Asian, tropical beaches most vulnerable to rising seas: study

Asian, tropical beaches most vulnerable to rising seas: study

SINGAPORE: Tropical countries will face more coastal flooding from sea level rise due to climate change than other countries, according to new research, which is more than twice the number of people affected.
Using land elevation data collected by a satellite-insured laser pulse EarthScientists have identified coastal areas to make them vulnerable to a one-meter rise in sea level – a level the world is on track to see by 2100. Higher water levels will likely cause more damage and disruption from floods and storms.
The study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, said the team found that 62% of these low-lying areas were located in the tropics, with a third in Asia overall.
Today, those vulnerable lands – less than two meters above sea level – cover about 1 million square kilometers (386,000 sq mi) and are home to 267 million people, the team found.
As sea levels rise, the total amount of sensitive land could reach 1.46 million square kilometers by 2100, an area that is home to some 410 million people today.
Already, global mean sea level is rising at a rate of more than 3 millimeters per year, accelerating as global warming melts glaciers and polar ice and expands the oceans.
Vulnerable
The tropics are particularly vulnerable, with a large number of lower river deltas and strong tropical storms.
For some Asian regions, as major cities, including Jakarta and Bangkok Draw water up from underground aquifers. Loss of forests can make it difficult for land to absorb rainfall.
Study co-author Aljosja Huijer, an environmental scientist at Deltares and National University, a Dutch research institute, said: “There are also man-made factors, such as loss of forests, drainage for agriculture, poor urban planning, that exacerbate land degradation. are.” of Singapore.
The study is the first to use topographic data collected using laser technology for more granular elevation data on the half-meter scale around the world. This led to estimates of how many people are living in flood-risk areas, which are much higher than previous studies based on radar measurements with a 25-metre resolution.
This is even higher than an October 2019 study which concluded that by 2100, regions that are currently home to 190 million or more people will be affected by rising sea levels.
The authors of the new study said the research is still ongoing and the methods are being further improved.
“This global study is a first step and so it’s pretty rough. If you go regional or local, you need a more sophisticated model,” Huizer said. “But even with this data, policymakers can begin to make comprehensive assessments.”

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