According to scientific research projections, much of the provinces of Buenos Aires and Entre Ríos, along with numerous regions in Latin America, will be below sea level by the year 2100 as a result of climate change.
“Global warming has raised the level of the sea by around 20 centimetres since 1880 and the rate of increase is accelerating. The rising sea level drastically increases the probabilities of damaging floods from tidal waves,” warns new research from a non-profit research and journalism organisation specialised in energy and climate change.
According to the new report from Climate Central, various parts of Entre Ríos between the Uruguay and Paraná Rivers and of Buenos Aires Province around Samborombón bay will remain underwater within 80 years.
The projections indicate that with a rise in global temperature of 0.5 degrees Celsius, the waters could rise around 70 centimetres in the central zone of Buenos Aires Province and the Paraná Delta while with an increase of one degree, the level of water would rise by over two metres (See the interactive map from Climate Central for more).
With a global temperature increase of two degrees, the waters would cover the territories of Buenos Aires and Entre Ríos up to almost five metres above current sea level and over six metres with an increase of three degrees Celsius, while with four degrees the situation would be catastrophic with almost nine metres above current sea level, according to the projections of the United States-based NGO’s analysis and report on climatology.
The projections show that rising sea levels would flood the coastal zones of the City of Buenos Aires, Southern Greater Buenos Aires, La Plata and places like Campana and Zárate. Along the Buenos Aires Province coast the worst scenario would be all the cities disappearing down to Mar del Plata.
Global temperatures soar
The Paris Agreement of 2015 stipulates that this century’s temperature increase be kept as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius, although scientific forecasts warn that this figure could be topped between 2030 and 2050.
Scientists point out that if humanity takes urgent measures against global warning, it is possible for the global temperature increase to be kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.
According to the Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), by 2030 it is expected that the planet’s average temperature will be 1.5 to 1.6 degrees Celsius higher than the levels of the pre-industrial era in the five relative scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions.
By mid-century the threshold of +1.5 degrees Celsius will have been surpassed according to every scenario – by 0.1 degrees Celsius according to the most optimistic and by 1 degrees Celsius according to the most pessimistic.
Assuming that absolutely everything is done to combat climate change, after having risen 1.5 degrees Celsius since the pre-industrial era, the global temperature will be a further 1.4 degrees Celsius higher by the year 2100, forecasts the IPCC.
Rising sea levels
The global level of oceans has increased by around 20cm since 1900 with the rate of growth practically tripling in the last decade, according to the IPCC report. The melting ice shelves of the Antarctic and Greenland are now the main factor, ahead of melting glaciers.
If global temperatures rise two degrees Celsius, the level of the oceans will rise almost half a metre in this century and will go on rising up to almost two metres by 2300, double what the IPCC was forecasting only two years ago. Due to the uncertainty surrounding the ice shelves, the scientists cannot rule out the waters rising by up to two metres by the year 2100.