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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Climate change, sea level rise and coastal inundation along part of Nigeria Barrier Lagoon Coast - Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management, Vol. 18, No. 1

It's 2015: What does that mean, exactly? Well, 2015 was the end-year of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It seems it was just yesterday when the UN announced what some were saying to be a radical shift forward for development, and while much has been done to counter the worlds many issues, there is still much to do. Recently, The Guardian published an article and interactive web outlining the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): "Sustainable development goals: changing the world in 17-steps interactive". These goals were produced by the many participating nations within the United Nations Assembly. To say the goals are anything less than amazing, would certainly be an understatement in itself. For starters, the UN Assembly plans to eradicate all poverty by 2030. This alone, will take great dedication, however, there is many, many more goals set forth. 

While the UN has met most of its projected goals under the MDGs, some projections, it seems, have been harder to reach than the others. Climate change has actually increased since the MDGs came into existence in 2010. This is largely due to the increase in carbon emissions (CO2). While focus on the others were just as important, it is just as important to note that the increase of climate change does, in fact, have a great impact on the outcome of the other developmental goals. The negative external costs associated with the increase in carbon emissions creates a ripple-effect throughout the world, consequently increasing agricultural droughts, floods, and other environmental disasters, thus increasing the rate at which poverty exists. This issue, some would argue, needs to be addressed more seriously in the future by the developed world.

Odunuga et al., in their journal: "Climate Change, Sea Level Rise and Coastal Inundation Along Part of Nigeria Barrier Lagoon Coast", analyzed the potential effects climate change could have on sea levels, as well as to evaluate the vulnerabilities of the surrounding infrastructure. Using an interactive GIS-based simulation, the authors of the study mapped the area of the Badagry coastal environment with data collected from two different sources: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (IPCC-SRES), and the Locally Oriented Economic Development Scenarios (LOEDS).

The resulting analysis of the IPCC-SRES scenario showed the area inundated with high emissions, as well as a worse-case sea level rise was less than 0.13%. Yet, the LOEDS inundation analysis showed a significant impact beginning at a 4 meter rise in sea level. It is suggested that since it is only environmental catastrophism and anthropogenic activities that can attain such serious dimension at local, regional, and global sea level scales; that significant coastal sea level infrastructures should be integrated in any developmental activities in and around the area. 

 For this journal and others from this issue, click here.

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