With the increasing global temperature, countries have had to confront the possibility of displacement due to the rising sea levels. From the low-lying islands of the Pacific Ocean to the coastlines of Europe, state borders are being redefined as parts of land sink beneath the waterline. While the implications of global warming have been widely discussed, the number of countries that are at risk of disappearing or being recast in the near future is staggering.
First, the islands of the Marshall, Solomon and Tuvalu archipelagos face an imminent risk of disappearing due to the ever-increasing oceanic waters. The sea levels are rising at a faster rate than these small islands can keep up with and thus, their landmass continues to be diminished. For instance, the island of Tuvalu has already lost 70 percent of its land since the beginning of the 20th century and is set to be one of the first countries to disappear. Other archipelagos face a similar threat including the Maldives, the Bahamas and thePhilippines.
In addition, due to the melting of glaciers and ice sheets, many coastlines are being submerged. In the United States, a recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists speaks of “inexorable” flooding that is occurring in numerous coastal communities. With some estimates proposing that up to 0.3 percent of the state of Louisiana could vanish due to flooding, government officials are working tirelessly to mitigate the effects of this natural disaster.
Furthermore, in Europe, the Netherlands is struggling with sea level rise and is taking measures to prevent the inundation of their coastal towns. In the United Kingdom, vulnerable coastal cities such as Hull, Swansea and Portsmouth are at risk of being submerged as the sea levels continue to rise. In the Scandinavian countries, such as Denmark, Sweden and Norway, the coastlines are being threatened as the temperature of the Atlantic waters further rises.
As such, the repercussions of global warming are becoming more and more real, with numerous countries and regions being directly affected by it. However, there is still hope for many of these places, as governments across the world are taking steps to mitigate the effects of this impending disaster. Countries are looking to explore renewable energy sources, investing in carbon-offsetting plans and tackling the depletion of natural resources.
While global warming continues to pose an increasing threat to our world, the power of collective action should not be overlooked. People across the globe can join forces and help fight climate change by reducing their energy consumption, recycling more and choosing sustainable modes of transportation. Countries must also come together and pressure their leaders to take action; investing in renewable energy sources and establishing more stringent environmental compliance regulations.
Therefore, with global warming becoming a larger and more serious problem, the effort to break its vicious cycle must be continuously pursued. The need for collective action is urgent, as the long-term ramifications of our current climate cannot be overlooked. Fortunately, with the right knowledge, resources and communal spirit, countries can counteract the effects of global warming and strive towards a safer and more sustainable future. Put simply, when it comes to reversing the effects of global warming, collective action can make all the difference.