Nearly 36 million people in India could be affected by annual coastal flooding by 2050 according to a new study on climate change. This number can rise to 44 million by 2100.
The research, published in Nature Communications, has found large areas on the eastern as well as western coastlines under threat of rising sea levels, including Mumbai on the west and Kolkata on the east.
The study claims to remove over-estimations in the assessment of land elevations in coastal areas. As a result, it finds that much larger areas of land were threatened by rising sea levels because of climate change. Consequently, a significantly higher population group was at risk.
The study found that 300 million people, and not 80 million as estimated earlier, across the globe were currently living in areas that were below the annual coastal flood line. By the turn of this century, land that is now home to 200 million of these people would be permanently below the high tide line.
Almost 80 per cent of these 300 million people live in China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. China alone accounted for 43 million.