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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Will rising sea levels drive the population away from Saint-Louis?

Saint-Louis is a coastal city of almost 300 thousand people in Senegal. It is situated by the mouth of the most important river of West Africa, the Senegal, and its old town is on a peninsula between the ocean and the river. Its highest point is less than four metres above sea level, so the city is particularly exposed to the impacts of climate change.

“Saer Diop lives in Saint-Louis. He has always been aware of the power of nature. He was 13 when he lost one of his brothers and his uncle when their boat was capsized by a storm while they were out fishing. Today, Diop is 34, and he is no longer safe even on dry land.

Two years ago he woke up one night to a huge wave crashing in through his window.

A few months later his house collapsed, and he became one of the 10 thousand residents of the city who were moved to a temporary camp on the edge of town because of the water’s destruction” – we learn from an account published in CityLab about the story of one local resident impacted.

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) has stated that Saint-Louis is the city most threatened by rising sea levels in the whole of Africa. It ranks first on the list of cities that climate change is expected to render uninhabitable over the next few decades.

The erosion caused by the rising sea is constantly damaging the coastline of Saint-Louis, with the result that hundreds of schools, mosques and residential buildings had to be abandoned. In addition, the rising sea also results in the water of the Senegal River becoming increasingly saline, which has wreaked havoc with the previously abundant agriculture of the river valley. What’s more, the rising water level has also rendered the ocean itself more hazardous: fishermen claim that it has become rougher and much more unpredictable.

The old town of Saint-Louis Video: YouTube
Further information: CityLab

The moment caught in the act – Ice melting through the eyes of a nature photographer

“Ice is the canary in the global coal mine. It’s the place where we can see and touch and hear and feel climate change in action.” Internationally recognised nature photographer James Balog believes it is extremely important to pay attention to the processes underway in the polar regions.

Dutch use innovative device to protect against sea level rise

Rising sea levels caused by climate change and global warming are an increasing threat to the Netherlands, so the Dutch have started using an innovative device, a storm surge barrier to protect against them. The world’s largest storm surge barrier was built in the south of the country, at Maeslantkering.

Switzerland’s glaciers have lost 10 percent of their ice mass in five years

The melting of glaciers has broken new records in Switzerland this year; they lost two percent of their ice mass this summer, while over the last five years, they have lost 10 percent of their volume altogether, which is unprecedented in the existing records spanning over 100 years.

Typhoon Hagibis wreaks tremendous destruction

The typhoon raging in Japan has claimed more than fifty lives; the number of injured has exceeded two hundred.

Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones – what’s the difference?

As a result of climate change, humanity is expected to face growing numbers of destructive storms in the future.

An important agricultural region is the latest victim of climate change

The rising sea levels and melting permafrost caused by climate change are causing crisis situations in a number of places around the world, resulting in tens of thousands of people having to leave their homes, while important agricultural areas also fall victim to the changes.

A new sign of the climate crisis: tens of thousands of meltwater lakes were found in Antarctica

Climate change is causing severe problems in Antarctica, too: recently, a piece of ice weighing 315 billion tonnes broke off the area, while scientists investigating satellite images covering an area of 5 million square kilometres found tens of thousands of meltwater lakes, which indicates severe problems.

State of emergency declared in Montana due to early snow

Massive snowstorms hit a number of north-western and northern states of the USA on 29 September.

Monsoon claims over a hundred lives in India

Monsoon rain accompanied by storms and lightning hit the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India on 27 September. Tempestuous winds toppled trees and utility poles and tore off roofs, killing more than a hundred people.

Mont Blanc glacier in Italy threatened to collapse

On 24 September, the Fondazione Montagna Sicura (Safe Mountain Foundation) issued an avalanche warning on the Planpincieux Glacier, which is located on the eastern slope of the Grandes Jorasses peak.

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