Sea levels could rise more than 6 feet over the next century, flooding major coastal cities such as the Big Apple — and displacing millions of people around the globe in a “catastrophic” disaster, a new study warns.
If climate-changing emissions continue largely unchecked, more than 187 million people may be forced from their homes due to the deluge of water, according to the study, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences.
In the article, international researchers say global temperatures could spike by up to 9 degrees by 2100, causing sea levels to rise up to 6.6 feet — roughly double what the UN’s climate science panel predicted in its last major report six years ago.
“It really is pretty grim,” lead author Jonathan Bamber, a professor of physical geography at the University of Bristol, told CNN.
Sea levels are expected to rise faster than researchers previously thought because ice sheets are rapidly melting in Greenland and Antarctica, the study notes.
The mass displacement would hit low-lying coastal cities hardest, and rising sea levels threaten to make small island nations in the Pacific nearly uninhabitable, Bamber said.
There’s a 5 percent chance the worst-case scenario described in the report will happen, but it shouldn’t be discounted, according to its authors.
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