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More than 13 million people could have to leave the coast by the end of the century

A recent article in Nature Climate Change by UGA scientists Mathew Hauer and Deepak Mishra and former UGA scientist Jason Evans highlights the severe impacts that rising sea level is expected to have on coastal populations in the US (the abstract is here).  The scientists show that based on current projections of sea level rise by 2100 AD and projected population increases along the coast during the same time period, as many as 13.1 million people could be displaced by rising sea water.  The actual number depends on how much sea level rise is assumed as well as the growth in population along the coast, which has been significant in recent decades.

This paper is the first to use both projections of sea level rise and projections of population growth to look at the impacts.  It shows impacts more than three times worse than just using the effects of sea level rise alone.  The worst impacts will be, as you might expect, in southern Florida and Louisiana.

As you can imagine, this result has generated a lot of press.  A sampling of the articles on the topic is listed below.

Huffington Post


India Times

The Guardian

SLR Nature study

Source: National Park Service via Commons Wikimedia

Source: National Park Service via Commons Wikimedia