Earth's average temperature has increased by about 2 degrees Celsius since the Industrial Revolution, which is causing a whole slew of problems from intensifying wildfires to melting ice sheets toocean levels rising.Scientists have urged that humanity must limit further warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, which is the goal set in the Paris Agreement, or risk catastrophe. While cities drowning due to sea levels rise is sometimes discussed as a worst-case scenario, new research says such doomsday scenarios are all but certain.
A new study published in Nature Communications this week states that an estimated 150 million people are living on land that will be below the high tide line by 2050. That estimate was previously believed to be around 38 million people.
A handful of major cities around the world could be plagued by annual flooding events as soon as 2050, too.
150 million people represents 2% of Earth's current population, meaning one in fifty humans on Earth live on land that may be submerged within 31 years. Such a migration event would constitute the greatest refugee crises in the history of the planet, dwarfing the refugee crisis resultant of the second world war.
The new estimates were made by scientists at Climate Central, a science organization based in New Jersey. The study states that 70 percent of the total number of people around the world living on vulnerable land are in just eight Asian countries: China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Japan. Specifically, six Asian nations China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand are predicted to be the most vulnerable. The peer-reviewed study states that 237 million people in these countries occupy areas that are highly likely to experience coastal flooding once or multiple times per year by 2050.
This estimate quadruples previous ones used with older elevation data. Traditional elevation measurements use satellites and often struggle to account the difference between the true ground level and the tops of buildings, trees and other elevated structures. Researchers at Climate Central used artificial intelligence to make more accurate predictions.
Even more concerning, the predictions dont include future population growth or land lost to coastal erosion. In Vietnam, previous estimates showed some scattered parts of southern Vietnam being submerged by a high tide. The latest predictions by Climate Central predict that the entire half of the country will be submerged. Much of Ho Chi Minh City, which is a major economic hub and home to nearly 9 million people, is part of what is expected to submerge.
In Thailand, Bangkok is especially threatened, according to the study. The Pearl River Delta, in China, Bangladesh and Jakarta, Indonesia, are too. Jakarta has been dubbed the fastest sinking city in the world, by the BBC, which has reported how the Indonesian capital of Jakarta is sinking by an average of one to 15 centimeters a year.
Much of Mumbai, India, is at risk of being wiped out as well. Previously, estimates suggested that 5 million people in India would face challenges by sea levels rising, but the new ones suggest it would be around 36 million people.
The study notes that some of the coastal cities will likely see larger proportions of their populations being displaced. Even with lower carbon emissions and stable Antarctic ice sheets, these cities are still expected to be impacted.
We find that the global impacts of sea-level rise and coastal flooding this century will likely be far greater than indicated by the most pessimistic past analyses relying on [shuttle radar topography], the study states. These results point to great need for the development and public release of improved terrain elevation datasets for coastal areas, for example via the high-resolution imagery and lidar point clouds increasingly collected by satellite today.
As Salon has previously reported, the oldest and thickest ice in the Arctic has declined by 95 percent over the past three decades.
As scientists at various agencies including NASA have warned, even if humanity stopped emitting greenhouse gases today, global warming would still happen for decades and even centuries.
Thats because it takes a while for the planet (for example, the oceans) to respond, and because carbon dioxide the predominant heat-trapping gas lingers in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, NASA states.
Responding to climate change, according to NASA, requires a two-tier approach: mitigation and adaptation. Now that the sea level rise is inevitable, adaptation is the only possible reaction to our soon-to-be-submerged cities.
- 'High Seas' Season 2 Coming to Netflix in November 2019 ... - January 19th, 2020
- High Seas Season 3: Renewed For Third And Fourth Season ... - January 19th, 2020
- Mobile protected areas for biodiversity on the high seas - Science Magazine - January 19th, 2020
- Townsend residents community involvement earns her an all-expense paid trip on the high seas - Lowell Sun - January 19th, 2020
- 5 High Seas Adventures To Watch When Youre Done With Pirates Of The Caribbean - WhatCulture - January 19th, 2020
- Mobile protected areas needed to preserve biodiversity in the high seas - indiablooms - January 19th, 2020
- Navigating the high seas of deals and discounts during Cruise Season - KING5.com - January 19th, 2020
- WATCH: Hovercraft struggles in the Solent strong winds and high seas hit hovers and trains - Isle of Wight County Press - January 19th, 2020
- Legendary Rockers KISS Return To The High Seas With KISS Kruise X - Icon Vs. Icon - January 19th, 2020
- Azur Lane: Crosswave Gets Ship-Shape With New Screenshots and Details Ahead Of Its U.S. Release - Gamepur - January 19th, 2020
- SpaceX delays dramatic in-flight abort test of Falcon 9 rocket to prove Crew Dragon is safe for astronauts - CBS News - January 19th, 2020
- 20 Things That Will Get Anyone In Hot Water With The Cruise Ship Staff - TheTravel - January 19th, 2020
- Annie's Lilla Crawford and Dear Evan Hansen's Jared Goldsmith Will Star in Readings of We Are Still Tornadoes - Playbill.com - January 19th, 2020
- Short Redhead Reel Reviews for the week of Jan. 17 - ECM Publishers - January 19th, 2020
- Dolittle Is One of the Worst Movies in Years - The Atlantic - January 19th, 2020
- Millions of Sharks Around the World May Have Fishing Hooks Stuck Inside Them, Scientists Suggest - Newsweek - January 19th, 2020
- 20 things everyone gets in hot water with the cruise ship staff - Mash Viral - January 19th, 2020
- Twitch streamer goes AFK at the worst possible time in Sea of Thieves - Dexerto - January 19th, 2020
- Ocean temperatures hit record high as rate of heating accelerates - The Guardian - January 19th, 2020
- Nul points for Britain in the EU revision bong contest - The Guardian - January 19th, 2020
- How an advert in the Echo led to a life on the high seas and France's highest order of merit - Liverpool Echo - January 19th, 2020
- Bobby Labonte lives up to family name with NASCAR Hall of Fame induction - Speedway Digest - January 19th, 2020
- Dolittle is muddled CGI chaos with a grotesque irony at its core - The Globe and Mail - January 19th, 2020
- Advanced Native 4K Projector Technology Hits the High Seas, as Panasonic Collaborates with Princess Cruises to Deliver Its First Immersive... - January 7th, 2020
- High Seas Season 3: Netflix Release Date, Cast And Other Details - The Digital Wise - January 7th, 2020
- High Seas Season: Heres Why This Spanish Suspense Drama Is A Must See! - TheNationRoar - January 7th, 2020
- These 5 Navies Are Uncontested On The High Seas - Yahoo News - January 7th, 2020
- Factbox: Highlights of Austrian conservative-Greens coalition deal - Reuters - January 7th, 2020
- Deadly conditions for Indonesian migrant crews tied to illegal fishing - Mongabay.com - January 7th, 2020
- Going Big with Marine Conservation - The UCSB Current - January 7th, 2020
- Tony Winner Paulo Szot and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Erika Jayne Join Broadway Cast of Chicago January 6 - Playbill.com - January 7th, 2020
- [UPDATE 9:27 am] Coast Guard Works to Rescue Three Crew Members of Commercial Fishing Boat Damaged Near the South Jetty - Redheaded Blackbelt - January 7th, 2020
- Gavin Creel to Perform at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - Playbill.com - January 7th, 2020
- Climate models agree things will get bad. Capturing just how bad is tricky - Science News - January 7th, 2020
- Cable Girls Season 5: 5 Things To Know Before Its Scheduled Netflix Release - The Digital Weekly - January 7th, 2020
- Enmeshed economies will bring us togeher Himal Southasian - Himal Southasian - January 7th, 2020
- Paul Watson: "If The Oceans Die, We Die" - Their Turn - January 7th, 2020
- Suite Life Of Zack & Cody: What Happened To Cole & Dylan Sprouse - Screen Rant - January 7th, 2020
- Does China Really Need Aircraft Carriers? - The National Interest Online - January 7th, 2020
- Weekends on the Web: Saturday & Sunday, January 4-5, 2020 - KTVI Fox 2 St. Louis - January 7th, 2020
- Northern Sea Route: From Speculations to Reality by 2035 - High North News - January 7th, 2020
- The Guardian view on Brexits fishy tale: we will need friends at sea - The Guardian - January 5th, 2020
- Trade negotiators have missed a deadline to help protect fish stocks - The Economist - January 5th, 2020
- MURDER IN '47: Monsters, boozehounds and battered women - Toronto Sun - January 5th, 2020
- They Find It Suffocating And About To Die By Plastic Thrown Into The Ocean [VIDEO] - Maritime Herald - January 5th, 2020
- Wow! 15 incredible things NYC kids can't miss in 2020 - Time Out New York Kids - January 5th, 2020
- Editorial: In this new decade, set the bar high - Concord Monitor - January 5th, 2020
- Dame Edna Rules the Waves, BBC1, review: Dame Edna was resplendent in fire-alarm pink on a gilt throne - inews - January 5th, 2020
- Why Zola from The Witcher looks so familiar - Looper - January 5th, 2020
- Dr Disrespect reveals his favorite streamers and why summit1g is "top" - Dexerto - January 5th, 2020
- Below Deck reunion special: Who is coming together to celebrate the 100th episode? - Monsters and Critics - January 5th, 2020
- Santa takes to the high seas - Eternity News - December 21st, 2019
- Investigating salmon mysteries on the high seas - National Observer - December 21st, 2019
- Spill and Run: Brazil Struggles to ID Tanker Behind Oil Pollution - The Maritime Executive - December 21st, 2019
- The Navy Has A New Stealth Destroyer, But It Is No True Battleship (At Least Not Yet) - The National Interest Online - December 21st, 2019
- Cinderella Stars Santino Fontana and Laura Osnes Will Reunite for The Big Time Concert - Playbill.com - December 21st, 2019
- Step Aside Fires, Drought And Crazy Weather. Sea Level Rise Is Slowly Getting Its Day In California. - Capital Public Radio News - December 21st, 2019
- These Are The 5 Best Battleships To Ever Sail The 7 Seas - Yahoo News - December 21st, 2019
- Public warned of rip currents and high seas - Saipan Tribune - December 21st, 2019
- Tony Winner Paulo Szot to Join Broadway Cast of Chicago - Playbill.com - December 21st, 2019
- Eyeing DoD Biz, Inmarsat Buys Airborne Terminals Breaking Defense - Defense industry news, analysis and commentary - Breaking Defense - December 21st, 2019
- 15 Of The Best Holiday Treats From Disney Parks Around The World - Delish - December 21st, 2019
- Cruise: Cruisers can enjoy discounts and exclusive experiences with this little known tip - Express - December 21st, 2019
- 5 Times North Korea Provoked a Crisis (And Why They Keep Doing It) - The National Interest Online - December 21st, 2019
- The Role of the Arctic in Chinese Naval Strategy - The Jamestown Foundation - December 21st, 2019
- Fuel Cells to Lower Harmful Emissions on the High Seas - Advanced Science News - December 13th, 2019
- Wind Development In The High Seas Could Unlock Offshore Potential But Ownership Laws Need To Be Defined - Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide - December 13th, 2019
- Europe is sending a robot to clean up space. Why is the junk there in the first place? - WDJT - December 13th, 2019
- Everything You Should Know About 'High Seas' Season 3 On Netflix. - The Digital Wise - December 13th, 2019
- The race to lay claim on the Bering Strait as Arctic ice retreats - The Guardian - December 13th, 2019
- The European Space Agency Is Sending a Robot to Hug Junk Out of Space - Smithsonian.com - December 13th, 2019
- Human Rights Day: Free and Equal - The Maritime Executive - December 13th, 2019
- Prose and Kohn: Sailing the digital seas - YourObserver.com - December 13th, 2019
- Inland solicitor takes to the high seas - Law Society of Ireland Gazette - December 13th, 2019
- Captain Matt is Master of the High Seas - HGV Ireland.com - December 13th, 2019
- The First Mission to Remove Space Junk From Orbit Has Just Been Commissioned - ScienceAlert - December 13th, 2019
- Applauding Britain for Taking in Young Holocaust Survivors, the BBC Covers Up the Country's Disdain for Their Wishes - Mosaic - December 13th, 2019
- Sea Keeper : Save Life, Save the Ocean - QS WOW News - December 13th, 2019
- Jalesh: India's First Multinational Cruise Line With Best of Everything - India.com - December 13th, 2019
- THE HIGH SEAS: Brunswick looks bounce back and send seniors off on high note - Brunswick News - November 1st, 2019