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Climate change and coastal mega cities of India

Authors
Publisher
Medknow Publications
Publication Date
Volume
14
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.64612
Keywords
  • Letter To Editor
Disciplines
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Medicine
  • Political Science

Abstract

Sir, Climate change is one of the most critical global challenges of our times. Recent events have emphatically demonstrated our growing vulnerability to climate change.[1] The United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 report had projected that sea levels could rise by 18 to 59 cm by 2099. Subsequent studies of glacial melts in Greenland and Antarctica had raised fears that rise in sea levels could be much higher than that indicated in IPCC's 2007 report. Since 1870, global sea level has risen by about 20 cm at an average rate of 1.7 mm/year. But in recent decades, the rate has risen sharply to 2.5 mm/year, according to the latest figures. The rise in sea level is mainly a result of thermal expansion of the ocean due to global warming, as well as increased water inflows from melting glaciers and ice caps.[2] As a result, climate change is fast turning out to be a big challenge for mega cities. Many of the world's largest and fastest-growing cities are located on the coast and therefore vulnerable to sea-level rise. Coastal mega cities are exposed to the more frequent severe windstorms; the heavy rains often result in intense, and sometimes lethal, flash floods. Many waterborne and vector-borne infectious diseases are strongly influenced by climatic conditions, and several are common within cities. More speculatively, global environmental changes may favor the emergence of new infectious diseases, which may spread faster within and between cities due to travel links and higher rates of person-to-person contact.[3] India has a large coastline. Length of the coastline of India including the coastlines of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Laksha dweep Islands in the Arabian Sea is 7517 km. Length of coastline of Indian mainland is 6100 km. Coastline of Indian mainland is surrounded by Arabian Sea in the west, Bay of Bengal in the east and Indian Ocean in the south.[4] The mega cities like Mumbai, Chennai are especially prone to bear the brunt of climate chan

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