Jakarta is Sinking


Baily Hacker and Kaitlyn Hancock

Jakarta, Venice, Miami, Guangzhou, and many other cities are rapidly facing the effects of climate change. Cities are sinking due to rising sea levels at an unsettling rate. A recent study that was posted in the Geophysical Research Letters journal, showed that 99 cities around the world are experiencing sinking rates faster than rising sea level rates.

Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is rapidly sinking into the ocean. In the last twenty years the city has sunk around four meters and the sea level is predicted to rise another meter by 2100.  As of now forty percent of this capital is below sea level. The main reason for the sinking is due to the illegal extraction of groundwater. This is from overpopulation, which became an issue in the 60’s and 70’s. 

There are around 30 million people living in Jakarta, 18 million of which don’t have access to safe drinking water. This has led to many people and businesses illegally extracting water from the ground. Jakarta is now quickly sinking because of the damage done to the land. 

The Indonesian government is now relocating its capital to the island of Borneo. They are hoping to make the new capital environmentally sustainable. They predict that construction will end on their new capital in 2045 and it will cost around 34 billion dollars. Even though this will become their new capital, not everyone will move here. Many are choosing to stay in Jakarta. 

So now the question is, will they be able to finish construction on the new capital before Jakarta sinks dangerously low? We will have to wait and see how pollution, overpopulation, flooding, and global warming will continue to affect the environment.