Rising Sea Levels Could Displace Millions By End Of Century


As seen on The Verge: Sea levels are rising at unprecedented rates, scientists say. New research shows that by 2040, more than 90 percent of the world’s coastal areas could be experiencing sea level rises of more than 8 inches. But certain areas, like the Eastern US, will be hit even harder with water levels climbing more than a foot. By 2100, New York City, for example, could see coastal waters between 3.5 and 7.3 feet higher than they are now. The consequences, in terms of displacing millions of people, could be catastrophic.

According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, rising global temperatures will result in elevated sea levels as glaciers and land ice sheets melt. As a result, coastal cities could experience up to two meters of flooding, with low-lying nations such as Bangladesh and Vietnam especially hard hit. Miami might see about 2.5 million people displaced.

“The coastal communities of rapidly expanding cities in the developing world, and vulnerable tropical coastal ecosystems, will have a very limited time after midcentury to adapt to sea level rises unprecedented since the dawn of the Bronze Age,” the study’s authors wrote.