Space News from
Floods may cost 20% of global GDP by 2100: study
Commercial UAV Expo | Sept 5-7, 2023 | Las Vegas

Paris, July 30 (AFP) Jul 30, 2020
Coastal flooding and storm surges could threaten assets worth up to 20 percent of global wealth, according to research published Thursday highlighting the potential economic catastrophe that climate change may bring.

While much is known about the potential for global sea levels to rise as burning fossil fuels heats the planet and melts its frozen spaces, far less research looks at the impact of individual extreme flood events.

Researchers in Australia combined data on global sea levels during extreme storms with projections of sea level rises under different greenhouse gas emission scenarios.

They then used the data to model maximum sea levels that may occur by 2100, and calculated the population and assets at risk from such flooding.

The team found that under a high-emissions scenario, in which humanity fails to curb its carbon pollution, up to 287 million people would be at risk from extreme floods by the end of the century.

Given the large number of megacities and financial capitals on the coastline globally, they calculated the value of assets under threat to be more than $14 trillion -- around a fifth of global GDP.

"What is (currently) seen as a once in a hundred year extreme sea level, could occur once in a decade or less at most of the coastal locations," said Ebru Kirezci, from the University of Melbourne's Department of Infrastructure Engineering and lead study author.

Kirezci said this was significant because most urban planning today is conducted on the basis that such events will continue to be extremely rare.

"The new design directives might also consider updating the values with careful and detailed local modelling," she told AFP.

- 'Very real threat' -

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that sea levels could rise as much as one metre by 2100 if emissions are not capped.

The study, published in Nature Scientific Reports, found that areas at increased risk of extreme flooding include southeastern China, Australia, Bangladesh, West Bengal and Gujarat in India, the US states of North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland and northwest Europe including Britain, France and Germany.

Kirezci said it was vital for governments to prepare defences -- including erecting "protection structures" such as dykes and sea walls -- in order to avert almost unthinkable economic loss.

Sally Brown, deputy head of Bournemouth University's Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, said Thursday's study "highlights the very real threat and costs of sea-level rise to millions of people living around the world."

Commercial UAV Expo | Sept 5-7, 2023 | Las Vegas

Space News from
Amazon empowers Alexa with generative AI
Every Gram Counts: SCHOTT Launches Lightweight Microelectronic Packages for Aerospace
Intelsat Inflight Connectivity expanded to all Airbus aircraft

24/7 Energy News Coverage
EU plans to ban greenwashing by companies
UK's Sunak defends climate policy shift
Toshiba says $14 bn offer to go private set to succeed

Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense
Seeking Innovative Concepts for Space Superiority
Slipping smoothly through the sea
Sidus Space secures position on upcoming Bandwagon Mission

24/7 News Coverage
Outcry stops building in 'world's largest greenbelt' around Toronto
Tuvalu will always be a state, even if underwater, says PM
Charles proposes France-UK pact to combat climate 'emergency'

All rights reserved. Copyright Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.