Wetlands and floods and rising sea levels

On World Wetland Day, a quick run through of recent media reports about rising sea levels and the role of wetlands and our coastal ecosystems in flood mitigation.

Will sea levels rise?

"Six of the 10 experts contacted by Reuters in the last 10 days stuck to projections by the UN Climate Panel that sea levels will rise by between about 20 and 80 cms by 2100."
from Latest Scientists' Views of Sea Level Rise PlanetArk 1 Feb 08;

see also Rising Seas: how much will waters rise and what drives them up? Mark Kinver, BBC News 22 Jan 08;

"Even if a fraction melted, Antarctica could damage nations from Bangladesh to Tuvalu in the Pacific and cities from Shanghai to New York"
from Antarctic ice riddle keeps sea-level secrets Alister Doyle, Reuters 30 Jan 08;

"Gilbert Adikpeto remembers the night he lost much of his shorefront home, literally washed away by the sea. We were asleep with the children when there was a deafening noise from the living room. I got up in a panic and the whole room had disappeared under the waves"
from Cotonou - a city slowly swallowed by waves Independent Online 25 Jan 08;

What is role of wetlands in flood mitigation?

"Recreating wetlands and restoring peat bogs and free-flowing rivers could dramatically reduce the risk of flooding"
from Restoring wetlands in the UK 'reduces flood risk' The Telegraph 30 Jan 08;

"The government also said it would invest in a project studying how best to use the ecosystem, such as natural sand flows, for flood protection"
from Dutch to explore new ways to defend coastline Reuters 1 Feb 08;

What is the current state of our wetlands?

"The world has lost around 3.6 million hectares (8.9 million acres) of mangroves since 1980, equivalent to an alarming 20 percent loss of total mangrove area"
from FAO warns of 'alarming' loss of mangroves Yahoo News 1 Feb 08;

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