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Asian coastal cities are sinking fast: studyMEERI News

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Asian coastal cities sinking faster: Study Coastal cities across South and Southeast Asia are sinking faster than other parts of the world, leaving millions more vulnerable to sea-level rise, a new study says. are happening

According to research published last week in the journal Nature Sustainability by Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU), rapid urbanization has made these cities draw heavily on groundwater to serve their growing populations.

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“This puts cities experiencing rapid localized land subsidence at greater risk of pre-existing coastal hazards due to climate-driven sea-level rise,” the study says.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s most populous urban center and main commercial hub, was sinking an average of 16.2 millimeters (0.6 in) annually, topping the study’s survey of satellite data from 48 major coastal cities around the world. .

The southern Bangladeshi port of Chittagong was second on the list, with the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, Indonesia’s capital Jakarta and Myanmar’s commercial hub Yangon also inundated by more than 20 mm in peak years.

“Many of these rapidly subsiding coastal cities are rapidly expanding megacities, where … high demands for groundwater extraction and loading from densely built-up structures, in local land subsidence,” the study says. contribute,” the study says.

Sinking cities are not the result of climate change itself, but the researchers said their work will provide a better understanding of how the phenomenon will “compound the effects of climate-driven mean sea level rise”.

According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, more than a billion people will live in coastal cities at risk of sea level rise by 2050.

The IPCC says global sea levels could rise by up to 60 centimeters (24 inches) by the end of the century even if greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly reduced.

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