That climate patterns are changing is typically above debate. Unless you’re a flat-earther type, of course. Climate change is real, and no amount of denial can change that. You only have to turn on your Cox cable TV to see images of polluted oceans, burning forests, and crop failures. Large-scale, unchecked industrialization has harmed the planet. Countless ecosystems and species have been destroyed to make room for malls and housing developments. Polar ice is melting alarmingly fast and rising sea levels across the planet. Climate change is coming. And it may hit some areas worse than the rest of the world.
The Cities Facing a High Risk of Climate Catastrophe
It is very hard to deny that what we see is a climate catastrophe in the making. Climate change will impact the entire planet and all forms of life on it. But it seems some densely populated areas may stand at a higher risk than others. And existing conditions and circumstances in many of them will only make things worse. Could you be living in a potential climate disaster zone? Read on to find out more.
The city of Lagos is one of the largest in Nigeria. However, it may also be one of the most at-risk cities in the world. The city serves as the country’s major port. It is a hub for the movement of goods and individuals in and out of the country. However, the city is growing at an alarming pace. The lack of income opportunities in other parts of the country triggers urban migration to Lagos. At the same time, the city’s existing population is also booming.
Logros contributes a significant portion to the national GDP. But the ever-growing population is straining the existing infrastructure and resources. While not exactly unsustainable yet, the population will continue to grow rapidly. The city remains a major economic hub in Africa. But a catastrophe-level climate change could quickly topple the economy.
The Philippines has always had a rich tropical climate. However, the country has had more than its fair share of natural disasters over the years. Tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, and even flooding have occurred at various times. The country’s capital, Manila, is even more at risk than the rest of the country. Located right along the coast, Manila has been plagued by poor infrastructure for many decades. Poor drainage and sanitation add to the city’s woes on top of regular flooding every year.
With sea levels rising, the city may see larger and more destructive flooding in the years ahead. However, the government is making efforts to adapt to the impending change. Manila is one of the few cities in Asia with a formal flood management plan. However, the massive disruption could hurt an already struggling economy and population.
War-torn Yemen has seen extreme challenges. The victim of an embargo, the country remains cut off from most of the world. Amid an ongoing conflict with Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s economy has been decimated. Even today, the country’s resources continue to dwindle. There is a nationwide shortage of essential medication, first aid, working infrastructure, and even food. Famine claims the lives of many Yemenis each year, many of them young children.
To add to an already horrific scene, Yemen’s long coastal edge makes it a prime target for climate-induced catastrophe. With food and medical supplies already running out, a catastrophe-level climate change could potentially destroy the remaining economy completely. The country is also one of the largest oil exporters in the world. This means an industrial and economic collapse could create a ripple effect in the global oil market. This could potentially trigger a domino-like collapse in smaller economies if oil prices shoot up.
The United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is widely considered the finest jewel on the Arabian peninsula. Oil-rich emirates have managed to transform their economies on another level. Instead of being the average Middle Eastern oil-exporter, the UAE has invested heavily in boosting tourism across the peninsula. At the same time, the UAE has managed to attract huge corporations and talented workers from all over the world.
In terms of the economy, the UAE has a far better outlook than many other areas in the region. This means it has significant wealth at its disposal to invest in counter-measures to climate change. This, however, does not change that it may be at risk for climate catastrophe. The arid desert land already means the country has smaller water resources than others. Rising temperatures could increase the consumption of these resources. They could even wipe out crops, increasing the import of foods which could upset inflation rates. With Cape Town becoming the first major city in the world to completely run out of groundwater, the threat is quite significant.