Official estimates confirm, over 125 million people or 40% of the global population resides within the span of 62 miles or 100 km along the coastline. The figure infers, lives and livelihoods of millions of people, who thrive on the sea, are endangered owing to the rising sea levels.
High tides or storm riding the high seas are known to devastate barrier islands, mangroves, salt marshes and sand dunes, drowning these natural safeguards against the erratic sea. Interrupting fresh water supplies by contaminating ground water and the irrigation sources in low coastal belts, rise in the sea level, can inundate vast stretches destroying biodiversity and disturbing the ecological balance. This manifests one among many of the effects of global warming in the most violent form.
According to IPCC (Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change) reports, melting ice sheets will contribute to rising sea levels by over 75 centimeter within 2100.
Speaking specifically with reference to Australia, within 50 years property worth over 150billion$ is at risk due to being located in the high risk zone. Among the recent examples, the intensity of storm in New South Wales Central Coast in 2007 caused over 2,00,000 homes to lose power, forcing thousands to evacuate and charging an overwhelming 1.3billion$ as insured costs. States of Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania rank high on ‘top of sea level rise’, based on storm tide data, that might experience a replacement value of 63 billion$ solely in case of residential buildings if the rise is up to 1.1 meter as per reports of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research, manifesting one of the dire consequences of the effects of Global Warming in Australia.
Global warming augurs mayhem for Coastal communities as well as indigenous population unless people, government authorities as well as scientific research organizations share lessons on local adaptive planning focused on a sustainable future for coastal zones.