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Western Indian Ocean Journal of Marine Science

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Recent acceleration of Sea level rise in Mauritius and Rodrigues

Sachooda Ragoonaden, Jogeeswar Seewoobaduth, Iven Cheenacunnan

Abstract


Over much of the 20th Century, global mean sea level rose at a rate between 1.3 to 1.7 mm yr−1. In the last dec- ade, satellite and in situ data indicate that global sea level rise (SLR) has been accelerating to around 3.2 mm yr−1 due mainly to temperature increase, enhanced melting of the ice caps, with marked regional variation. Analysis of research-quality sea level data for Mauritius and Rodrigues also indicates a recent accelerated SLR, of more than the global average (5.0 mm yr−1 at Mauritius and 9.0 mm yr−1 at Rodrigues). Physical evidence and anecdotes indicate that coastal erosion has also increased in the region. However, no long term series of reliable data on coastal ero- sion is available to determine if there is any linkage between the recent accelerated SLR and the observed increase in coastal erosion in Mauritius and Rodrigues. Global sea level is set to rise more than expected in the light of new ndings and continue during the next century. This will, no doubt, have regional and local impacts with severely dis- ruptive consequences for human society and ecosystems in the Republic of Mauritius. Precautionary and proactive measures need to be undertaken to address this fundamental issue. 






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