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Mean Sea Level: The Effect of the Rise in the Environment


Mean sea level is a significant phenomenon in geodetic science and oceanography. The sea level has experienced an unprecedented rise recently, and this increase can be attributed to the various human-induced activities (anthropogenic factors) ranging from deforestation to burning of fossil fuels and population increase. Several factors cause sea level rise, it has been identified that the thermal expansion of ocean water and the melting of glaciers add to the volume of water causing global sea level to rise, whereas phenomena such as ocean current, wind, pressure are responsible for the regional sea-level rise. This paper identifies climate change and global warming as the drivers of some factors causing the sea level to rise. The effect of sea-level rise has resulted in a loss of agricultural lands, destruction of transportation infrastructures, loss of lands in coastal zones and migration, and the death of some aquatic animals due to saltwater intrusion. In this paper, we reviewed several literatures published between 2017 and 2021 on -level rise and the cascading impacts of sea-level rise in various world areas. The papers reviewed borders on the mean sea level rise from different geographical areas on Earth and the monitoring of sea-level rise using different techniques. Some recommendations were also proposed for consideration.


Mean Sea Level, Agriculture, Coastal Flooding and Transportation



  1. A. Ranjbar, C. Cherubini & A. Saber. (2020). Investigation of transient sea level rise impacts on water quality of unconfined shallow coastal aquifers. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology.
  2. Abdul-Lateef B. & Naheem A. (2021). Sea level prediction using ARIMA, SVR and LSTM neural network: assessing the impact of ensemble Ocean-Atmospheric processes on models’ accuracy. Taylor & Francis: Geomatics, Natural Hazards and Risk, 12(1), 653–674.
  3. Ahmad H. M., Mohamad H. J., Mohamad Z. H., Siti S. M., Syazana L. M. & Mohd R. A. (2021). Coastal structures as beach erosion control and sea level rise adaptation in Malaysia: A Review. Water, 13(1741), 1-34.
  4. Benjamin H. (2020). Review of sea-level rise science, information and services in Bangladesh. (Unpublished).
  5. Dagogo M. J. F., Francis A. F. & Christian U. E. (2017). Fundamentals of geodesy. Concept publications limited, ISBN 978-978-52562-1-5.
  6. Fabrizio A., Giovanni D. F., Valeria Lo P., Lorenzo M., Giovanni S., Marco A., Davide B., Sandro C., Gabriele L., Stefano F., Antonella M., Marcello P., Giovanni R., Giovanni S. & Giuseppe M. (2020). Relative sea-level rise and potential submersion risk for 2100 on 16 coastal plains of the Mediterranean Sea. Water, 12(2173), 1-25, DOI: 10.3390/w12082173.
  7. Giovanni S., François S., Giovanni S., Arcangelo P., Maurilio M., Antonio V., Marco A. & Giuseppe M. (2020). Sea-level rise and shoreline changes along an open sandy coast: case study of gulf of Taranto, Italy. Water, 12(1414), 1-22, DOI: 10.3390/w12051414.
  8. Hadi N., Mohammad N., Hadi S. & Olivia W. W. (2020). A systematic review of civil and environmental infrastructures for coastal adaptation to sea level rise. Civil engineering journal, 6(7), 1375-1399.
  9. Hans V., Petr H., Hermann L., Elke S., Peter W., Ignacio P. D., Benjamin L. B., Michiel D., Jonathan D., Thomas F., Florian H., Jason F. L. K., Christoph M., Alexander P., Andrzej T., Hugo V. & Willem-Jan V. (2018). Comparing impacts of climate change and mitigation on global agriculture by 2050. Environmental research letters, 13(2018), 064021.
  10. Jayne F. K., Mohamed E., Jo S. D., Jennifer M. J. & Paul K. (2017). Assessing the effects of rising groundwater from sea level rise on the service life of pavements in coastal road infrastructure. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2639, 1–10.
  11. Jonathan M., Stephen M., Chris W., Jason A., John A., Ichiro F., Natalya G., Robert E., Felix L., Gone´ri Le C., Rui M., Detlef S., Mark E. & Roderik S. (2019). Concepts and terminology for sea level: mean, variability and change, both local and global. Surveys in geophysics, DOI: 10.1007/s10712-019-09525-z.
  12. Karen T., Glen M., Glenn G., Richard A., Kevin B., Bruce D., Chase F., Christopher J., Lauren B., Jordan R., James H., John S., Kathryn H., John T. (2018). U.S. Pacific coastal wetland resilience and vulnerability to sea-level rise. SCIENCE ADVANCES, 4(2), 1-10, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao3270.
  13. M. A. Awal & M. A. H. Khan. (2020). Global warming and sea level rising: impact on agriculture and food security in southern coastal region of Bangladesh. Asian Journal of Geographical Research, 3(3), 9-36.
  14. Maria P., Alistair F., Sean M. W. & Richard J. D. (2017). The impact of flooding on road transport: A depth-disruption function. Elsevier: Transportation Research Part D 55 (2017) 67–81.
  15. Mohamed A. M., Julian A. & Christoph S. (2020). Monitoring of changes in land use/land cover in Syria from 2010 to 2018 using multitemporal Landsat imagery and GIS. Land, 9(226), 1-30, DOI: 10.3390/land9070226.
  16. Mohamed E. H. (2020). Assessment of climate change impacts on sea surface temperatures and sea level rise—The Arabian Gulf. Climate, 8(50), 1-14, DOI: 10.3390/cli8040050.
  17. Ngai W. C. Urbanization, climate change and cities: challenges and opportunities for sustainable development. Conference presentation at the Asia-Pacific Chemical, Biological & Environmental Engineering Society (APCBEES) International Conference, January 21st, 2017, 1- 11.
  18. Schindelegger M., Green J. A. M., Wilmes S. B., & Haigh I. D. (2018). Can we model the effect of observed sea level rise on tides?. Journal of geophysical research: Ocean, 4594-4609, DOI: 10.1029/2018JC013959.
  19. Shen S. & Shim D. (2022). Building capacity for climate adaptation: assessing the vulnerability of transportation infrastructure to sea level rise for safety enhancement in RITI communities. University of Alaska. 1-58.
  20. Shivika M., Hancheng D., Shinichiro F., Tatsuya H., Runsen Z. (2017). Key factors influencing the global passenger transport dynamics using the AIM/transport model. Elsevier: Transportation Research Part D 55 (2017) 373–388.
  21. Sinéad M. B., Michael J. O., Nicholas M. E. & Kereen T. G. (2018). Coastal wetland adaptation to sea level rise: Quantifying potential for landward migration and coastal squeeze. Journal of applied ecology, 55, 2876– 2887, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13169.
  22. Susan E. H. & Robert J. N. (2020). Demand for ports to 2050: climate policy, growing trade and the impacts of sea-level rise. Earth's Future, 1-13, DOI: 10.1029/2020EF001543.
  23. Thomas S., Laurent D., Zoi V., Andries H., Jochen H., Junko M., Valentina B., Kostas F., Detlef V. & Daniel L. (2020). Economy-wide effects of coastal flooding due to sea level rise: a multi-model simultaneous treatment of mitigation, adaptation, and residual impacts. Environmental Research Communications, 2, 1-15, 015002.
  24. Torbjörn E. T., Donald R. C., James T. M. & John W. D. (2021). Coastal wetland resilience, accelerated sea-level rise, and the importance of timescale. AGU Advances, 1-9, DOI: 10.1029/2020AV000334.
  25. Weiwei X., Bo T. & Qingmin M. (2021). The impact of sea-level rise on urban properties in Tampa due to climate change. Water, 14(13), 1-13.
  26. William C. H., Geoffrey B., Corné K. & Steven R. N. (2021). GPS imaging of global vertical land motion for studies of sea level rise. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 1-26, DOI: 10.1029/2021JB022355.
  27. Xinyu F. & Jan N. (2020). Sea level rise, homeownership, and residential real estate markets in South Florida. The Professional Geographer, 73(1), 62-71, DOI: 10.1080/00330124.2020.1818586.
  28. Xiuzhen L., Richard B., Christopher C. & Sarah E. W. (2018). Coastal wetland loss, consequences, and challenges for restoration. Canadian Science Publishing: Anthropocene Coasts, 1(2018), 1-15.
  29. Ymkje H., Ad V., Quirijn L., Robert Z., Edwin E., Zheng B. W. (2021). Development of intertidal flats in the Dutch Wadden Sea in response to a rising sea level: Spatial differentiation and sensitivity to the rate of sea level rise. Elsevier: Ocean and Coastal Management, 216 (2022), 1-11, 105969.

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