According to the findings, sea water level is expected to rise between 0.6 and 2.1 meters over the next years and possibly more until the end of the current century. By 2050, about 300 million people will live in areas that will be flooded at least once a year on average. Moreover, by 2100, regions that accommodate about 200 million people will permanently lie below the high tide sea water-level and, therefore, those areas will practically be desolated.
"If our findings stand, coastal communities worldwide must prepare themselves for much more difficult futures than may be currently anticipated. Recent work has suggested that, even in the US, sea-level rise this century may induce large-scale migration away from unprotected coastlines, redistributing population density across the country and putting great pressure on inland areas," the authors stated.
If this scenario is confirmed, it will be devastating for entire regions mostly located in Asia. Cities located in many countries including India, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, China and Japan will be highly affected.
- China's big cities such as Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tianjin will be threatened.
- The regions where 25% of Vietnam's population (about 20 million people) is currently living will be flooded.
- More than 10% of Thailand's residents will live in inundated areas by 2050.
- Mumbai, the financial center of India and a city built in a group of islands will also face severe flood issues.
The conclusions of the study show that governments should start preparation works to address the forthcoming sea level rise. A measure that will probably be implemented is relocating people living in hazardous areas. “We’ve been trying to ring the alarm bells. We know that it’s coming. There is little modern precedent for this scale of population movement," Dina Ionesco, the Head of the Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) Division at the UN Migration Agency, stated.
Scientists developed a more accurate technique to derive the ground's elevation based on satellite data. Their findings suggest that previous models were too optimistic. The main problem with those studies was determining the actual ground elevation due to the presence of trees or buildings. Researchers created an AI method to tackle this phenomenon and corrected the corresponding data.