Harmful gases – released from use of weapons in Middle East wars – have been contributing to earth’s growing warming. This warming has been melting ice and glaciers into water, overflowing seas and oceans — something that makes coastal inhabitants worldwide vulnerable to sea-level rise.

Bahauddin Foizee | Middle East Politics

The continuous rise in sea-level has been causing the coastal areas across the globe to gradually submerge under water. While this is an adverse effect of global warming, the phenomenon of global warming is in turn caused by several contributory factors, including the increasing trend of wars in Middle East and elsewhere.

In recent years, the number of wars and proxy wars have increased significantly. While geopolitical rivalries are driving these wars, these wars themselves are driving up the use of destructive weapons and military hardware that are necessary to carryout these wars.

Use of these weapons and hardware release millions of tons of harmful gases into the air that had been previously locked-up in coal, oil and natural gases for millions of years. These gases are very dangerous for our planet’s environment.

For example, in the ongoing Syrian war, these ‘harmful gases’ are being released into the air using tanks, artillery, missiles, lethal weapons, etc.

Furthermore, the warplanes of the Syrian Bashar-al-Assad’s regime, Russia, Turkey and the US-led Western coalition have been dropping bombs, which too release ‘harmful gases’ into the air. What’s more, the use of barrel and chemical bombs on civilian targets too carries these ‘harmful gases’.

Like Syrian War, these ‘harmful gases’ are also being released in the air by similar military activities in the ongoing wars in Libya and Yemen.

The most alarming part about these ‘harmful gases’ is that when they are released into the air, global temperature rises gradually — making the planet’s atmosphere increasingly warmer.

This warming atmosphere melts the mountain-ice and polar-glaciers in Arctic, Antarctic, Himalayas and elsewhere. The melting turns ice and glaciers into water — which then reaches the seas and oceans of the world, raising the sea-level globally with every passing day.

Because of this trend of rising sea-level, the coastal areas across the world – particularly the low-lying ones – have been gradually submerging under water. Take the coastal landmass comprising Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Thailand and Pakistan for example. These areas are becoming extremely vulnerable to the rising sea-level.

  • Around 6-8% of flood prone Bangladesh is expected to be submerged under water by 2030.
  • The Indian coastal landmass, which has 20 million coastal inhabitants, will be submerged if there is a global increase in temperature of 2 degrees Celsius.
  • The coastal inhabitants in the Pakistani provinces of Sindh and Balochistan are expected to experience a decline in drinking water quality and a decrease in fish and shrimp numbers.
  • Already Bangkok (Thailand) has been sinking 10 centimetres every year, placing the city at risk of submerging into the sea within a matter of few decades.
  • A substantial portion of the Myanmar’s coastal areas is predicted to be submerged under water by 2050.

Hence, it appears that the use of weapons in the ongoing wars in the Middle East has been releasing into the air millions of tons of harmful gases, which are the one of the major contributor to earth’s growing warming. This warming has been melting ice and glaciers into water, which then reaches the seas and oceans of the world, raising the sea-level globally with every passing day.

This puts the coastal inhabitants worldwide into the risk of losing their native coastal areas into the seas and oceans.

The global community must take constructive attempts to reduce the wars across the Middle East, since these wars are one of the major incentives of rising sea-level. Otherwise, millions of coastal inhabitants around the globe could face a survival threat.

Bahauddin Foizee is an international affairs analyst & columnist, and regularly writes on greater Asia Pacific, Indian Oceanic region and greater Middle East geopolitics. He — infrequently — writes on environment & climate change, social awareness, law and refugee scenario.