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Apr 19, 2017 07:14 AM EDT

Rising Sea Level Can Displace Millions and Change the Face of Cities, Researchers Say [Video]

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Flooded Street in Miami Beach, Florida
Rising sea level caused a street n Miami Beach, Florida to be flooded during high tide.
(Photo : Joe Raedle / Staff/Getty images)

Researchers estimated that millions of people will be displaced by the rising sea levels. With their homes inundated with sea water, they need to leave and find another place where they can live.

Matthew Hauer, geographer from Georgia University, analyzed data gathered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Data revealed that as sea level continues to rise, several coastal cities and counties will be under water within this century.

People affected by rising sea level will be compelled to move to cities far from the coast. Cities predicted to be flooded are Miami, Florida and New Orleans. It is predicted that their population will greatly decrease as people leave for dry land. Migrants' destination can be Atlanta, Houston, Austin and Phoenix. And as coastal cities shrink, inland communities will expand, Science Daily reported.

Influx of people coming from the coastal areas will be affecting cities where migration is predicted. Data from NOAA revealed that 13.1 million people residing in 319 coastal counties will have to leave for dry land.

Nine states that will be seriously affected by rising sea level will experience reduced population as people migrate to unaffected areas. In contrast, population in states with dry land will swell as migrants arrive. This could cause a problem as some of the places targeted by migrants already suffer from effects of a big population. Las Vegas and Phoenix, for example, are already beset by water shortage, Anthropocene reported.

The rising sea level will change the face of cities and counties in the US. As coastal states shrink, those inland will expand as their population increase.

People from the coastal areas will most likely move to cities where economic and employment opportunities abound. Connections such as relatives, friends and colleagues affect decisions as to where they will migrate.

By predicting where big number of migrants is expected, preparations can be done in advance. This will help the host city prepare strategic plans on how to accommodate them.

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