Mumbai, Chennai & New York could be lost to sea level rise by 2100, says new US study
Sea levels could rise by over 1 metre by 2100 even if Paris climate deal objectives are met, threatening coastal cities, says US-based PNAS study (PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academies of Science).
Bengaluru: Mumbai, Chennai, New York, Shanghai and many other coastal cities are under a severe existential threat, a new alarming study has predicted.
The US-based Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) study has said that sea levels are rising much faster than expected due to greenhouse gas emissions, and could rise, in the worst case, by over a meter by the end of this century even if the 2016 Paris climate agreement objectives are met.
If the objectives aren’t met, the sea level could rise by over 2 meters, said the study published in the journal this month.
Such a development would mean the end of existence of several major coastal cities across the world by 2100, it said.
The study was conducted by 22 climate experts to model and estimate the effects of ice sheet melting on sea level at the current rates of greenhouse gas emissions.
What the study says
If the global Paris agreement objectives are met and the rise is curtailed to just 2°C, the effects are still deadly enough. However, if emissions are left unchecked, and continue to follow the current path, temperatures could rise up to 5°C and cause a sea level rise of 2 metres, the PNAS study found.
This could submerge large coastal cities like Mumbai, Chennai, New York, Shanghai, and Miami.
The researchers also analysed the impact of the climate crisis on global populations. They showed a scenario where nearly 1.79 million square kilometres of land would be taken over by the sea, threatening the lives of about 187 million people by the turn of the century if emissions go unchecked.
Because it is currently almost impossible to understand how the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland will behave in a century, scientists are as yet unclear how the climate crisis will play out beyond 2100.