According to a new report by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) – “Global Sea-level Rise and Implications” — India, China, Bangladesh and the Netherlands face the highest threat of sea-level rise globally.


Key findings

  • While sea-level rise is not globally uniform and varies regionally, continued and accelerating sea-level rise will encroach on coastal settlements and infrastructure and commit low-lying coastal ecosystems to submergence and loss.
  • Several big cities (Shanghai, Dhaka, Bangkok, Jakarta, Mumbai, Maputo, Lagos, Cairo, London, Copenhagen, New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires and Santiago) in all continents are threatened by the rise in sea level.
  • It is a major economic, social and humanitarian challenge, as the sea-level rise threatens coastal farmlands and water reserves and resilience of infrastructures as well as human lives and livelihoods.
  • Climate change will increasingly put pressure on food production and access, especially in vulnerable regions, undermining food security and nutrition.
  • If trends in urbanisation in exposed areas continue, this will exacerbate the impacts, with more challenges where energy, water and other services are constrained.
  • For example, the impacts of average sea-level rise are boosted by storm surges and tidal variations, as was the situation during the landfall of hurricane Sandy in New York and Cyclone Idai in Mozambique.
  • Urban systems are critical for enabling climate resilient development, especially at the coast.


What is the WMO?

  • The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) is an intergovernmental organisation with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories.
  • It originated from the International Meteorological Organisation (IMO – a NGO), the roots of which were planted at the 1873 Vienna International Meteorological Congress.
  • Established by the ratification of the WMO Convention on 23 March 1950, WMO became the specialised agency of the UN, responsible for promoting international cooperation on —
      • Meteorology (weather and climate),
      • Operational hydrology and
      • Related geophysical sciences.
  • The WMO’s Strategic Plan includes —
      • Disaster risk reduction,
      • The Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS),
      • The WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS),
      • Aviation meteorological services,
      • Polar and high mountain regions,
      • Capacity development and Governance.
  • The Secretariat, headquartered in Geneva, is headed by the Secretary-General and its supreme body is the World Meteorological Congress.
  • WMO publishes – Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, Status of Global Climate, etc.