Sea level rise is a major environmental issue that’s affecting coastlines and areas around the world—caused by many factors, like global warming and the melting of glaciers, levels are rapidly sinking at one inch per eight years. But what is being done to prevent this phenomenon?
One of the leading causes of sea level rise is global warming. The largest contribution to this is the emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Then, the gasses trap heat from the sun and which causes the temperature of the Earth’s surface to rise. As the temperature increases, the polar ice caps and glaciers melt, which adds more water to the oceans and contributes to the rise in sea level.
As the sea level rises, it causes increased flooding and erosion, which can cause problems for those affected. For example, over the past few months, many of Northern California’s bridges, homes, and communities have been demolished by storms. President Biden has approved an Expedited Major Disaster Declaration, “ordering federal aid to be provided to recovery efforts in areas of California that were affected by the storms” (LA Times), but many are still concerned about the damage the storms did to the sea level.
Reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere is vital to stop sea level rise. Various governments and nonprofit organizations around the world are working to implement policies that will reduce the release of these harmful gasses. California is planning a $6 billion sea level rise solution, including seawall improvements, flood mitigation for major roads, and wetland restoration and fortification.
Another important step that we can take to stop sea level rise is to protect and restore coastal ecosystems. These help to absorb and store carbon, which can potentially slow down the process of global warming, as well as provide a natural barrier against sea level rise, by reducing erosion and flooding in coastal areas. By preventing oil leaks, not dumping trash, conserving water, and more, we may be able to preserve these coastal ecosystems.
The sea level rise is affecting various areas around the world. To prevent this, it is paramount to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and maintain coastal ecosystems, which can help reduce the sea level rise, and in turn, protect the environment for future generations.