Going under

Published: Friday 15 January 1999

-- The Earth has warmed by about 0.5C in the past 100 years. Evidence suggests that human activity has contributed to this change. Given current trends of increase in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide in particular, it may warm by another 1C to 3.5C by 2080. The threat to the developing countries in the tropics and sub tropics is apparent: rising sea levels will displace tens of millions of people in small island states and the low-lying delta areas of Bangladesh, Egypt and China. Coastal wetlands are sensitive to climatic changes. Wetlands in the western coast of Central and North America may be lost.

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