Global warming, a term that is common in the world today. It refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's temperature continuously. Scientist have made a discovery that 90% of this warmth is happening at the sea and the other on land and air. This s increase has been more pronounced in the 20th century as a research by the scientists shows. The need to find out the reason for this has driven scientists to great lengths to try and find out if human beings are responsible. The attempt to explain this is controversial, but many of the researchers have come up with the conclusion that human activities are responsible. IPCC 1990 report came up with a finding that the emissions by human activities contributed to less climate change and not 24% as it had thought earlier. Sulfur emission in the burning if fossil fuels was also a cause as it reflected much of the radiations from the sun.
A publication by Quaternary Science Reviews shows that proxies from the Arctic ocean prove that 10,000 to 6,000 years ago the world had reached a stable state in the Holocene period. The analysis of the proxies shows that the condition lasted for hundred of years with the polar regions. No explanation has been done as the Earth seemed to be in a stable state during that period. In comparison with the present, the sea level has risen by about 25-30 centimeters that are alarming increases putting into consideration the dangers it posses to the world. (Warrick et al. 1996). A third of the world population is known to live along the coast according to research by the American Environmental Conservation show. If the sea takes up more land, settlement would be a problem and also because of other things like the tides and floods. Conflicts are caused by the rise in sea level in terms of seafood and energy reserves. Shifting of fishing grounds and covering of islands may cause social conflicts among different communities that were using the same resources. Shifting from one place to another due to rise in sea level can also cause conflict.
According to NAS/RS report, “In the past decade, global climate change became a widely accepted social problem” (2009). Also referred to as global warming or the anthropogenic greenhouse effect, global climate change is the discernible increase in mean global temperature resulting from the release of greenhouse gases produced by human activities.
Rising sea level is something that can be attributed to two things. Thermal expansion is the first. When water is heated, it expands which in one way explains the rise in the level of the sea in the world today. Overall increase in the temperature of the world has led to the melting of ice caps in the polar regions and flow of glaciers which increases the level of water in the sea ( cook et al., 2013). The increase in sea level has a significant dangerous effect as it increases the strength of tides making it more dangerous for the individuals living in the coastal regions. It also causes perennial heavy floods that sweep at the coastal regions destroying the infrastructure used by man for shelter and economic activities. Salinisation proves to be dangerous as it increases the rate of corrosion of metal parts machineries
The primary cause of rise in sea level is a global warming (Lewandowski, et al, 2012). Research done by American Environmental Association and in comparison with the past, is clear that the current decade is the warmest.. Earlier Centuries were ok, and measures show that this drastic increase in temperatures started to take place since the last century. Astronomical tides are another reason that can be associated with the dangerous rise in sea level. It refers to the gravitational effect on water bodies exerted by the moon and the sun. Scientists and professionals in the field of meteorology have tidal gauges and other devices that can be used to predict tides. Tides have an effect of distorting the Earth as it involves the gravitational pull to one side and water has weight creating imbalance.
Another aspect in global warming comes down to island sinking by human activities. Dangerous gases destroy the protective ozone layer allowing the dangerous rays that cause the global rise in temperature (Cook & Nuccitelli, 2013). Increase in temperature leads to the melting of ice in the polar regions which flow to the sea increasing its level. Increase in tempereture also causes the expansion of water which causes the rise in level. Karibati community that lives along the coastal in Tuvalu islands regions is threatened by the hazards of rising sea level.
Church elaborates that, “While some studies have looked at sea-level rise scenarios in the range ten cm to as much as 2 m, most existing studies have focussed on a 1 m rise in global sea level on the present (1990s) situation applied directly as a relative sea-level rise scenario” (2006). In general, only the direct effects of sea-level rise such as inundation and erosion were considered, and dynamic processes such as wetland response were ignored
The first ill effect of rising sea level is salt water intrusion (Hoozemans et al. (1993). More salty water from the seas covers the land has a dangerous effect on the plantation. Crops for human use found on the land cannot survive in a saline condition (Carter et al. 1994, Parry & Carter 1998). Tides either higher or low have an erosive effect on the coastal region. It involves transporting of land material from land to the sea reducing the available land for human use and their activities such as construction of infrastructure (Lewandowski et al., 2012).
Rise in the sea level poses a threat that at some point migration of the people turns out to be the only option available. In 2006, people at the coastal regions of Bangladesh were forced to migrate as the tides that were seen after a long period and were weak were now seen on a weekly basis and were stronger. The coast was known to be far away, but it had come to the people. Floods is another problem that can cause loss of property and human life and therefore people at the coastal regions are forced to migrate to safer grounds if the worst case scenario is to be avoided. Salinity and unsafe water to use may cause people to move from one part to another as people in the coastal regions depend on sea water on most of their domestic activities such cleaning and for livestock.
The increase in sea level is covering the islands that island used by man to carry out activities and settle. Conditions caused by global warming that may end up forcing people to migrate from one place to another separating friends and families who were living together. Moving to new places that involve meeting up with new communities who may not be welcoming which at one point or the other may lead to social conflict. Some cultural practises and values may not be accepted in some places thus making it impossible for people who have migrated from the coastal regions or the islands to settle in these regions.
Coastal management is one the measures put in place to help the situation under control. It involves educating people around the coast on ways to protect the region. Avoiding farming at the points near the sea in one on the techniques. By this, erosion is avoided by ensuring loose soil is not created for the backwash of water to carry into the sea. Regulating settling at the coast is another aspect. This is done to avoid a case of massive migration to other places in case of danger of flooding, and high dangerous tides are reached ant any given time.
Construction of seawall is another measure put in place. It is the construction of a barrier wall that protects the coastal region against flood and destructive tides. Climate protection measures are also emphasised not only to reduce emissions of dangerous gases but to also help in protecting the coastal regions from the dangerous effect of rising sea level (Vellinga &Klein, 1993). The sea walls will ensure things such as erosion that involves sweeping away of coastal materials is avoided making it safer. The sea wall also protects not only people but also infrastructure against dangerous effect of flooding.
Crystallization that is the process of obtaining the salt crystals from the water solution is also a measure that can be utilised well (King & Lester, 1995)l. Reducing the amount of salt in the water helps reduce its volume that is the main cause of it covering more land meant for human use. Good water for human consumption can also be got from the process for the people living along the coastal regions as water in these parts always as salt content. On the other hand, crystallisation is challenging as it involves heating that uses fuel such as coal that still emit dangerous gases to the environment when burnt.
The rise of sea water level is a serious issue that should be keenly analysed and a lasting solution found for the sake of human beings of the future. As the sea is covering more land, the human population is increasing which in turn increases the need for more land for settlement and to carry out other activities. To find a solution to this necessary measures such as retaining the wall, crystallisation and coastal management should be employed for the time being to help improve the conditions at the coastal regions. People should be educated on the need of environmental protection and also precautionary measures to take whenever the sea poses a danger.
Church, J., & White, N. (n.d.). 2006,‘A 20th century acceleration in global sea-level rise. Geophysical Research Letters, 33.
Cook, J., Nuccitelli, D., Green, S., Richardson, M., Winkler, B., & Painting, R. et al. (2013). Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature. Environmental Research Letters, 8(2), 024024.
King, S., & Lester, J. (1995). The value of salt marsh as a sea defence. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 30(3), 180--189.
Lewandowski, G., Ciarocco, N., & Gately, E. (2012). The Effect of Embodied Temperature on Perceptions of Global Warming. Current Psychology, 31(3), 318-324. doi:10.1007/s12144-012-9148-z
McCright, A., & Dunlap, R. (2000). Challenging global warming as a social problem: An analysis of the conservative movement's counter-claims. Social Problems, 499--522.
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Vellinga, P., & Klein, R. (1993). Climate change, sea level rise and integrated coastal zone management: an IPCC approach. Ocean \& Coastal Management, 21(1), 245--268.