[enviro-vlc] Indian Ocean Rising Faster Than Others
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Mon Sep 6 06:11:23 EST 2010
Indian Ocean Rising Faster Than Others
Sep 05th, 2010 - Rashme Sehgal |
• New Delhi
Newly detected rising sea levels in parts of the Indian Ocean have led Indian scientists to conclude that the Indian Ocean is rising faster than other oceans.
Dr Satheesh C. Shenoi, director, Indian National Centre for Ocean Infor-mation Services, speaking at a workshop on “Coasts, Coastal Populations and their Concerns” organised by the Centre for Science and Environment, warned that sea surface measurements and satellite observations confirm that an anthropogenic climate warming is amplifying regional sea rise changes in the Indian Ocean .
This would have far-reaching impacts on the climate of vulnerable nations, including the coastlines on the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka and parts of Indonesia as a result of human-induced increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases.
Data collated by the National Institute of Oceanography provide city-wise statistics of sea-level rise.
In Mumbai, from 1878- 2005, sea levels have risen by 0.77 millimetres while in Diamond Harbour, West Bengal, levels had risen by 5.16 mm.
“Data from the Jason satellite, which measured ocean levels, has shown that global sea levels had been rising steadily till 2003 but then the rise became slower. In the case of the Indian Ocean, the sea level has, however, continued to rise between 2004 and 2009. While in the Indian Ocean thermal expansion is 40 per cent, the global average is 20 per cent,” Dr Shenoi pointed out.
The scientist’s concerns were shared by A.S. Unnikrishnan, a scientist with the National Institute of Oceanography. “The sea-level rise could aggravate flooding In India and Bangladesh and could have a far-reaching impact on regional and global climate,” Dr Unnikrishnan said.
Both these scientists warned that the sea-level rise would adversely impact 35 per cent of the world’s human population as they live in coastal regions.
India has 3,325 coastal villages with a population of 3.5 million engaged in fishing and rising sea levels would make fishing communities immediately vulnerable.
Tapas Paul, who heads the World Bank’s Integrated Coastal Zone Management Programme, warned that “a sea-level rise by one metre would affect 37.2 million people from East Asia and the Pacific zone. “South Asia’s current resistance to variability is low with a lot of people here dying and suffering because of floods,” said Mr Paul. Quoting from a survey conducted by the World Bank, he pointed out that “almost 5.9 million people from South Asia would be affected and Bangladesh would be the worst affected country.”
Goa’s minister of environment, Aleixo Sequeira, pointed out that coastal areas were being targeted to promote tourism in a completely unregulated manner. “The entire coastal ecosystem is vulnerable and the Centre and states must work together to prepare a proper plan to promote tourism, waste and sewage disposal and prevent unregulated tourism,” he said.
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