Rising Tides

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    Rising Tides

    Whether you are using electricity for business or pleasure, we must consider how our actions impact the environment. Climate change is taking its toll on the planet in many ways, and global warming has caused sea levels to rise over four inches more than they were 30 years ago.

    If the tides continue to rise at this rate, it is estimated that millions of people across the globe will be under threat by 2050, but who is the most vulnerable? Using predictive data and AI software, we have revealed the countries that could be most affected by rising sea levels and what they could look like in the future.

    Over 1.3 million residents in China are to be impacted by rising sea levels as of 2050 - more than any other country

    It is no secret that rising sea levels are damaging the surrounding landscapes, but humans are now also feeling the effects of this type of climate change. The list below reveals which countries are estimated to have the most significant number of residents vulnerable to its impact in the future.

    Countires where rising dea level is estimated to affect the largest number of residents by 2050

    1. China – 1,300,000 residents affected
    Sea levels have been rising at an alarming rate in China in recent years due to global warming, and these tides are estimated to affect around 1.3 million of this country’s residents in the future. China has introduced sea walls along its coast to reduce the rate of erosion and to help protect the country’s residents from flooding. Still, barriers can only do so much to protect against the rising tides.

    2. India – 1,200,000 residents affected
    Much of India’s land is situated on the coast, and as the most populated country in the world, it may come as no surprise that this country features on this ranking. It is estimated that around 1.2 million residents will be impacted by rising sea levels as of 2050, which is an alarming amount of people in one area.

    3. United States – 310,000 residents affected
    The United States is home to over 300 million people, and 310,000 residents are estimated to be impacted by rising sea levels as of 2050 – the third-highest number of affected people from any one country. This country’s coastline is expected to grow more than 10 inches taller by 2050, leaving residents vulnerable to flooding, particularly in states with long coastlines, such as Hawaii and California.

    Estimated population threatened by rising sea levels

    It is predicted that Bosnia and Herzegovina’s population could be most affected by rising tides, with almost 0.17% of residents under threat

    The number of residents in any given country can vary massively, with two countries of the same land size having utterly different population counts. Because of this, we wanted to find out which countries have the most considerable proportion of vulnerable residents regarding rising tides.

    Countries where the biggest percentage of residents are predicted to be affected by rising sea levels in 2050

    1. Bosnia and Herzegovina – 0.168% of the population
    When taking the estimated population of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2050, it is predicted that almost 0.17% of this country’s residents will be vulnerable to the effects of rising sea levels, which is more than any other country on our list. Furthermore, this country has the largest estimated population threatened by rising tides in our top three, with an estimated 4,600 residents at risk.

    2. Lithuania – 0.160% of the population
    Lithuania may have a shorter coastline when compared to the other countries on this list. Still, it is the second most vulnerable regarding the proportion of residents affected by rising tides. One of the main consequences of rising sea levels is flooding, which can impact humans in various ways, including changes in water salinity levels. According to predictive data, factors like this will affect 0.16% of its population by 2050.

    3. Latvia – 0.153% of the population
    With just over 0.15% of its estimated 2050 population susceptible to rising sea levels in the future, Latvia completes our top three. It is predicted that around 2,200 residents here will be impacted by the rising tides. Of the 2,200 vulnerable residents of this country are the inhabitants of its capital city, which sits at the opening of the Gulf of Riga.

    What could rising tides look like for cities in the most affected countries?

    When we compare business energy deals, considering renewable sources is now more important than ever. Statistics are one thing, but a picture can paint a thousand words, and the effects of climate change are no exception. Using the help of AI software, we have generated some artist impressions of what the most affected cities might look like if our tides keep rising at the current rate.

    Sarajevo

    Surrounded by cultural history, the capital city of Sarajevo is also the most populated in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Tourists come from around the world to visit this city and admire its famous parks and cathedrals, with this sector making up a large proportion of this country’s economy.

    Bus tours are a popular way to explore this city, but if sea levels continue to rise at the current rate, then we could see tourists swimming to get around in Sarajevo in the coming years. Flooding will not only damage the beautiful landscape of this city, but it will also be detrimental to this country’s economy.

    Vilnius, Lithuania

    Vilnius

    From the Neris River running through this city to the Vilnia River, where the name of this capital originates, it is clear that Vilnius has many associations with flowing waters. Still, the residents of Lithuania are reluctant to welcome the effects of rising sea levels on its capital.

    Vilnius aims to become a net zero city by 2030 to reduce the future risks of climate change here. Even though this won’t eliminate the damage already done, it will reduce the risk of Vilnius becoming submerged by rising sea levels in the future, as depicted in this image.

    Riga, Latvia

    Riga, Latvia

    Located on the mouth of the Baltic Sea, Riga is more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than most. In an attempt to harness the water flowing in Latvia, this country has had an active hydroelectric power plant, which has been in operation for decades now.

    Despite utilising renewable energy sources, Latvia is at risk of the effects of rising sea levels. As illustrated in the above image, the rising tides in this country’s capital could result in the streets of Riga being engulfed by water by 2050.

    Sofia, Bulgaria

    Sofia, Bulgaria

    From homes to museums and so much more, Sofia is full of valuable architecture. Still, with the city’s motto translating to “ever-growing, never ageing”, the city’s people hope that the rising sea levels won’t get the memo.

    If the tides continue to rise at the current rate, then by 2050, we could see a constant stream of contaminated water flowing through Sofia, which could lead to poor living conditions for the residents of this city.

    Tbilisi, Georgia

    Tbilisi, Georgia

    Located on the banks of the Kura River, Georgia’s capital is synonymous with water-based landscapes. Still, the residents of Tbilisi would not like to welcome cascades of water through its streets.

    This city relies heavily on its bus network, but rising sea levels could make this transportation redundant as excess water could cause flooding to Tbilisi’s roads.

    Methodology

    We accessed the ‘Supplementary 5’ data from Klupp and Strauss’ 2019 article to find the estimated population threatened by rising sea levels in each country. We removed Israel, Ukraine, and Russia from our ranking.

    We used the Population Pyramid to find the estimated population of each country in 2050. We removed any countries where we couldn’t find all the data.

    We divided the threatened population estimate by the estimated 2050 population of each country to find the percentage of the population under threat in each country.

    Taking the above data, we used Midjourney to generate images of how the top 5 most affected countries could look like in the future as a result of rising sea levels. To do this, we asked the software to “imagine *name of capital city* streets completely flooded from rising sea levels, sea pouring through the city streets”.

    For the Transparency Index percentages, we used ISSUU.

    We put these factors into a weighted table, giving each factor a normalised score out of 10. We then took an average of these scores to give an overall score out of 10.

    All data is accurate as of 04/12/2023

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