Climate change is still coming for many people, for others though, it’s already here and it arrived with a bang. Rising sea levels caused by climate change are a major concern for many coastal regions around the world.
As the Earth’s temperature continues to rise, the polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate, causing the sea level to rise. As the sea level rises, it can cause severe flooding, coastal erosion, and can make certain areas uninhabitable. Low-lying areas, small island nations, and delta regions are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels. These areas are at risk of losing landmass, being submerged, and forcing people to relocate.
As sea levels continue to rise, it is estimated that millions of people will be displaced, and many coastal cities and regions will be lost. One estimate puts it at about 410 million people. Here are some areas that have already been submerged, are at risk of being submerged or are at risk of losing significant land mass to flooding.
Carteret Islands, Papua New Guinea: The Carteret Islands are a group of small islands located in the Pacific Ocean that were the first to be submerged by rising sea levels. Residents of the Islands have been relocating and fleeing to the mainland since 2005.
Kiribati: Kiribati is a small island nation located in the Pacific Ocean that has also been affected by rising sea levels. The government of Kiribati has already purchased land in Fiji as a potential location for the evacuation of its population.
The Marshall Islands: The Marshall Islands, another small island nation in the Pacific Ocean, is also highly vulnerable to rising sea levels. A number of small islands have already been submerged and many more are at risk of being submerged in the future.
Tuvalu: Tuvalu, also a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean, is facing the same problem as Kiribati and the Marshall Islands. The rising sea level has already submerged some of the islands and made them uninhabitable.
Maldives: The Maldives is a small island nation located in the Indian Ocean that is particularly vulnerable to the effects of rising sea levels caused by climate change. If the sea level were to rise by 1 meter, the Maldives would lose around 80% of its land area, making the country uninhabitable. The government of the Maldives has already purchased land in higher-lying areas as a potential location for the evacuation of its population. Visit the flower of the indies the enchanting Maldives
Venice, Italy: The city of Venice is also affected by sea-level rise. The city is built on a lagoon and is particularly vulnerable to flooding. The city experiences regular flooding, known as “Acqua Alta,” which is caused by a combination of factors, including high tides and sea-level rise.
Miami, United States: Miami is one of the cities in the United States that is also affected by rising sea levels. The city experiences regular tidal flooding, also known as “sunny day flooding,” and is at risk of more severe flooding in the future.
Bangladesh: The low-lying delta region of Bangladesh is highly susceptible to flooding and storm surges, and rising sea levels could displace millions of people. According to some estimates, by 2050, as much as 17% of Bangladesh’s land area could be submerged by rising seas.
India: Coastal cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai are at risk of flooding and coastal erosion. The city of Mumbai, for example, could see its shoreline recede by as much as 1.5 km by 2050, putting the city’s vital port and airport infrastructure at risk. In Kolkata, the sea level is expected to rise by 0.5m by 2050, which will submerge more than 10% of the city’s area.
Vietnam: The Mekong Delta region, which is home to 18 million people and produces much of Vietnam’s rice, is particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise. Sea levels in the country could rise by as much as 1.5m. This would put vast tracts of land and infrastructure at risk, including major cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho.
Low-lying areas in the United States, such as Florida and the Gulf Coast, are also at risk of flooding and storm surges due to rising sea levels. In Miami, for example, sea levels could rise by as much as 2ft by 2060, which would flood many low-lying areas of the city.
Low-lying nations in Europe: the Netherlands, Belgium, and the United Kingdom are particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise due to their low-lying areas. The Dutch province of Zeeland, for example, could see its land area reduced by as much as 40% by 2100. In the United Kingdom, the city of London could be at risk of flooding by the end of this century due to rising sea levels.
Other cities that could sink or disappear include
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Lagos, Nigeria
- Houston, Texas
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Bangkok, Thailand
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Rotterdam, The Netherlands
- Alexandria, Egypt
- Miami, Florida
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