Saturday, May 17, 2014

Rising Sea Levels

There was some news going the rounds about how Western glaciers in Antarctica are melting at a rate faster than previously thought.

The issue here is that this melting was not taken into account for most estimates of global sea rise over the next century. The article states that it is now likely by 2100 sea levels will have risen by 3 feet.

What would that mean for a place like Qatar? It’s a relatively flat country and has a lot built up on the coast. I found an interesting website, Floodmap, that can help visualize what various sea level changes would mean.

At a 1m sea level rise . . .

The Pearl will be flooded;
parts of Lusail and Katara will be swamped;
portions of West Bay will be swamped;
about half of the land of the new Hamad International Airport will be underwater.

More shocking is what happens further south, large portions of Messaied will flood with even a slight increase in the sea levels, and the area near the border starts to flood as well (if you increase the sea level rise to 5 metres Qatar essentially becomes an island).

Qatar may need to start factoring sea level rises into account when it's doing its construction, otherwise it's coastal developments will be flooded within 50-100 years.

Try Floodmap out on areas you know as well. Needless to say sealevel rise in Bangladesh will have catastrophic results.

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