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Scientists' grim warning: 200 million displaced by rising sea levels in next century

A conference in Auckland has been told 200 million people worldwide could be displaced by rising sea levels.

A conference in Auckland announced over 200 million people could lose their homes worldwide to the environmental issue. Source: 1 NEWS

Surface flooding from high tides is a common sight on Auckland’s Tamaki Drive, including this morning when a 3.7m tide threatened the seawall again.

International experts were in New Zealand’s largest city to provide a grim warning about the possible impact of rising sea levels.

"It's estimated that something like 200 million people would be displaced for a sea level rise of a metre," professor Jonathan Bamber said

He said the 20th century sea level rise was about 15 to 20cm, with a marked increase projected for the next 50 years.

There are about 9,000 homes throughout the country which lie less than 50cm above the current spring high tide levels.

"Ultimately if the risks are allowed to get higher then the insurance response is a higher premium or and or a higher excess money the home owner has to pay up front to begin with," chief executive of the Insurance Council of New Zealand Tim Grafton said.