A new Climate Central research report released this week finds hundreds of millions more people than previously known live on land at risk from coastal flooding linked to climate change. The largest vulnerable populations are most heavily in Asia.
I ran a feature several years ago about billionaires already preparing for coastal flooding by purchasing mass amounts of farmland and inland properties to avoid this scenario. According to The Land Report, over 100 wealthy families own 42 million acres of land across the U.S. Each of the 20 individuals and families that own the most land hold over a half-million acres each. Among them: John Malone, Ted Turner, Stan Kroenke, Brad Kelley, and Subway founder Peter Buck, with many more new acquisitions happening this year.
By 2050, sea-level rise will push average annual coastal floods higher than land now home to 300 million people, according to a study published in Nature Communications. High tides could permanently rise above land occupied by over 150 million people, including 30 million in China. Without advanced coastal defense and planning, populations in these areas may face permanent flooding within 30 years.
Rising seas could affect three times more people by 2050 than previously thought, according to new research, threatening to all but erase some of the world’s great coastal cities.
The authors of a paper published Tuesday developed a more accurate way of calculating land elevation based on satellite readings, a standard way of estimating the effects of sea level rise over large areas, and found that the previous numbers were far too optimistic. The new research shows that some 150 million people are now living on land that will be below the high-tide line by midcentury.
Land underwater at high tide
Old projection for 2050
New projection for 2050
South China Sea
South China Sea
Southern Vietnam could all but disappear.
The first map shows earlier expectations of submerged land by 2050. But the new outlook, the second map, indicates that the bottom part of the country will be underwater at high tide.
More than 20 million people in Vietnam, almost one-quarter of the population, live on land that will be inundated.
Much of Ho Chi Minh City, the nation’s economic center, would disappear with it, according to the research, which was produced by Climate Central, a science organization based in New Jersey, and published in the journal Nature Communications. The projections don’t account for future population growth or land lost to coastal erosion.
Temperatures across Europe are expected to plummet as cold air from the Arctic will sweep across the continent. BBC Weather’s Darren Bett warned of wet and cold weather as a band of cloud brings freezing winds into Scandinavia. The BBC Weather presenter said: “To the north of this band of cloud here we’ve got cold air coming into Scandinavia, in the south you can see it’s milder.
“We do have areas of cloud that’s going to bring some spells of rain which could be heavy and thundery as it’s moving its way from west to east.
“Head northwards across Europe and many places are still going to be dry and quite a contrast in temperatures all the way Istanbul to Bucharest.”
He continued added: “There’s the colder air that we’ve got in the north and north east with warmer conditions close to the Mediterranean but again very unsettled.
“Over this weekend it may well be very wet and windy for London and Paris as well as significantly cooler for Madrid.