Author: Raymond Zhong

Flood threats are rising. Here’s where people are moving into harm’s way.

Source(s): New York Times, the

Worldwide, humans now occupy more than twice as much land in flood-prone areas as they did four decades ago, according to a new study in the journal Nature. The findings highlight the degree to which rapid development along coasts and in floodplains has increased the need for disaster preparedness around the globe.


“Ideally, what we would like to see is that human settlements are avoiding these flood zones,” Dr. Rentschler said. “What we find is, on average globally, it’s the opposite that’s happening: Rather than gradually reducing exposure to flood hazards, many countries are rapidly increasing it.”


In the study, which was published on Wednesday, the researchers analyzed decades of satellite data to see how the physical footprints of cities and towns changed worldwide between 1985 and 2015. They then compared this expansion with high-resolution maps of present-day flood exposure.


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