Sea levels are rising more quickly than they have in the past 3,000 years due to a rapidly warming planet. Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, says this puts over a billion people from London to Los Angeles, Bangkok to Buenos Aires under the radar of a climate disaster. He has warned of the possibility of waves drowning some countries, taking them off the maps.
"Mega-cities on every continent will face serious impacts, including Lagos, Maputo, Bangkok, Dhaka, Jakarta, Mumbai, Shanghai, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, New York, Buenos Aires, and Santiago," according to Guterres.
The UN World Meteorological Organization report revealed that the past eight years (2015-2022) have been record-setting warm temperatures and the rate of sea level rise has doubled since 1993. Meanwhile, more recent news from the UN states that the speeding rate of global sea level rise endangers almost 900 million people who live in low-lying coastal areas.
Rising sea levels are triggering new battlegrounds for warfare as the struggle for freshwater resources and land increases. The UN secretary general pointed out that the climate problem must be dealt with at its root cause to decrease emissions, control warming, and prevent chaos. He also emphasized that every tenth of a degree in global warming matters since sea level rise might double at 2 degrees Celsius and rapidly rise at higher temperatures.
"If temperatures rise by 2 degrees, that level rise could double, with further temperature increases bringing exponential sea level increases. Under any scenario, countries like Bangladesh, China, India, and the Netherlands are all at risk," said Guterres.
According to U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the dangers posed by sea level rise is real and a predictable consequence of our current climate disaster which affects global stability, peace, and safety. She emphasized that the council needs to act because the livelihood of millions of lives in low-lying coastal areas will be in jeopardy.
"Fortunately, the worst impacts can be avoided, but we have to act now, and we have to act together," added Thomas-Greenfield.
Click here to read more about the United Nations news on rising sea levels.
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