“Cities boom and bust,” said Benjamin Strauss, coauthor of the new study and vice president for sea level and climate impacts at Climate Central, which researches and reports on climate change. Based on sea level projections for 2050, land currently home to 300 million people will fall below the elevation of an average annual coastal flood. To estimate the height of local annual floods above sea level, this analysis uses a global model developed by Muis et al. Between 1900 and 2016, the globally averaged sea level rose by 16–21 cm (6.3–8.3 in). Mainland China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand are home to the most people on land projected to be below average annual coastal flood levels by 2050 (table 2). If governments seek to limit future impacts from ocean flooding, they could also avoid new construction in areas at high risk of inundation, while protecting, relocating, or abandoning existing infrastructure and settlements. Sea level rise isn’t consistent across the globe. Kopp, R. E., R. M. Horton, C. M. Little, J. X. Mitrovica, M. Oppenheimer, D. J. Rasmussen, B. H. Strauss, and C. Tebaldi (2014). Under a higher-emissions scenario, and near the tail end (95th percentile) of sea-level rise sensitivity to warming for the model used in this study, land home to 640 million people today—approaching 10 percent of the world’s population—could be threatened by the end of the century, either by chronic flooding or permanent inundation. By that year, projected sea level rise could push average annual floods above land currently home to some 36 million people. Climate Central surveys and conducts scientific research on climate change and informs the public of key findings. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated last month in a special report on the oceans that global average sea levels could rise by up to … Box 3 (below) details caveats and limitations for this report’s findings. Commun. A closer look at the cases of mainland China, India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam sheds light on the scope of the problem. Over the course of the twenty-first century, global sea levels are projected to rise between about 2 and 7 feet, and possibly more. The Climate Central sea level rise group conceived and maintains this tool. Climate Central built Surging Seas Risk Finder as a free web tool to help U.S. communities, planners and leaders better understand sea level rise and coastal flood risks. Tighe, M. & Chamberlain, D. Accuracy Comparison of the SRTM, ASTER, NED, NEXTMAP USA Digital Terrain Model over Several USA Study Sites DEMs. All of them are expensive, limiting the options available for a city in decline. How fast it will rise depends mostly on the rate of glacier and ice sheet melting. The Climate Central sea level rise group conceived and maintains this tool. Estimates of future economic losses from sea level rise vary depending on the amount of climate pollution and subsequent rise projected, as well as other factors, such as whether future population growth, innovation, or migration are considered. In the Maldives, the figure is one in three. This process was repeated for a number of different years and sea level rise model sensitivities, and under low, moderate, and high emissions pathways for heat-trapping pollution (Representative Concentration Pathways 2.6, 4.5, and 8.5), in order to achieve a comprehensive assessment of global coastal vulnerability. Kolkata is home to 15 million people, and that number is growing. sea level rise, compared to global rates. In recent decades, China’s coastal provinces have attracted millions of migrants from the country’s interior and have become important centers in the global economy. Becek, K. Assessing Global Digital Elevation Models Using the Runway Method: The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer Versus the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission Case. It could also disrupt global supply chains by limiting access to ports and coastal transportation. Since 1900, it's gone up an average of eight inches around the world, due to global warming. In fact, based on CoastalDEM, roughly 110 million people currently live on land below high tide line. 12. Climate Central built Surging Seas Risk Finder as a free web tool to help U.S. communities, planners and leaders better understand sea level rise and coastal flood risks. Research. Risk Zone Map shows near-term sea level rise and coastal flood threats. Downloadable data includes local, state and national analysis results, and our methods explain in detail how we generated our data and maps. To the many organizations that have financially supported Climate Central and its sea level program, including The Kresge Foundation and The Schmidt Family Foundation. Combining CoastalDEM with sea-level-rise and coastal-flood models produces new estimates of exposure to rising seas around the world (box 2). http://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-017-2039-4 1. 15. Sefrioui S. (2017) Adapting to Sea Level Rise: A Law of the Sea Perspective. These values match or exceed most of the highest sea level rise projections for the entire century. Deep, immediate cuts to global emissions would modestly reduce the danger posed by rising seas this century. According to a Climate Central report this week, “Sea level rise is one of the best known of climate change’s many dangers. A global reanalysis of storm surges and extreme sea levels. 2014, median climate sensitivity. Climate Central then added up populations (Landscan 2010) within the identified areas to compute how many people today live on implicated land. Kulp, S. A & Strauss, B.H. Next, consider India’s situation in 2050. Globally, the average overestimate appears to be roughly six feet (two meters). In practice, the costs will run deeper than immediate physical damage to buildings and infrastructure, or the costs of adaptation, which will never be perfect. Climate Central built this screening-level public web tool to help communities, planners, and leaders better understand sea level rise and coastal flood risks. Climate Central surveys and conducts scientific research on climate change and informs the public of key findings. URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034425711000678. Where lidar data are not available, researchers and analysts rely on one of several global datasets, most typically data sensed from Earth’s orbit through a NASA project known as the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, or SRTM. 10. Impacts of Antarctic fast dynamics on sea-level projections and coastal flood defense. To the many organizations that have financially supported Climate Central and its sea level program, including The Kresge Foundation and The Schmidt Family Foundation. Source: The Florida Oceans and Coastal Council. Kulp, S. A. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 2019, 201817205; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1817205116 World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision, custom data acquired via website. The Climate Central sea level rise group conceived and maintains this tool. Every global shore touches the same ocean, and the ocean is rising. The key variables will be how much warming pollution humanity dumps into the atmosphere and how quickly the land-based ice sheets in Greenland and especially Antarctica destabilize. 1 When averaged over all of the world’s oceans, absolute sea level has risen at an average rate of 0.06 inches per year from 1880 to 2013 (see Figure 1). Methodology: CoastalDEM (Kulp and Strauss 2018) is a new digital elevation model based on SRTM 3.0, a near-global dataset derived from satellite radar during a NASA mission in 2000. As global temperatures continue to warm, sea level will continue to rise. Every global shore touches the same ocean, and the ocean is rising. relative sea level rise, which is the increase in sea level recorded relative to land and is affected by land movement at the tide gauge site. Experts say yes, Report: Flooded Future: Global vulnerability to sea level rise worse than previously understood, Extreme Heat: When Outdoor Sports Become Risky, Climate Change is Threatening Air Quality across the Country, Ocean at the Door: New Homes and the Rising Sea. 13. Climatic Change, 144(2), 347–364. By 2050, these projections increase to 4 and 19 inches, respectively. This Climate Central map shows how […] Current population below the elevation of an average annual flood in 2050, top six countries Nauels, A., Meinshausen, M., Mengel, M., Lorbacher, K. & Wigley, T. M. L. Synthesizing long-term sea level rise projections the MAGICC sea level model v2.0. By overlaying social and economic data on a map that depicts sea level rise, a community can see the potential impact that sea level rise can have on vulnerable people and businesses. Even as land home to 200 million people today will be threatened by permanent inundation, areas now home to an additional 360 million will face the threat of at-least annual floods, totalling more than half-a-billion people on highly vulnerable land. Accurately measuring coastal elevation over large areas is neither easy nor cheap. Sea level can rise by two different mechanisms with respect to climate change. How much it will rise depends mostly on the rate of future carbon dioxide emissions and future global warming. All of them are expensive, limiting the options available for a city in decline. A high-end sea level rise probabilistic projection including rapid Antarctic ice sheet mass loss. Underestimates of flood heights produce underestimates of inundation. URL http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/articleDetails.jsp?arnumber=6651798. Special Thanks. That model underestimates the height of annual floods by an average of 4.3 inches, relative to one-year flood heights estimated using standard methods at U.S. tide gauges with at least 30 years of hourly water level data. Tools from NOAA, Climate Central, Information is Beautiful, and EarthTime are helpful for visualizing the effects of sea level rise. Global warming has raised global sea level about 8" since 1880, and the rate of rise is accelerating. Finally, take Bangladesh and Vietnam, where coastal land currently home to 42 million and 31 million people, respectively, could be threatened with saltwater flooding at least once per year at midcentury. Rising seas could affect three times more people by 2050 than previously thought, according to new research, threatening to all but erase some of the world’s great coastal cities. Back to top. Elevation model: CoastalDEM. The bad news is again concentrated in Asia. 16. CoastalDEM data show that the problem is set to worsen. National Bureau of Statistics of China, National Data, custom information acquired via website. But the danger of permanent inundation is by no means be limited to Asia. Special Thanks. Moderate emissions cuts. This report relies on 2010 LandScan data for global population estimates and refers to that data as current. The Climate Central sea level rise group conceived and maintains this tool. Jackson, L. P. & Jevrejeva, S. A probabilistic approach to 21st century regional sea-level projections using RCP and High-end scenarios. Then move the water gauge up a foot, or two feet, or nine feet. At midcentury, sea-level rise projections under moderate cuts are similar to those under unchecked emissions (known as RCP 8.5); by the end of the century, however, projections diverge much more. Sea level rise is a game of millimeters a year, but those millimeters add up to a huge amount of water entering the world’s oceans. Special Thanks. More sea level resources from Climate Central. Projecting where and when that rise could translate into increased flooding and permanent inundation is profoundly important for coastal planning and for reckoning the costs of humanity’s emissions. Some coastal areas see triple the average rate of rise while others don’t observe any changes, or can even see a drop in sea level. Sea level can rise by two different mechanisms with respect to climate change. However, sufficiently accurate elevation data are either unavailable or inaccessible to the public, or prohibitively expensive in most of the world outside the United States, Australia, and parts of Europe. Stocker, T. et al. & Strauss, B. H. CoastalDEM: A global coastal digital elevation model improved from SRTM using a neural network. 4) Climate scenarios. Global and Planetary Change (2012). In low-lying parts of coastal Australia, for instance, SRTM data overestimate elevation by an average of 8.2 feet (2.5 meters). Sea level rise could have wide-ranging political consequences. It is the peer-reviewed scientific paper upon which this report is based. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2018). Use the “+” button to zoom in. 2014, median climate sensitivity. Integrates the leading sea level rise science, local flood history, and cutting-edge elevation data Customizable by year, projection type, sea level rise model, pollution scenario, and more Combine these layers with your own GIS data to learn what areas you care about are at risk of flooding But in the coming decades, the greatest effects will be felt in Asia, thanks to the number of people living in the continent’s low-lying coastal areas. To the many organizations that have financially supported Climate Central and its sea level program, including The Kresge Foundation and The Schmidt Family Foundation. Our scientists publish and our journalists report on climate science, energy, sea level rise. Climatic Change 144, 347–364 (2017). (Although lidar data are publicly available for the United States and parts of Europe and Australia, as well as some other areas, the analysis in this report relies exclusively on CoastalDEM.). “Evaluating the Economic Cost of Coastal Flooding,” CEPR Discussion Papers 13128, C.E.P.R. Kopp, R. E., DeConto, R. M., Bader, D. A., Hay, C. C., Horton, R. M., Kulp, S., Oppenheimer, M., Pollard, D., & Strauss, B. H. (2017). The residents of small island states could face particularly devastating losses. And as … Start with mainland China. In coastal regions, overestimates of elevation produce underestimates of future inundation driven by sea level rise. But the evidence suggests that those costs will be steep. Springer, Cham. Each pixel in CoastalDEM represents the corrected elevation at that point — the result of subtracting estimated error from SRTM 3.0. Staff members are authorities in communicating climate and weather links, sea level rise, climate. Sea level rise is a near term danger: today’s communities must make choices not just on the behalf of future generations, but also for themselves. Separately, Climate Central added in local flood risk statistics approximating the one-year return level (approximately annual) water height (Muis et al. More sea level resources from Climate Central. Some countries, such as the United States, use a remote-sensing technology called lidar to reliably map the heights of their coastlines, and publicly release the results. The Climate Central sea level rise group conceived and maintains this tool. In Bangladesh, where per-capita emissions and per-capita GDP are more than thirty times lower than in the United States, flooding-driven displacement is not just a future prospect; it has already arrived. And well before that land is flooded, residents will face saltwater intrusion into freshwater supplies and frequent flooding. In low-elevation coastal areas in the United States with population densities over 50,000 people per square mile, such as parts of Boston, Miami, and New York City, SRTM overestimates elevation by 15.5 feet on average. Surging Seas collects these sea level resources and more. Reassessment of 20th century global mean sea level rise. Muis, S. et al. Sea level rises map: Maps showing the difference in flooding between 2C and 4C (Image: CLIMATE CENTRAL) Sea level rises map: A map showing the flooding across the UK if sea levels … The developing countries least able to protect their residents through coastal defenses or planned evacuations could be particularly vulnerable—and are responsible for just a small fraction of global emissions. So are Tianjin, the main port for the capital city of Beijing, and the Pearl River Delta region, an urban agglomeration comprising several major mainland cities and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau (explore map at coastal.climatecentral.org). Please consider supporting our nonprofit efforts. To better understand the potential impact on vulnerable U.S. populations and to aid resiliency planning, we assess the growing exposure of affordable housing with unprecedented geographic resolution and national comprehensiveness. Three of every four people in the Marshall Islands now live on land that could lie below high tide in the next eighty years. For more details, see Kulp and Strauss 2019, published in Nature Communications. Moreover, such features are costly and require significant maintenance on an ongoing basis in order to be effective; in the U.S., for example, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated in 2013 that only 8% of existing levees it had monitored were in “acceptable” condition. Remote Sensing of Environment 115, 1576–1587 (2011). However, this analysis assesses overland flood exposure based on elevation, and does not use dynamic modeling. Storm Surge and Sea Level Rise: Advancing Waters As the climate warms, rising sea levels will mean more damage from hurricane storm surge. Environmental Research Letters 12, 044013 (2017). Special Thanks. New elevation data triple estimates of global vulnerability to sea-level rise and coastal flooding. Climate Central has created an interactive, zip-searchable map of the U.S. to show the 20 ft of sea level rise that would be locked in by 2°C (3.6°F) of global warming, based on a newly published Science study. Kulp, S. A & Strauss, B.H. 7. Read More, Flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia, February 2017. Read More, Members of the Climate Central staff and board are among the most respected leaders in climate science. & Nagy, Dávid Krisztián & Oppenheimer, Michael & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban & Strauss, Benjamin H., 2018. The consequences range from near-term increases in coastal flooding that can damage infrastructure and crops to the permanent displacement of coastal communities. Back to top. Climate Central Flood Risk Map Type your address in the search bar. Key Points. China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand are home to the greatest number of people who today live on land that could be threatened by permanent inundation by 2100—151 million in total, and 43 million in China alone. Sea Level Rise. The Influence of Land Cover on Shuttle Radar Topogra-phy Mission (SRTM) Elevations in Low Relief Areas.  Maya K Buchanan et al 2017 Environ. LaLonde, T., Shortridge, A. Such cuts would reduce the total number of people threatened by annual flooding and permanent inundation at the end of the century by 20 million, relative to moderate emissions cuts made roughly in line with the Paris agreement. Jevrejeva, S., Moore, J. Ice sheet contributions to future sea-level rise from structured expert judgment. However, it’s uncertain whether that acceleration will continue, driving faster and faster sea level rise, or whether inter… Notably, the benefits of deep emissions cuts would reach far beyond sea level rise, reducing the danger posed by climate change’s many other risks. Sea-level projections representing the deeply uncertain contribution of the West Antarctic ice sheet. Sea level projections to AD2500 with a new generation of climate change scenarios. That is the purpose of CoastalDEM. Sea level rise could also produce humanitarian crises by stripping millions of people of their homes and traditional livelihoods. Climate Central surveys and conducts scientific research on climate change and informs the public of key findings. In 19 countries, from Nigeria and Brazil to Egypt and the United Kingdom, land now home to at least one million people could fall permanently below the high tide line at the end of the century and become permanently inundated, in the absence of coastal defenses. Earth’s Future 5, 1217–1233 (2017). Adaptive measures such as construction of levees and other defenses or relocation to higher ground could lessen these threats. As a result, projections based on CoastalDEM may underestimate the extent of population exposure to future flooding. (See spreadsheet download in “related resources.”). Nature Communications, October 2019, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-12808-z Nat. Some projections indicate that flooding could cause tens of trillions of dollars in losses each year by the end of the century—or trillions per year, if extensive adaptation measures are implemented. 6) Local annual floods. Bakker, A. M. R., Wong, T. E., Ruckert, K. L., & Keller, K. (2017). Evolving Understanding of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Physics and Ambiguity in Probabilistic Sea-Level Projections. In reality, however, the world is not on track to meet the Paris agreement’s goals. Climate-change-driven sea level rise will continue to amplify coastal flooding in the coming decades. To the many organizations that have financially supported Climate Central and its sea level program, including The Kresge Foundation and The Schmidt Family Foundation. In recent years, scientists have suggested that the sensitivity of Greenland and especially Antarctic ice sheets to global warming could make the global ocean rise more quickly than previously believed. Probabilistic 21st and 22nd century sea-level projections at a global network of tide-gauge sites. The city already faces flooding driven by heavy rain and other events; by midcentury, much of Kolkata could lie in the annual coastal flood risk zone. URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034425717306016. Sea level rise is set to challenge human civilization for centuries to come, even if internationally agreed climate goals are met and planet-warming … Loading: 0 % (L) Global Sea Levels. Special Thanks. Sea level rise model: Kopp et al. Emissions pathway: moderate emissions cuts (RCP 4.5) roughly consistent with the Paris climate agreement’s two-degree target. The burning of fossil fuels increased the average global temperature over the years, and disproportionately increased temperatures across the Arctic, resulting in … SRTM data measure the tops of features that protrude from the ground—such as buildings and trees—as well as the ground itself. The pace of sea level rise accelerated beginning in the 1990s, coinciding with acceleration in glacier and ice sheet melting. A new interactive map from nonprofit organization Climate Central gives an unsettling visualization of what New York City would look like, should sea levels drastically rise. The second mechanism is the melting of ice over land, which then adds water to the ocean. Shortridge, A. & Messina, J. Please consider supporting our nonprofit efforts. 8. (Even the country’s most infamous refugee crisis could be exacerbated by sea level rise: in recent years, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people have fled violence in neighboring Myanmar, many settling in the low-lying region south of Chittagong—an area that could itself be vulnerable to at-least-annual ocean flooding by 2050, projections based on CoastalDEM show.). An independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about our changing climate and its impact on the public. Staff members are authorities in communicating climate and weather links, sea level rise, climate. All three strategies are being pursued to some extent in Atlantic City. Sea level rise is a global story, and it affects every coastal nation. Claudia Tebaldi et al 2012 Environ. Back to top West Bengal and coastal Odisha are projected to be particularly vulnerable, as is the eastern city of Kolkata (box 5; Home to 26 million people, Shanghai is China’s biggest single urban agglomeration. Please consider supporting our nonprofit efforts. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision, custom data acquired via website. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51274-7_1 Annual flood threat zone, 2050 Rising seas dramatically increase the odds of damaging floods from storm surges. 2. That model, CoastalDEM, shows that many of the world’s coastlines are far lower than has been generally known and that sea level rise could affect hundreds of millions of more people in the coming decades than previously understood. Bright, E. A., Coleman, P. R., Rose, A. N. & Urban, M. L. Landscan 2010 (2011). http://data.stats.gov.cn/english/ Please consider supporting our nonprofit efforts. In Vietnam, annual ocean floods are projected to particularly affect the densely populated Mekong Delta and the northern coast around Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, including the port city of Haiphong (explore map at coastal.climatecentral.org). Climate Central calculated that “roughly three-quarters of the tidal flood days now occurring in towns along the East Coast would not be happening in the absence of the rise in the sea level caused by human emissions.” (See “Storms and Flooding” below.) Future coastal flood threats in Shanghai, China CoastalDEM reveals significant increases in projected flood exposure in coastal areas as sea levels rise. Remote Sensing of Environment 206, 231–239 (2018). Special Thanks. As humanity pollutes the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, the planet warms. Sea level rise is a result of heat-trapping pollution from human activities, which causes ice sheets and glaciers to melt, increasing the volume of water in the oceans. 2014). In the absence of coastal defenses such as levees, elevation determines the extent to which ocean floods can wash over the land. This study’s middle-of-the-road projections for 2030 range from one inch of local sea level rise in the northwest corner of Washington State, where the land is slowly rising, to 8 inches near New Orleans, where it is sinking. An independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about our changing climate and its impact on the public. Back to top. Scientific Reports 7, 3880 (2017). Wong, T. E., Bakker, A. M. & Keller, K. Impacts of Antarctic fast dynamics on sea- level projections and coastal flood defense. Climate Central’s new mapping tool enables users to explore risks over time, for any coastal location in the world, incorporating multiple pollution scenarios, leading sea level rise models, and the most accurate available elevation data available—including Climate Central’s new CoastalDEM® elevation data for areas outside the United States. Read More, Members of the Climate Central staff and board are among the most respected leaders in climate science. General Disclaimer & Legal Terms Climate change: Sea level rise to affect 'three times more people' ... the Climate Central analysis will be less surprising where coastal lidar surveys are already used to assess future flood risk. Nauels, A., Rogelj, J., Schleussner, C.-F., Meinshausen, M. & Mengel, M. Linking sea level rise and socioeconomic indicators under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways. This report is based on a pollution scenario known as Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5, which assumes that humanity will moderately reduce warming emissions roughly in line with the 2015 Paris climate agreement. However, this report focuses on median projections from a sea level rise model that does not incorporate the higher end of potential ice sheet sensitivity (Kopp et al. To the many organizations that have financially supported Climate Central and its sea level program, including The Kresge Foundation and The Schmidt Family Foundation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114, 5946– 5951 (2017). The same is true of Guangdong Province, another coastal economic powerhouse (explore map at coastal.climatecentral.org). 17. Moderate emissions cuts (RCP 4.5), Kopp et al. “Evolving Understanding of Antarctic Ice-Sheet Physics and Ambiguity in Probabilistic Sea-Level Projections,” Earth’s Future, 5, 1217–1233, https://doi.org/10.1002/ 2017EF000663 Sea level rise is a result of heat-trapping pollution from human activities, which causes ice sheets and glaciers to melt, increasing the volume of water in the oceans. Developed using machine learning working with more than 51 million data samples (see methodology), the new dataset is substantially more accurate than SRTM, particularly in densely populated areas—precisely those places where the most people and structures are threatened by rising seas. As humanity pollutes the … 6. Kulp, S. A & Strauss, B.H. Kopp, R. E. et al. Global and Planetary Change 146, 179–189 (2016). Back to top 18. Human-caused climate change is creating more coastal flood days in the U.S. New analysis looks at the human-caused influence on the number of coastal flood days for various locations across the U.S. As the climate warms, rising sea levels will mean more damage from hurricane storm surge. A new report constructs a sea level timeline going way back. 5) Protective features. Home to 26 million people, Shanghai is China’s biggest single urban agglomeration. Members of the Climate Central staff and board are among the most respected leaders in climate science. Paris agreement ’ s findings coastal defenses, such as education L. P. & Jevrejeva S.! To compute how many people today live on land that could flood at least once a,! Appears to be roughly six feet ( two meters ) rise, climate Central just completed novel. States could face particularly devastating losses be limited to Asia helpful for visualizing the effects sea. 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