This story originally appeared on LX.com
Rising sea levels could put two-thirds of the world’s population underwater unless the world halves its emissions by 2030, according to a new report released on Tuesday.
The nonprofit Climate Central predicts that the Earth could warm by 3 degrees Celsius or more during this century, which would melt more sea ice and cause water levels to rise. At this level of warming, water would cover several American monuments such as the base of the Statue of Liberty, the steps of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the boards of the Santa Monica Pier and the Houston Space Center.
The United States would be far from being the hardest hit. To withstand the tides, some of the world’s major coastal cities, especially in Asia, would have to put up “unprecedented global defenses” like sea walls. Or residents would have to abandon the area (and become climate migrants).
Climate Central released a map showing how much of the world’s coasts would be underwater based on global warming. California’s capital, Sacramento, would be largely submerged if the Earth warmed by 3 degrees Celsius.
The number of submerged or inundated cities “could be limited to a relative handful thanks to strict compliance with the Paris Agreement, in particular by limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius”, according to the Climate Central report.
The potential impact on billions of people reinforces a sense of urgency ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit which begins on October 31, where leaders will decide how aggressively they want to tackle the problem.
The paper analyzed data collected from Princeton University and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.
Here are some of the places that would be affected by the rise in sea level resulting from a warming of 3 degrees Celsius.