The three-degree world: the cities that will be drowned by global warming

When UN climate negotiators meet for summit talks this month, there will be a new figure on the table: 3C.

Until now, global efforts such as the Paris climate agreement have tried to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels. However, with latest projections pointing to an increase of 3.2C by 2100, these goals seem to be slipping out of reach.

“[We] still find ourselves in a situation where we are not doing nearly enough to save hundreds of millions of people from a miserable future,” said Erik Solheim, the UN environment chief, ahead of the upcoming Bonn conference.

One of the biggest resulting threats to cities around the world is sea-level rise, caused by the expansion of water at higher temperatures and melting ice sheets on the north and south poles.

Scientists at the non-profit organisation Climate Central estimate that 275 million people worldwide live in areas that will eventually be flooded at 3C of global warming. The regional impact of these changes is highly uneven, with four out of five people affected living in Asia.

Although sea levels will not rise instantaneously, the calculated increases will be “locked in” at a temperature rise of 3C, meaning they will be irreversible even if warming eventually slows down.

See what cities will be most affected…

 

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