely affected, such as southern Bangladesh, Thailand and Vietnam, and in particular major cities such as New Orleans in the United States and Nagoya in Japan.
It is recognized that global warming is leading to the melting of polar ice and ice accumulating on the tops of mountains, which increases the rise of ocean waters, and scientists have observed that global mean sea level has risen more rapidly since 1900 than in any previous century 3,000 years ago. At least, is this rise so fast that the sea will swallow up nations whole in less than 30 years?
To shed light on the subject, the French newspaper “Le Figaro” reviewed a report The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published last August, showed that the ocean level is increasing, increasing on average by 20 centimeters between 1901 and 2018, with a strong acceleration in recent decades, rising from 1.3 millimeters annually. On average between 1901 and 1971, to 3.7 mm annually between 2006 and 2018.
The report warned – according to an article by Anne Laurie Freemon for the newspaper – that the increases that have occurred since 1971 may be the main reason for the impact of humans, indicating that they will continue at a more sustainable rate to reach 28 cm or more than a meter by the year 2100, according to different scenarios. of greenhouse gas emissions, from the most optimistic to the most pessimistic.
Even if the world adhered to the goal set by the Paris Agreement in 2015 to keep global temperature rise to no more than two degrees, or 1.5 degrees Celsius if possible, the level of the oceans could rise by about 43 centimeters by the end of the century, and even if the rise was kept at 1.5 degrees Celsius The world will only gain 10 centimeters from this, which is not a small percentage, as long as more than a billion people will live in threatened coastal areas in 2050.
However, the truth – as the writer says – is that we are very far from this level, as the United Nations Environment Program expected – before the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow – a “catastrophic” warming of 2.7 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era, or 2.2°C taking into account the promise of mid-century carbon neutrality.
In the latest IPCC report, scientists noted that “the sea level will rise in the long term due to continued warming in the deep ocean and melting ice caps, and over the next two millennia, the global average level will rise from about 2 meters to 3 meters.” If the warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, from 2 meters to 6 meters if it is limited to 2 degrees Celsius, and from 19 to 22 meters if the warming reaches 5 degrees.
To learn more about short-term scenarios – as the author says – researchers at Climate Central (an American scientific organization) have developed an interactive map that colors in red the areas of the world that are likely to be submerged in the coming decades.
If things stay on the current path in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, some coastal regions will be severely affected, such as southern Bangladesh, Thailand and Vietnam, and in particular major cities such as New Orleans in the United States and Nagoya in Japan.
Particularly Threatened Countries
However, it seems to the writer that it is a great exaggeration to say that entire continental countries will disappear by 2050, while small islands located near the tropics – where the ocean level is rising faster – almost all appear in red on the interactive map, albeit That doesn’t mean it will be fully underwater in 2050, but it is at increased risk of submersion.
For example, this is expected to be the case on Fenua Tapu, a small island in the state of Tuvalu in the Pacific Ocean, as well as in the Maldives in the Indian Ocean and many low-lying areas, but volcanic islands such as Reunion may not be affected much by this phenomenon .
In this context, the Fiji Islands had to relocate part of its population due to coastal erosion, and 5 islands of the Solomon Archipelago in the Pacific Ocean had disappeared in the past since the late 1940s, in addition to the increasingly frequent floods threatening fresh water resources, making These areas are ultimately uninhabitable.
The writer concluded that any reduction – no matter how small – would be beneficial to these small countries, and that “any warming exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius would be a death sentence for our country,” as explained by former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, who is now an ambassador for the “Climate Fragility” forum that It consists of a group of countries particularly vulnerable to climate change.