When Cuban scientists studied the effects of climate change on the country's coastline, they discovered that a changing climate could cause sea levels to rise dangerously with devastating results.
Estimates pegged the rise at as much as three feet by the end of the century, The Huffington Post reported
. The risk was so severe it brought a dire prediction from the scientists: the potential loss of as many as 122 towns along the nation's coast. In the worst case scenario, water could be contaminated, and the land used for agriculture could be unusable.
The threat to Cuba's climate was so catastrophic that the government immediately took measures to mitigate the damage. As Jorge Alvarez, director of Cuba's government-run Center for Environmental Control and Inspection, told The Huffington Post, "protecting the coasts is a matter of national security."
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Other scientists, researchers, and even government agencies have confirmed the findings of the Cuban scientists. According to Inter Press Service (IPS)
, Cuba's Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment, predicted that by 2050 over 2 percent of the country could be submerged if nothing is done. IPS also quoted biologist María Elena Perdomo of Cuba's Centre for Environmental Studies and Service saying: "The whole island will be increasingly affected by extreme weather events, such as heat waves, prolonged periods of drought and heavy rains. Potable water and fertile land will be scarcer and biodiversity will be diminished."
Adan Zuniga, a geologist at Cuba's government-operated Center for Coastal Ecosystems Research, told The Huffington Post that construction on top of dunes on the country's coastline makes those areas more prone to damage from waves and erosion, which is causing some beach areas to recede up to 16 feet per year.
In response to the frightening scientific predictions and evidence of damage already taking place, Cuba has taken prompt and widespread action. The government is strictly enforcing construction laws that protect the coastline, as well as making plans to tear down manmade structures in coastal areas to restore as much of that land as possible and protect it against the effects of global warming on Cuba's climate.
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