The authors say rising sea water levels could cost the global economy $ 14.2 trillion in lost or damaged property by the end of the century, as large areas of land, home to millions of people, are inundated.
“It’s on a ‘business as a CO2 emissions scenario in general,” said Ebaru Kirsky of the University of Melbourne, who led the study. “Business as usual” assumes an increase in average global temperature at the upper end of predictions, if global emissions are allowed to continue on their current course.
As the temperature and sea level rise, The study estimates that 287 million people may be exposed Episodic coastal flooding up to 2100 – from a maximum of 171 million today. More than a million square kilometers of coastline can also be compromised – an area almost double the size of France.
Areas with widespread flood risk include the north-eastern coast of the United States, northwestern Europe, and large parts of Asia – according to the authors, including the Bay of Bengal, Indonesia, China, and countries around northern Australia.
some of the most Sensitive areas are heavily populated, low-lying and low-income areas that already deal with devastating annual floods.
The authors state that their figures do not take coastal security into account or predict growth in the global economy or population by 2100. However, they say that putting the dollar figure in the worst case may change the policy before it is too late.
“If you want politicians to take notice, you have to turn it into words that resonate for them. The words that resonate for them are economic effects,” Earn Young, professor of engineering at the University of Melbourne and co- Author Eoin said. Of study.
All about extremes
Instead of focusing on the average – or average – rise in sea level, the maximum area that sees sea levels during extreme storms over the last 30 years may be a flood hazard.
He mapped out all of the “one in 100 years” flood events – particularly devastating storms and floods resulting from intense storms and cyclones – off the world’s coast. With estimates of sea level rises under different greenhouse gas emission scenarios to this data, the authors modeled the maximum rise in sea level.
“We’re looking at the climax,” Young said. “Tides, storm surge, wave setting, sea level rise, the extremes that it produces, and being able to do it globally – that’s what is unique about this project.”
If nothing is done to reduce carbon emissions, By 2100, vulnerable areas that are under threat from the “100-year one” flood event will experience it once every decade, the authors found.
“We are already seeing increasing frequency of storms and extreme sea levels,” Kirezci said. “Risks are increasing and climate change increases these effects.”
To reach the economic costs of more large floods, researchers combined their models with topographic data to identify coastal flood risk areas, as well as mapping population data and GDP in those affected areas.
“Our main goal with the study was to inform decision makers and policy makers around the world so that we could identify hotspots – in the most vulnerable areas – on the global coastline.”
What does this mean for countries and vulnerable populations
Severe flooding already causes billions of dollars of damage every year, as houses, buildings and critical infrastructure such as roads, pipes and electric toes and fields are destroyed.
Kirezci’s study suggests that social and economic costs will only get worse if calls for rescue from greater flooding are ignored.
“As with many environmental issues, it is the poor that are most affected,” Young said. “The real humanitarian challenge will be what you do. Can you really build coastal security, do you have to relocate the population, how will you really go about it?”
Scientists say that even if we reduce greenhouse gas emissions now, the sea level is rising somewhat Unavoidable.
“Regardless of what we do with changing our climate, sea levels rise,” Young said.
The researchers said that along with reducing emissions, countries should invest in adaptation measures to prevent future flooding. These include the creation of natural defenses such as mangroves and sea grasses that absorb waves and waves along the coastline, as well as beach nourishment – where sand is transported to the beach and dunes.
As a last resort, researchers say, the entire population may have to be moved away from the coast, a costly and highly disruptive move that can lead to major human issues.
Kirezci said that people should be aware of the impact of climate crisis on sea level. “We need to raise awareness about coastal communities, which live in low-lying areas,” she said.