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Thursday, May 5, 201 1

DAILY TRUST

environment@dailytrust.com HOTliNE: 08036417326

Climate change and rise in sea level By Tina A. Hassan CLIMATE change is no doubt one of the m ajo r challenges facing the human race today, especially in the midst of tight competition among leading countries of the world in the areas of technological advancement and industrialization. Rising sea levels is one of the major co nsequences of global warming, a component of climate which has continued to threaten aquatic life, terrestrial life and ultimately man, who obviously depends on these components of nature for daily existence. Scientific explanations so far tied this occurrence to the increasing melting down of ice in th e polar regions of the world due to gradual warming up of the envi ronment because the climate of the earth has gradually changed

over time and the main reason for the change is the increase in the presence of carbon and other greenhouse gases like methane in the atmosphere .thereby destabilizing atmospheric balance. When the environment begins

to get warmer in the polar regions of the world (icy areas), the ice sheets and glaciers (They are the world's largest reservoir of fresh water), holding approximately 75% that helps reduce the amount of flowing water ill the environment begins to melt down, thereby increasing the quantity or level of water in the seas. The sea level gradually begins to rise, increases in flow ' and as this continues, the rivers are overflowed, aquatic animals are displaced and farmlands are washed away as the excess water fwds an escape passage

Human activities that are 'essentially causing this harm to the earth include the continual comb ustion (burning) of fossil. fuels. Industrialization is adduced to account for a hi gher percentage of carbon presence in the atmosphere and the most industrialized countries are said to be the largest emitters of carbon or in Simple term, the major cause of the earth's dilemma, global warming and eventually, global change because ofindu~trialization climate change

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RESIDENTS of coastline areas of Lagos are forced to move away from home due to coastland erosion ahd floods. is responsible for this. climate change is manifested in severe drought due to uneven The impact of climate change is surely being felt by farmers, fisher- . or break in rainfall pattern and sometimes, such countries expemen, coastline dwellers and other rience drought especially in the peopl~.",h03r~ const!!!)t interaction with other components ofbiorainyseas.ons.·..,;·,. . . FlqodS'wel-1!"recorded .;iirnany diversity apart from the immediate envjronment they live in. northern parts of the couili'fi:1ast In order to bring end to tllis year, leading to loss of cropS fIr vast global threat, the Kyoto protocol farmlands, destruction of homes and the outb reak of diseases as well urges industrialized countries like the United States of America, as d eath in extreme cases. Environment experts working China and Japan among olhers to cu t down their amount of carbon with th e N igerian Institute Oceaemissions in.order to reduce glonography and Marine Research bal warming while most develop· (NIOMAR) have described the ing countries are urged to preserve impact of the rise in sea level in their forest reserves which can help the coastal regions of th e country as a 'disaster in Waiting' except of reduce th e excess atmospheriC car· bOil, avoid bush burning and used course stringent action is taken in more environmentally friendly immediately to curtail such impacts. ways. At a recent climate change tour Extracling defmite commitments from tl, ese industrialized for journalists in Nigeria and other countries, Dr. Lanre Awoshika said nations on cutting down their carbon em issions has proven a Lagos Slate is one of2s states in the world that are said to be vulnerable hard nut to crack despite efforts by the United Nations Framework ' to increasing sea levels. Convention on Climate Change H e said Lagos is characterized (UNFCC) to get commitments, by lowland coastal areas and sandy most heavy carbon emitting beaches that have already suffered nations are shrinking from leadserious impacts of climate change ing the war against this threat due to high tide and poor drainFor countries that are located age ofits lowland feature, while the in the tropical regions of the wo rld drainage channels to the lagoon such as Nigeria, the impacts of are poor.

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TEMPERATUER rise due to climate change causing melting of polar galcier costing this polar bear its habitat

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This means tllat the coastal regions h ave gradually been washed away and more people living along its lines forced to relocate or move farther away from the areas of the sea that are affected. In his opinion, Nigeria needs about 50 years of data to be able to determine the level of sea rise in terms of cr~dible working data because each year. more land area is being lost to th e sea as the impact of global warm ing continue to ri se. Dr. Regina O lorunsho, a geophysics expert explained that the impacts of rising sea levels has been worsened by human act ivities such as the various fo r.rns of illegal sand mining at the shores of water bodies. According to the climate institute webs ite, a small rise in sea levels can have a dramatic effect on the environment by destabilizing aquatic life, causing severe water sho rtages, leading to loss of so urce ofli velihood for people living in coastal regions and fl oods among o thers. Meanwhile in the far northern part of the country, the impact of climate change is being felt in the forms of extreme heat leading to loss of soil water, drought and wind erosion.

Strong winds fan heath land fires in UK A record·breaking dry spell is hampering efforts to tackle heath land fires which continue to burn across the UK. Strong wind s are also preventing fire-fighters and emergen cy workers from getting to grips with the flames. Hundreds of workers h ave been called in to fight blazes

in areas of Scotland, England and Northern Ireland, with helicopters even being used to drop water in the worst affec ted areas. Weather forecasters warn there is little chance of any "substantial" rain falling before Thursday, which could help dampen the fires.

Around 150 fire- fighters have been called out to tl,e SWinley Forest area of Berkshire where a numb er of schools and roads h ad to be closed. [n Lancashire, there have been fires on moo rland in Belmont, near Bolton, as well as O rmskirk and Bacup. [n the Highlands, w ildfires

started over the ,veekend and are still raging. The local fire service says there is "a continuing severe risk of further fires occurring", and they could quickly change direction. [n Northern Ireland, police were investigating reports of a man seen with a petrol can close to one of the worst gorse fires for

years in the Mou rn ~ Mountains. Another two youths we re spotted lighting fires in south Armagh, according to reports from the Police Service of Northern Ireland. It h as been the h ottest April on record , which saw only 21 per cent of the expected rainfall in England and Wales.


DAILY TRUST, 05 MAY, 2011