The ground in some parts of the globe is sinking 10 times quicker than the water is rising due to human-driven causes, researchers said.
Areas of Bangkok; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, as well as many other coastal settlements, will drop below sea level unless action is taken, according to Gilles Erkens from the Deltares Research Institute. Erkens made the remarks alongside other researchers before the European Geosciences Union General Assembly.
"Land subsidence and sea-level rise are both happening, and they are both contributing to the same problem -- larger and longer floods, and bigger inundation depth of floods," Erkens told BBC News.
"The most rigorous solution and the best one is to stop pumping groundwater for drinking water, but then of course you need a new source of drinking water for these cities. But Tokyo did that and subsidence more or less stopped, and in Venice, too, they have done that."
Research from Pietro Teatini found that the dramatic sinking of land is limited to specific locations and practices: "When some people restore their buildings, for example, they load them, and they can go down significantly by up to 5 [millimeters] in a year." The University of Padova researcher added that how far they drop is determined by the type and compaction of the soil beneath those buildings (Jonathan Amos, BBC News, April 29).
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