What Happens to Coastal Cities Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise?

Adapting to rates versus amounts of climate change: a case of adaptation to sea-level rise ( 9 page pdf, Soheil Shayegh, Juan Moreno-Cruz and Ken Caldeira, Environmental Research Letters, Oct. 4, 2016)

Today we review the most immediate aspect of climate change- its impact in terms of sea level rise and how best to adapt to this financially, given that many coastal cities are threatened including London, New York, and Tokyo. The authors consider four scenarios given the current rate of rise of 44 cm/100 years which is expected to increase by almost a factor of ten to 344 cm/100 years as Antarctic ice continues to melt over the next 1,000 years for a 60 m rise in sea level. The scenarios include: taking no action, creating a buffer zone, adapting to change in rise and building dikes to withstand increased sea levels. The optimum distance from the sea for safety increases from 310 m to 481 m as the rate of rise of sea level doubles. Insurance based on static risk need to be revised to  a more flexible approach based on rate of rise.


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