Prof. Yongqiang Zong Department of Earth Sciences, HKU
Sea-level study is a relatively new subject. It has become a hot topic recently because of the rapid rise of global temperature since the beginning of the industrial revolution and this temperature rise has caused the rapid rise in sea level. To help coastal communities better prepared for the continuous rise of sea level, scientists have investigated the postglacial history of sea-level change, from which a correct and full understanding of the driving mechanisms for sea-level change have been gained in the past few decades. Further studies have also aimed at predicting future sea-level rise. The results are alarming. If global temperature to rise more than 2 °C (since the 18th century), the Greenland ice sheet may totally disintegrated and global sea level may rise for over 5-7 m, as a result, many coastal cities will have to abandon. Even if the rise of global temperature is kept within 2 °C, certain coastal hazards are still unavoidable.