As the Earth continues to warm up due to leaving the last ice age & global warming, the sea levels have been rising significantly in the past century. Sea levels are currently rising at about 1/8 of an inch per year, and over time this will have widespread effects on the Earth & humanity.
The Effects of a Rising Sea Level on Earth & Humanity
This may not seem like much, but if global warming from humans makes that number increase, then there will be dramatic effects coming soon. We will see effects in the long-term either way.
Rising Sea Levels Causes
There is one main cause for the rising sea levels: global warming. Global warming is believed to be caused by two things, which is "natural warming" from coming out of the last ice age, and global warming caused by human activities.
We are not here to debate which may be the truth- the answer probably lies in both.
Water expands when it is warmer & contracts when it is cooler. With a rising temperature, the water is expanding, and so it will intrude on more and more land over time.
Ice caps in the North & South pole are beginning to melt also, which forces sea levels to rise.
The Instant Effects of a No-Ice Earth
If all of Earth's ice were to immediately disappear, Florida & almost all East Coast cities in the USA would be completely flooded and overtaken with water. Almost all coastal cities world wide would be wiped out.
Thankfully, such a drastic change would never actually happen. Instead this change will happen over several centuries, and never so suddenly.
Rising Ocean Levels Long-Term Effects
First, coastal storms such as hurricanes will be significantly more damaging. They will have more power to go inland, and so destroy more territory. Areas on the beach will be significantly more effected.
The same is true for floods & tsunamis. They will have more power to go on land causing significantly more damage.
One effect many don't realize is that our drinking water may become contaminated. We get a lot of our freshwater from underground reserves, and intruding salt water could go underground and pollute these sources.
Messing with these sources will affect agriculture as well because many farms rely on these underground sources of water. This water will become unusable for crops and farms will have to move farther away from the shoreline.
Should You Worry?
You should not worry about rising sea levels. This is something that, even if caused by human involvement, is happening so slowly that the long-term effects will not likely hit in your lifetime.
Also, the changes will happen quite slowly giving humanity a change to prepare & react before any damage actually happens. Our cities will be changed & slowly adapted over the centuries as this process happens.
What You Can Do to Help
Research the causes of global warming and consider making appropriate changes in your life to minimize your contribution to global warming! While some people think that humans are not causing global warming, other scientists think that we are the sole cause of global warming.
Recent research suggests that while the Earth may have been naturally warming up since the last Ice Age, we may also be playing a role in warming up the Earth. To which degree we are helping global warming we are not certain, so stay educated and involved to create the best future for your future generations.
Again, this change is very subtle and something we will be able to adapt to. We as a species must understand the effects of a rising sea level and prepare accordingly for the guaranteed future effects!
Enjoy the read? Let us know what you think. Have a great day!
-Wildlife X Team International