Scientists had predicted around 80 million people living in coastal regions could face crisis conditions because of sea-level rise. The main reason for such a situation was Global warming and the consequent melting of ice caps and glaciers from the poles. However, experts have now reassessed the threat and revised their estimates. They now say that in a span of the next three decades, the Sea Level Rise could affect nearly 340 million people who live on the coast.

They would have to face more frequent flooding and mudslides or even permanent inundation. This increase in numbers from 80 million to 340 million is a matter of concern that the authorities must address. They will have to come up with solutions like constructing protective walls, relocation of the people etcetera.

News AU quotes the report from Climate Central published in a leading journal. It paints a grim picture of a future scenario that says large portions of Asia could witness a considerable sea-level rise between 2 feet to about 7 feet (0.6 m and 2.1m).

That would be enough to drown a full-grown adult. The report cautions that by 2100, the Antarctic ice sheet will worsen and result in miseries to those who live near the seashore.

The magnitude of the crisis

Co-author Ben Strauss, chief scientist and CEO of Climate Central clarifies - “Sea-level projections have not changed.” He explains that the earlier projections had overlooked some important parameters associated with ground elevation data.

He cautions that previous data gave the impression that the crisis of rising sea levels was manageable but in view of new findings, governments must evolve strategies to avoid “economic and humanitarian catastrophe.”

News AU adds there are millions of people who live below high tide levels.

There is some form of protection like dikes and levees, but that is not enough. The global population could reach two billion by 2050 with the addition of another billion by 2100. This would be mostly in coastal megacities and the authorities must realize the magnitude of the problem for the safety of people and properties.

The world can no longer ignore sea-level rise

According to The Guardian, experts have reassessed the threats of sea-level rise and cautioned that more than three times more people will be at risk compared to earlier projections.

Indonesia is already taking a positive action to relocate its capital Jakarta that is vulnerable to flooding. It now seems 23 million people would be at risk in the country compared to the previous estimate of 5 million. In the opinion of Benjamin Strauss, more countries might have to follow the path chosen by Indonesia. Simultaneously, there must be the strengthening of sea defenses and the reduction of carbon emissions.

He does not mince his words when he says - “An incredible, disproportionate amount of human development is on flat, low-lying land near the sea. We are really set up to suffer.”

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