Maldives Builds Floating Islands Due To Rising Sea Levels
Global warming has already become a reality for many people most likely to be affected by rising sea levels – those living near low lying coastal regions. People are experiencing weather extremes including increased temperatures, increased occurrences of cyclones and hurricanes, and increased natural disasters like wild fires and flooding, etc. It’s no surprise that many animal and plant species are struggling to keep up with the changing environmental conditions. This is our ‘global warming’ reality today…but what will our reality be for future generations and how will it affect us?
There are a lot of issues everyone needs to consider in order to prepare for changes in climate that will undoubtedly affect millions of people around the world. In addition to governments and NGO’s advocating for sustainable policies and ways of living, scientists and entrepreneurs are chasing technologies that might help us deal with inevitable extreme weather conditions, natural disasters, and rising sea levels.
Barack Obama so eloquently stated in a speech back on April 3, 2006:
“All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it’s here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster.”
As one would guess, low lands are extremely vulnerable to sea level rise as constant flooding and washout might end badly for local natural habitat and human settlements near coastlines. For instance, some islanders of the Papua New Guinea archipelago were forced to move to other islands because of increasingly higher tides. Another visual image of negative impacts caused by climate change is the low-lying islands of Kiribati.
Inhabitants of several islands have had to move deeper inland as the waters have washed out their local buildings, coconut trees, and other facilities on the coastline. Residents that have remained on coastal lands have a hard time keeping up with salt water influence on building and infrastructure maintenance. In addition, lagoons with fresh water have been flooded with brines and salt waters of the Pacific Ocean. It’s been reported that local residents have appealed to their authorities and international statesmen to implement safety measures but are often left without long-term solutions. Simultaneously, residents of Tokelau, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and the Cook Islands are having trouble coping with longer dry seasons that are occurring due to climate transformation in the Pacific region. And finally, islands in the Indian Ocean are also being overtaken by the oceans’ rise by several mm every year.
The Maldives – the lowest country in the world, is a shining example of how a nation is being affected by climate change in modern times. Statistics forecast that nearly 390,000 people will be forced to move out of the coastal area by 2100 due to projected rising sea levels. In this context, national governments in collaboration with Dutch Docklands International Company introduced a technological solution – the biggest floating island in the world. A floating island would not have to worry about rising sea levels and would give peace of mind to island residents. In addition, it will be linked to a sea ground with the help of cables or telescopic tubes and piles.
A similar project has already been in operation in The Netherlands, another country that is vulnerable to rising sea levels. In practice, these islands are made of concrete slabs and expanded polystyrene and now Maldivian authorities have started the construction of the first island designed for 200 luxury residences. The next one will bring an entertainment island to support a golf field. And later, as the project proceeds, more available housing will be built on additional floating islands…a pretty interesting concept if you ask me.
Maria Kruk, an author for Patentsbase.com
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