Almost 40% of Mumbai could be submerged in next 100 years: Study

Updated: Dec 23, 2016, 10:09 IST | mid-day online correspondent

As much as 40% of Mumbai may be under water in the next 100 years if sea levels continue to rise, a study on Mumbai’s susceptibility to climate change concluded


Representational pic/PTI

As much as 40% of Mumbai may be under water in the next 100 years if sea levels continue to rise, a study on Mumbai’s susceptibility to climate change concluded.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, the findings from the unpublished research paper were discussed during the National Symposium on Tropical Meteorology; Climate Change and Coastal Vulnerability (Tropmet 2016) held in Odisha recently.

“As the population is increasing exponentially and the city is expanding fast, it is necessary to understand if our surroundings are safe,” R Mani Murali, a scientist from National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. Murali has co-authored the paper along with Riyas MJ, Reshma KN and Santhosh Kumar.

“Going by previous studies by NIO researchers, we considered a 3mm rise (annually) in sea levels along Mumbai’s coast. That, coupled with factors such as natural calamities and tidal changes, will result in an approximate increase of 3m,” Murali was further quoted as saying by HT.

The study is being reviewed by the scientific community and will be published soon. The area of study included the western coast from Colaba in the south till Mira Bhayander and along the Thane creek on the eastern coast of the city, the HT report informed.

“While a major part of the south Mumbai coastline has been protected using measures such as building walls and placing boulders, low lying creek areas are vulnerable as some are at the sea level (Gorai) while others are a mere 1.5m to 3m above sea level such as Mira Bhayander and areas around Andheri, Versova at Mumbai suburbs,” Murali further told Hindustan Times.

“Most low-lying areas such as creeks, mudflats and wetlands that might fall prey to coastal inundation 100 years from now are protected due to Mumbai’s thick mangrove cover. If this cover is reduced, it could be disastrous for the city’s future as the inundation effect be severe,” Murali went on to add.

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