Global LiDAR land elevation data reveal greatest sea-level rise vulnerability in the tropics
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More than 60% of the land most vulnerable to rising sea levels lies in the tropics, and hundreds of millions living in these areas will be at risk of flooding by 2100.
The combination of sea-level rise, extreme-sea-level events and land subsidence poses a major threat to coastal communities, but digital models of elevation for coastal areas have been done only for certain areas and have a high degree of uncertainty.
Now, a scientist from the National University of Singapore and a collaborator have used data from satellite-based remote-sensing technology to generate the first global model of elevation. They then used this model to identify coastal lowlands most at risk of future flooding.
This analysis revealed that 62% of land less than two metres above sea level is in the tropics. Globally, at least 410 million people are forecast to be living in these low-lying areas by 2100.
- Nature Communications 12, 3592 (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-23810-9
|Data for Sustainability, Netherlands||0.50|
|Deltares Department of Inland Water Systems, Netherlands||0.25|
|National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore||0.25|