Michael’s ‘High Tide’ provokes a conversation and inner conscious relating to rising sea levels as a result of global warming & the climate emergency. Rising sea levels are a severe impacts of climate change – threatening to inundate small-island nations and coastal regions by the end of the century and is one of the impacts with the largest uncertainties.
Across the globe, a number of the world’s cities and population lives near the cost, with 8 of the world’s largest cities near the coast (U.N. Atlas of the Oceans). Sea’s are rising as a result of two reasons:
Firstly, glaciers and ice sheets worldwide are melting as a result of increasing global temperatures, adding water into the ocean. Antarctic ice loss nearly quadrupled from 51 billion tons per year between 1992 – 2001 to 199 billion tons per year from 2012 – 2016
Secondly, rising global temperatures due to climate change, expand the volume of water particles in the ocean leading to a rising sea level.
Sea level rise visible today is the consequent of global warming that started from emissions released decades ago. There is a lag in changes to sea levels as these large bodies of water have a great heat capacity – warming up slowly and keeping the temperature for a long duration.
By the end of the century, global mean sea level is likely to rise at least one foot (0.3 meters) above 2000 levels, even if greenhouse gas emissions follow a relatively low pathway in coming decades
An estimated 90% of heat trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have been absorbed by the world’s seas. Further consequences of sea level rising due to climate change include loss of habitats, soil contamination with salt, wetland flooding, destructive erosion and more extreme weather events coinciding including dangerous hurricanes and typhoons.
The role of forests
There is a huge imperative not just to reduce and mitigate the most severe effects of climate change.
One cause of action is to reduce emissions, while also seeking to reduce and remove existing greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the atmosphere. Tropical reforestation can provide one of the best-value, most effective ways of capturing carbon, while protecting strained ecosystems and providing a nature-based solution to climate change.
“We do not protect the forests, the forests protect us”.
How far the oceans will rise depend on how we act and respond in the next few decades. Whether emissions can be restained and sharply reduced could mean the difference between manageable disruption and catastrophic inundation. Habitats including coastal wetlands, marshes and mangrove swamps are invaluable for slowing climate change. These habitats accumulate carbon forty times quicker per hectare than tropical forests. In the tropics, mangrove forests are cleared to grow crops or build aquaculture.
The EU FLEGT Action Plan
Through strengthening governance and enforcement, countries working toward FLEGT-licensing are activity protecting their forests from illegal logging and working to safeguard their forests. Engaging in responsible trade, ensuring that sustainable forest management is embedded into forestry practices and taking into account land rights and ownership, the FLEGT Action Plan plays a critical role in protecting one of our greatest carbon sequestration mechanisms.