New research shows that sea levels could rise more than previously thought and could have disastrous consequences for mankind.
The terms global warming and climate change are often used interchangeably. However, speaking more properly, global warming denotes the mainly human-caused increase in global surface temperatures and its projected continuation, but climate change includes both global warming and its effects, such as changes in precipitation and impacts that differ by region.
According to a new study published, hundreds of millions of people living in coastal areas could lose their homes as their entire cities and towns may go underwater over the next three decades.
The research suggested that by the year 2050, rising sea levels could affect more than three times the number of people that previous studies had found to affect. The authors and scientists behind the study claimed that earlier researches were far too optimistic in their inferences. They went on to suggest that entire coastal cities could collapse underwater due to the rising sea levels, in what they termed as an "economic and humanitarian catastrophe."
This means that over 300 million people are about to be displaced and are under the threat of facing severe annual floods every year by 2050. This would force people to move away from the coastal cities in order to protect their future generations, according to a report by CNN.
The land area which houses over 200 million currently, would reportedly be below the hide tide line by the year 2100.
The study published in the journal Nature Communications puts further focus on climate change. "The results indicate that, yes, a great deal more people are on vulnerable land than we thought," said Benjamin Strauss, one of the study's co-authors and CEO of non-profit organization Climate Central.
The new study was based on findings that gave credence to fresh artificial intelligence and data which stated that sea levels will rise all over the world from between two to seven feet by the year 2100.
While the previous studies only mentioned that the sea levels would rise by 3 feet, the authors of this new research believe that their earlier assumptions were far too optimistic. Satellite readings were utilized as a means in this study to find a better and more precise way of assessing land elevation.
What does this mean? Well, over 70% of the people from coastal cities, especially in Asian countries like China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Japan are at risk of yearly floods.
The researched cautiously suggested that these countries will be forced to prepare sea defenses or end up having their coastal cities submerge gradually due to the rising sea levels.
A Climate Central press release stated that 19 countries outside the aforementioned Asian countries, including Brazil and the UK are at risk of permanently falling below the high tide line by 2100. In Asia, however, the metropolis' 'that are under maximum risk is China's Shanghai, Tianjin, and Hong Kong; Vietnamese capital Hanoi, Bangladesh capital Dhaka and India's Kolkata and Mumbai. Climate Central also predicted that the entire southern half of Vietnam could be flooded and subsequently submerged.
"If our findings stand, coastal communities worldwide must prepare themselves for much more difficult futures than may be currently anticipated. Recent work has suggested that even in the US, sea-level rise this century may induce large-scale migration away from unprotected coastlines, redistributing population density across the country and putting great pressure on inland areas," reads an observation from the authors of the study.