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Saturday, January 31, 2009

China Expects A Sea Level Rise of About 0.13 Meter in Next 30 Years

A report is predicting that coastal areas will rise 0.13 meters in the next three decades. If that happens, the Chinese State Oceanic Administration (SOA) has suggested that the sea level along China's marine borders will drop.

The average increase in sea level has been about 2.6 millimeter per year in the past 30 years, 0.8 millimeter higher than the world's average, according to the administration's report of China's sea level changes.

According to the report, among all the coastal seas, the East China Sea saw the fastest rise in sea level, with an annual increase of 2.9 millimeter over the past three decades.

Li Xiaoming, director of the department of oceanic protection of the SOA, said that global warming, earth subsidence and unusual climate phenomena, all attributed to the rise of sea level.

SOA statistics show that over the past 30 years, air and sea temperatures along China's coastal areas rose 1.1 Celsius and 0.9 Celsius respectively.

Li said the further rise of sea level could add to damage caused by marine disasters such as storm tides, coast erosion, sea water encroachment and soil salinization.

The Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta, the Yellow River Delta and coastal areas of Tianjin, regions located along the coast with the country's most developed economy, are the key areas that will suffer the impacts of a rise in sea level, according to Li.

The SOA has suggested governments of coastal cities improve sea level monitoring and take the impact of sea level rise into consideration when making economic development plans, according to the report.

The SOA has also asked the governments to control groundwater exploitation, reinforce dikes and improve protection of coastal wetlands.

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