London: Rising sea levels could cost $14 trillion worldwide annually by 2100, say scientists who warn that failing to limit global warming to 2ºC will lead to dire global economic consequences.
The researchers from UK National Oceanographic Centre (NOC) also found that upper-middle income countries such as China would see the largest increase in flood costs, whereas the highest income countries would suffer the least, thanks to existing high levels of protection infrastructure.
“More than 600 million people live in low-elevation coastal areas, less
than 10 metres above sea level. In a warming climate, global sea level will rise due to melting of land-based glaciers and ice sheets, and from the thermal expansion of ocean waters,” said Svetlana Jevrejeva, from the NOC.
“So, sea level rise is one of the most damaging aspects of our warming climate,” said Jevrejeva, lead author of the study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. Sea level projections exist for emissions scenarios and socio-economic scenarios. However, there are no scenarios covering limiting warming below the 2ºC and 1.5ºC targets during the entire 21st century and beyond. The study team explored the pace and consequences of global and regional sea level rise with restricted warming of 1.5 and 2ºC, and compared them to sea level projections....