The Arabian Sea could begin entering and flooding most of Mumbai at least once every year by the year 2050, according to a new study that paints an alarming picture of what global warming-induced sea level rise could do to the world’s biggest coastal cities. According to the study, previous estimates of how many people would be impacted by rising sea levels in the next few decades were too optimistic. In fact, the study estimates that three times more people than what was previously believed would be impacted by rising sea levels in the coming decades.

The study estimates that by 2050, 30 crore people would be living in areas that would be prone to coastal flooding (a situation wherein seawater floods enters and flood large tracts of land). And, the study estimates, by 2100, land currently home to 20 crore people would be permanently below the high tide line, i.e. a standard high tide would easily overrun areas inhabited by the people.

To make these new estimates, the study tried to correct previous models of estimating the current elevation of land. Essentially, the study arrived at truer estimates of how high land across the world currently is vis a vis sea levels (more on this later) and used this to make better predictions of the impact of rising sea levels decades from now.

The study was carried out by a US research institute Climate Central and was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.Read More..