General, Research, Technology

What cities will be under water already in 2050?

According to recent research,rising sea levels by 2050 will affect more people than previously thought and would jeopardize the destruction of several of the largest coastal cities in the world. The authors of a paper published in the journal Nature Communications developed a more accurate way to calculate sea level rise and found that the previous numbers were too optimistic. The results showed that about 150 million people currently live on land, which by the middle of the century will go under water.

Already today, a large number of coastal residents face floods and floods.

Sea level rise is a direct resultclimate change. An increase in global temperature led to the melting of Arctic ice, which in turn led to a rise in sea level. New predictions from Climate Central, an independent organization of scholars and journalists who research and report on climate change and its impact on society, based on data collected using a machine learning tool, have shown that the problem is much more serious than experts expected.

Flood threat is more serious than expected

To understand how much the coastal populationvulnerable to sea level rise, it is necessary to understand how high the land is. The fact is that the world scientific community has always been focused on what is constantly changing - and this is the sea level. In their work, a team of researchers suggested taking a fresh look at the problem and revising land altitude data that was used for global and international estimates of sea level rise. To develop a new terrain model that eliminated the inaccuracies, the researchers used artificial intelligence. As a result, it was found that three times as many residents of coastal cities would be vulnerable to rising sea levels and coastal floods in the coming decades.

Bangkok under water at high tide. Left: the old forecast for 2050; Right: new forecast for 2050

Researchers note that it is not yet knownwhich cities will suffer as a result of rising sea levels, and which will be completely wiped off the face of the earth. According to The New York Times, the work did not take into account measures to protect coastal cities from emergency situations that could be taken by the leadership of the countries. However, according to the results, more than 110 million people today already live in regions below the tide line. Thus, scientists see sea level rise as a very serious threat to the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the coming decades.

Vietnam under water at high tide. Left: the old forecast for 2050; Right: new forecast for 2050

Which countries will suffer from rising sea levels?

The results indicate that Asia in whichthere are a large number of the most densely populated cities in the world, it can seriously suffer. Downtown Shanghai and other nearby cities run the risk of being submerged. In total, the researchers concluded that more than 151 million people in Asia alone could be affected by floods. The study is accompanied by maps showing the former expectations of flooded regions by 2050 and current ones.

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Mumbai (India) under water at high tide. Left: the old forecast for 2050; Right: new forecast for 2050

So, today in Thailand more than 10% of citizens liveon land, which may go under water by 2050, compared with 1% in accordance with previous models. Researchers believe that climate change will put pressure on cities in a variety of ways. Despite the fact that there is a threat of flooding of vast territories, global warming will force farmers to leave their homes and seek work in cities. Scientists suggest that the heads of state take protective measures and begin the construction of dams and barriers. Moreover, it is necessary to start work as soon as possible.

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Alexandria under water at high tide. Left: the old forecast for 2050; Right: new forecast for 2050

The second largest city in Iraq is Basra, alsois at risk. Moreover, according to new forecasts, most of Mumbai - the financial capital of India and one of the largest cities in the world - runs the risk of being destroyed. In general, according to the results of numerous studies, climate change threatens not only the suffering of millions of people around the world, but also the extinction of cultural heritage. So, Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great around 330 BC in Egypt, can completely go under water. Specialists also warn of the threat of growing regional conflicts that could erupt due to the large number of climate refugees.