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GD | Debate : Melting Ice Caps and Sea Level Rise

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

Let's Prepare for a GD, Debate, Extempore, Mock Parliament in Conversational Mode


Teacher : It's alarming to see how rapidly the Arctic is warming compared to the rest of the planet. The melting ice caps and rising sea levels are major concerns. Did you know that sea levels are now rising more than twice as quickly as they did for most of the 20th century?


Student: : Yes, it's a worrying trend. In fact, on a global scale, seas are rising an average of 3.2 mm per year, and projections indicate that they could grow by up to about 0.7 meters by the end of this century. The melting of land ice, particularly from the Greenland Ice Sheet, is a significant contributor to this sea level rise.


Teacher: Absolutely, the Greenland Ice Sheet is a major cause for concern. Last year alone, the summer triggered the loss of a staggering 60 billion tons of ice from Greenland, raising global sea levels by 2.2 mm in just two months. The satellite data shows that the ice sheet lost a record amount of ice in 2019, with an average of a million tons per minute throughout the year. It's alarming to think about the cascading effects of this situation.


Student: The potential consequences are indeed daunting. If the entire Greenland ice sheet were to melt, sea levels would rise by a staggering six meters. That kind of sea level rise would have devastating impacts on coastal regions and communities around the world.


Teacher: : Absolutely. The impact on coastal regions will be severe. According to research by Climate Central, sea level rise this century could flood coastal areas currently inhabited by 340 million to 480 million people, potentially forcing them to migrate to safer areas. This would not only create a humanitarian crisis but also strain resources in the regions where they migrate.


Student: It's a concerning prospect, especially considering that some major cities are at high risk. Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, and Dubai are among the cities most vulnerable to sea level rise and flooding. The effects of rising sea levels could be catastrophic for these coastal cities and the people who live there.


Teacher: Absolutely. The impacts will be far-reaching, affecting not only the coastal regions but also the global population as a whole. We need to take urgent action to mitigate climate change and its effects, especially the melting ice caps and rising sea levels. It's a complex challenge that requires a collective effort from governments, organizations, and individuals to address the root causes and adapt to the changes ahead.


Student: Indeed, addressing the issue of melting ice caps and rising sea levels requires a multifaceted approach. One aspect that needs attention is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are driving global warming and accelerating ice melt. Transitioning to renewable energy sources, improving energy efficiency, and implementing sustainable practices in various sectors are crucial steps in mitigating climate change.


Teacher: Absolutely, reducing greenhouse gas emissions is key. Additionally, efforts to protect and restore coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves and salt marshes, can play a significant role in mitigating the impacts of rising sea levels. These natural buffers can help absorb water and reduce the risk of coastal erosion and flooding.


Student: That's a great point. Investing in nature-based solutions like coastal restoration projects and preserving wetlands can not only provide coastal protection but also support biodiversity and provide additional benefits to local communities. It's important to recognize the value of these ecosystems in building resilience against sea level rise.


Teacher: Indeed, it's crucial to integrate coastal management and climate change adaptation strategies into urban planning and infrastructure development. This includes considering sea level rise projections in designing and constructing buildings, roads, and other critical infrastructure. By adopting nature-based infrastructure and sustainable design principles, we can enhance the resilience of coastal communities.


Student: Absolutely, and it's also important to prioritize international cooperation and knowledge-sharing to address this global issue. Collaborative efforts between countries can lead to the development of innovative solutions, the sharing of best practices, and the mobilization of resources needed to adapt to rising sea levels.


Teacher: Definitely, international collaboration is essential. It's important to provide support and resources to developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of rising sea levels. This can include financial assistance, technology transfer, and capacity-building initiatives to help these countries adapt and build resilience in the face of climate change.


Student: Indeed, addressing the issue of melting ice caps and rising sea levels requires a multifaceted approach. One aspect that needs attention is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are driving global warming and accelerating ice melt. Transitioning to renewable energy sources, improving energy efficiency, and implementing sustainable practices in various sectors are crucial steps in mitigating climate change.


Teacher: Absolutely, reducing greenhouse gas emissions is key. Additionally, efforts to protect and restore coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves and salt marshes, can play a significant role in mitigating the impacts of rising sea levels. These natural buffers can help absorb water and reduce the risk of coastal erosion and flooding.


Student: That's a great point. Investing in nature-based solutions like coastal restoration projects and preserving wetlands can not only provide coastal protection but also support biodiversity and provide additional benefits to local communities. It's important to recognize the value of these ecosystems in building resilience against sea level rise.


Teacher: Indeed, it's crucial to integrate coastal management and climate change adaptation strategies into urban planning and infrastructure development. This includes considering sea level rise projections in designing and constructing buildings, roads, and other critical infrastructure. By adopting nature-based infrastructure and sustainable design principles, we can enhance the resilience of coastal communities.


Student: Absolutely, and it's also important to prioritize international cooperation and knowledge-sharing to address this global issue. Collaborative efforts between countries can lead to the development of innovative solutions, the sharing of best practices, and the mobilization of resources needed to adapt to rising sea levels.


Teacher: Definitely, international collaboration is essential. It's important to provide support and resources to developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of rising sea levels. This can include financial assistance, technology transfer, and capacity-building initiatives to help these countries adapt and build resilience in the face of climate change.


Student: Agreed. The challenges posed by melting ice caps and rising sea levels are immense, but by taking proactive measures, we can mitigate their impacts and protect the communities and ecosystems that are most at risk. It requires a collective effort and a long-term commitment to creating a sustainable and resilient future for our planet.
















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