One aspect of the very complex conversation going on about climate change that we don't hear too much about is how rising sea levels will actually affect people around the world.
In light of the recent UN-hosted climate summit, ClimateCentral.org just published a detailed country-by-country analysis about which populations and regions around the globe are going to be most affected by increased flooding. Their analysis, based on the most comprehensive set of data every put together to examine this and published in the New York Times, shows who might be most at risk to rising sea levels if climate change trends continue as they have been.
If carbon emissions continue to on their current track and without any action done to reverse them, the report estimates that 2.6% of the global population - that's 177,000,000 people! - could be exposed to regular flooding by the year 2100. Even with significant cuts to global carbon emissions, the estimate falls to 1.9%. Less conservative estimates put the number at as high as 3.1%.
Those 177 million people predicted to be effected by this flooding aren't distributed evenly around the world, as the data took into account variations of sea level sensitivity among different costal countries. Some 50 million people are predicted to live in China, which happens to be the world's largest carbon emitting country in the world (in fact eight of the top ten countries are in Asia). While the US -- also one of the largest carbon emitters per capita -- ranks 34th.
So ... do you think this report will just fall on deaf ears or finally be the tipping point that gets global governments to start fighting climate change and global emissions more aggressively? Do you live in one of the predicted flooding areas and going to move? Or are you just sick to death of hearing about climate change? As always, we welcome you to let us know how you feel in the comments section below.
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New Analysis Shows Global Exposure to Sea Level Rise (Climate Central)
"Climate Central just completed a novel analysis of worldwide exposure to sea level rise and coastal flooding. We found that 147 to 216 million people live on land that will be below sea level or regular flood levels by the end of the century, assuming emissions of heat-trapping gases continue on their current trend."
Flooding Risk From Climate Change, Country by Country (NY Times)
"More than a quarter of Vietnam's residents live in areas likely to be subject to regular floods by the end of the century."
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