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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Actions for Earth: The dangers of rising sea levels

Research has shown that sea levels around the world has been rising at a rate of 3.5 millimeters a year since the early '90s. Left unchecked, this trend puts thousands of coastal cities at risk of being claimed by the ocean.
 
Over the last century, the burning of fossil fuels by man has released enormous amounts of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere causing the Earth's surface temperature to rise. As the ocean covers a significant portion of the earth's surface, the oceans absorb about 80 percent of this additional heat.
 
While miniscule increases in temperature may seem harmless, it is not. As water heats up, it expands and as the oceans expands, it occupies more space leading to a rise in sea levels. Additionally, persistently higher temperatures have caused more melting of the polar ice-caps. As they melt more water is added to the oceans resulting in rising sea levels.
 
It is important to note that rising sea not only affect people living in coastal cities. When coastal habitats are affected, seawater will reach farther inland and it will cause destructive erosion, flooding of wetlands, contamination of aquifers and agricultural soils, and lost habitat for fish, birds, and plants. And, when a large storms hit land, higher sea levels mean bigger, more powerful storm surges that can strip away everything in their path.
 
In short, we all live in a closely interrelated world. What affects one man, will invariably affect all man. Global warming is thus a battle which all of us must fight and we can do our part by taking actions for earth. Reduce, reuse and recycle.

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