China: Rising sea levels threaten Shanghai|
Posted: 1/17/2008 2:10 AM
BEIJING (AP) — Sea levels off Shanghai and other
Chinese coastal cities are rising at an alarming rate, leading to
contamination of drinking water supplies and other threats, China's State
Oceanic Administration reported Thursday.
Waters off the industrial port city of Tianjin, 60
miles southeast of Beijing, rose by 7.72 inches over the past three
decades, the administration said.
Seas off the business hub of Shanghai have risen by
4.53 inches over the same period, the report said.
Administration experts said global climate change and
the sinking of coastal land due to the pumping of ground water were the
major causes behind rising water levels.
"Sea level rises worldwide cannot be reversed, so
Chinese city officials and planners must take measures to adapt to the
change," Chen Manchun, an administration researcher, was quoted as saying
on the central government's official website.
Globally, rising seas threaten to submerge low-lying
island groups, erode coastlines and force the construction of vast new
levees. Some scientists have warned that melting of the vast glaciers of
Greenland could cause a 13-foot rise in sea levels in coming
Higher sea levels and sinking land caused by dropping
water table levels complicate Shanghai's already difficult task of
providing safe water supplies to its 20 million people due to salt water
leaching into its aquifer, the administration said.
Along China's 11,185 miles of coastline, sea levels
have risen by an average of 3.54 inches, while average coastal water
temperatures were slightly warmer, the report said.
Waters levels have risen more quickly in the
country's north, the report said, but gave no reasons for the
Meanwhile, the administration's China 2007 Sea
Environmental Quality Report, also released this week, showed a marked
deterioration in coastal water quality as a result of pollution from human
Original article: USA Today - Weather
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