Skip to content (press enter)


Coastal Development Exposes Billions to Swelling Seas

A recent article in Scientific American discusses how growth in coastal areas may expose more than a billion people to sea-level rise:

"In a paper published recently in the journal PLOS ONE, a team of researchers from several Western institutes estimated the number of people living in low-elevation coastal zones, as well as the scale of the population at risk from one-in-100-year storm surge events, by using scenario-based projections.

"Their findings show that even under the lowest growth assumptions, the global population in low-elevation coastal zones could rise by more than 40 percent, from 625 million in 2000 to 879 million in 2030. By 2060, the researchers say, more than a billion people worldwide could be living in those flood-prone areas."

"According to the study, the United States was among the 25 countries with the largest population living in low-elevation coastal zones in 2000. This trend is likely to continue, the researchers said, adding that major coastal disasters such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012 already have indicated the possibly increasing risks associated with settling in the country's low-lying coastal areas."

Read the full article online