The knock-on effects of sea level change

So sea level change will profoundly change the geography of our coastlines, but what are the knock on effects for inland areas. Population migration and increased competition for agricultural and water resources will lead to inland areas being put under profound stress.  A group of scientists in U.S.A are currently researching these impacts on the Lake Wales Ridge area of Florida.  The consequences look pretty frightening.

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West African governments take action

Two weeks ago in Banjul, a sea level change adaptation project involving five countries – The Gambia, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal – was launched in Banjul.

The goal of this project is to develop and pilot a range of effective coping mechanisms for reducing the impact of climate change induced by coastal erosion in vulnerable regions in the five participating countries. Acquired and implemented by the National Environment Agency (NEA), the adaptation to Climate Change and Coastal (ACCC) project is funded through the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Continue reading

Thanks Ecometrica!

A huge thanks to Gary and his team, who have offered to conduct a carbon footprint of our project for us….for free!

They are also advising us on local projects that we can invest in with the money used to offset our carbon. This includes a scheme called Plan Vivo in Mexico at http://www.planvivo.org………watch this space.

More info about Ecometrica can be found at their website http://www.ecometrica.co.uk/

More news later when footprint has been measured.

Who needs Guyana anyway?

Why is our project setting up now?  Quite simply because sea level rise is happening.  Now.  In fact it’s accelerating.  Sea level rise is currently threatening communities in Gambia and Belize.  Climate change refugees in Ghana have been evacuated from low lying areas after storms flattened coastal slums, whilst 80% of the population of Guyana is now at risk if there is a 1m rise in sea level.  Coastal ecosystems are also being devastated in Guinea Bissau as salinisation of estuaries and deltas destroys vegetation and marine life.  And yet there has been little media coverage of this.

“11 of the world’s 15 largest cities are on coastal plains or estuaries” – Greenpeace

Lost Atlantis?

What are the likely effects of a 1.5m rise in sea level?  There is no consensus on how much sea levels will rise over over the next 100 years.  Some organisations predict that it will be as little as 59cm, whilst others suggest it will rise as much as 5m.  Our figure of 1.5m is based on a work carried out by the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory in March 2008. 

What would the consequences be?  Research carried out on the consequences of a 1 metre rise are dramatic: Continue reading

What is sea level change?

Sea level change is a change in the level of the sea in relation to a particular land benchmark.  Sea levels have always been changing and are influenced by a number of different factors.  What is worrying climate scientists is that sea levels have been  rising particularly quickly over the last 40 years.  This recent rise has mostly been caused by an increase in the amount of water in the ocean and an increase in the ocean’s temperature, which causes the water to expand.  Both of these factors have been attributed to the human causes of climate change. Continue reading