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No man is an island

altRapidly rising global sea level is a striking threat for small island countries in the Pacific and Indian Ocean. Some of them may soon disappear under the water. But are they the only ones to worry about the flooding of the coastal zones?

Despite the disagreement between the scientists, the most credible data available today show, that the global temperature is likely to rise from 1.1 to 6.4 °C by the end of this century, depending on the greenhouse gas concentrations. One of the most dangerous effects of temperature rise is melting of Earth’s ice sheet. By the current predictions, sea level will rise up to 59 centimeters by 2100 (International Panel for Climate Change 2007).

The Maldives is the lowest lying country on the planet with an average 1.5 meters above sea level. Its land is completely flat with the highest point only 2.4 meters. These unfortunate records place the Maldives among areas most vulnerable for the sea level rise. If the temperature rises as predicted by the (IPCC) and cause the sea level rise, Maldives will completely disappear by the end of this century. It means that 400 thousand of its citizens will be forced to seek new home. Why would you care about the country of the size of the single district in your town? The infographic above shows why.

The Maldives is not the only place endangered by flooding resulting from the sea level rise. Europe’s pride – Venice is already fighting effects of being located only meter above the sea level. Los Angeles and Amsterdam are another world famous cities in the similar situation. Hamburg, Sankt Petersburg, San Francisco and Manhattan are predicted to become next victims of this phenomenon in only 150 years.

600 million people worldwide live in costal zones that are less than 10 meters below sea level. All this means a massive exodus, which may have significant consequences for all of us. The Maldives by its modest size is one of the most vulnerable places, which doesn’t mean its future is insignificant for the world’s history. I believe it’s just the opposite.

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