Aerial view of rescue team using inflatable rafts evacuate residents from flooded area after heavy downpour, on July 26, 2021 in Weihui, Xinjiang City, Henan Province of China. | Photo by Cui Nan/China News Service via Getty Images
Flooding poses a grave risk to tens of millions more people than researchers previously estimated. Up to 86 million more people lived in flood-prone areas around the world in 2015 compared to 2000, according to a new study published today in the journal Nature.
Thanks to satellite remote sensing, researchers were able to build what they say is the most comprehensive dataset of observed floods yet. It shows that more people have moved to waterfronts where they’re at risk. The findings also suggest that older flood maps used to inform urban planning and insurance policies might be underestimating the real-world risk of flooding.