Sink or Swim: Sea Levels Rising Faster Than Expected
Polar bears aren’t the only ones who are suffing from the impacts of climate change. Rising sea levels are threatening coastlines and island nations across the world according to a new international report by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP). Climate change and Greenland’s melting ice are highlighted as contributing factors to these environmental changes. According to the AMAP report:
The past six years have been the warmest period recorded in the Arctic.
Arctic glaciers, ice caps and the Greenland Ice Sheet contributed over 40% of the global sea level rise of around 3 mm per year observed between 2003 and 2008. In the future, global sea level is projected to rise by 0.9–1.6 m by 2100 and Arctic ice loss will make a substantial contribution to this .
In addition to swallowing coastlines and making tsunami protection for countries like Japan more expensive, melting glaciers around the world could have other negative impacts. These changes could lead to significant loss of wildlife habitat and hurt people who depend on Arctic ecosystems for their livelihood and way of life.
Ultimately, in a time of rising temperatures and rising sea levels, countries can either sink or swim through their actions. The report urges governments at the local and national levels to implement adaptation plans to deal with the impacts of melting sea ice. This includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions globally to mitigate climate change. Climate-smart conservation is a way to safeguard wildlife and safeguard people from the impacts of global warming. It’s not just about the polar bears, it’s about all of us.