Coastal Cities are Sinking


Campbell Toth, Writer

Around the world, as of April 14, 2022, satellites have revealed that coastal cities have been
sinking by centimeters a year. This sinking has resulted in higher possibilities of flooding in
those cities.
Scientists at University of Rhode Island studied 99 coastal cities spanning across 6 continents.
European satellites were used in order to track this worldwide occurrence of sinkage.
The measure of the land level is accurate to the millimeter and used reflected waves to track the
deformation of the land mass. The satellite passed over the same area every 12 years allowing
for continued measurements of the area.
As for the data, it was found that mostly Asian cities are sinking the fastest. Cities such as
Tianjin, Karachi, and Manila have been found to have a sinking rate as high as 5 cm per
The part that makes this sinkage an even larger problem is the fact that seas are rising. Rising
seas and falling land mass leads to a higher chance of some cities being submerged
The reasoning behind this fall is the greed of humans in those cities. Those cities are highly
condensed population wise and have high levels of groundwater extraction. Land tends to sink
from groundwater being removed from the land.
However, groundwater extraction has been slowed due to government regulation as certain
cities in the past had hit 30cm/yr of sinking. As for how to help this issue, scientist at University
of New Mexico, Darío Solano, stated, “Understanding that part of the problem is a big deal,” in
regards to climate change alongside groundwater extraction.