Of the major ports in India, Diamond Harbour in West Bengal located at the mouth of river Hooghly has recorded the maximum sea level increase, according to data tabled in the Lok Sabha by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
While recent studies reveal that sea level rise in the country has been estimated to be 1.3 mm/year along India’s coasts during the last 40-50 years, at Diamond Harbour the rise was almost five times higher at 5.16 mm per year. The mean sea level rise for Diamond Harbour was based on recordings over the period from 1948 to 2005. This is followed by Kandla port in Gujarat where the sea level rise was 3.18 (1950 to 2005) , followed by Haldia in West Bengal, which recorded a sea level rise of 2.89 mm a year (1972 to 2005). Port Blair also recorded a sea level rise of 2.20 mm per year (1916-1964).
Sea level rise is said be linked with global warming and as per the fifth assessment report of the International Panel on Climate Change, the global sea level was rising at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year over the last century. Going by the data from the Ministry of Earth Sciences, four ports — Diamond Harbour, Kandla, Haldia and Port Blair — recorded a higher sea level rise than the global average. Chennai and Mumbai, recorded a sea level rise far below the global and the national averages at 0.33 mm per year (1916-2005) and 0.74 mm (1878-2005) respectively.
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