VISAKHAPATNAM: Given its advantage of geographic location (hilly terrain of Eastern Ghats), Visakhapatnam is unlikely to be submerged, say experts. This has assumed significance in the wake of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that predicted that at least 12 cities, including Visakhapatnam, will be under 3 feet of sea water due to rising sea levels by the end of the century.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, National Institute of Oceanography regional head GPS Murthy said the rise in sea level will be gradual and not uniform.
However, he said the IPCC report is only a prediction and in the next six to seven decades there may be several changes. "The long term predictions of IPCC are based on present trends of temperature rise, CO2 release and melting of glaciers," he said.
Nellore and Chennai are low-lying areas and even a small sea surge inundates several areas. Whereas in Visakhapatnam hardly sea water touches the beach road because of its geographical location advantage, Murthy added.
Former professor and head of Oceanography Department PKVSR Prasad told The New Indian Express that it was almost 10 years ago the department conducted a study 'Sea level changes along Indian coasts'. He said their study found that there has been only a 0.4 mm increase in sea level per year at Visakhapatnam.
"Erosion is caused by shoreline advancement. The rise in sea level will be gradual and it may vary due to different factors. Even if the sea level rises there will be no threat to the city which is 4 to 5 feet above mean sea level," he explained.