Severe floods in South China kills 22 people, 20 still missing
A bus goes through a flooded area in Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province, China Reuters

The glaciers always have released the ice into the sea, but now these natural events are happening almost twice as often as it did almost 10 years ago. This means that a vast amount of freshwater is being released into the sea that is causing drastic sea-level rise, which is keeping the coastal regions such as UK, US, Singapore and Indonesia close to the threat level. Millions of people are currently living on the lands which are threatened by flooding from sea level rise by the end of the century. As per the recent revelation, the threat level has gone up and mainly communities living in Asian megacities are under great risk.

Benjamin Strauss at Climate Central, a New Jersey-based independent organisation said "To us it's a staggering difference. It's a completely new perspective on the scale of this threat." He and his colleague Scott Kulp used artificial intelligence to train a model on several sets of data that predicted where the old data was making a mistake. With the help of technology, the researchers tried to flatten the errors caused by huge buildings and trees to recalculate the vulnerabilities of cities. The findings showed that there are far more people living on land below annual flood levels now. It also revealed that by 2100, almost 630 million people who are living on the vulnerable lands will come under the great risk of flooding caused by sea-level rise.

It should be mentioned that not 26 million, but as per the recent findings, 87 million people in China are living at-risk lands. In Bangladesh the number is 50 million which was previously estimated only five million. Strauss says that "coastal cities that want to thrive into the [future] need to take a very close look at their vulnerability, and begin to plan very quickly what they are going to do about rising sea levels."

Previous studies claimed that the sea level rise would grasp important food growing areas such as the delta of the Nile and that the natives of the coastal cities such as London, New York and Shanghai will come under serious threat. Recently Indonesia has decided to shift its capital to the province of East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, as Jakarta has become one of the fastest sinking city in the world.

Singapore gears up

This year, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mentioned that protecting Singapore from rising sea levels could cost S$100 billion or more over 100 years. The low-lying island-state is currently preparing to mitigate the impact of global warming. During the National Day Rally speech, PM Lee said Singapore's future options include building polders, areas of land recovered from a body of water or reclaiming a series of islands offshore and connecting them with barrages. The Republic has already taken the required action, including introducing a carbon tax and requiring future critical infrastructure like its new Changi airport terminal and port to be built on higher ground.

Indonesian floods
People wade through flood water in Jakarta, Indonesia, Feb. 21, 2017. Heavy downpours have triggered floods in several spots of Indonesia's capital of Jakarta and an outskirt city, submerging roads and thousands of houses, and triggering evacuation. IANS