In a reply to a question raised in the Rajya Sabha in the ongoing Parliament session, the government has answered that India is witnessing an average sea level rise of 1.7mm/yr.
- In the past fifty years, the Indian coast witnessed a sea-level rise of 8.5 cm, according to the data collected from the 10 major ports across the country.
- According to the global data, the sea level rise in India is half at present.
- The latest report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that globally the average annual sea level rise is 3.6mm per year and is accelerating.
- From the data collected from the major ports, Diamond Harbour in West Bengal recorded the highest annual average increase in sea level.
- At Kandla it is 3.18mm/yr, Haldia – 2.89mm/yr, Port Blair – 2.2mm/yr, Okha – 1.5mm/yr.
- These figures are not taken in the same period or for the same duration at all ports.
- But, the data gives a clear picture of the level of sea rise occurred over a longer period ranging from 28 years to 128 years.
- In its reply, the government noted that the sea level rise cannot be completely attributed to climate change as long term data on land subsidence or emergence are not available.
Sea level rise poses a great threat to India. People living in the coastal will have to face severe flooding, damage to arable land and loss of livelihood. There is no denying of the fact that climate change is playing its part in the sea level rise. Any future rise can be avoided if the world governments can keep the temperature rising to 2 degrees C from the current average.