Rapid collapse of soil beneath Chinese cities could lead to disaster 13:22

One-third of China’s population lives in a dangerous land subsidence zone. If precautions are not taken, the consequences will be catastrophic. This was reported by scientists from Virginia Tech and the University of East Anglia in a paper published in the journal. Science.

Scientists analyzed satellite images of 82 Chinese cities with a total population of approximately 700 million. The results showed that 45% of the considered urban areas were in the land subsidence zone. By 2120, the area below sea level of cities could triple. This will affect between 55 and 128 million residents, threatening buildings and infrastructure and increasing the risk of flooding in coastal cities. Hotspots include Beijing and Tianjin. China’s largest city, Shanghai, has sunk nearly three meters in the past century.

Coastal cities such as Tianjin are particularly vulnerable as land subsidence exacerbates the effects of climate change and causes sea levels to rise. A similar situation occurred in New Orleans, which was severely damaged by the flood caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Scientists believe that land subsidence is mainly associated with human activities such as groundwater extraction. In the Japanese cities of Osaka and Tokyo, this process was halted in the 1970s, and urban settlement there stopped or declined significantly. Other important factors are vibrations caused by tunnel construction and traffic. At the same time, natural geological processes play a much smaller role than human activities. This is evidenced, for example, by the faster subsidence of subway and highway areas in Beijing.

There is ample evidence to suggest that land subsidence is a problem in cities around the world. The authors of the analysis urged the research community to move away from measuring the pace of this process towards finding solutions to the problem.

Previous scientists I learnedIt says that about 2 billion people on the planet live in dangerous land subsidence zones.

What are you thinking?

Source: Gazeta


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