Which Countries Will Be Underwater Due To Climate Change?

This episode of Dnews was proudly made possible the all-new 2015 Subaru Legacy – it’s not just a sedan, it’s a Subaru. Sea levels are rising, but which countries are most at risk? We’ve got a detailed report, and the results might just include you. — Hey guys, Tara here for Dnews – and there has been a lot of talk lately on the subject of climate change. Last week, the UN hosted their climate summit in New York City, to establish a plan for reducing carbon emissions. It’s a hefty topic, with a lot of political discussions surrounding it – but one of the discussions you don’t often hear, is how climate change will actually affect people in different countries around the world. Fortunately, ClimateCentral.org just published an analysis of exactly that. It offers a country-by-country estimate of populations that are most at risk for regular flooding, based on a new set of sea-level data more comprehensive than ever before.

Regular flooding in this case, is defined by a flood at least once every 3 years. So who’s at most risk? Take a look at this chart from the New York Times, based on this data. Each box represents a coastal country. The bigger the box, the higher percentage of that country’s population who will be exposed to regular flooding by the year 2100. If global carbon emissions continue on their current trend, that amounts to 2.6% of the world’s population, or 177 million people. But there are other options in this chart, to account for more conservative and liberal estimates. At minimum, even with extremely rigorous cuts to global emissions and oceans that are far less sensitive to climate change than we expect, 1.9% of the population of coastal countries would still be affected by flooding. And at worst, that figure would rise to 3.1%. If you go by the expected estimate of 177 million, though, 50 million of those people live in China.

That’s the most out of any country, and yet China continues to be the world’s largest producer of carbon emissions. Interestingly, the US – also one of the world’s largest carbon emitters per capita – only ranks #34 on the list, right between India and Madagascar. Notice that 8 of the top 10 countries most at risk are in Asia. Yet if you consider the amount of residents, The Netherlands actually ranks highest, per capita. 40% of their population would be at risk from regular flooding. But because they possess the world’s most advanced levee system, their practical risk is actually quite low. Even with all this data, – there’s still a good chance we’re underestimating the risks. The US, for example, has much more detailed elevation data than most other countries, so when the group used that data to create their estimates, they actually found their projections for the US were much too conservative. Assuming other countries had access to similar data, then the global estimates could increase dramatically, from 177 million up to 500 million.

Of course it’s important to remember that these are just estimates. There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding climate change, and its pace can vary from decade to decade, especially as governments start to wisen up – and change their policies accordingly. [YOUTUBE/TESTTUBE] And speaking of wisening up, if you haven’t heard yet – our resident tech expert and Subaru owner Patrick Norton has teamed up with Subaru once again, for a series of extreme challenges. If you head over to revision3.com/subaru, you can see videos of Patrick running the all-new 2015 Subaru Legacy through a parking lot-themed obstacle course, a daring race against a remote-controlled car, and much much more. Again, that’s revision3.com/subaru. And in the meantime, let us know in the comments below – if this latest climate report, is something you guys are concerned about. That’s it for me, but as always – thank you guys for watching!.