Rising seas will endanger more than three hundred million people in the next thirty years, according to a startling new study published in late October in the journal Nature Communications. By 2050, the impacts of rising sea levels will be much more severe than previously thought, “threatening to all but erase some of the world’s great coastal cities” in low-lying areas from Egypt’s Nile Delta to southern and eastern China to Southeast Asia, as the New York Times put it. One of those cities is Ho Chi Minh City, the economic hub of Vietnam, which could be underwater along with the rest of southern Vietnam by mid-century, as these new projections suggest. Many coastal regions across Southeast Asia would be doomed. Yet despite this imminent danger, Southeast Asian countries are lagging behind in preparing for the deluge.
For more on the new research on climate change’s impact on Southeast Asia, and Southeast Asian states’ lack of preparation, see my new article in World Politics Review.