Melting of the polar ice caps in warm weather as well as the volume expansion of the oceans is believed to cause the rise in sea level consequent to global warming. The process seems to be already underway. The arctic sea ice is decreasing at the rate of about 2.8 percent per year since mid 1970s. Antarctic ice shelves are also reported to be melting at an accelerated rate already, with a high retreat rate of 3000 sq. km per year . The average rise in sea level during the 20th century has been estimated at 0.1 to 0.2 meters. A number of low-lying nations including many island states would be severely affected by the rise in sea level, possibly resulting in large-scale migration or resettlement of refugee populations52. Bangladesh, Nile Delta area, the Maldives, and the Netherlands are particularly likely candidates. The impact of sea level rise on developing nations without resources to implement adaptive measures is particularly serious.
In the US, the Everglades area in southern Florida is likely to be affected. A closely related concern is the possible intrusion of saline water into bodies
50 The anthropogenic emissions are small (about 5 percent of the total) compared to that generated by nature. But it is this part of the load amounting to over 400,000 tons of CO2 annually that has primarily affected the natural equilibrium of the carbon cycle on earth and resulted in CO2 increase in the atmosphere.
51 In the 1990s the record for global mean surface temperature was broken four times (1990, 1995, 1997 and 1998) making it the warmest decade on record for Northern Hemisphere in the millennium!
52 In Bangladesh over 21 million of the population live in areas likely to be affected by a 1-meter rise in sa level. The figure for China is about 70 million! http://www.climatechangesolutions.com/english/science/gimpact.htm
of fresh water. This would have serious implications on affected ecosystems, agriculture and drinking water supplies.
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