Climate crisis: Relative sea levels rising ‘up to four times faster’ in coastal cities, due to widespread subsidence

The world’s first combined assessment of sinking land and rising water makes for chilling reading, writes Harry Cockburn

Monday 08 March 2021 21:22 GMT
(Getty Images)

Amid the worsening climate crisis, sea level rise presents a rapidly growing risk to millions of people living in coastal areas around the world, but new research reveals sinking land in many of the most vulnerable cities is exacerbating the problem.

Around our planet, sea levels have risen by around 21 centimetres since 1900, but over recent decades the process has speeded up, and global average sea level rise is now about 2.6mm a year.

However, the new study reveals that due to subsidence, most coastal populations are exposed to relative sea level rise up to four times faster than the global average.

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