Moving Beyond Band-Aid Solutions For Disaster Resilience

Up to 410 million people at risk from sea level rises – study

Up to 410 million people will be living in areas less than 2 metres above sea level, and at risk from sea level rises, unless global emissions are reduced, according to a new study.

“In some countries like the Netherlands, or parts of the UK, and much of the US, they have excellent data for these coastal zones, because they fly Lidar every four years. It costs tens of millions of euros just to cover the Netherlands. Obviously in much of the world, people don’t have that kind of funding,”

Dr Aljosja Hooijer, specialist water resources expert at Deltares

The paper, published in Nature Communications, finds that currently 267 million people worldwide live on land less than 2 metres above sea level. Using a remote sensing method called Lidar, which pulsates laser light across coastal areas to measure elevation on the Earth’s surface, the researchers predicted that by 2100, with a 1 metre sea level rise and zero population growth, that number could increase to 410 million people.

Their maps showed that 62% of the most at-risk land is concentrated in the tropics, with Indonesia having the largest extent of land at risk worldwide. These projections showed even more risk in the future, with 72% of the at-risk population in the tropics, and 59% in tropical Asia alone…

Report estimates major cyberattack could cost more than recovering from natural disasters
Report estimates major cyberattack could cost more than recovering from natural disasters

Moving Beyond Band-Aid Solutions For Disaster Resilience

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that we have been experiencing. Far from being just a public health emergency, its scale and overwhelming socio-economic impact has brought our normal lives as we knew almost to a grinding halt.

More prominently last year and recently during the second wave this year in the country, we saw a mass exodus of migrant workers from cities due to loss of income during the lockdowns. The economic downturn caused a lot of businesses, especially micro-enterprises that employed these migrants, to collapse.  Further, lack of any safety nets only exacerbated their miseries.

Since the onslaught of the pandemic, a slew of natural hazards including four major cyclones, floods, landslides, forest fires, and several earthquakes have also put further thousands of lives across India at risk. The frequency and unprecedented nature of climate-induced extreme events is on the rise as latest research on the climate emergency tells us that the globe is warming at twice the rate as compared to two decades ago. In urban areas, micro-enterprises, already impacted by the lockdown have suffered further losses due to these disasters. The lessons from the past, like in Chennai floods from 2015 where a fourth of micro-enterprises that suffered losses could never revive, have not been learnt…

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