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Sea level rise: Is India ready for the challenge? by P Anima February 17,2020   |  Source: The Hindu Business Line

Oceans and seas are rising — millimetre by millimetre — the world over. Is India, with its extensive coastline and dense population, equipped to handle the impact of the phenomenon? While scientists struggle for accurate data, climate thinkers warn against a sluggish approach to solutions. The death of a rodent doesn’t always spark concern. But when the Australian government declared the extinction of the Bramble Cay melomys last February, the news created ripples.

For the species, endemic to the Great Barrier Reef, was killed chiefly by sea level rise (SLR). It was the second such casualty; the first, four years ago, was when five small islands, a part of the Solomon Islands in the west Pacific Ocean, sank and vanished from the face of the map. The phenomenon of rising seas has been observed all over the world, including India, and its impact explored in a special report published by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last September. The global mean sea level (GMSL) isn’t just rising but accelerating, says the chapter on ‘Sea level rise and implications for low-lying islands, coasts and communities’. Is India equipped to handle the dangers posed by SLR? The country’s coastline stretches 7,500-odd km and runs past nine states,

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