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Global Flooding Caused by Climate Change, 1 Billion of People at Risk by 2060

May 17, 2016 05:54 AM EDT
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More than a billion of people living in coastal cities will be at risk from flooding caused by climate change by 2060, a British aid charity warned.

According to a report from Christian Aid, a great number of people will be affected by rising seas, flooding, extreme weather and storm surges. Among the most threatened countries are the United States, China and India.

The organization listed 10 most vulnerable cities, of which nine are in Asia. On top of the list are Indian cities Kolkata and Mumbai, and Bangladesh's capital Dhaka. Cities in China such as Guangzhou and Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Bangkok in Thailand and Yangon in Myanmar are also at risk of flooding.

These places have populations that belong to the urban poor, a demographic that is expected to grow in the coming years and will be severely affected by this crisis, Christian Aid said.

Miami, which has 4.7 million residents, ranks ninth in terms of populations at risk of flooding, but mostly at risk financially, with more than $3 trillion of assets suspected to be at risk of extreme weather and flooding by 2070. New York, with assets predicted at $2.1 trillion, is third most at risk.

According to the report, a widespread catastrophe was just "waiting to happen", and that protective measures implemented the soonest time possible could minimize the worst effects. The study says that the priority should be to rapidly reduce carbon emissions and limit temperature increase by switching from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy. To help affected communities recover, international systems should invest at least $1 billion in infrastructure.

Christian Aid also said that while every effort should be made to meet the Paris climate change pact, the world should still prepare for possibility of great loss and damage.

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