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In the following sentences, I'm confused with the writing "... leading to to loss of property and life". I'd like to know the grammatical function of the phrase. The sentences are from a prescribed textbook for the students.

With the rise in the temperature of the atmosphere, there is a relative rise in the temperature of oceans. This in turn causes more and more glaciers and sea ice to melt, which in turn causes sea levels to rise, flooding many coastal regions leading to loss of property and life.

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2 Answers 2

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... which in turn causes sea levels to rise, flooding many coastal regions [leading to loss of property and life.]

The function of the bracketed non-finite clause is that of adjunct in clause structure, where it indicates a resultant situation.

Note that it could be replaced with the less likely reason adjunct:

"... which in turn causes sea levels to rise, flooding many coastal regions [with the result that property and lives are lost.]

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  • Thanks, BillJ. But I'd like to know whether the original writing is grammatically correct or not?
    – Theinlwin
    Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 12:04
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    Yes, it's OK, though I would insert a comma before the participial clause, especially as there would be a slight pause in speech.
    – BillJ
    Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 12:09
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It is a participle phrase, used descriptively or adverbially. Participles are formed from verbs in the "-ing" (present participle) or "-ed" (past participle, which is sometimes irregular). Present participles are "active" so it means that "rising sea levels lead to loss of property and life".

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  • Thanks, James K. Should there be a comma before that participle phrase?
    – Theinlwin
    Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 12:01
  • A comma could be inserted and I think it would improve clarity if it was inserted.
    – James K
    Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 19:12

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