The effects of rising sea levels, caused by global warming, are more severe than previously thought. About 70 percent of the populations threatened by displacement live in Asia. 110 million people around the world live in areas below the high tide line, according to a new study.
Dhaka (AsiaNews / Agencies) – If greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, rising sea levels could submerge the land that is now home to one-fifth of Bangladesh‘s population, according to a study by Nature Communications, cited by the World Economic Forum (WEF)
Rising sea levels, caused by global warming, threaten to displace millions of people around the world. In an article, the WEF suggests that the global scenario is already unfolding in the Sundarbans in southwestern Bangladesh, which is home to the largest mangrove ecoregion, prone to cyclones.
Other endangered areas are the Pearl River Delta in China; Jakarta metro in Indonesia, where authorities plan to move the capital of the country; and the coastline of Bangkok in Thailand.
According to a new model developed by experts, 110 million people already live below the high tide level instead of the 28 million estimated so far.
About 250 million people (equivalent to the populations of the UK, Russia and Spain combined) also live in flood-prone areas, not 68 million as previously believed.
Coastal erosion caused by climate change was one of the most debated issues during the famous Paris Climate Summit, where island countries have highlighted real threats to their very survival.
For the researchers, if greenhouse gas emissions were to peak in 2020, a fifth of Bangladesh and Vietnam would be below the high tide line. If global warming continues unabated, the proportion will drop to one-third.
Overall, more than 70 percent of people living on land at risk are found in eight Asian countries: Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, China and Japan.