The rising sea levels experienced today because of global warming, is a threat to humanity and civilization. Therefore, addressing these rising seas requires both long-term and short-term solutions. Long-term solutions include reducing rate of global warming, while short-term solutions include all mechanical ways used in lowering the volume of seawaters.
Mitigating the Rising Seas
There is a continuous rise in the global temperatures because of global warming, and this is responsible for the current rise in sea levels. Sea level rise has been evident since end of the last ice age. Currently, the trend of this rise has increased, compared to the past years. Beginning 1850, sea levels rose at a high rate because of high industrialization experienced during this period, which led to increase of greenhouse gas emissions. Scientific predictions show that global temperatures will continue to increase in future, thus further rise in sea levels (Milliman and Haq 11). The adverse effect of this phenomenon is that coastal towns, docks, and piers may be submerged if this trend continues. In addition, an increase in wave energy may be experienced. Therefore, a response to address this situation is imperative to avert the looming adversity. There are different ways in which this situation can be solved. However, preventing further global warming will serve to stop the rise in sea level. Nonetheless, the solutions require the expertise of engineers, including soft-engineering processes and hard-engineering processes. Since this problem is already here with us, the solutions will aim at controlling the risen sea level. However, prevention strategies may as well be employed to reduce global warming, which is core in this situation (Pilkey and Young 137-139).
Directing seawater to different areas such as depressions, which are below sea level, will help to lower sea level. This could be achieved by digging canals directed to these depressions, where the seawater will drain. Most of depressions in the world have a higher rate of evaporation than other areas. Therefore, this is advantageous, as the seawater will be drained into these depressions continuously without filling up fast, due to the high evaporation (Milliman and Haq 11).
By redirecting rivers and streams either partially or completely to drain their waters in a different place will also reduce the sea level, as the water draining into the oceans will be lower. The development of massive reservoirs for rivers and streams to drain in is costly but achievable. Alternatively, the rivers and streams could be redirected to form inland lakes in desert areas. The volume of waters in the present inland lakes in deserts such as the Australian desert could as well be increased to hold a bigger volume. This serves to reduce the pressure of high sea level (Milliman and Haq 34).
Long-term solution to the increased sea level might also be considered. For instance, the coastal towns should be moved to higher places. This will involve appropriate planning, as well as evacuation. Although this has never been attempted before, it will serve as long-term solution, as the coastal towns are the most vulnerable to submersion, compared to other towns. However, it might be hard evacuating mines and farms (Janin and Mandia 153).
These proposed solutions have both negative economic and environmental implications, and may seem quite incomprehensible. However, these cannot be worse than the dangers the rising sea level because of global warming pose to humanity. It is therefore, better to have a plan in mind on how to combat the rising sea level, no matter the costs involved, than wait for the dangers to unfold. These will be more costly to the hard-earned civilization today. Therefore, governments need to act on this situation, as most governments have not considered addressing this phenomenon, despite the dangers this poses to human populations.
Janin, Hunt and Mandia, Scott. “Janin_5956-8.” London: McFarland, 2012. Print.
Milliman, James and Haq, Ben. “Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Subsidence: Causes, Consequences,
and Strategies.” New York: Springer, 1996. Print.
Pilkey, Orrin and Young, Rob. “The Rising Sea.” New Jersey: Island Press, 2009. Print.
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