The rise in sea level is one of the most evident effects of climate change and it is already being observed in large cities such as New York, Canadian islands bathed by the Atlantic, countries with a tradition of defending themselves from waters such as the Netherlands or areas of Senegal , where there are already displaced people.
Some cities and regions of the planet are already being affected by climate change and are taking measures to counteract it since its advance is imminent and time is running out, not exactly in their favor.
Dams in Holland
The Netherlands is a city that is crossed by large rivers such as the Rhine, the Meuse and the Scheldt, and is protected by a network of dikes, since 59% of its territory is at risk of flooding, 26% is below the level from the sea and 29% can be flooded if rivers overflow. If the temperature continues to rise, reaching 2 ° C more, the North Sea could grow between one and two meters.
This important rise would mean closing, perhaps permanently, the barriers against the sea. Among the ideas considered today is to leave a certain entrance to the tides so that the sediments reinforce the coast and maintain the sea dikes and make the river dikes more resistant.
In order to protect the river banks, a strategy is being considered to lower the riverbed in some sections so that the channel supports more water. Or allow controlled flooding in pasture areas. It is already planned to reinforce the barrier that closes the South Sea with 75,000 cement blocks in the water, of 6,500 kilos each.
Displaced in Senegal
Saint Louis is or "was" a beautiful city of colonial architecture with about 300 houses. In the last five years,has been threatened by rising sea across West Africa, the houses have been damaged or destroyed by an ocean that 50 years ago was tens of meters away and that today is inside the houses.
In Goxu Bathe, a three-meter-high dike has been built that crosses the beach for two kilometers, but the population is suspicious.
Inland in Djougop, 580 people recently received the keys to their makeshift homes after living for more than three years in shabby tents in Khar Yalla.
They are the first displaced by coastal erosion to have been relocated. The World Bank plans to transfer 10,000 people here, an ambitious plan at a cost of 24.4 million euros.
New York gets down to business
The flood that accompanied Storm Sandy in 2012 exposed the most vulnerable points of the great metropolis. At the beginning of the year, an urban plan was presented to protect lower Manhattan from floods, which includes, among other measures, creating a containment dam and expanding the land to the river on Wall Street, at an estimated cost of 10 billion dollars (8,963.4 million euros).
Scientific studies reveal that 37% of the area may be flooded by 2050 if the effects of climate change continue to accelerate. Sea level will rise by almost two meters by 2100 and despite planned dikes and technical control strategies, 30% of the area would still be exposed.
The islands in Canada
The country is warming on average twice as much as the rest of the world and indigenous peoples are the main affected. One of the most serious examples is Lennox Island, in the province of Prince Edward Island, where some 450 members of the Micmac nation live.
Given the high costs of possible strategies to contain the entry of water to the island, the medium-term solution will be for its inhabitants to move to areas of the island away from the coasts.
With information from: