yesSea levels along China’s coast are rising faster than the global average, with some regions experiencing a rise of almost 5mm a year, according to data from satellites and tide gauges. A new study investigates what is causing the localized increase and identifies which communities are the most vulnerable.
Global warming is causing sea levels to rise around the world, at an average rate now of 3.6mm per year (compared to 1.4mm per year for most of the 20th century). The oceans are interconnected and water sloshes between them, but the rate of sea level rise is not evenly distributed. China’s seas are experiencing a significantly higher rate of sea level rise, with the average rise along the Chinese coastline now at 3.9mm a year.
writing on the Journal of Geophysical Research: OceansDongxu Zhou, of the ministry of natural resources in Qingdao, and colleagues suggest possible causes for the higher rate of increase could include faster warming in the Chinese seas, lower air pressure over the region, large volumes of runoff of fresh water in the Chinese seas, anomalies in the wind and coastal currents. More than 40% of China’s population and 60% of its industry are located in low-lying coastal areas, making it one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to sea level rise.