As a direct consequence of gas emissions, Miami and New Orleans will drown by next century, along with a few others if measures are not taken to prevent this potential tragedy.
- 20 million people will be affected only in the United States
- Global gas emissions are estimated to reach peak by 2050
- Miami and New Orleans currently appear to be impossible to save
- Others, like Florida, New York, and Virginia will be severely affected
- The solution is to embrace renewable energy, and to reach the gas emissions levels we had in the 1950s
Researchers at the Climate Central have run the process through a simulation and observed how the worst case scenario will play out. It should be noted that this would be the case of extreme circumstances, but none the less possible. If preventive measures are not placed or not allowed to take effect, it may just become reality.
The scientists have concluded that if gas emissions do not lessen, mixed with the melting polar ice caps, then the world will see the sea level rising by 14 to 32 feet in 2100. This means that coastal areas around the globe will be undoubtedly effected. Many cities will be swallowed by waters and an estimated 20 million people stand at risk only in the United States.
Lead author of the study and vice-president for sea level and climate impacts, Ben Strauss, has stated that all of that could be met by the turn of the century. However, it might also take several hundreds of years. The time is difficult to discern, but it seems like an inevitable fact at some point. That in itself is discouraging.
The researchers ran a simulation in the scenario where carbon emissions will reach peak in 2020. This is more severe than current general estimations that they would hit their high point by 2050, according to Strauss. However, both of these cases could happen if the world continues with its ‘business as usual’ approach, in spite of numerous warnings.
According to their research, cities like Miami and New Orleans might just be too late for saving. Miami has low elevation and a limestone foundation that will not aid their cause, even with the construction of sea walls or levees. Strauss has added that, at this point, it’s “hard to imagine” how anyone could possibly save Miami from its inevitable fate.
New Orleans, the city of jazz, Mardi Gras and voodoo magic, is reportedly already sinking. According to Strauss, many cities depend on future choices, but some appear to be already lost, and impossible to save. The two seem to have now been placed on an irreversible path.
However, out of the entire population affected by rising sea levels, 40% of them will be inhabitants of Florida. The state has the highest numbers of cities that will be affected by impact of gas emissions on our climate.
If matters remain unattended, New York could be considered unlivable by 2085, Norfolk (Virginia) could be sunk by 2045, along with many others. But it’s not all doom and gloom. According to researchers, the situation could be attenuated if gas emissions are cut by 2050 to reach the same levels our planet had in 1950.
As long as that goal is achieved, a number of 100,000 people in 14 cities could be spared this century. This is in the case where we take measures to cut down on carbon emissions and embrace renewable energy. It’s in the hopes of the researchers that they managed to paint a clearer picture of the consequences of our choices, and that the best case scenario is not just a mere fantasy.
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