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By 2100 it is predicted that sea levels could rise by up to 23 feet. For obvious reasons even the slightest rise in levels will devastate coastal communities but anything remotely close to 23 feet could cause us to lose most of the coastal cities in the world. These are the cold hard facts from a 2011 study published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Business Insider looked at the data provided in the study and pulled together the following stats and an interesting map revealing over 1,400 United States cities that will be crippled if we don’t make a change:

Here are the stats:

  • If things don’t change by 2020, there will be an unavoidable rise in sea level by 5 feet and 2 inches. That will push more than 50% of the population out of 381 municipalities, resulting in 4,187,262 people losing their hometowns.
  • If greenhouse gasses continue to rise until 2050, there will be an unavoidable rise in sea level by 10 feet and 1 inch. That will push more than 50% of the population out of 715 municipalities, resulting in 8,121,973 people losing their hometowns.
  • If we wait until 2100 to mend our polluting ways, sea level will rise by 23 feet and 1 inch, displacing more than 50% of the population of 1,429 cities and towns, and 18,074,940 people.
  • Here are the cities and towns that could see more than 50% of their population displaced by rising sea levels by 2100:

The shocking map:

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