Friday, December 22, 2006

Rising sea levels engulfing Indian world heritage islands

Rising sea levels engulfing Indian world heritage islands concerns islands in the Sunderbans that are being submerged by rising water levels. Where are the Sunderbans? Glad you asked because I didn't know until reading this article...

The article describes these as being islands in the Ganges river delta, an area shared between India and Bangaladesh. There are 102 islands, officially, in the group. There would be 102 islands except unfortunately 2 of the islands have gone missing. The two missing islands were home to 10,000 people, and all told there are 1.8 million people living on these islands.

This river delta made for one of the more alarming scenes in An Inconvenient Truth (DVD). While discussing the possibility of ocean levels rising are shown dramatizations of the effects of a 20 foot sea level rise in several locations, including the Ganges river delta. All told there are over 100,000,000 people who would be affected just in that one area, largely because that is one of the most overpopulated areas in the world. Another of the dramatizations pictured my home area, Silicon Valley.

The environment is not waiting for George Bush to leave office.

UPDATE: Further coverage from The Independant (London) The time is now. Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island this article refers to this event as the first recorded disappearance of an inhabited island. The island is so remote that researchers didn't learn about its disappearance for a couple years. Now some neighboring islands are also in danger of being swallowed by the ocean and all told 75,000 people are in immediate danger of being made homeless as their islands are swallowed.

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