A study shows that sea level rise caused by climate change could reach one meter by 2100 in large parts of the archipelago. Major cities in the north of the country are at risk of frequent floods.
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Millimeter by millimeter, the teeth of the sea gnaw the archipelago. A study released on Monday (May 2) shows that sea levels are rising twice as fast as expected in parts of New Zealand. A pace that makes the country less time to adapt to climate change, which threatens the country’s two largest cities.
According to the data collected by Search software NZ SeaRise (In English), some areas along the coastline are already dropping by three to four millimeters per year. The reason: Climate change, which is melting ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica and causing thermal expansion of the oceans. But not only. The archipelago’s territory is also sinking. If sea levels rise by about half a meter globally by 2100, that rise is expected to be about a meter in large parts of the archipelago, according to Tim Naish, a professor at Wellington University in Victoria who co-led the program.
The most populous North Island is very exposed, especially on its southern coast. The capital, Wellington, could see a sea level rise of 30 cm by 2040, which was not expected before 2060. Auckland, the country’s largest city, is also particularly vulnerable.
“We still have time, but we no longer have time to sit idly by.”world said. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said authorities were already considering relocating some residents and infrastructure, and called on New Zealanders to do their best to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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