Rising seas will be much worse and more expensive to deal with than previously thought, new research finds, not because of faster changes in sea levels but because of an increase in estimates of the number of people living on low ground. The upshot of the study is that 110 million people worldwide live below the high-tide level — including many partly protected by sea walls or other infrastructure, as in New Orleans. Even under a scenario of very modest climate change, that number will rise to 150 million in 2050 and 190 million by 2100. If climate change and sea level rise follow a worse path, as many as 340 million people living below the high-tide level could be in peril, to say nothing of how many could be affected by floods and extreme events. Such figures are three times — or more — higher than earlier estimates.
Washington Post 29th Oct 2019 read more »
More than three times more people are at risk from rising sea levels than previously believed, research suggests. Land that is currently home to 300 million people will flood at least once a year by 2050 unless carbon emissions are cut significantly and coastal defences strengthened, says the study, published in Nature Communications. This is far above the previous estimate of 80 million. The upward revision is based on a more sophisticated assessment of the topography of coastlines around the world. Previous models used satellite data that overestimated the altitude of land due to tall buildings and trees. The new study used artificial intelligence to compensate for such misreadings.
Guardian 29th Oct 2019 read more »