THE SEA IS A DANGEROUS NEIGHBOR, especially during storms where strong winds drag water. For centuries, storms and hurricanes have taken many lives. It has been very difficult to stop the sea so far, but it is now more difficult because the oceans are rising. Since the end of the last Ice Age, the water from the melting glaciers flows into the oceans and raises the sea level. Nowadays, the melting of glaciers has accelerated and the continually rising seas threaten the lives of millions of people.
Wave from unaware
The huge waves that hit the breakwater in Kalk Bay, a fishing harbor in South Africa, look terrible. There are often huge waves in this bay that come with no warning and attract people on the shore.
It is not only the melting of the glaciers that leads to sea-level rise. If the climate gets warmer, the seawater will expand. This process is very slow. It will take centuries to begin and it will take much longer to stop.
Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world and is constantly in danger of flooding. During the monsoon season, rivers overflow from the beds, and severe storms cause the sea to move into the land. The Bangladeshi children in the photograph draw water from the clean water well with the pumpkin. To keep the water in the well clean, the well is protected by sandbags.
After stormy winter in 1998, houses built on a cliff edge on the California coast began to slide down. Some of the houses all slipped into the sea, some of them rolled down. Such images may come across more often in the future because as the earth warms, there will be more storms in the seas.