More From the It-Gets-Worse File

How global warming could leave us thirsting for the old days

| | Image by BZoltan|

Remember that scary prediction from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change a few months back about sea levels rising by as much as 23 inches in the next 100 years and flooding coastal regions and displacing billions of people? Well, that forecast just got a little bit scarier.

A new study from Ohio State University shows how rising sea levels could not only leave us homeless, but desperately parched as well. In the study, hydrologists simulated how saltwater forced inland can penetrate and pollute underground aquifers up to 50 percent more than previously estimated. In the United States, lands along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, especially Florida and Louisiana, are most most vulnerable to flooding due to rising sea levels.

Now would be a good time to (a) not buy oceanfront property and (b) go check out the American Museum of Natural History's excellent new exhibit "Water: H20 = Life," (opened this week) and learn what you can do to help the world skirt the looming water crisis.—Nicole Dyer