Climate change is not a myth and its dangerous effects were visible across the world in 2022 with deadly widfires, biblical floods, and unbearable heatwaves hitting almost every country on the planet. A new report now indicates that the climate crisis is also causing a dangerous rise in sea levels and the effects are already visible along the coasts of the Mediterranean sea.
Researchers have found that in the last two decades sea-level rise on Italy’s Amalfi coast has risen twice as compared to Spain’s Costa del Sol, and understanding the causes of this spatial non-uniformity is crucial to the success of coastal adaptation strategies. The findings indicate that the water levels in the Adriatic, Aegean, and Levantine seas have increased by 8 centimeters in the last 20 years.
The Mediterranean is among the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change, with 86 per cent of the region’s World Heritage sites already at risk from coastal flooding and erosion.
The findings have been published in the journal Advancing Earth And Space Sciences, which states that since 2000, sea level in the Adriatic, Aegean, and Levantine Seas has been rising faster than anywhere else in the Mediterranean Sea, due to changes in the circulation of the basin.
Researchers analysed data from tide gauges and satellites with ice melt measurements and combined them together to better understand the changes in the Mediterranean since 1960.
“After 1989, the Mediterranean sea level started accelerating rapidly, driven by both thermodynamic changes and land-ice loss. The rate of sea-level rise shows considerable spatial variation in the Mediterranean Sea, primarily reflecting changes in the large-scale circulation of the basin,” researchers said in the paper.
A study published in Nature, earlier this year, indicated that the global sea levels are expected to rise faster than anticipated as thinning of ice in the Greenland basin is pumping water into the seas. Researchers found that the melting of Greenland’s largest basin could contribute up to six times more to global sea-level rise by 2100 than climate models currently project.