Effect of climate change on The Maldives

We all know that global warming is affecting our planet in some way or the other. One of its effects is the rising sea levels which threaten many nations which are located near water bodies.

The sea levels are going to rise at an accelerated rate as the global temperature continues to rise with this rate. And if we do not take any major steps globally, to control global warming, we all will have to bear the consequences. The American scientists at NOAA concluded that the global mean sea levels would rise by 8 inches by the year 2100 and even if we somehow reduce greenhouse emissions, the sea level rise is bound to happen. The main cause of the rising sea level is the melting of glaciers and ice sheets and the expansion of the water bodies due to rising temperatures.

The Maldives, an archipelagic state is made up of 26 atolls which themselves contain many smaller islands, it is located in the Indian Ocean. It inhabits about 5.31 lakh people and it has an area of 300 Km2.The impact of global warming could have this island nation fully submerged by the year 2100 because the sea levels could rise by 100 centimeters till then. The sea levels are rising globally and the Maldives is no exception to that, these rising sea levels will have a devastating effect on life, property.

The low elevation of the nation makes it more prone to tsunamis and hence, even a little rise in the sea level is dangerous for the island nation. The government plans to increase the economy, through the tourism industry, to tackle the effect of global warming. On October 17, 2009, then-President Mohammad Nasheed held an underwater cabinet meeting to highlight the effect global warming has been causing especially on the island nation. A document was signed during that meeting, asking all countries to reduce their carbon emissions.

The Maldives has been struggling to gain funds for tackling the rising sea level by building sea walls. Almost 80% of the land is only 1 meter above sea levels which makes it vulnerable to storms, tsunamis, and rising sea levels. The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami caused havoc and caused a loss of around 60% of its GDP.

Smaller states like the Maldives have not contributed to the greenhouse emissions, as they do not produce anything and their economy is based mainly on tourism and fishery, yet they have to face the consequences of global warming, it has faced heavy rainfalls, storms, and floods due to the global warming impact. The Maldives has to borrow a vast amount to build better infrastructure to combat the global warming effects and borrowing this huge amount will be alright as long as there are no further destructions and loss of property and life and economy.

The Maldives, a beautiful island nation, is facing the severe impact of global warming, so if you want to visit it at least once before you die, you have to do your part to reduce your carbon footprint.