Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sea level rise threatens Alexandria, Nile Delta

Dina Zayed in Reuters: Twenty years ago, Taher Ibrahim raced his friends across Alexandria's beaches, now rising seas have swept over his favorite childhood playground. Alexandria, with 4 million people, is Egypt's second-largest city, an industrial center and a port that handles four-fifths of national trade. It is also one of the Middle East's cities most at risk from rising sea levels due to global warming. "There were beaches I used to go to in my lifetime, now those beaches are gone. Is that not proof enough?" asked Ibrahim, a manager at a supermarket chain who is in his 40s.

Flooding could displace entire communities in Alexandria and the low-lying Nile Delta, the fertile agricultural heartland of Egypt's 79 million people. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that the Mediterranean will rise 30 cm to 1 meter this century. More than half of Egypt's people live within 100 km of the coast. A 2007 World Bank study estimated that a one-meter sea level rise could displace 10 percent of the population….

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