The map shows Buckingham Palace among the landmarks at risk of rising sea levels without taking climate action
Buckingham Palace It is one of many worlds Milestones at risk of succumbing to sea-level rise if countries do not take urgent action to reduce it emissions And build stronger Flood defenses, suggests a new study.
Using high-resolution projections, the research warns that London, Glasgow and Bristol are among cities around the world facing “unprecedented” threats from decades to centuries of sea-level rise as a result of climate crisis.
The research found that if global temperatures reach 4°C above pre-industrial levels, sea level rise could threaten the land that supports up to a billion people over the coming centuries.
However, achieving the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping global temperatures below 2°C could save hundreds of millions of people from the dangers posed by rising sea levels.
Asia’s large coastal cities and small islands such as the Bahamas, the Maldives and Kiribati face particularly significant threats from long-term sea-level rise.
Results come only weeks before policeman 26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, where world leaders will attempt to carve out a path on the right track to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Ben Strauss, CEO and chief scientist at Climate Central, said the findings illustrate how actions agreed at the meeting will affect life on Earth for hundreds of years to come.
“For me, the key message is how big a difference our potential future worlds will be depending on whether we cut pollution sharply or continue to approach business as usual,” he said. independent.
“Our grandchildren will deal with these consequences for hundreds of years. It is related to the survival of dozens of coastal cities around the world.”
The study published in the journal Environmental Research LettersHe is the first to predict how long-term or “several centuries” of sea-level rise could affect every part of the world in the coming years.
The research examines sea level rise over a range of potential futures, from one where countries succeed in limiting temperatures to 1.5°C to scenarios where the world experiences 3 or 4°C of global warming.
Science shows that how much warming the world is likely to experience depends largely on actions in the near future.
For example, to have a fair chance of limiting global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius, global emissions must fall by 45 percent by 2030, compared to 2010 levels, according to the A recent climatic assessment. (Global emissions are currently projected to increase by 16 percent by 2030.)
However, the research shows how failure to meet climate goals in the coming decades could have repercussions for hundreds of years.
This is due to sea levels It is expected to rise over several centuries As a result of ocean warming, which leads to the expansion of water, the melting of glaciers and ice sheets.
The new research estimates that if global temperatures reach 3°C, Buckingham Palace could be flooded up to the second floor as a result of sea level rise at some point in the coming centuries. If temperatures are maintained at 1.5°C, it is likely that water will instead reach the door of the palace.
Other landmarks particularly threatened by sea-level rise include the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., the Tokyo Tower in Japan, and the Tower of London.
All results are based on the assumption that there are no new defenses to deal with sea level rise.
Dr Strauss said countries should be expected to take new measures to deal with the increased risks. However, if little is done to address rising emissions, it will become increasingly difficult to adapt to sea level rise in many regions.
Dr Ella Gilbert, a climate scientist at the University of Reading who was not involved in the study, said the findings “emphasize the importance of limiting warming as much as possible”.
“Sea-level rise is a very real threat to people living all over the world, including some of the most densely populated areas on the planet,” she said. independent.
The authors make some assumptions that could influence the results. First, they assume that no negative emissions technologies will be deployed, which could reflect some sea level rise in the very long term. “
Negative Emission Technologies It is the term given to technologies that can remove carbon dioxide from the air, such as large-scale tree planting or carbon dioxide absorption machines.
“They also don’t think directly about the future coastal defenses that are likely to be built to protect these cities, which may also reduce the impact,” she added.
“However, this does not detract from the main message that climate change carries a massive flood risk that will affect real people on every continent on Earth – and that we need to do everything we can to reduce these potentially devastating effects.”