By 2050, the rising of the surface of the ocean will endanger 300 million people, including Europeans

2019 - 11 - 01
By 2050, the rising of the surface of the ocean will endanger 300 million people, including Europeans

Scientists claim in a newly published study that by 2050, the rising surface of the oceans caused by climate change will endanger three times more people in the world than had been estimated originally. According to the research, more than 300 million people live in places that are at risk of suffering from annual floods within 30 years.

The original estimations were 80 million. The results of the study were published in Nature magazine by researchers from Climate Central, an organisation focusing on climate changes.

Regular floods at least once a year will affect some of the most densely populated areas in the world, in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and India. The Netherlands is at the greatest risk in Europe as a quarter of its area lies below the sea level, but the rising water level will affect Britain and Germany, where the greatest problems in the future can be expected at the estuary of the Elbe in Hamburg, a city with nearly two million inhabitants.

As a detailed interactive map from the institute shows, the world’s metropolitan cities such as London, New York, Miami and Tokyo are not safe from the rising oceans either.

The authors of the study reached the new conclusions based on a better assessment of the geography of the world’s coastal areas. While previous models had used satellite shots where altitude was distorted by tall buildings and trees, scientists from Climate Central gathered data with the use of artificial intelligence that corrected the inaccurate data.

“Now we know that the threat of rising sea levels and flooding of coastlines is much greater than we previously thought,” said Benjamin Strauss, executive manager of Climate Central and co-author of the study.

Rising sea levels is one of the most destabilising manifestations of climate change, and could force millions of people to relocate. According to scientists, it can only be avoided by decreasing our carbon footprint. Researchers have appealed to governments around the world to take appropriate and necessary measures.

“Each ton of CO2 that we manage not to release will be significant for saving areas at risk,” said Dalibor Dostal, director of conservation organization European Wildlife.

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