Superstorm Sandy brought devastation to
However, as patterns develop over time, it is becoming clear that those systemic failures are occurring more often. One increasingly glaring problem is that many global trade and financial centres, including
Extreme weather is just one factor, however. Most financial centres grew up around ports which placed these cities on the coast --
The result is overstretched infrastructure papering over the cracks in an increasingly unstable environment. Buildings start subsiding, airports go up on floodplains, saltwater infiltrates underground wiring and transport systems. And the city -- a critical hub in a global economy -- becomes a disaster waiting to happen. In future there will be more Sandys hitting more global centres more often. And they will affect you. Here we look at five cities and the threat they face from just one disruption, flooding.
22 million, an economy of at least
3 metres above sea level. That doesn't mean it takes a 3 metre rise in sea level for there to be a problem. All it takes is a storm surge. In 2011, Hurricane Irene whipped up a 1.2 metre surge, and caused more than
Average elevation about 30 metres for
Estimated population at risk (millions): 1.9
The journal Natural Hazards this year declared
Average elevation above sea level: 3 metres.
Estimated population at risk (millions): 2.3
Average elevation: 15 metres, but much critical infrastructure, especially in the heart of the city, is just about sea level.
Estimated population at risk (millions): 3
Average elevation above sea level: 1.5 metres.
Estimated population at risk (millions): 1
The world's leading financial centre cannot count on the Thames Barrier to keep it dry. There are five ways
'a significant proportion of
The British Government's Flood and Coastal Defence report summed up the situation: 'Hard choices need to be taken -- we must either invest more in sustainable approaches to flood and coastal management or learn to live with increased flooding.'
An estimated 15 per cent of
Estimated population at risk (millions): 1.4
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