Rising sea levels could submerge a dozen coastal cities in India, including Mumbai and Chennai, by the end of the century, according to a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
These vulnerable cities – Kandla, Okha, Bhaunagar, Mumbai, Mormugao, Mangalore, Cochin, Paradip, Khidirpur, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Tuticorin – could be nearly three feet under water by the end of the 21st century, the report has warned.
The analysis comes from Nasa, which has used the IPCC report to assess changes in sea levels across the world.
The agency has identified 12 Indian cities that are likely to experience the brunt of climate change and rising sea levels if the situation is not contained.
The IPCC has been providing global-scale assessments of Earth’s climate every five to seven years since 1988 focusing on changes in temperature and ice cover, greenhouse gas emissions, and sea levels. Its sea-level projections are based on by data gathered by satellites and instruments on the ground, as well as analysis and computer simulations.
The IPCC report indicates that the sea level around Asia has been increasing at a faster rate than the average global rate. The report indicates that extreme changes in sea levels, previously seen once in 100 years, could happen once every six to nine years by 2050.
“Coastal areas will see continued sea-level rise throughout the 21st century, contributing to more frequent and severe coastal flooding in low-lying areas and coastal erosion with extreme sea-level events that previously occurred once in 100 years could happen every year by the end of this century,” said the IPCC Working Group I report.
It added that climate change is bringing multiple different changes in different regions – which will all increase with further warming. These include changes to wet and dryness, to winds, snow and ice, coastal areas and oceans.
The global mean sea level is rising at a rate of around 3.7 millimetres per year, according to estimates made between 2006 and 2018.
”The scale of recent changes across the climate system as a whole and the present state of many aspects of the climate system are unprecedented over many centuries to many thousands of years,” the report said.