July 10, 2020

Parts of the Bahamas will be flooded in 2050 by the climate crisis

Parts of northwestern Bahamas such as the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama will be below sea level on the horizon of 2050, according to forecasts by Climate Central, a nonprofit organization that investigates the climate crisis.

The organization released an investigation Tuesday indicating that the rise in sea level due to global warming will have a worse impact than expected years ago, which could cause the Abacus, Grand Bahama and other parts of the Atlantic archipelago to remain flooded for that date.

Climate Central's research uses a new flood forecasting model, called CoastalDEM, to better project sea level rise levels.

The new model differs from previous ones based on NASA's Radar Shuttle Topography Mission (SRTM).

"Residents of small island states could face devastating losses," says the Climate Central report, which says many of those areas could become uninhabitable.

Rising sea levels could also produce humanitarian crises by stripping millions of people from their homes and traditional livelihoods.

The report clarifies that, nevertheless, currently about 110 million people worldwide live in areas below sea level thanks to the protection of levees.

Researchers Scott Kulp and Benjamin Strauss stress in the report that at the same time it should not be assumed that current coastal defenses are adequate for protection against future levels of sea growth.

"If our research is valid, coastal communities around the world must prepare for a much more difficult future than can be anticipated today," the scientists point out.

After Hurricane Dorian, which devastated the Abaco and Grand Bahama in northwestern Bahamas, some specialists have recommended that reconstruction be carried out in a sustainable manner.

Adelle Thomas, a geographer at the University of Bahamas, said that without a sustainable method these islands will suffer increasingly serious consequences from the effects of storms.

"There are options for these changes, including ecosystem-based adaptation, zoning and physical infrastructure," said the geographer.

"A well thought out and coherent plan for reconstruction that takes into account adaptation is a necessity to reduce the high risks faced by Bahamians. The development of an effective strategy and implementation must have the highest priority to facilitate a safe reconstruction," The specialist said.

Thomas stressed that climate change studies have an impact on small island developing states such as the Bahamas that may experience rising sea levels and tides associated with hurricanes that are increasingly frequent and intense.

Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis recently said that after the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian last August, it is necessary to improve planning in the affected areas.

. (tagsToTranslate) Parts (t) Bahamas (t) will be (t) flooded (t) climate

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