3C Warming Would Leave World Cities Underwater.
Several scenarios of sea level rise had been analysed from different American studies that had indicated that hundreds of American landmarks, neighbourhoods, towns and cities would be submerged this century, at least in the absence of engineering massive, costly and unprecedented defences, and relocating major infrastructure. Ocean waters would cover land currently home to more than 12 million Americans and $2 trillion in property. This extreme scenario, considered unlikely but increasingly plausible, was published together with other projections in a technical report by the National and Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in January 2017. NOAA added “extreme” as a new sea level category in the publication, supplementing high, intermediate and low categories that have also been used in past reports. The new term reflects recent research suggesting that some parts of the Antarctic ice sheet may begin to collapse much sooner than scientists had previously anticipated, particularly if ongoing emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide and methane remain high. This would mean roughly 10 to 12 feet of sea level rise by 2100, depending on location, for all coastal states but Alaska — a significant departure above the global average projection (just over 8 feet). The impact of this rise would be devastating. For instance, these levels would mostly or completely inundate Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral; MIT and the U.S. Naval Academy; JFK and SFO; and the Jefferson Memorial and Mar-a-Lago. More than 99 percent of today’s population in 252 coastal towns and cities would have their homes submerged, and property of more than half the population in 479 additional communities would also be underwater. In New York City, an average high tide would be 2 feet higher than Sandy’s flood level, covering an area currently inhabited by more than 800,000 residents. Florida would be the most affected state by total population, followed by New York, California, Virginia, and New Jersey. Hawaii and Louisiana would rank second and third by percentage of population affected, after Florida, also first in this category. The article below summarises the latest reports from the Climate Central Group of Scientists.
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