15 cities likely to be flooded by 2030

15 cities likely to be flooded by 2030

With rising sea levels around the world, many of the world’s major cities are at risk of being submerged…
Global warming can be difficult to visualize properly. If you’re not directly threatened by rising sea levels, water shortages, or the devastation of wildfires, how do you know it’s really happening? All of this may seem a bit abstract.

This is why projects like Climate Central are so necessary. The site creates maps that show which parts of the world could be at risk from rising sea levels. So as pollution continues unabated, the planet continues to warm, and the polar ice caps continue to melt , which cities in the world could be below high tide by 2030? To find out, we looked at the latest maps from Climate Central, which are based on the 2021 IPCC report – some of the most reliable data on climate change.

Of course, many variables are at play, but what we are looking at is what might happen if global warming continues on its current trajectory. These maps show future tide lines but do not show what might happen during a flood or other extreme weather events.

A lot can change by 2030. We could build flood defense systems, adapt our cities and, ideally, governments could finally take serious action to stop the climate crisis. But if none of that happens, here are the possible consequences: 15 cities that could be completely (or mostly) underwater within a decade.

Cities likely to be flooded by 2030

Amsterdam, Netherlands
There’s a reason they’re called the Netherlands. Amsterdam and the cities of Rotterdam and The Hague are low lying, flat and close to the North Sea. The Dutch are famous for their flood defenses, and looking at these sea level projections, it looks like the country’s system of dykes, dams and sluices will become even more important in the years to come.

Basra, Iraq
Iraq’s main port city, Basra, is located on the Shatt al-Arab, a huge and wide river that flows into the Persian Gulf. Due to its intricate network of canals and waterways, as well as nearby marshes, Basra and its surroundings are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise. And if that weren’t alarming enough, Basra already suffers significantly from waterborne diseases – so increased flooding poses even greater threats.

New Orleans, USA
The city has a system of levees that protect it from the water that accumulates from Lake Maurepas to the north and from Lake Salvador and the small lake to the south. Without these defenses, New Orleans would be seriously threatened by rising sea levels, but even with them the damage appears catastrophic. The Biloxi and Jean Lafitte Wildlife Refuges appear particularly vulnerable (on the Climate Central map, both appear almost completely submerged).

Venice, Italy
In the very near future, Venice faces a double threat: the sea level is rising and the city itself is sinking – by two millimeters every year. The Venetian capital is already affected by flooding and climate change is likely to increase the frequency of high tides that submerge it. Like New Orleans, Venice has a flood defense system, but as the crisis worsens, maintaining them will be more difficult (and expensive).

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Climate Central’s map shows that the most at-risk areas in Ho Chi Minh City are its eastern districts – in particular the flat and highly structured Thủ Thiêm swamp. But it also looks like the city will come under increasing threat along the Mekong Delta. Although central Ho Chi Minh City itself is unlikely to be under water by 2030, it will almost certainly be more vulnerable to flooding and tropical storms.

Kolkata, India
Much of West Bengal has thrived for centuries due to its fertile landscape, but as the map shows, this has become a major cause for concern in and around Kolkata. Like Ho Chi Minh City, the city might struggle during the monsoon season, as rainwater has less land to drain. The map of the probable state of the city in 2100 is even more alarming.

Bangkok, Thailand
A 2020 study found that Bangkok could be the city most affected by short-term global warming. The Thai capital is only 1.5 meters above sea level and, like Venice, it is sinking (only much, much faster – by about two to three centimeters per year). But Bangkok is also built on very dense clay soil, which makes it even more prone to flooding. By 2030, most coastal areas of Tha Kham and Samut Prakan could be underwater, as could its main airport, Suvarnabhumi International.

Georgetown, Guyana
For centuries, Guyana’s capital, Georgetown, has relied on levees — or, more accurately, one giant 280-mile-long seawall — to protect itself from storms. Indeed, most of the coastline is between 0.5 and one meter below high tide. About 90% of Guyana’s population lives on the coast, and the country will need to significantly strengthen its seawall if central areas of Georgetown are to avoid massive damage.

Savannah, United States
The city of Savannah, Georgia is in a hurricane hotspot, but even without severe weather, the historic city could see land swallowed up by the sea on all sides. The Savannah River to the north and the Ogeechee River to the south could spill into the nearby swamp, which means that when hurricanes and flooding hit the city (and by 2050 the city is expected to experience historic flood levels a times a century each time), the effects can be even more severe.

Khulna, Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s third largest city, Khulna, is just nine meters above sea level. As evidenced by the devastating floods of 2021, much of the country is vulnerable to extreme flooding – and according to Climate Central, Khulna seems to be even more at risk.

Nagoya, Japan
From Chiba to Osaka, the residential nature of some Japanese coastal cities makes them vulnerable to sea level rise, especially during typhoon season (usually May through October). Most are well equipped to deal with this sort of thing, but the industrial port of Nagoya – Japan’s fourth-largest city – could be in big trouble. Starting from the Nagara and Kiso rivers, the map shows that the western parts of the city could be below the high tide line.

Male, Maldives
The Indian Ocean island nation of the Maldives has known about the threat of rising sea levels for some time – the nation has even apparently started building a floating city to combat it. As things stand, it is not so much the Maldivian capital Malé itself that is threatened, but its infrastructure and the surrounding islands: from the airport to most of the island of Hulhumalé, the tides risers are a serious problem.

Dandong, China
Dandong might not be one of the most popular tourist destinations in China, but it’s still pretty huge. More than two million people live in this northeastern city on the Yalu River, which overlooks North Korea.

Banjarmasin, Indonesia
The Indonesian city of Banjarmasin is built largely below sea level in a swampy delta near the Barito River – which Climate Central predicts is expected to overflow by 2030. Except known as the “City of a Thousand Rivers “, Banjarmasin is also a center for indigenous Banjarese culture.

Port Said, Egypt
When it comes to the coastal city of Port Said in northeast Egypt, it’s not just the city itself that’s threatened by rising tides. While the west of the city has bright red patches, so do large swaths of land directly below the city. The local government has already started building sand and concrete dams so that farmers do not lose their land and crops to salt water flooding.

Source: timeout.com

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