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Climate Change by the Numbers: 760 Million Displaced by Rising Sea Levels

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by: Danny Clemens
Rising sea levels
Oliver Burston/Getty Images

Surging sea levels will leave up to 760 million people homeless, according to estimates from scientific research organization Climate Central. Should global temperature rise by 4 degrees Celsius, global sea level will accordingly rise up to 35 feet, submerging the homes of 10% of the world's population.

While many of the adverse impacts of climate change disproportionately impact the developing world, rising sea levels will heavily impact some of the planet's most developed nations. In China and the United States alone, more than 170 million residents live in low-lying coastal areas that are vulnerable to flooding. Four degrees of warming would also submerge half of Shanghai, Mumbai and Hanoi.

As part of their research, Climate Central developed Mapping Choices, a tool that will predict which coastal areas will eventually find themselves uninhabitable as sea levels rise:


Those in coastal areas are already feeling the impacts of rising seas. Last year, a judge in New Zealand granted legal residency to a Tuvaluan family who argued that climate change was making their native island nation uninhabitable.

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