Sea Level Rise In India Due to Climate Change

Mains Marks Booster     31st July 2023        
output themes

Introduction:

  • Sea level rise poses significant challenges to India's coastline, with recent research highlighting land subsidence rates along the Indian Coast.

Consequences of Sea Level Rise in India:

  • Coastal Erosion and Land Loss: Example: The Sundarbans Delta in West Bengal, home to millions of people and a UNESCO World Heritage site, is at risk of submergence due to sea level rise.
  • Increased Flooding Risks: Approximately 40 million people in India are vulnerable to coastal flooding caused by sea level rise.
  • Salinization of Groundwater: Example: In the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, increased salinity in agricultural lands threatens crop production and livelihoods.
  • Impacts on Biodiversity and Ecosystems: The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, located along the south-eastern coast of India, is vulnerable to habitat loss and species displacement due to rising sea levels.
  • Economic and Infrastructure Vulnerabilities: Example: Mumbai, a major financial hub, faces significant economic risks as coastal flooding and erosion threaten its infrastructure and real estate developments.

Initiatives and Adaptation Measures:

  • Coastal Protection and Infrastructure Resilience: The construction of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai includes measures to withstand rising sea levels and increased storm surges.
  • Conservation and Restoration of Coastal Ecosystems: Example: The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park in Gujarat is actively involved in mangrove conservation and restoration
  • Climate Change Adaptation and Planning: Example: The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) emphasizes the importance of coastal zone management to address sea level rise and its impacts.
  • International Collaboration: Example: India participates in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations to advocate for effective international action

Solutions to Mitigate Sea Level Rise:

  • Climate-Resilient Infrastructure: Example: The Chennai Metro Rail project incorporates climate-resilient design features to adapt to sea level rise and extreme weather events.
  • Community Engagement and Capacity Building: Example: The Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) program in coastal areas of Odisha
  • Sustainable Coastal Agriculture: Example: The Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) program in Kerala promotes sustainable aquaculture practices and mangrove conservation.

Conclusion:

India faces significant challenges from sea level rise along its extensive coastline. By implementing adaptation measures, promoting sustainable practices, and engaging in international collaborations, India can protect its coastal communities, ecosystems, and economic interests while building resilience to future sea level rise.

Samadhaan