Mangalore among port cities of the world that would witness sea level rise: NASA

Mangalore: Among the port cities of the world, Mangalore would witness a significant sea level rise due to polar glacier melting, NASA scientists have warned.

The coastal Karnataka town, however, is not alone. Kakinada on east coast and Mumbai on the west too would have the same fate and so would be many other Indian coastal towns, thanks to the melting of the ice sheets at Greenland and Antarctica.

This is the findings of a new research carried out by the scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on how the sea level rise – as a consequence to polar ice melting – would affect 293 port cities around the globe.

“Indian cities are far from Greenland and Antarctica, so they see sea-level rise on the order of about 3 mm per year, which is close to the maximum a city can see. In 100 years, this will be about 30 cm of sea-level rise,” Eric Larour, a JPL scientist from the earth sciences section, who led the study told DH.

Out of the three Indian cities, the rise at Mangalore would be the maximum at 2.94 mm per year. The annual rise in Mumbai would be 2.88 mm while for Kakinada it would be 2.87 mm.

The Karnataka port town would be encountering one of the highest sea level rises in the south east Asia, eclipsed only by Yangon (2.95 mm) and Colombo (3.02 mm).

Most of the Indian coastal towns are likely to face a similar level of sea level rise (around 30 cm rise in the next 100 years). “We should be aware and get prepared,” Larour said, when asked if it is a cause of alarm.

Earlier this month, a US government report came up with the startling findings of sea level rise of 18-20 cm since 1900, with the last 25 years making up almost half that increase.

The new study - published in a recent issue of Science Advances - is based on a computerised diagnostic tool, created by the JPL team to anticipate the consequences of large scale ice melting on the port cities around the world. “For India, it’s far from most ice masses, so it’s impacted heavily,” he said.

“The only place that mitigates the sea level rise is the Himalayan glaciers. For India only, the Himalayan glaciers are responsible for a slight decrease in sea-level,” Larour said. The impact of all the other masses of ice in the world are overwhelmingly impacting India in an adverse way.

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