International team of scientists find many coastal cities worldwide vulnerable to sea level rise due to rapid land sinking

Posted: September 20, 2022

By Steve Carr

A team of international scientists has found that many densely populated coastal cities worldwide are at a high risk of extreme relative sea level rise as land sinks due to groundwater extraction and other industrial processes.

The team of scientists, led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), The University of New Mexico, ETH Zürich, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, managed by the California Institute of Technology, processed satellite images of 48 of the largest coastal cities worldwide from 2014 to 2020 to measure land subsidence rates using a cloud-based processing system. The study found that cities like Tianjin (China), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Chittagong (Bangladesh), Yangon (Myanmar), and Jakarta (Indonesia) are experiencing rapid land subsidence.

As Earth’s ice sheets melt and warming sea water expands, sea levels are rising globally. However, land subsidence can occur much more quickly than sea level rise, greatly aggravating the problem of coastal flooding, according to the scientists.

The results of the study, titled Land subsidence intensifies sea-level rise: an InSAR analysis of 48 major coastal cities, were published in the journal Nature Sustainability in September


Read the full story at UNM Newsroom.