June 18, 2011

Caribbean Sea Levels To Rise Above 30 Inches

Official media said Friday that Cuban scientists have calculated that median sea levels around the Caribbean nation will rise above 30 inches by the end of the century due to global climate change.

Abel Centella, scientific director of the country's Meteorological Institute, told Part daily Granma that models predict the sea will rise 10.6 inches by 2050, and 33.5 inches by 2100.

There were no more details of what preparations the island is undertaking, although Granma said scientists are closely monitoring sea levels.

Government scientists Marcelino Hernandez warned of the need to protect environments that can mitigate the effects of sea encroachment.

"Right now it is urgent to preserve mangroves, coral reefs, sea grass and sand beaches," Hernandez was quoted as saying. "Each of these ecosystems is a natural barrier to defend the coasts from the impact of climate change. If they deteriorate, the consequences will be worse."

International studies forecast sea levels will rise between 30 and 75 inches by the end of the century, fed by melting glaciers and ice caps.

The rises will not be uniform around the world due to currents, winds and other factors.