Rising seas are a ‘death sentence’ for some nations

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Tuesday that sea levels will rise significantly even if global warming is “miraculously” limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius – and said it is likely the Earth will be on a warming path equivalent to “a. death sentence” for countries at risk of such a rise.

Every fraction of a degree counts, since sea level rise could double if the temperature rises by 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and will rise exponentially with further temperature increases, the head of Nations said United. He spoke at the opening of a United Nations Security Council meeting on sea level rise, which heard from 75 countries, and said the council has a vital role to play in building support for action to change combat climate.

In any case, countries such as Bangladesh, China, India and the Netherlands are at risk, and major cities on all continents will be seriously affected, including Cairo, Lagos, Maputo, Bangkok, Dhaka, Jakarta , Mumbai, Shanghai, Copenhagen, London. , Los Angeles, New York, Buenos Aires and Santiago, he added.

The World Meteorological Organization released figures on Tuesday, cited by Guterres, that say average global sea level will rise by about 2 meters to 3 meters (about 6.5 to 9.8 feet) over the next 2,000 years if warming limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius. With a 2-degree Celsius increase, seas could rise up to 6 meters (19.7 feet), and with a 5-degree Celsius increase, seas could rise up to 22 meters (72 feet), according to the WMO.

“Our world is exceeding the 1.5 degrees warming limit required for a livable future, and with current policies, it is looking at 2.8 degrees – a death sentence for vulnerable countries,” Guterres said.

Guterres said the danger is particularly acute for the nearly 900 million people who live in coastal zones at low altitudes, or one in 10 people worldwide.

The consequences are unimaginable, Guterres said: Low-lying communities and entire countries could disappear, the world would see a mass loss of entire populations on a biblical scale and competition would intensify for fresh water, land and other resources.

Guterres wants to draw the world’s attention to the dangers of climate change, to encourage action. In October, he warned that the world was in a “life-or-death struggle” for survival as “climate chaos looms” and accused the world’s 20 richest countries of failing to do enough to stop the planet from overheating. In November, he said the planet is heading towards irreversible “climate chaos” and urged world leaders to get the world back on track to reduce emissions, keep commitments on climate finance and help developing countries accelerate their transition to renewable energy.

The landmark Paris agreement adopted in 2015 to address climate change called for global temperatures to rise by a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial times, and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Guterres said the world must address the climate crisis as the root cause of rising seas, and the Security Council has a critical role to play in building the political will needed.

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