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  • Vikram Karra

Coastal Flooding : A Major Threat

Updated: Feb 1

Coastal flooding, exacerbated by climate change, is a major threat to coastal towns around the world. Rising sea levels and stronger storms have made this phenomenon more common and catastrophic. This article will look at the global consequences of coastal flooding, with an emphasis on individual examples from vulnerable countries.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that sea levels have increased by about 8 inches (20 centimeters) since the late 1800s. Furthermore, depending on emissions projections, they are expected to rise by 1 to 4 feet (30 to 120 centimeters) by 2100. This rise in sea levels increases the risk of coastal flooding, particularly in low-lying areas.

Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated countries in the world, is particularly vulnerable to coastal floods. Millions of people live in precarious conditions in its huge delta region, which is crisscrossed by several rivers. Cyclone Amphan devastated Bangladesh in 2020, leaving widespread devastation. The cyclone affected approximately 10 million people and caused economic losses totaling more than $13 billion USD.

The Netherlands, well-known for its large network of dikes and sea walls, is a shining example of creative coastal flood management. The Dutch Delta Programme, a comprehensive effort, tries to protect vulnerable regions from rising sea levels and stronger storms. It demonstrates the significance of proactive adaptation methods.

Coastal flooding is a major concern in the United States, with many cities suffering increasing dangers. Miami, Florida is very vulnerable. According to a 2020 Union of Concerned Scientists assessment, over 60,000 residents in Miami-Dade County might risk chronic inundation due to rising sea levels by 2045. This is a major threat not only to homeowners but also to the local economy and infrastructure.

Global issues like coastal flooding require immediate attention. Investing in robust infrastructure, early warning systems, and long-term urban planning are critical measures in protecting vulnerable areas. International cooperation and knowledge sharing are critical in limiting the effects of coastal flooding, as demonstrated by efforts such as the Dutch Delta Programme. We must make a conscious effort to mitigate the effects of this pressing global environmental issue.

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