According to research published in Nature, a greater percentage of the global population lives at risk of living through a flood. From 2000 to 2015, there was a 20-24% increase in people exposed to flooding.
And with climate change, there are no signs of this continued increase slowing down.
Turning this into a story, what if this trajectory continues until the entire world is underwater?
Climate change melts the ice caps, resulting in overflowing oceans and cutting into significant landmasses.
I know, this was a costly movie that bombed (Waterworld starring Kevin Costner). But this could be a new world for a series of books.
Most of the population lives in houseboats anchored off of the few remaining parcels of land. In addition, there are floating superstructures that host stores, schools, and government buildings.
Living on the land is reserved for the wealthy.
The story has the same beats as a Western—lonely stranger rides his trusty boat into town and helps with their pirate problem.
The water is too polluted for swimming, and metal rusts because of the consistent exposure to salt-water air, resulting in everything being made of plastic.
The final battle takes place on a massive community boat with the public watching from their own personal boats.
Other stories could involve:
- Hearing about a rumored island.
- Confronting bank/store robbers.
- Eventually taking the fight to the land-owning elite.