Over 1,100 square kilometres (440 square miles) of land in economically booming southern China will be inundated by rising sea-levels by 2050 due to global warming, state press said Thursday.
"The Pearl River Delta area, a leading manufacturing hub, will be hard hit by climate change in the coming decades," the China Daily quoted Du Raodong, an expert with the Guangdong provincial weather centre, as saying.
The major cities of Guangzhou, Zhuhai and Foshan are expected to be the worst hit by sea-levels that are expected to rise by at least 30 centimeters (12 inches) by 2050, the paper said.
The findings, contained in a recent report by Guangdong weather authorities, said 1,153 square kilometers of coastline along the delta would be flooded by the rising waters, the paper said.
"Climate change will negatively affect the economic development of Guangdong, which is currently one of the biggest consumers of energy and producers of greenhouse gases," Du said.
The rising sea level will introduce salt tides that could contaminate fresh water supplies, while polluting algae blooms along Guangdong's coastal waters will further exacerbate the problem, he said.
Already the region is witnessing extreme weather with severe flooding and rainstorms in recent years partially blamed on global warming, it said.
China has been cited as one country that will be hit hard by global warming, according to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.