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Climate Adaptation

Rising Sea Levels Inundating Coastal Economies Four Times Faster

Cities sinking beneath their own weight due to resource extraction compound vulnerability to climate change.

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Cities Sinking as Sea Levels Rise

The economic impacts of rising sea levels will be felt four times faster by people living in some of the world’s biggest coastal cities, which are sinking beneath their own weight into manmade cavities created below the surface. 

The scientific assessment published Monday in Nature Climate Change is the second in a month to show that coastal economies are more vulnerable than previously thought to the danger of rising sea levels. The extraction of groundwater and other resources from beneath cities including Jakarta, New Orleans and Shanghai is causing them to slowly sink, a phenomena called subsidence, resulting in greater risks from flooding and storm surges.