Julie M. Rodriguez

UN Warns Rising Sea Levels Threaten to Overwhelm Senegal

by , 01/29/14

sea level rise, climate change, extreme weather, senegal, africa, senegal river, climate refugees, st louis senegal, atlantic ocean, west africa, united nations, un disaster risk,

Margareta Wahlstrom, the United Nations’ head of disaster risk, has warned that flooding caused by climate change has reached emergency levels in Senegal. Called the “Venice of Africa,” the archipelago nation has been disproportionately affected by rising sea levels and heavy rains caused by climate change. The Senegalese capitol of St Louis has been slowly flooded by backed-up seawater in recent years, forcing residents out of their homes and destroying their livelihoods.

sea level rise, climate change, extreme weather, senegal, africa, senegal river, climate refugees, st louis senegal, atlantic ocean, west africa, united nations, un disaster risk,

Image © ho visto nina volare

This isn’t a new problem: in 2008 the UN designated St Louis as “the city most threatened by rising sea levels in the whole of Africa.” Throughout the nation, towns are finding their streets impassible 10 months out of the year. The problem is especially bad during the rainy season, when the Senegal River, which borders the country to the North and East, overflows.

Senegal is not the only nation finding itself overwhelmed by rising sea levels. Pacific Island nations like Kiribati and the Marshall Islands are already seeing flooding that threatens to wipe them off the map. If sea levels continue to rise at current rates, we can expect to see more and more cities around the world facing the same kind of flooding. In a sense, what’s happening in Senegal now is a glimpse into a future many of us can expect to see a few decades down the road if serious action isn’t taken to curb climate change.

Via Phys.org

Lead image © Jeff Attaway

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2 Comments

  1. Dan Rezaiekhaligh January 29, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Wouldn’t it be more accurate to call St. Louis the Venice of Africa? You had me a big confused because I was certain Senegal was a country and not a city. As well Venice was built in a lagoon that prior to industrially caused climate change was already facing problems of sinking back into the lagoon.

    If you are to believe the climate scientists(and I do) then we need to start thinking about how we live in this new world. Even if we stop all industrial and domestic forms of carbon emissions excluding those caused but living organisms we will not reverse or even stop climate change. Additionally we might start honestly pursuing more research into geo-engineering as it seems the most likely way of reversing the damage we have done.

  2. RelayerM31 January 29, 2014 at 8:56 am

    They could, oh I dunno, move?

    So when are thermometer deniers going to start moving away from the coasts? And when are coastal property prices going to start dropping? I want my beach house!

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