Wednesday, 12 May 2010 10:27

Higher Temperatures, Rising Sea Levels, and Disappearing Islands

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Yes, you read that correctly. Entire masses of land are disappearing. More specifically, climate change experts have recently revealed that Nigerian islands in the Niger Delta region have been lost, and that global warming is to blame.  Climate change is real, and the effects are being felt as we speak. The warning signs were first noticed twenty years ago, when two professors at the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research cautioned that the nation was losing coastal lands at an alarming rate. Chidi Ibe and Benjamin Akpati asserted that the combination of weathering from the ocean and rising sea levels would completely erode the islands. Now, Ibe’s and Akpati’s fears have been realized, and there remains concern that even more islands could be lost. Much of the discussion and literature of climate change have tended to zoom in on one specific effect or solution. Additionally, research and science often cite the impact that climate change will have five, ten, or even twenty years down the road. For most people, it is hard to put that into perspective. The effects of global warming are not a “one and done” deal; humans are directly contributing to global warming, which in turn is causing a rise in overall temperatures across the world and rising sea levels. Now, experts including Victor Fodeke, head of the Federal Ministry of Environment’s Special Climate Change Unit in Nigeria confirm that rising seas and erosion are to blame for the loss of islands. Nigerians who were once living or working on the islands have since relocated. Such a move has taken a negative toll on the displaced. Global warming is setting off a chain reaction that adversely affects our ecosystem and beyond.
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