As a result of rising water levels, the global map of the planet will change before the end of this century. Coastlines will change and many cities will become uninhabitable, displacing hundreds of millions of people, according to a report prepared for the United Nations by the nonprofit Climate Central.
Scientists have found no “reliable options” to prevent global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius (the “preferred” goal set by the Paris Agreement), recognizing sea level rise as a result of rising global temperatures as inevitable by 2100, the Daily Mail clarifies.
During the climate summit in Egypt (Cop27), some world leaders said they were working to limit further increases in global temperatures.
Thanks to the rapid development of clean energy technologies, a number of developed countries have already begun to reduce emissions. However, environmentalists predict that the current emission trajectory will cause global temperatures to rise by 2.7-3.1°C by the end of the century.
A global temperature increase of 3 degrees Celsius by 2100 will have a catastrophic impact on millions of people around the world, and no one is immune from its consequences. Heatwaves will last longer and become more frequent, causing droughts and global food shortages. Global migration will increase, as will the spread of disease. And as the polar ice caps melt, sea levels will rise. Scientists have estimated that up to 275 million people currently live in the areas that would be flooded under this scenario. Low-lying London is predicted to be one of the hardest hit major metropolitan areas in the Western world. A rise in temperature of even 2°C could lead to flooding of the central part of the British capital along the River Thames by 2100.
Across the Channel, northern France, Belgium, Germany, and then about half of the Netherlands will also be under water by 2100, flooding agricultural fields and windmills. If sea levels rise in line with current forecasts, only the center of Amsterdam and The Hague further south could become islands in a flooded landscape.
Some major US cities are also facing a 3°C temperature rise scenario. Rising sea levels and flooding caused by more extreme tidal activity could cause parts of New York City, including lower Manhattan, to be submerged. Across the Hudson River, Jersey City and parts of Newark are also in the danger zone. The south coast of Long Island and its Barrier Islands will also see an increase in flood waters.
Even so, it is the people of Asia who are expected to be hit hardest by rising water levels. In terms of flooding, Shanghai in China is one of the most vulnerable cities in the world. Models suggest that 17.5 million people could be displaced by a 3-degree Celsius rise in global temperatures due to the former fishing village’s location on the shores of the Yellow Sea. The Yangtze River flows north while the Huangpu River flows through the center of the metropolitan area.
Cities like Shanghai, which rely heavily on water infrastructure, are particularly vulnerable. The huge city is built on several islands, has two long coastlines, several seaports and miles of canals. In recent years, China has been building huge flood walls to protect Shanghai. Some have completely blocked the ocean from viewing by its inhabitants.
Climate Central’s sea level rise forecasts also show that Thailand’s capital Bangkok will be nearly wiped out by flood waters if the world hits 3C. Although the sea level itself will not be enough to flood the entire city, the whole of Bangkok will be under the threat of severe flooding.
In June, devastating floods in Pakistan inundated a third of the territory, displacing eight million people from their homes and causing billions of dollars in damage to the country. It took months for the flood waters to recede, but millions of people are still homeless. Roads are destroyed, thousands of key buildings, including schools and hospitals, lie in ruins.