Coasts ‘may face major sea level rise’

A number of studies have indicated that Bahrain coasts may face major sea level rise challenges, an expert said yesterday.

“The kingdom, however, has been adopting initial adaptation solutions over the past 20 years – albeit indirectly,” said Associate Professor of Geoinformatics Systems and Environment Dr Sabah Al Junaid, who is specialised in studies on the ability of climate change to affect low-lying islands and coasts.

“We all know that land is the most precious resource from Bahrain’s area perspective, which prompted decision-makers in the kingdom to bury coasts of some of the main islands namely Bahrain, Muharraq and Sitra, and this burial process has clear laws based on the required burial level,” she pointed out.

A review of reclamation laws passed in 2008, when the Public Works Ministry issued a Dredging and Land Reclamation Guide, which must be adhered to in all land reclamation and dredging activities in the kingdom, was a practical start for adaptation to the sea level rise phenomenon,” she said in a statement, reports our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej.

Dr Al Junaid said the guide has provided very basic guidelines for reclamation levels by building multiple map models that included climate change and sea level rise among the basic factors in determining the level of the burial shaft.

The ministry included an additional increase in the land reclamation level in order to determine a safe level by increasing the burial level by 40cm to 50cm for its maps for the next 100 years, she added.

She noted that the buried spaces around Muharraq Island can be observed through maps, which are considered a barrier or an adaptation to the rise in sea levels.

She said all low-lying islands and coasts will face multiple challenges, particularly sea level rise and severe fluctuations in storms, hurricanes and floods due to climate change.




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