Number Of People In The Path Of Rising Seas Tripled By New Estimate

One of the worst and biggest effects of global warming is the melting of the polar ice caps, which can then lead to rising sea levels all around the world. This can then lead to disappearing islands and vanishing coastlines, as well as flooding in areas that just a few decades ago, wasn’t even flood-prone.

And now, according to researchers from research and advocacy group Climate Central, 340 million to 480 million people are now in danger of getting hit by the flooding of coastal areas due to rising sea levels. What’s even more alarming is that these numbers are triple the amount of people that are estimated to be at risk from previous data about coastal elevation.

Published Tuesday in the online journal Nature Communications, the new estimate from the study is made as an effort to help refine data made by NASA satellites, and shows how elevation data from some areas have been overestimated by about 5 to 10 meters. With that being said, the results don’t estimate how many people will be living in those areas come the year 2100, but rather how many people in today’s population numbers are going to be affected.

Furthermore, the research only highlights how people living in coastal areas are much more at risk, and doesn’t estimate how much land will be lost following the elevation of coastal lines and flood projection lines. Additionally, since the data is mostly numbers-based, it also doesn’t say whether that land that’s going to be affected are from less populated swaths of land, or from coastal cities. Per the researchers, that data falls outside the study’s scope, which might make the usefulness of the research quite limited, since it doesn’t show how many people in future cities will be affected.

“The global threat from sea level rise and coastal flooding is far greater than what we thought it was,” Benjamin Strauss, who heads Climate Central in Princeton, N.J, said.

Nevertheless, this new study attempts to correct a large margin of previous estimations made about global coastal elevations, and just shows how much bigger the threat actually is.

Flood The UN warns that a hundred-year worth of floods may occur yearly by 2050 due to the impact of climate change. Pixabay