A study has revealed to us that over the last century, the sea surface of the world has increased between 10 – 20 cm. Over the past century, burning fossil fuels and other natural human activities have released large amounts of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. The rise in surface temperature of the earth is one of the consequences of this emission, and you need to know that about 80% of this additional heat is absorbed by the oceans. Look for more information about Main Causes of Rising Ocean Temperatures.
What causes ocean level rise?
Ocean level rise is caused by four main factors, all due to the ongoing global climate change:
- Thermal expansion – When the temperature heats up, the sea water will expand. About half the sea level rise in the last century was caused by a warm ocean that seeks to occupy more space. You also can see information about Uses of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion.
- Melting of glaciers and polar ice caps – Large ice formations, such as glaciers and polar ice caps naturally melt every summer. In winter, snow, especially those formed from the evaporation of seawater, is generally sufficient to offset melting. Now, the continuous rise in temperatures caused by global warming causes the summer melt to become larger while reducing the amount of snow that falls in the winter. So as to speed up the coming of spring. This imbalance generates a significant impact on the seawater evaporation ratio and causes ocean levels to rise.
- The loss of ice from Greenland and Western Antarctica – Just as with glaciers and ice caps, the increase in heat also causes the giant ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica to melt faster. Scientists also believe that meltwater from above and seawater that seeps at the bottom of the layer, effectively melting the ice and causing it to be easily released and drifted into the sea. Warming ocean temperatures cause a giant ice sheet stretching from Antarctica, melting from the bottom, weakening, until it finally cracked.
- The fall of ground level is one of the causes of ocean level becomes higher until it is easy to pairs and flood the coastal areas.
What is the impact of rising ocean levels?
When ocean level rise is accelerating as it is today, a slight increase alone can cause damaging effects on coastal habitats. As seawater reaches further into the land, it can cause erosion, wetland flooding, agricultural land contamination, and loss of fish, bird and plant habitat.
Higher ocean levels can also cause the storm to become bigger and stronger, and the waves will sweep through everything it passes through.
In addition, hundreds of millions of people living in coastal areas will be vulnerable to flooding. Ocean level rise will require them to leave home and move. Lowland islands can be completely submerged.
Ways to stop rising ocean levels!
Once you know the cause and effect of ocean level rise, this surely makes you have to know how to stop rising ocean levels. So, look at the list below about the steps we have collected to stop ocean level rise.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Current greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere will continue to trigger ocean rising levels in the next thousand years. A recent study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters analyzed the model of ocean level rise in the next thousand years by considering the conditions of the ice sheet and the rise in the earth’s temperature. The results of this study indicate ocean will rise at least 1.1 meters in 3000 due to the existing greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
Professor Philippe Huybrechts stated “the content of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere is really toxic to the world’s climate. Whatever we do, which has an impact on the climate, will have a long impact on the ice sheet and ocean level rise. Humans should keep the concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions as low as possible. One of the most realistic steps is to reduce emissions drastically. The greater the impact of climate change that can be reduced, the greater the adverse impact of the increase in the ocean that can be prevented “.
- Build a wider foundation
As mentioned above, one of the causes of ocean level rise is due to the decrease of ground level. So, one of the ways to prevent the decline of the ground surface is to build a wider foundation for a big city. So that houses and buildings that are established not standing on the ground but on the foundations that have been made before. This foundation will have 2 functions that are as a weight support building on it as well as an irrigation system. Thus, the pressure on the soil surface will decrease and prevent ocean level rise.
- Saving electricity
Global warming is the most important cause of ocean level rise. So, it makes sense if we make efforts to tackle global warming this will be one of the ways to stop rising ocean levels. One of them is to save electricity. Because indirectly we have reduced the CO2 levels in the atmosphere because most of the CO2 gas is generated from fossil fuel power plants. For more information see Global Warming in Ocean.
- Planting trees or reforestation
Planting trees or reforestation is a step to balance CO2 gas levels in the atmosphere layer. Because the tree will absorb CO2 gas to perform the process of photosynthesis and will release oxygen into the air. This will make the air in the layers of the atmosphere more cool and global warming slightly overcome and prevent ocean level rise.
- Not cutting trees in the forest carelessly
As mentioned earlier, trees are plants that absorb CO2 gas. So, if we cut it down, cut in large quantities, it will pose a danger if the forests on earth continue to be over-exploited, and the effects of global warming will worsen as no one absorbs CO2. By reducing the impact of illegal logging we also help to preserve the forest that is currently experiencing many impacts due to forest destruction. Thus, trees remain in place to absorb CO2 gas and reduce the impact of global warming that affects the decrease of ocean level rise.
- Using Alternative Energy
We can use alternative energy to minimize the things that can cause global warming. For example, replace the use of fossil-fueled power plants with energy released by sunlight, geothermal, wind or water.
- Not using a tool that produces CFC gas
This CFC gas is usually produced by air conditioning equipment. Please note that CFC currently contributes 20% of the greenhouse effect. Therefore, the use of CFC should be stopped.
- Reduce the use of fossil fuel vehicles
Fossil fuel vehicles, such as cars or motorcycles, are the largest CO2 contributor in urban areas. With a large number of private vehicle use, it will lead to wasteful use of fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide emissions. But if we reduce the use of vehicles, then at least we have reduced carbon dioxide emissions issued by these vehicles.
Excessive waste burning is also one of the causes of global warming. So to overcome this problem, there are several options. One of them is by doing reuse. Reuse is a way of utilizing waste or reusing goods that are not used. For example, it would be better to use a reusable handkerchief instead of using tissue paper.
Recycle is one way to avoid excessive burning of rubbish. Recycle means recycling items that can not be used into goods that provide benefits. For example, organic waste can be used as compost and non-organic rubbish such as plastic bottles can be created into pencil boxes or potted plants.
Other ways to stop rising ocean levels :
- Another study has shown that stopping burning coal may limit ocean level rise.
- Planting mangroves in places likely to experience tidal water. See about Causes of Ocean Tides Rise and Fall.
- Reduce greenhouse use – prevent global warming.
- To prevent coastal sand falling into the trench in the middle of the ocean then plant more coral reef seeds along the coast. The coral sea is also used to strengthen the edge of the beach until it is not easily affected by abrasion.
- Reduce emissions of pollutants – black carbon, methane, ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons. See more about Ocean Pollution.
Those are ways to stop rising ocean levels. Do the things you can do every day to prevent it like the steps that have been described to overcome global warming which is the main cause of ocean level rise.