12 Indian cities, among them Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai will go underwater by 2050 due to sea-level rise. As the polar ice melts and the sea level rises, we are faced with the grim prospect that once again a large part of our landmass may quite literally become ocean.
The first few feet of sea-level rise will displace over 100 million people worldwide and turn these major coastal cities in India into New Orleans as it was just before Hurricane Katrina. It will sink below sea level and be at the mercy of super cyclones that will become more intense and frequent with each passing year.
As sea level rises, and climate change happens such a situation is a foregone conclusion, and we may be past the opportunity to turn around the situation. Global warming has already triggered a sea-level rise that could reach 20 to 80 feet.
Ice sheets in the polar regions are disintegrating at an alarming rate and for the first time, we have witnessed the ice-free Arctic. Now a simulated online tool has predicted the changes for a particular period in the future. The Coastal Risk Screening Tool gives predictions centered on the selected year.
A look into 2050 was grim, to say the least, especially for three of the major coastal cities, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. The trend that we are already witnessing will result in sea-level rise across the planet, forever submerging vast coastal zones of Planet Earth. India with a coastline of 4.670.6 miles will be especially vulnerable.
Sea Level Rise Will Affect All States In The Coastal Regions
The tool has been devised by Climate Central and predicts that the western coastline that includes the state of Maharashtra will be among the worst affected. It includes the city of Mumbai, the financial capital of India with a population of 12.5 million. The graphical depiction predicts that almost 65% of the city would go underwater permanently. It includes the low-lying areas of Colaba and Dadar. Even Bandra and other suburbs in the western parts of the city will be inundated. Other coastal regions like the Konkan-Malvan stretch, Murud, Chiplun, and Malvan are also shown as severely affected.
The neighboring state of Gujarat will also experience the ravages of sea level rise and areas like Bhavnagar, Surat, and Baruch will be affected badly. But the worst affected would be the Kutch, Bhuj, and Gandhidham. Goa to the south will also be affected with the northern part of the state experiencing a considerable sea-level rise. Corlim, Dongrim, Chorao Island, Mapusa, and Madkai will be severely affected. South Goa will remain relatively unaffected.
Several regions of coastal Karnataka will see a substantial sea level rise. Major regions of Kerala will also go underwater while further south, Kerala could experience frequent periodic inundation. The coastal regions of Tamil Nadu including Mahabalipuram, Kalpakkam, which has an atomic power station, and Chennai, with a population of 7.1 million. Bengal and Odisha will be equally affected with the port city of Paradeep and many other coastal regions going under seawater.
The worst impact of sea level rise will be felt by Kolkata north of the Sundarbans mangrove forests. Most areas of the low-lying city were shown as submerged in the study. The southern suburbs and the islands of the Sundarbans delta will be permanently inundated. Equally, affected will be the districts further south including east and west Midnapore and its rich coastal belt.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has painted an identical dire picture for India. India is already facing drastic changes in environmental factors and weather patterns and it is predicted that 12 cities on the extended coastal regions of India are on the list of cities that will be inundated due to sea level rise if we do not take global warming seriously and do nothing to reverse the situation while there is still time.