Odisha’s Several Coastal Areas May Submerge By 2050, Research Reveals

31 October 2019


Bhubaneswar: Several coastal areas of the State under Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak and Balasore districts are at risk of getting submerged or at least face frequent flooding by the year 2050 due to rising sea level caused by global warming.

This shocking revelation was made in a research paper by a science organization, Climate Central, based in New Jersey. However, the projections don't account for future population growth or land lost to coastal erosion.

The paper further revealed that Odisha’s coastline from Ganjam to Balasore is at risk after falling below the elevation of average annual coastal flood by 2050. It could also severely harm the natural ecosystem of Bhitarkanika National Park, Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary, Chandrabhaga beach, and areas around Chilika Lake. These areas face the chances of being permanently submerged.

A report in The New York Times said that the research papers’ authors have developed "a more accurate way of calculating land elevation based on satellite readings, a standard way of estimating the effects of sea-level rise over large areas, and found that the previous numbers were far too optimistic."

As per the new calculations, rising seas could affect three times more population by 2050 than it was previously thought, and India’s several cities such as Mumbai, Chennai Kolkata, Surat are at a huge risk.

Southern Vietnam could all but disappear with most of New York getting submerged and Bangkok imperilled.

Overall, the research shows that countries should start preparing now for more citizens to relocate internally, according to Dina Ionesco of the International Organization for Migration, an intergovernmental group that coordinates action on migrants and development.

While the submerging of low-lying lands shall lead to several thousands of people losing their livelihoods, it could also trigger regional conflicts where countries or states share a border.