Old city of Jeddah
The old city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. Jeddah was named as one of the cities at risk from rising sea levels. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are at risk of losing their homes as entire cities sink under rising seas over the next three decades.

The warning, was issued by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, coinciding with the Glasgow COP26 climate conference.

The US Worldwatch Institute has predicted that thesea level rise will threaten 33 cities around the world. According to the institute, a rise of only one metre can lead to the sinking of some of the most prominent capitals and cities of the world.

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea port, is one of the cities threatened with being flooded. According to a report by the World Bank, climate change may cause unprecedented disasters in the city on the western coast of the Kingdom.

Coastal cities will face the most significant impacts of climate change, surffering from storm surges, high tides, sea level rises and land subsidence.

Also threated with being submerged are Alexandria in Egypt, Basra in Iraq, London, Houston, Shanghai, Bangkok and the Maldives.

Global sea levels are expected to rise between 0.6 and 2.1 metres over the course of the 21st century.

And by 2050, land that is currently home to about 300 million people will fall below the level of the average annual coastal flood — meaning they could face severe floods at least once a year.

By 2100, land that is home to 200 million people could sit permanently below the high tide line, rendering coastal areas all but unlivable.

Rising sea levels contribute to warmer global temperatures, changing what kinds of crops farmers can grow, meaning millions of people could face food and drinking water scarcity, health crises, and a disrupted global economy.