Over the past 50 years, worries over climate change have been raising more concerns in regards to the future of coastal cities around the world. Today, more studies show that Egypt’s coastal city Alexandria, the second largest city, is at risk of being submerged due to rising sea levels.
The Guardian published a report listing the cities that will be drowned by global warming estimating that 8 million people in Alexandria will be affected by the global temperature change.
“The IPCC reported that Alexandria’s beaches would be submerged even with a 0.5-metre sea-level rise, while 8 million people would be displaced by flooding in Alexandria and the Nile Delta if no protective measures are taken. A 3C world threatens far greater damage than that,” said the report.
Despite the huge amount of money poured into projects for prevention, awareness about the issue is very low.
“Egypt spends 700m EGP [£30m] annually to protect the north coast,” said Magdy Allam, head of the Arab Environmental Experts Union, who was previously part of the Egyptian environment ministry, in the report.
It further added that “Mohammed Ali seawall built in 1830 as a key protection, as well as the concrete blocks lining the shoreline designed to ‘detour flood water away from residential neighborhoods.”
Further studies suggest that many coastal settlements are at risk of being partially submerged by the year 2070 if no action is taken.
The Paris Climate Agreement aims at keeping the increase in global average temperature to 2C above pre-industrial levels; however, the latest measure point at 3.2C which is alarming.
During the Paris conference, countries submitted a national climate change plan in attempts to facilitate global action to reduce temperature levels but efforts haven’t been able to meet the target yet.
In 2011, Egypt’s Cabinet Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC) released a study for adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction estimating the about 13 percent of Egypt norther cost is at risk.
Rising sea levels and seawater temperatures have serious effects in terms of affecting the salinity of the Nile; it is inevitable that salty water will ruin the farmland on the Nile Delta which is Egypt’s main source for crops and agricultural products.