Sea levels along the mainland coast will rise by as much as 40cm by 2030, a mainland marine scientist says. Zhou Qiulin, a researcher at the State Oceanic Administration's Third Research Institute, told Xinhua yesterday that sea levels would rise 60cm by 2050 and 90cm by 2100. The nation had witnessed a faster rise in sea levels than the global average in the past five decades, Professor Zhou said, without giving any details of the cause. The worst-hit areas would be the wealthiest and most populous, for example the Yangtze and Pearl River deltas. Professor Zhou warned that rising sea levels would lead to increasingly severe weather conditions. The number of typhoons in Guangdong has increased by 150 per cent in the past decade, and in Shanghai the number has risen by 250 per cent. Rising sea levels have brought the relocation of villages and destruction of harbours. More than 70 per cent of sand beaches have been eroded and in Hainan some coastlines are retreating by up to 20 metres a year. Costal structures, such as sea walls, will no longer be able to resist nature's destructive power.