New Delhi, Jan 16: Chinese officials have warned that sea level is rising at an "alarming rate" in the big cities of the country and depleting groundwater is threatening coastal economies.
Citing State Oceanic Administration's (SOA) 2007 sea-level monitoring report, agency's spokesman Li Haiqing said that two key cities, Shanghai and Tianjin, are among those facing the biggest threat. According to report, in the last 30 years, the sea level rose by 115 mm in Shanghai, while the country's overall sea level has risen 90 mm with the average offshore surface temperature going up by 0.9 degree Celsius.
The report further said that Tianjin, which is a major port of the country, has seen the level rise as much as 196 mm, whileabout the length of a new pencil.
In contrast to the global average of 1.7 mm rise in sea level every year between 1975 and 2007, the Chinese sea level rose 2.5 mm every year, the China Daily reported.
The SOA predicts that in the coming decade, China's coastal sea level is likely to rise by 32 mm, or 3.2 mm every year.
Experts feel that sea level rise across the world cannot be reversed, so the city officials and planners of the country must take measures to adapt to the change.
Apart from global warming, surface subsidence can also be attributed for the threat of floods in Shanghai and Tianjin.
Liaoning, Shandong and Zhejiang provinces saw sea levels rise about 100 mm, while in Fujian and Guangdong provinces, including the area about the Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong, the rise was 50-60 mm.