Bangkok is sinking at a rate of 1.2 in. a year, in part because of illegal tapping of groundwater. This subsidence exposes the city’s 10 million inhabitants to dramatic rises in relative sea level.
[The following text appears within a diagram. Please see your hard copy for actual diagram.]
15 PLACES THAT WILL BE MOST AFFECTED IN THE NEXT 100 YEARS (SEA-LEVEL RISE IN FEET)
KUSHIRO, JAPAN 3.08
GRAND ISLE, LA.
POTI, GEORGIA 2.16
OCEAN CITY, MD. 1.8
JEJU, SOUTH KOREA 1.76
CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA 1.74
Rising ocean temperatures slow the northeasterly flow of the Gulf Stream, causing more water to wash ashore in places like Ocean City, Md.
GUAM, MARIANA ISLANDS 2.77
GALVESTON, TEXAS 2.24
SUVA, FIJI 2.07
LEGAZPI, THE PHILIPPINES 1.77
ROCKPORT, TEXAS 1.69
DAVAO CITY, THE PHILIPPINES 1.75
The Mariana Islands and Fiji are increasingly vulnerable to tropical storms as rising seas and ocean temperatures degrade natural coastal defense systems like coral reefs.
SOURCE: NOAA’S TIDES AND CURRENTS DEPARTMENT
This appears in the September 08, 2014 issue of TIME.
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