BHUBANESWAR: In just about 30 years, a latest study has said, sea level rise may put large parts of coastal Odisha under Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore districts at greater risk of deluge and inundation, affecting lakhs of people.
The research paper, produced by Climate Central, a science organisation based in New Jersey, revealed that the entire coastline stretching from Ganjam to Balasore is at risk of falling below the elevation of an average annual coastal flood by 2050.
The organisation’s projection maps show that a number of important coastal eco-systems such as Bhitarkanika National Park, Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary, Chandrabhaga beach and areas surrounding Chilika lake may submerge or face permanent inundation due to increasing level of global sea levels, which has been projected to rise between 2 and 7 feet, and possibly more, in the next three decades.
Climate Central’s projections may appear scary but not far from truth given the increasing coastal erosion the State has witnessed in the last one decade. Satabhaya, a coastal village of Kendrapara, was almost devoured by the sea prompting Government to shift all residents to a new location.
The research, based on a new digital elevation model known as CoastalDEM, shows that a number of large cities, including Mumbai and Kolkata, will be at risk of increased flooding and inundation. The research paper has stated that about 150 million people are inhabiting the coastal lands across the globe which could be under water by mid century.
The research organisation said that this impact largely depends on key variables such as how much warming pollution humanity dumps into the atmosphere and how quickly the land-based ice sheets in Greenland, and especially Antarctica, destabilise.