Mangalore among world port cities believed to see sea level rise: NASA

Mangalore is one of the port cities in the world that is believed to experience a significant rise in sea level due to melting polar glaciers, NASA scientists have warned.

The coastal city of Karnataka, however, is not alone. Kakinada on the east coast and Mumbai on the west would also meet the same fate, along with many other Indian coastal towns, thanks to the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps.

These are the findings of new research by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory into how sea level rise – as a result of melting polar ice – would affect 293 port cities around the world.

“Indian cities are far from Greenland and Antarctica, so they see sea levels rise in the order of about 3mm per year, which is close to the maximum a city can see. In 100 years, it will be about 30 cm of sea level rise, ”Eric Larour, JPL scientist in the earth sciences section, who led the study, told DH.

Of the three Indian cities, the increase in Mangalore would peak at 2.94mm per year. The annual increase in Mumbai would be 2.88 mm while for Kakinada it would be 2.87 mm.

The port city of Karnataka is said to experience one of the highest sea level rises in Southeast Asia, eclipsed only by Yangon (2.95mm) and Colombo (3.02mm).

Most Indian coastal cities are likely to experience a similar level of sea level rise (around 30cm rise in the next 100 years). “We need to be aware and prepare,” Larour said, when asked if this was a cause for alarm.

Earlier this month, a U.S. government report made surprising findings of an 18- to 8-inch sea level rise since 1900, with the past 25 years accounting for nearly half of that increase.

The new study – published in a recent issue of Science Advances – is based on a computerized diagnostic tool, created by the JPL team to anticipate the consequences of large-scale melting ice on port cities around the world. “For India it’s far from most ice masses so it has a big impact,” he said.

The only relief for India is the presence of the Himalayas, which to some extent mitigates the impact of the melting polar ice.

“The only place that eases sea level rise is the Himalayan glaciers. For India alone, the Himalayan glaciers are responsible for a slight drop in sea level, ”Larour said. The impact of all the other ice masses in the world is massively affecting India in a negative way.

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Celebrate the cultural dynamics of port cities

The relationship between ports and bustling urban centers is often characterized by an equal mix of stress over land use, pollution and disruptive noise levels, as well as mutually beneficial linkages in the form of employment opportunities. , transport links, tourism and, of course, trade.

Today, most European ports are located in or in close proximity to urban areas. The ESPO Trends in EU Ports Governance 2016 report underlined that “finding the optimal balance between port operations, urban developments and well-being is one of the main challenges for port managers today”.

The European Commission estimates that a port economic function can only be maintained if its societal function plays a central role in its long-term development. Seaports also play a crucial role in the wider European Union TEN-T initiative, which aims to integrate urban areas and bring them closer together through increased connectivity across the continent.

In 2009, the ESPO Award was created as a way to celebrate and promote innovative port authority projects that improve the societal integration of ports. The award became thematic in 2011 and has since explored areas such as creative communication, nature in ports, engagement with local schools and universities, and heritage.

This year’s edition focuses on the artistic and cultural involvement of the port and will go to the ‘port that best achieves the societal integration of the port with the city or the wider community in which it is located, through the involvement in art or culture ”, according to ESPO. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in November in Brussels.

A look at past winners shows the many ways a port can maximize its beneficial impact on the city it serves.

Protect valuable ecosystems

Last year, BremenPorts in Germany won the “Nature in Ports” award for its Luneplate project, hailed as “an excellent example of an integrated approach combining economy and ecology”.

The port was the first to implement wide and varied tidal habitats behind the main sea wall in conjunction with a special flood dam, thus protecting the UNESCO World Heritage area “Wadden Sea”.

A lesson to make a difference

The port often serves as a springboard for employment, training and learning, as the Port of Dublin proved in 2015 with its Community Education Support Program, which has increased opportunities for employment for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The program particularly focused on the communities that provided the port with generations of workers in the past and presented multiple avenues including the introduction of technology in schools, a scholarship program and the promotion of sport as alternative to anti-social activities.

Innovative recycling

Another environmentally conscious initiative won the 2014 award from the port of Koper in Slovenia. Koper triumphed with his No Waste project, Just Resources, which found ways to reuse and reprocess waste into environmentally friendly materials.

Innovations included the introduction of a heating system using recycled wood, the operation of a waste sorting center and a composting plant, as well as the reuse of marine silt as a building material.

A cultural hub

The impact of a port can also extend to the history and culture of the region, as the Belgian city of Antwerp proved in 2013 when it won the prize for a multitude of projects of restoration that preserve and revive part of its rich history since its origin in the 19th century as a military base. for Napoleon Bonaparte.

With the help of volunteers, the port is restoring its old quays and quays, founding a museum, restoring a historic bridge to its original state and making some of its old buildings available to artists’ collectives and a society of writers. .

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