The ice sheets melt fast, the sea levels are rising, and the increase in storms and flooding becomes a serious issue. As scientists expect the sea level to rise around one meter (3.3 ft) by 2100, the global warming warnings sound more and more catastrophic. With such an increase in water levels many coastal areas around the globe are said to disappear under the waves.
Whether you believe all these climate change talks or not, it is worth taking a few secs to check out the list of the most immediately threatened places in the world…just in case.
1. The Maldives
The Maldives, the beautiful island country considered by many the paradise on earth, is the lowest country in the world being only 1.5 m above sea level on average. Therefore, it can be submerged by 2050/2100 due to the significant rise in sea level.
2. Mt. Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak of Africa, is rapidly losing its glaciers. Since 1912 the ice cap covering the top of the mountain has lost around 80% of its ice. The scientists predict that the ice on Kilimanjaro will be gone by 2015/2050.
Mt. Kilimanjaro. By Stig Nygaard
3. Alexandria. Egypt.
The city of Alexandria, an ancient Egyptian hub and the country’s largest sea port, is said to be inundated by 2100. The Nile Delta is subsiding by around 5 mm (1/5 in) per year. Also, other towns located in the Nile Delta, such as Arish City, Matruh City and Port Said, are under the threat from rising sea level.
Tokyo is only one example of many coastal cities at risk due to rising sea levels, violent storms and flooding. The city’s temperatures increase five times faster than an average global warming rate and the annual mean temperature has risen by about 3°C (37°F) over the past 100 year.
5. Great Barrier Reef
The most catastrophic scenario envisages the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system in the world, to collapse within twenty years due to the high concentration of carbon dioxide in the water. The scientists predict that as the water gets warmer and warmer, the coral ecosystems around the world will start disappearing by mid-century or earlier.
6. The Columbia Glacier
The Alaska’s Columbia Glacier, similarly to all glaciers the world over, has been melting at an increasing rate and it has thinned by around 1,300 feet (390 m) in some places over the last 25 years. Moreover, it is among the fastest moving glaciers around the globe and it is expected to retreat around 9 miles (14 km) in the next 20 years.
7. Galapagos Islands
Home to amazing wildlife, the unique, remote islands of Galapagos can be seriously affected by the climate change due to their location. As the equatorial waters in the eastern Pacific are getting warmer and the sea level is rising, such Galapagos animals as the giant tortoise, marine iguana and Galapagos penguin as well as flightless cormorant, whose nests are susceptible to flooding, are under serious threat.
8. The Netherlands
About 60% of the Netherlands’ population and about 27% of the country area are located below sea level. Such low-lying and flat countries as Holland are at greatest risk from the rising waters. To protect the seaside the Netherlands set up huge storm surge barriers – so huge that they can be seen from space.
9. The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea surface and shores are 1,385 ft (422 m) below sea level – it is the world’s lowest point and also one of the saltiest bodies of water with the salinity of 33.7%. In contrast to the low-lying places that suffer from rising waters, the Dead Sea is e
vaporating, gradually losing its water. The water level is estimated to have dropped by 3 ft (1 m) per year from 1970.
10. New York
According to the recent report prepared by the scientists of various research centers such as, among others, University of Toronto, the National Center for Atmospheric Research or the University of Bristol, New York may face a much faster rise in sea level than other coastal cities due to the local ocean currents, effects of gravity and water density. Moreover the city, is at great risk of hurricanes and flooding that can occur as a result of melting ice.