The Mekong delta, an area where more than 12 million people live, could be completely submerged by 2050 due to rising sea levels caused by global warming underway according to a Utrecht University scientist in The Netherlands.
Philip Minderhoud has in fact collected the topographic data of the Mekong delta area, analyzed them and published the results in a study published today in Nature Communications. The sea level altitude data of this area had been unknown for years because it was owned only by the Vietnamese government, which only recently allowed some teams of scientists to perform more in-depth analysis.
The researcher, together with his colleagues, realized that the average altitude above sea level of this area is only 0.8 meters, which is two meters lower than the estimates previously made based only on satellite data. Such an altitude practically doubles the number of people involved in the processes that will see the now inevitable sea-level rise, processes that at this point will involve more than 12 million Vietnamese.
According to the same Minderhoud similar assessments can also be made for other areas of river deltas that could do the same purpose: in this regard, the scientist cites the river Ganges in Bangladesh and India and the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar.