Land Losses from Global Warming Threaten Countries
Posted Mar 03 2009 2:18pm
Remember the forced human relocation in the “BnL” satellite in the movie “WALL-E”? Considering climate change indications like rises in sea levels, maybe we will be saying hello to that kind of existence sooner. Global warming had been challenged and perceived as a latent disease. One of the loudest wake-up calls is the Maldives’ announcement that it is setting aside funds to buy land in other countries as a measure to tackle loss of land to the rising sea levels. Maldives is an island country whose highest point is only 7.8 feet (2.4 meters) above sea level.
From the Nile to the Indus Valley, water has been an important factor in the foundation of most human civilizations. Fertile delta lands and cool coastal zones support one of the densest populations in the world. However, these areas are also most susceptible to floods, hurricanes, and now global warming has added drowning to this list of potential threats. Increased temperatures cause the glaciers to melt and the ocean water to expand, pushing up the sea level. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates a rise of 0.6 to 2 feet of the global average sea level in the next century. Loss of land or source of income due to climate change can displace 630 million people living in coastal areas worldwide.
Unlike tourism oriented Maldives, densely populated agrarian countries near the sea like Egypt, Vietnam and Bangladesh depend on fishing and farming for their livelihood. Moreover, they currently have less influence over the international negotiations on climate change. With rising sea levels, global warming has become an urgent threat for these nation-states.
(Photo Courtesy of ABC News)
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