Ever since the industrial revolution, the Earth has seen massive development of industries. This has resulted in large scale deforestation. The industries require large amounts of fuel. This increased use of fuel, industrial pollutants and the deforestation together has increased the levels of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. This increase in the CO2 levels has raised the temperature of the Earth’s surface in general.
Causes of rise in sea water levels:
- Water constitutes a major portion of the Earth’s surface. As water gets warmer it occupies more space. This causes the sea water level to rise.
- The excess heat generated by the Earth’s surface has an adverse impact on the glaciers on the Earth. These glaciers start to melt and the water naturally flows down to the sea. This increases the level of sea water further.
- In addition the precipitation factor increases the intensity of rainfall and snowfall. This causes excess water on the land which has only one outlet i.e. the sea. Thus all these water flows into the sea increasing its levels further.
What is happening at present?
It has been estimated that the average sea levels rose by more than 7 inches over the past 100 years. In the nineteenth century it rose by only 3 inches. This increase is mainly due to human activity.
What is in store for us in the future?
If the same rate of global warming continues for another century we are in for a rise of more than 23 inches in the sea levels. This can have disastrous effects on human as well as marine life.
With the levels of sea as it is today and the rate at which the glaciers are melting the day is not far away when you might see the melting of the entire Greenland area. This could release enough water to completely submerge a city as large as London.
What are the effects of rise in sea levels?
- As the sea levels rise, it will naturally affect the coastal areas and could cause submersion of huge tracks of coastal land. There are chances of many small islands being completely submerged. This can have an adverse impact on the local fauna and flora in these islands.
- Many plants as well as animals exist in the cold climates only. The massive scale of melting of the glaciers could result in the Polar Bears and other animals becoming extinct.
- At the same time due to the submersion of the coastal areas human life in the coastal areas are also under danger.
- This takeover of coastal land by the sea could result in migration of humans towards other lands which could result in increase in the density of population and bring with it a lot of diseases etc.
- This rising sea levels could create several problems for countries like the USA, Maldives and Bangladesh to name a few.
- A natural calamity like a cyclone or a tsunami cannot be ruled out.
- There can be tremendous loss to marine life as well.
What are the steps one should take to solve this problem?
- Reduce the carbon footprint: Save energy and try to use alternate sources of energy such as solar etc. Save fuel by using lesser number of vehicles.
- Reduce use of plastics: Plastics end up as debris in the ocean and affects marine life. Use reusable products as much as possible.
- Take care of your beaches: Clean your beaches and do not disturb the corals and the rock formations in the sea.
- Do not exploit marine life: Do not buy products such as coral jewelry, tortoise shell hair and shark products.
Now is the time to take steps to save the oceans which would in turn save humanity.
We are worried today by the extinction of tigers and other animals but that day is not far away when nobody will be available to worry about the extinction of man from this world.
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