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Sea-levels have risen at about 2.5 mm a year globally over the last 2 decades.

World's Biggest Coastal Cities Sinking Into Manmade Cavities: Study

Scientific assessment published Monday in Nature Climate Change is the second in a month to show that coastal economies are more vulnerable than previously thought to the danger of rising sea levels.

The economic impacts of rising sea levels will be felt four times faster by people living in some of the world's biggest coastal cities, which are sinking beneath their own weight into manmade cavities created below the surface.

The scientific assessment published Monday in Nature Climate Change is the second in a month to show that coastal economies are more vulnerable than previously thought to the danger of rising sea levels. The extraction of groundwater and other resources from beneath cities including Jakarta, New Orleans and Shanghai is causing them to slowly sink, a phenomena called subsidence, resulting in greater risks from flooding and storm surges.

"Due to its coincidence with major population centers, subsidence has global social and economic implications," reads the peer-reviewed research written by scientists from China, France, Germany and the U.K. "These results indicate that the impacts and adaptation needs are much higher than reported global sea-level rise measurements suggest."

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Displacement rate map of Jakarta using information from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission show how areas of the city are subsiding, largely a result of groundwater extraction. Credit: Modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019), processed by ESA, GEP, CNR-IREA & BRGM

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