FourFourOne of the key conclusions of the new report is that building materials used to build skyscrapes will be the most vulnerable to rising sea levels.
The research is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
The report comes on the heels of the International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC) meeting in Beijing.
Scientists are concerned about the rapid pace of sea-level rise in the oceans, but they are also trying to understand how the world might adapt to the consequences.
According to the IPCC, the seas will rise by 2.8 feet (1 meter) by 2100, a rise of about 2 inches (5 centimeters).
“We are talking about buildings that are in the middle of a construction process, so the impact of that on the sea is going to be quite significant,” said co-author Andrew Hogg, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“What we are trying to get at is how do we make buildings more resilient, how do you make them less vulnerable?”
Hogg and his colleagues looked at data from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a global network of journalists, scientists and activists working on stories about corruption, climate change and other topics.
The group studied nearly 2,500 buildings from 20 countries, which they used to calculate how vulnerable each structure was to sea level changes.
The research is part of a larger effort by the International Coastal Research Center, a nonprofit that has collaborated with the ICIJ and other sources on the project.
The center has also developed a global list of vulnerable buildings, which it says it will be releasing soon.
The ICIJ report estimates that each structure, which spans more than 40 square miles (90 square kilometers), could face about one foot (30 centimeters) of sea rise by 2100.
It also says the oceans will increase by more than 10 feet (3 meters) by the end of this century.
In addition to the buildings in the study, researchers looked at buildings in other parts of the world, including in Mexico, South Korea and the United States.
In China, the study estimated that 1,600 structures in the country would be vulnerable to sea-related damages by 2100 if the world continued on its current path.
The researchers also found that in the United Kingdom, which is a major construction site, one-third of the buildings could be in the water by 2100 while other buildings would not be in danger.
“We found that building in the UK is particularly vulnerable,” said Hogg.
“It’s not just coastal, it’s coastal infrastructure, it really includes the roads and other infrastructure.”
The researchers looked also at building materials from the United Arab Emirates, China, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Japan and the Netherlands.
Hogg said that even though building materials are vulnerable to changes in the sea, they are not a good place to be investing in building.
There are lots of people who want to build high-rise buildings, but that’s a pretty bad idea,” he said.
We’re not saying that high-rises are bad.
We’re just saying that we need to be careful about building.”
The researchers said their findings may help policymakers make decisions about how to mitigate sea-rise risks.
But they also said it is important to remember that the findings are based on data from a limited number of buildings, and there is no way to say whether the global building boom is sustainable.