Friday, March 30, 2007

If the seas rise...

Global warming creates concerns that melting ice caps could lead to rising sea levels.  If so...
One person in 10 worldwide and one in eight among city dwellers are residing in areas which are less than 10 meters above sea level and near the coasts exposing themselves to risks of rising seas and storms caused by global warming, a new study has shown....  634 million people lived in coastal areas -- 360 million in towns and cities -- in 2000.
[M]ore than 75 per cent of such settlements were in Asia, especially China and India, where trade is mostly done through the sea route. In terms of population, China holds the No 1 position in risk with nearly 143 million people living by seacoasts. India comes next, followed by Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Egypt, the United States, Thailand and the Philippines.
What I'd love to see added to this study- what are the economic circumstances of the people living in these threatened areas. 
On the surface, there's cause for concern.  China, for example ranks 115th in the world with only about $1,300 per capita in GDP.  Bangladesh has only about $400 per capita in GDP (156th in the world).  Other nations like Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Phillipines are not world economic leaders. 
Is this more evidence that the poorest in the world may be hurt most by global warming?  It certainly appears so.

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