This Texas City is One of The Fastest Sinking Cities in the World
A report from the World Economic Forum says one of the largest cities in Texas is also one of the fastest sinking cities in the world.
Rising sea levels are a real problem for many coastal cities around the world. I've always heard that Miami would be one of the first to go if the east coast was to see a rapid rise in seal levels, but it turns out Houston, Texas may be sinking faster.
A new study finds that there are at least 33 cities around the world that are sinking faster than sea levels around them are rising. Like I said, Houston Texas is one of those cities. Houston is sinking at a rate of 1.95 centimeters per year and is the 10th fastest sinking city in the world and the only city in the Western Hemisphere to make the top 10.
Houston places at number 10 on the list of fastest sinking coastal cities. Here are the other 9:
- Kerala, India at 1.96 centimeters (per year)
- Kobe, Japan at 2.26 centimeters
- Chittagong, Bangladesh at 2.35 centimeters
- Hanoi, Vietnam at 2.44 centimeters
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam at 2.81 centimeters
- Shanghai, China at 2.94 centimeters
- Jakarta, Indonesia at 3.44 centimeters
- Semarang, Indonesia at 3.96 centimeters
- Tianjin, China at 5.22 centimeters
Houston is Sinking, But Not All At the Same Time
Another World Economic Report says that not all of Houston is sinking at the same rate. Some parts of the city are actually sinking much faster than other parts - as much as 2 inches per year. At that rate, Houston could simply "disappear" by the year 2100.
Why is Houston Sinking?
It's called subsidence - the settling and compacting of land based on changes beneath the surface of the ground, and groundwater pumping is the major cause. The Texas Living Waters Project reports that since 1836, 3,200 square miles of Houston has sunk more than a foot, with some parts sinking 12 to 13 feet because of groundwater pumping.
There are steps being taken to slow the sinking, like reducing the groundwater usage so although subsidence can't be reversed, it can be slowed down.
So, if you are ever in Houston and you start to get that sinking feeling, now you know why.
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