According to a new report, rising sea levels will cost the world over $14 trillion dollars in damages from flooding. This number represents both damages from the loss and destruction of assets around the world.
You can expect this by the end of the century.
The report is based on if businesses continue as usual without reducing their carbon emissions. It is entirely possible to mitigate these effects, but at the rate ice sheets are melting, it is inevitable the sea levels will rise.
How Can It Cost That Much?
You are probably wondering how exactly it can cause over $14 trillion dollars worth of damage. But the answer is actually quite simple.
Flooding is extremely destructive, in fact, flash flooding is one of the deadliest natural disasters each year in the US. Structures like houses and bridges cannot handle the rushing water current. As a result, they break apart.
However, it’s much worse in this scenario.
The rising sea levels put every coastline around the world at risk. All structures built by the sea are at risk. This also includes anything on an island.
However, what will really make this scenario worse are extreme storms like hurricanes and cyclones. These storms already flood areas when they make landfall. In this circumstance, they will be far more destructive and will likely be stronger as a result of the warming oceans, to boot.
Is Change Likely?
The report is not set in stone and can change.
It also does not exclusively track the average, but instead focuses on the extreme in its damage assessment. It is also hard to say if new structures will be built on the coastline. For example, offshore wind farms are quite vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.
And they cost a good amount of money.
Thus, it is entirely possible that these estimates are actually lower than the reality of the end of the century. It is also likely that carbon emissions will be reduced.
The recovery plans around the world are looking to invest heavily in renewable energy and green projects. We could be on the cusp of actually going green.