Climate change is affecting everyone on the planet, but the most severe crisis will be faced by the coastal areas. In this context, discuss the challenges faced by coastal cities due to climate change.

Given India’s vast coastline of more than 7500 Km. The coastal cities are very much susceptible to climate change. The effects of climate change are being witnessed in the form of changes in rainfall patterns, increased intensity & frequency of cyclones and other hazards along with the rising temperatures.

These events are going to affect coastal regions of India in the coming future in multiple ways.

Consequences:

  • Saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers because of the rising sea levels will affect the availability of fresh groundwater.
  • Increased cyclones severity.
  • Loss of fisheries, seaweed farming due to cyclones and the associated loss to livelihoods and food security could draw people into a vicious circle of poverty.
  • Displacement of families because of inundation of land due to sea-level increase could crowd the inner areas leading to urban sprawl or slum development.
  • Deterioration of coastal ecosystems like coral reefs and wetlands due to increasing sea temperatures could play havoc to the biodiversity and thus affect the food web.
  • Decline in coastal tourism industry.
  • Loss of coastal land-dwelling animals because of their inundation or inability to adapt to the rising temperatures e.g. sea turtles, crocodiles etc.
  • Rise in incidences of vector-borne diseases like malaria, diarrhea etc because of the damage to sanitation systems and excess water intruding in the regions.
  • Increased migration from coastal areas to inner areas.
  • Increased risk of refugee crisis from nearby islands and low-lying countries like Bangladesh.

Thus planning to deal with climate change with active collaboration at international levels should be the way forward to deal with the crisis that could ensue with changes in climate. 

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