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Bill Rankin, 2016

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Humans are an unmistakably low-altitude species. The basic S-curve here shouldn't be surprising, since most of the earth's land is low-lying plains and forests rather than mountains. But the human population is quite low even with this in mind. Half of all humans live below 165 meters, while only 28% of land is that low. The lowest 4% of the world's land is home to about 15% of humans.

And note that the coastal impact from climate change will not be limited to the direct effect of rising sea levels (estimates for which are only increasing, especially with more data from the melting of Antarctica). The impact of storm surges and flooding is also predicted to increase, putting hundreds of millions more people at risk.

Data from GRUMP and GTOPO30; sea-level from Kopp et al. 2014. If you'd like the raw spreadsheet, just send me an email.