Sea level rise is one of the best known of climate change’s many dangers. As humanity pollutes the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, the planet warms. And as it does so, ice sheets and glaciers melt and warming sea water expands, increasing the volume of the world’s oceans. The consequences range from near-term increases in coastal flooding that can damage infrastructure and crops to the permanent displacement of coastal communities.
- As a result of heat-trapping pollution from human activities, rising sea levels could within three decades push chronic floods higher than land currently home to 300 million people
- By 2100, areas now home to 200 million people could fall permanently below the high tide line
- The new figures are the result of an improved global elevation dataset produced by Climate Central using machine learning, and revealing that coastal elevations are significantly lower than previously understood across wide areas
- The threat is concentrated in coastal Asia and could have profound economic and political consequences within the lifetimes of people alive today