Our government is finally going to be forced to pay attention to the problem of global warming, but what we all want to know is, how does global warming affect us? The biggest?and earliest?effect will be FLOODING of coast cities and countries, as glaciers and ice sheets melt.

In New Scientist, Catherine Brahic reports that one person in ten, worldwide, and one in eight city dwellers, live close enough to the coast to be at risk for flooding, which are brought on by surface ocean temperatures warming. Some entire low-lying countries, such as Bangladesh and many parts of Vietnam, are at danger for this.

The countries with the largest coastal populations are the Bahamas (88%), Suriname (76%), the Netherlands (74%), Vietnam (55%), Guyana (55%), Bangladesh (46%), Djibouti (41%), Belize (40%), Egypt (38%) and Gambia (38%).

Hurricanes are another concern, since they are brought on by warming of the ocean surface. According to climatologists, the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season should be “very active,” with nine hurricanes and a good chance that at least one major hurricane will hit the US coast. At least 17 hurricanes are predicted this season and the probability of at least one of them making landfall in the US is 74%.

Art credit: NOAA

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