By TATIANA SCHLOSSBERGMARCH 14, 2016
Rodney Clement gingerly stepped from the sidewalk to the street through tidal flooding around his home in Charleston, S.C., last year. Credit Grace Beahm/The Post and Courier, via Associated Press
Sea-level rise, a problem exacerbated by greenhouse gas emissions, could disrupt the lives of more than 13 million people in the United States, three times the most current estimates, according to a study published Monday.
Rising seas, which already endanger coastal communities through tidal floods and storm surges, could rise three feet or more over the next century if emissions continue at a high level, threatening many shoreline communities. The study, published in Nature Climate Change, argues that most projections vastly underestimate the number of people at risk because they do not account for population growth.
For the study, the authors combined future population estimates with predicted sea-level rise, using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to demonstrate that millions are at risk: 4.2 million if seas rise by three feet, or 13.1 million with a six-foot increase, a high-end estimate.
- Millions projected to be at risk from sea-level rise in the continental United States March 15, 2016
- Report: 13 Million Could Be Displaced by Sea Level Rise in U.S. by 2100 March 15, 2016