Coastal flooding puts 20% of global economy at risk by 2100, new report finds


Residents take pictures and explore the catastrophic damage to downtown Sanford following extreme flooding throughout central Michigan on May 20, 2020 in Sanford, Michigan.

Matthew Hatcher | Getty Images

As much as 20% of global gross domestic product could be threatened by coastal flooding by the end of the century if no action is taken, according to a new report published Thursday in Springer Nature.

The research, conducted by scientists at the University of Melbourne, found that by 2100 an additional 287 million people, or 4.1% of the world’s population, could be at risk of coastal flooding. Based on the areas impacted, this translates to $14.2 trillion worldwide, which is approximately one-fifth of global GDP.

According to the study, areas in Northwestern Europe as well as Southeast and East Asia are the most at risk, with areas in the Northeast of the U.S. and Northern Australia also likely to be impacted. 

To arrive at their conclusion, the researchers analyzed sea levels during extreme weather events, and then compared these findings with rising sea level projections. They then looked at…

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