Thursday, February 22, 2024

Cries of Help

By Diamay Klem D. Balacuit | Feature Writer

Vol. XCI No. 10

Nov. 22, 2019

Before, it was 7,107 islands. Now, it is already 7,641. The number of islands in our country has increased — same as sea levels. 

Sea level rise is getting worse. From its movement of about 3.2 centimeters per year, due to global warming, it accelerated to an extent that makes many islands to be at the verge of disappearing from the surface of the earth. As sea levels rise, the recently discovered 534 islands of our country will become one of the many islands to be at risk of submerging back to the ocean floor. 

Upside going downside

Global warming, due to extreme carbon emissions coming from human activities that is trapped in the atmosphere, causes the sea ice and ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic continue to melt. This will lead to the increase of sea levels — causing many islands to brink from its existence. The Philippines, being an archipelago and located in the equatorial region, is one of the countries that will suffer the most. 

The recent report of the National Mapping and Resource information showed an increase of the number of islands to our country. These islands that rose from the bottom are at risk of going back again to its original state due to the rising of sea levels. 

Aside from the risk that these new islands will face, coastal areas in some cities of Manila, Malabon, Navotas, and some parts of Bulacan province will gradually sink into the sea. This threat is affecting not only these places but also to the other coastal areas of our country. 

Submerging into the sea is not the only threat these places face. According to a ThoughtCo article, the rising sea levels throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world, where the Philippines is located, have inundated coastal ecosystems, decimated the local plant and wildlife populations, and coastal mangrove forests that act as important buffers against storms and tidal waves are giving way to ocean waters. This signifies that the rising sea level is affecting many living things. 

Climate Central, a non-profit organization based in New Jersey, released a study that states that up to 150 million people living in places below sea level worldwide will be affected by the sea level rise in 2050. This signifies that the places below sea level will be wiped out from the map — including the coastal places and islands of our country. These places, from being in the upside, will be in the downside in 2050 as projected by the said organization. 

A flicker of pain

Thirty years from now, the projected submersion will come. Many people will be affected by this. Things get worse as climate change intensifies. With the unending human activities, carbon emissions will not stop — leading to a two-meter rise of sea levels by the year 2100, doubling the predicted effects in 2050. 

Climate Central’s prediction is an indication for everyone to remember their actions — a reminder not to bring harm to the environment. It is an alarm for us to hear the pleas of the mother nature and to act towards for her safety. 


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