Sea-level changes in China—past and future: their impact and countermeasures
With the rapidly increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the resulting “greenhouse effect”, the global climate of the next century will get warmer and there will be dramatic environmental changes. One effect that human beings must face seriously is the rapidly rising sea level, especially in low-lying coastal plain and delta regions with dense populations and highly advanced industry and agriculture.
China has not only an extensive land area, but also a long, sinuous and wandering coastline characterised by a large number of large and small islands; big cities and industrial regions such as Shanghai, Tianjin and Guangzhou are located on coastal plains and deltas. Therefore, the history, characteristics and tendency for sea-level changes in China, and the impact on environment and engineering, should all be studied carefully and the general and specific policies discussed and implemented strictly; Chinese scientists, government officals and departmental personnel responsible for developing strategies and policies must pay much attention to the prospect of sea-level rise.
Assessment of the history and characteristics of Quaternary and present-day sea-level changes in China allows a preliminary estimate to be made on the possible tendency of future sea-level changes and potential impacts; account is also taken of crustal movement and land subsidence.
KeywordsLand Subsidence Crustal Movement Taihu Lake Yangtze Delta Xisha Island
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