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Friday, November 21, 1997 Published at 18:35 GMT

Special Report

See and hear how the world could alter

If sea level rises by 1.5 metres a substantial area of the Nile delta could be lost

Although the global temperature seems to be rising very slowly, the implications could be acute in some regions of the world.

Those living in low lying areas, and particularly those inhabiting areas such as the Ganges delta in Bangladesh and the Nile delta in the Mediterranean, could suffer appalling consequences if the sea level rises as predicted. Estimates vary between 50cms and more than a metre over the next 40 to 100 years.

The map above shows the amount of land lost in Egypt if the ocean rises by 1.5 metres. But scientists warn that climate change could also result in larger and more frequent storm surges which will devastate these countries.

Human influence on climate change is not accepted by everyone but most scientists now believe that we are responsible for warming the world through the large amounts of gases released by our industries.

Governments have recognised the problem and have organised several summit meetings in order to find a solution. The next attempt to tackle the problem takes place in Kyoto, Japan, in December though commentators do not expect much progress.

In this audio section, BBC World Service environment specialist Richard Black explains the so-called greenhouse effect, global warming, the implications for the human race and the significance of the Kyoto summit.

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1997 Contents
- Schengen
- Quiz
- Asian economic woes
- Thanksgiving
- Korean elections 97

Sci/Tech Contents


Global warming

In this section

Life in the greenhouse

Impact of global warming may be severe and wide-ranging

Our changing world

See and hear how the world could alter