Global Climate, Coastal Cities, and Urbanization Essay

Global Climate, Coastal Cities, and Urbanization Essay

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Over the years, climate has been changing creating sea levels to rise and more people are moving to the cities looking for jobs and opportunities leading to land in urban areas to subside. Because of this, the world’s coastal cities are at an increasing risk of dangerous (economically and physically) flooding. Cities on the coast have different defenses to help prevent flooding but these defenses are geared towards today’s current state. With the rise of sea levels these defenses will no longer be applicable and the city will flood. It is important that something is done now to prevent this flooding in the future. If cities wait too long, the loss of lives and the economy will cause a disaster on the city.
For the first time in history, about half of the world’s population is classified as residing in urban areas . From now to 2050 the human population is anticipated to continue to grow . Forecasts predict a growth in more urban areas rather than rural. During the 20th century, the U.S. grew most rapidly near the coasts and around large cities. California, Texas, Florida, and New York are the four states with the largest populations and where 38 percent of the U.S. population growth occurred during this time period. These states are also the ones that are most vulnerable to the rising sea levels and other global climate changes. While many small and intermediate cities are experiencing the most rapid rates of growth, large cities continue to expand in size, density, and population. In these cities, the poor are most at risk. Rapid urbanization has forced them into susceptible neighborhoods in low-lying areas and along waterways that are prone to flooding. More than a third of the world’s total population lives the urban area of ...


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...ighest Risk of Damaging Floods? New Study Crunches the Numbers,” The World Bank, 19 Aug. 2013, http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/08/19/coastal-cities-at-highest-risk-floods (accessed 17 Jan. 2014)


Joel E. Cohen, “Population and Climate Change,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society Vol. 154, No. 2 (June 2010)


Michael C. Barth, James G. Titus, Kenneth J. Gregory, “Greenhouse Effect and Sea Level Rise; A Challenge for This Generation,” The Geographical Journal, Vol. 154, No. 1 (Mar., 1988), pp. 118-119


Edward D. Murphy, “Architects design two-day event to explore issue of sea level rise: Their goal is to devise proposals for southern Maine and inform the public about vulnerable areas.” Maine Today, Local and state; pg. B1, 12 May 2011.


Reuters, “Rising sea threatens U.S. cities: new study.” The Star Phoenix, World; pg. C14. 17 Feb. 2011

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