Scientists at the University of East Anglia in Great Britain have recorded that the submersion of coastal areas under water is several times faster. It turned out that this is not only due to sea level rise associated with global warming, but also due to land subsidence as a result of direct human activities. This is reported in an article published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
The rate of submersion of coastal land under water is estimated at 2.6 millimeters per year over the past two decades. However, according to new estimates, the rise in sea level in the already affected regions is four times faster and reaches 7.8-9.9 millimeters per year.
The rapid rates of subsidence in deltas and cities located in them are caused by human activities, including pumping out groundwater, extracting oil and gas, flood protection, and the construction of dams that prevent the formation of new sediments. Land subsidence affects 58 percent of the world's coastal population.
According to scientists, land subsidence was one of the main reasons for the transfer of the capital of Indonesia from Jakarta to the island of Borneo. Large coastal cities with millions of inhabitants will be the most vulnerable to high tides, low tides and storm surges. The rate of subsidence can be slowed down by implementing responsible groundwater management policies.