Flooded Future: Assessing the Implications of New Elevation Data for Coastal Communities | Wilson Center
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Flooded Future: Assessing the Implications of New Elevation Data for Coastal Communities

Webcast available

Webcast Recap

According to new research conducted by Climate Central, by 2050, sea level rise could push the high-tide line above the homes of 150 million people living on coastlines today. Rising sea levels could also push chronic floods higher than land currently home to 300 million people--that number could reach 480 million by 2100. These totals are significantly larger than previous estimates and have wide-ranging and profound implications for economic and political stability. Importantly, the greatest impact will be felt in Asia, where six nations--China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand--are home to 75 percent of the 300 million people who will be living in chronic flood zones.

These findings are based on CoastalDEM, a new digital elevation model that uses machine learning methods to correct for systematic errors in the principal elevation dataset previously used for international assessment of coastal flood risks, NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission.

Please join us on November 20 for a presentation of the study's findings and their implications for future humanitarian assistance, economic prosperity, adaptation and resilience initiatives, and global security. A reception will follow the event.




Welcome Remarks

  • Ambassador David Balton, Senior Fellow, Polar Institute, Wilson Center


Keynote Remarks: Understanding the Analysis

  • Dr. Benjamin Strauss, CEO and Chief Scientist, Climate Central


Panel: Implications

  • Humanitarian ImplicationsEric Schwartz, President, Refugees International; former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration
  • Security Implications: John Conger, Director, Center for Climate and Security; former Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense
  • Economic ImplicationsJulie Rozenberg, Senior Economist, World Bank
  • Moderated by Ambassador David Balton, Senior Fellow, Polar Institute, Wilson Center