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The rise in sea level alone threatens to destroy the global economy

Flooding occurs near flood in a low-lying area in Funafuti, Tuvalu, on November 27, 201<div class="e3lan e3lan-in-post1"><script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script>
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Flood occurs on November 27, 2019 near high tide in a low-lying area in Funafuti, Tuvalu.
photo:: Mario Tama (Getty Images)

A new study shows that we are facing a humid and costly scenario. In the climate-shattered future, floods would occur every 10 years and occur every 100 years – and this could result in infrastructure damage of $ 14.2 trillion worldwide. Yes, trillions of dollars.

Published in Scientific Reports on Thursday, the new one study takes a look at the consequences of rising sea levels. In the worst case scenario, up to 20% of global GDP could be threatened by coastal flooding by 2100. Flood areas could also increase by 48%, which is roughly the size of France. That does not have to be that way. The extent of the damage largely depends on how much higher the greenhouse gas emissions are.

The authors came together from Australia, the Netherlands and Germany to measure the quantitative damage that rising seas could cause. To perform this analysis, they examined the three processes that trigger floods: tides, storm surges, and waves. They examined the conditions under two climate scenarios, one in which greenhouse gas emissions air-conditioned quickly and one in which they flattened and then decreased in the middle of the century. The authors used observed data from 1979 to 2014 to use their models to test what the damage might look like in 2050 and 2100.

Once they were able to restore sea level rise and the potential level of flooding, the team examined the GDP and population databases to find out what these effects would be for society. And that impact looks damn bad.

Money is one thing, especially when it comes to trillions of dollars worth of damage. The price of $ 14.2 trillion for inactivity is a huge price that the world should definitely avoid. Human life is also endangered by rising seas. The paper found that by 2100 more people would experience coastal flooding at worst as the rising sea increased the tide and made the storm surge more destructive. The paper also identifies northwest Europe, southeast and east Asia, the northeastern United States and northern Australia. Identifying these hot spots is a key benefit of this paper for future research, said Kristina Dahl, a senior climate researcher at the Union of Concerned Scientists who was not involved in the study, Earther in an email.

The results also show that reducing emissions would also reduce the risk to life and property. The study found that those at risk of flooding would “only” increase by $ 82 million and GDP would reach $ 12.8 trillion. That is still not a good thing, of course, and indicates the need to prepare for a wetter future now.

“Adaptation will be an important strategy for the future,” said author Ebru Kirezci, a graduate student in marine engineering at the University of Melbourne, Earther in an email. “This includes the construction and improvement of coastal protection structures such as dikes or walls, the implementation of coastal retreats or the use of coastal warning systems and increasing readiness. The impact is global, but like many other climate issues, certain locations are more affected than others, as highlighted in our study. This requires careful long-term planning of adaptation strategies to increase the resilience and readiness of coastal areas. “

The study offers a unique global perspective of the effects of rising sea levels and increasing flooding communities. This pushes the needle of what is possible to give world leaders a look at the impending destruction, but it also has its limitations.

It is a challenging topic to approach globally, said Dahl. She noted that other studies that have done so have provided different estimates of damage and flood exposure, but that it is clear that “sea level rise in the coming decades will threaten the well-being of hundreds of millions of people around the world becomes”.

The authors are open about the limits of the paper’s global perspective. They suspect that some of their results may be overrated as a result, however Sean Vitousek, retired The US Geological Survey oceanographer, who was not involved in the study, informed Earther in an email The Some could still be underestimated, including those inWave flow. This is because the authors rely on predictions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is fairly conservative in its assessment. However, many of these limitations are not due specifically to the authors, but to science that is widely available.

“This paper is a step in the right direction to assess the global impact of sea level rise, and we, the scientific community, have focused our work on continually refining and improving predictions of coastal hazards and exposure,” said Vitousek. “These predictions are so important to tell us what we’re going to do to tackle sea level rise.”

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