Buenos Aires underwater? Scientists showed the deadly effects of sea level rise in 2050

A new interactive map allows you to see which areas of the world could suffer from the rise in sea levels, caused by climate change, a desolate panorama that could make vast areas of the Argentine coast disappear no less than in 2050 if the climate situation continues to worsen.

The map, created by Climate Centralallows us to see the effects that the increase in the level of the oceans would have on the world, and shows the extent of the waters on the coast of the province and the City of Buenos Aires.

This map reveals the coastal towns in the province, as well as parts of the City of Buenos Aires, which could have to be abandoned en masse due to sea level rise and coastal erosion.

Among these areas are La Plata, the coastal area of ​​the Buenos Aires suburbs, the shores of the Río de La Plata on the City of Buenos Aires. In addition, a 5-meter rise in sea level could make the entire Buenos Aires coast disappear from the Paraná Delta to Mar del Plata.

Maps of coastal flooding and sea level rise from Climate Central They are based on peer-reviewed science in leading journals. They show land areas projected to be below the annual flood stage by 2050.

They warn that the rise in sea level will generate “exodus of biblical scales” in cities like Buenos Aires

According to UN climate experts (IPCC), sea ​​level rose between 15 and 25 cm between 1900 and 2018, and is expected to rise another 43 cm by 2100 on a planet that experiences a 2ºC rise in temperature per year, compared to the pre-industrial era. However, it could increase by 84 cm if the planet warms up +3 °C or +4 °C.

The rise in water, beyond the subsidence of certain areas, is accompanied by an increase in storms and flooding in coastal areas.

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The UN warned that Buenos Aires or other large cities are at serious risk if the global temperature increases by 2 degrees

This same week, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, had warned of the risk of an exodus “of biblical proportions” in coastal cities like Buenos Aires due to the rise in sea level caused by global warming.

“The danger is particularly acute for the nearly 900 million people who live in low-lying coastal areas, one in 10 people on Earth.”Guterres said. “Communities living in low-lying areas and entire countries could be gone forever. We would be witnessing a massive exodus of entire populations, of biblical proportions“.

Melting glaciers put more than 15 million people at risk

Some small, sparsely populated island states are at risk of disappearing entirely. But the impact of sea level rise, caused by the melting of glaciers, the expansion of the oceans by higher temperatures and now mainly by the melting of the polar caps goes much further.

“Whatever the scenario, countries like Bangladesh, China, India and the Netherlands they are all at risk“, Guterres warned. “Megacities on all continents will suffer severe impacts, such as Cairo, Lagos, Maputo, Bangkok, Dhaka, Jakarta, Mumbai, Shanghai, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, New York, Buenos Aires and Santiago,” he explained.

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The collapse of the polar ice could advance the disaster

The planet’s ice caps could melt and raise the level of the oceans by several meters with an increase in global warming of just 0.5 degreesaccording to recent studies that highlight hitherto ignored weather interactions.

The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have lost more than 500 billion tons annually since 2000, equivalent to six Olympic-sized swimming pools every second.

But climate models have so far underestimated their contribution to sea level rise since only the increase in temperatures was taken into account and the interactions between the atmosphere, the oceans, the ice sheets and some glaciers were ignored.

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A study by researchers from South Korea and the United States established that if current climate policies were maintained, the melting of the ice sheet in Antarctica and Greenland would cause a rise in sea level of approximately half a meter between now and 2050.

The figure would increase to 1.4 meters in the worst case scenario, which implies a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

The experts based their predictions on the basis of the different scenarios proposed by the experts of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The research, published this week in the journal Nature CommunicationsIt also specifies when the uncontrollable melting of ice sheets and glaciers could accelerate.

“Our model sets thresholds of between 1.5°C and 2°C of warming – with 1.8°C being our best estimate – for accelerated ice loss and sea level rise.”explained Fabian Schloesser, of the University of Hawaii, co-author of the study.

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Temperatures have already increased by almost 1.2ºC worldwide since the pre-industrial era.

Scientists have known for a long time that the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets – which could raise sea levels by up to 13 meters in the long term– have “turning points” beyond which their disintegration is inevitable. But the temperatures associated with this phenomenon had never been precisely identified.

Climate change: how Buenos Aires and other cities would look with rising sea levels

Other studies published this week in Nature On the other hand, they show that the Thwaites Glacier, in West Antarctica, is fracturing in an unprecedented way. This glacier, the size of Great Britain, has already shrunk by 14 km since the 1990s, but the phenomenon was not well understood due to a lack of data.

An expedition of British and American scientists drilled a hole the equivalent of two Eiffel Towers (600 meters) deep through the thick tongue of ice pushed by Thwaites into the Amundsen Sea, finding signs of accelerated erosion as well as open cracks. by sea water.

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“The warm water enters the fissures and participates in the erosion of the glacier at its weakest point”stressed Britney Schmidt, author of one of the studies and a professor at Cornell University in New York.

Another study published in the journal Earth’s Futurestresses in turn that the rise in sea level will destroy arable land and sources of drinking water, which will force millions of people into exile earlier than expected.

The provinces of Buenos Aires and Entre Ríos, under water in the year 2100

“The time we have to prepare for increased flood exposure may be much less than previously assumed”the authors warn.

Until now, the calculations have relied on misinterpreted data. When measuring the altitude of coastal regions with radar, treetops and rooftops were often mistaken for ground level. This means that the ground is actually much lower than previously thought.


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