Rising seas this century could flood coastal areas that up to 480 million people call home, according to a study published on Tuesday.
Scientists at Climate Central, a research and advocacy group, used a new digital model to estimate coastal elevation that improves upon previous figures based on NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission.
NASA's system measures elevation by bouncing radar signals off the surface of the Earth, including trees, skyscrapers or the land itself. That means the method can overestimate elevation levels in places like forests or cities.
“The global threat from sea level rise and coastal flooding is far greater than what we thought it was,” Benjamin Strauss, who heads Climate Central in Princeton, N.J., told Science News.
Strauss and computational scientist Scott Kulp used a computer algorithm to fine-tune NASA's elevation estimates to account for trees, bridges and other structures.
The researchers examine a range of potential scenarios, including a worst-case one where emissions are left unchecked and disintegrating Antarctic ice cliffs cause the seas to rise dramatically. That would put 480 million people, in terms of where populations live today, at risk, according to the study that was published in Nature Communications.
"In the coming decades, the greatest effects [of sea level rise] will be felt in Asia, thanks to the number of people living in the continent’s low-lying coastal areas. Mainland China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand are home to the most people on land projected to be below average annual coastal flood levels by 2050," the researchers state in their report.
“We knew it was going to be big, but the fact that there are — when we look at a global scale — three times as many people potentially vulnerable … it’s still quite shocking,” Kulp told Science News.
Bill aka the Graybeard
I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice.
JESUS is the way, the truth, and the life anyone who believes in Him will have everlasting life!
Location: 3 miles NW of Brownells retail store and they keep me broke!
Yeah, well I killed a 3 lb fox squirrel in the back yard last night. He had nuts bigger than golf balls. My new digital model says squirrels will be 800 lbs by the end of this century.....Now that's based on the biggest squirrel I ever killed prior being 2 lbs and that was 5 years ago. So I had my 4th grade grandson do a digital graph based on their body weight growing 50% every 5 years. Yup about 800lbs is what it comes to. I need a bigger gun cuz it's gonna happen. We did the math and a made a digital model based on the facts that are undisputable..........
The seas have been doing this to costal areas for over 3000 years. Just look at how many statues and former city foundation structures have been found under 80 feet of water. It's a lot of them, and that didn't happen overnight. The inhabitants didn't have SCUBA gear and went out there and did that, it isn't anything we are doing.
The Earths crust is always changing, sometimes so slowly it isnt noticeable. In just a few generations?
Its rediculous for us to think that in our generation alone all this is going to happen.