Global warming has led to an increase in unstable weather patterns, but it is also increasing global sea levels. If emissions continue at the rate they are going, researchers warn that the sea levels could increase almost 15 feet. That can result in some pretty big changes for those living on the coasts.
According to a recent study, up to 31 million people may find themselves out of a home due to the higher sea levels. The study, which was published by the National Academy of Sciences, found that people could be displaced by the end of the century if the temperatures increase just 6 degrees over pre-industrial temperatures. The temperature increase could cause ice sheets in Antarctica to begin melting, and the subsequent rise in water levels could submerge land in South Florida as well as coastal California, New York and other places, according to experts. These hot spots for retirees and investments could become downright cold in the wake of global warming.
If greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, the damage could be irreversible. Millions could be forced to evacuate as waters reclaim their homes. The changes could be financially devastating for those who have retirement or property investments in coastal cities. Not only could other cities further inland be coping with an unprecedented influx of displaced people and families, but the economic stability of the entire country and possibly the world could be undermined as homes and businesses topple.
Currently, the United States and 145 other countries have pledged to cut emissions in an effort to slow the climate change. However, this may not be enough to slow the rising tides that are threatening to wash away some of the country’s and the world’s most recognizable cities. This is a real issue that requires aggressive action on our parts. Supporting tougher legislation on greenhouse emissions is one of the best ways to slow climate change, but we can take action on our own to ensure our homes and workplaces are energy efficient and that we are reducing our dependence on fossil fuels through smart travel choices.