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Half of China's cities are sinking, putting most of the country's population at risk Sciences

Half of China's cities are sinking, putting most of the country's population at risk  Sciences

Major cities in eastern China are sinking due to groundwater extraction and the weight of buildings, exposing millions of people to floods and damage over the next 100 years, exacerbated by rising sea levels, according to a recent study.

After New York and Chicago, major cities in China are also beginning to sink, which may cause serious problems in the future. The affected cities, including Beijing and Tianjin, are concentrated in the eastern part of the country and along the coast. It was published in the journal Science From a study The researchers revealed that land subsidence would be measured in every Chinese city with a population of more than 2 million between 2015 and 2022. The 82 cities they examined 45% drown by more than 3 mm per year and 16% by more than 10 mm per year..

The researchers found that subsidence is linked to a number of factors, such as groundwater withdrawal and the weight of buildings, but these stretches of coast are not helped by the fact that sea levels are constantly rising. The decline could affect nearly a billion people, as these major cities are home to three-quarters of the population.

In the study, scientists used data from the Sentinel-1 satellite, which measures vertical changes in the Earth's surface using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) instruments. It was combined with groundwater assessments from wells as well as building mass. Researchers believe subsidence can be prevented or slowed by reducing groundwater extraction.

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