SCIENCE
11/23/2015 03:46 pm ET Updated Nov 30, 2015

Watch How Rising Sea Levels Could Swallow Coastal Cities

This could happen sooner than you might think.

Scientists have given the world fair warning: Climate change could -- and likely will -- result in a catastrophic rise in global sea levels.

As you'll see in the video below, that could affect more than 100 million people in the U.S.

For some coastal cities in the U.S. -- notably New Orleans, Miami and Boston -- it may be too late to reverse the damage that's already been done. Others could still be saved if we take swift action to reduce carbon emissions.

Climate Central

Ben Strauss, vice president for sea level and climate impacts at Climate Central, told Agence France-Presse last month that if we don't cut back on burning fossil fuels between now and 2100, the planet will likely face sea level rise between 14 and 32 feet. The only uncertainty is how quickly that would happen. 

"Some of this could happen as early as next century," Strauss told Agence France-Presse. "But it might also take many centuries."

For a look at how sea level rise could affect cities around the U.S., visit Climate Central's interactive online tool.

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