Three river deltas in China are sinking due to global warming and excessive extraction of underground water, leaving millions of people with an increasing risk of floods, a recent scientific report showed.
The Pearl, Yangtze and Yellow river deltas in China are among the 33 major deltas studied, with 24 of them found to be sinking, according to the report released by the University of Colorado. The three river deltas in China cover about 160,000 sq km and nearly 100 million people live in the areas surrounding these river deltas.
"Most of the at-risk river basins are in the developing countries of Asia, but there are several in developed nations as well, including the Rhone in France and the Po in Italy," Altert Kettner from the university told British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
Researchers calculate that 85 percent of major deltas have seen severe flooding in recent years. In the next four decades, the areas of land vulnerable to flooding will increase by about 50 percent. The land is sinking and sea level is rising due to climate change.
The researchers took data from various space satellites, and combined it with historical records and measurements of the rise in sea levels to get a comprehensive report.