Coastal areas face increasing risks from rising sea levels

Courtesy of VCG via China Daily
A view of Haitang Bay in Sanya, South China’s Hainan Province

China’s coastal sea level will rise by 68 millimeters to 170 millimeters over the next 30 years, and coastal regions face growing threats from rising sea levels, according to a bulletin by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Last year, the country saw its highest coastal sea level since 1980, which has been 84 millimeters higher than that of normal years. The coastal sea level rose at an average rate of 3.4 millimeters per year from 1980 to 2021, more than the global average over the same period, according to the bulletin.

With accelerated urbanization, China’s coastal areas face increasing risks from the rising sea level, said the bulletin.

The accelerated rise of coastal sea level is largely due to global warming, which has led to the expansion of seawater, and the melting of glaciers and polar ice caps.

Rising sea levels magnify the impact of marine disasters. Last year, China’s storm surges and flooding in coastal regions mainly occurred between July and October as this period saw higher sea levels.

The report called for more efforts to prevent marine disasters and mitigate the impacts of rising sea levels.

According to an assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the global mean sea level could rise by 2 meters by 2100 and by 5 meters by 2150 under a worst-case scenario.