More than 1,700 American cities and towns – including Boston, New York, and Miami – will have significant populations living below the high-water mark by the end of this century, a new climate change study has found.
Those 1,700 towns are locked into a watery future by greenhouse gas emissions already built up in the atmosphere, the analysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday found. For nearly 80 of those cities, the watery future would come much sooner, within the next decade.
“Even if we could just stop global emissions tomorrow on a dime, Fort Lauderdale, Miami Gardens, Hoboken, New Jersey will be under sea level,” said Benjamin Strauss, a researcher at Climate Central, and author of the paper. But dramatic cuts in emissions – much greater than Barack Obama and other world leaders have so far agreed – could save nearly 1,000 of those towns, by averting the sea-level rise, the study fund.