West, J. Jason, Mitchell J. Small,
and Hadi Dowlatabadi. 2001. "Storms, Investor Decisions,
and the Economic Impacts of Sea Level Rise," Climatic
Change, Vol. 48, No. 2-3, February, pp. 317-342.
ABSTRACT: Past research on the economic impacts of a climate-induced sea level rise has been based on the gradual erosion of the shoreline, and human adaptation. Erosion which is accelerated by sea level rise may also increase the vulnerability to storm damage by decreasing the distance between the shore and structures, and by eroding protective coastal features (dunes). We present methods of assessing this storm damage in coastal regions where structural protection is not pursued. Starting from the bounding cases of no foresight and perfect foresight of Yohe et al. (1996), we use a disaggregated analysis which models the random nature of storms, and models market valuation and private investor decisions dynamically. Using data from the National Flood Insurance Program and a hypothetical community, we estimate that although the total storm damage can be large, the increase in storm damage attributable to sea level rise is small (<5% of total sea level rise damages). These damages, however, could become more significant under other reasonable assumptions or where dune erosion increases storm damage.
Nicholls, Robert J., Frank M.
J. Hoozemans and Marcel Marchand. 1999. "Increasing
flood risk and wetland losses due to global sea-level rise:
regional and global analyses," Global Environmental
Vol. 9, Suppl 1, October, pp. S69-S87.
ABSTRACT: To develop improved estimates of (1) flooding due to storm surges, and (2) wetland losses due to accelerated sea-level rise, the work of Hoozemans et al. (1993) is extended to a dynamic analysis. It considers the effects of several simultaneously changing factors, including: (1) global sea-level rise and subsidence; (2) increasing coastal population; and (3) improving standards of flood defence (using GNP/capita as an "ability-to-pay" parameter). The global sea-level rise scenarios are derived from two General Circulation Model (GCM) experiments of the Hadley Centre: (1) the HadCM2 greenhouse gas only ensemble experiment and (2) the more recent HadCM3 greenhouse gas only experiment. In all cases there is a global rise in sea level of about 38 cm from 1990 to the 2080s. No other climate change is considered. Relative to an evolving reference scenario without sea-level rise, this analysis suggests that the number of people flooded by storm surge in a typical year will be more than five times higher due to sea-level rise by the 2080s. Many of these people will experience annual or more frequent flooding, suggesting that the increase in flood frequency will be more than nuisance level and some response (increased protection, migration, etc.) will be required. In absolute terms, the areas most vulnerable to flooding are the southern Mediterranean, Africa, and most particularly, South and South-east Asia where there is a concentration of low-lying populated deltas. However, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean islands and the Pacific Ocean small islands may experience the largest relative increase in flood risk. By the 2080s, sea-level rise could cause the loss of up to 22% of the world's coastal wetlands. When combined with other losses due to direct human action, up to 70% of the world's coastal wetlands could be lost by the 2080s, although there is considerable uncertainty. Therefore, sea-level rise would reinforce other adverse trends of wetland loss. The largest losses due to sea-level rise will be around the Mediterranean and Baltic and to a lesser extent on the Atlantic coast of Central and North America and the smaller islands of the Caribbean. Collectively, these results show that a relatively small global rise in sea level could have significant adverse impacts if there is no adaptive response. Given the "commitment to sea-level rise" irrespective of any realistic future emissions policy, there is a need to start strategic planning of appropriate responses now. Given that coastal flooding and wetland loss are already important problems, such planning could have immediate benefits.
Nicholls, Robert J., and Nobuo
Mimura. 1998. "Regional issues raised by sea-level
rise and their policy implications," Climate Research,
Vol. 11, pp. 5-18.
ABSTRACT: Global sea levels are rising and this change is expected to accelerate in the coming century due to anthropogenic global warming. Any rise in sea level promotes land loss, increased flooding and salinisation. The impacts of and possible responses to sea-level rise vary at the local and regional scale due to variation in local and regional factors. Policy responses to the human-enhanced greenhouse effect need to address these different dimensions of climate change, including the regional scale. Based on global reviews and analyses of relative vulnerability, 4 contrasting regions are selected and examined in more detail using local and national assessments. These regions are (1) Europe, (2) West Africa, (3) South, South-East and East Asia and (4) the Pacific Small Islands. Some potential impacts of sea-level rise are found to have strong regional dimensions and regional cooperation to foster mitigation approaches (to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and, hence, the magnitude of climate change) and adaptive solutions to climate change impacts would be beneficial. For instance, in South, South-East and East Asia subsiding megacities and questions about long-term deltaic management are common and challenging issues. The debate on mitigation and stabilisation of greenhouse forcing also requires information on regional impacts of different emission pathways. These results will be provided by integrated models, calibrated against national assessments.
Pernetta, John C. 1992. "Impacts
of climate change and sea-level rise on small island states:
National and international responses," Global Environmental
Change, Vol. 2, No. 1, March, pp. 19-31.
ABSTRACT: Few developing countries possess sufficient indigenous financial and personnel resources to address adequately the predicted impacts of global climate change. In recognition of this fact, the Oceans and Coastal Areas Programme Activity Centre of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1987 established a series of regional teams to examine potential impacts of climate change and sea-level rise on terrestrial and marine ecosystems, on coastal environments, and on the socioeconomic structures of countries throughout the world. Drawing mainly on the work of the South Pacific Task Team, this article provides an overview of interrelated environmental problems and development problems in the Indo-Pacific region and reviews efforts to develop response strategies. The case of the Maldives is highlighted.
Jallow, Bubu P., Sekou Toure Malang,
M. K. Barrow, and Assa Achy Mathieu. 1999. "Coastal
zone of The Gambia and the Abidjan region in Côte
d'Ivoire: sea level rise vulnerability, response strategies,
and adaptation options," Climate Research, Vol. 12,
ABSTRACT: The aerial videotape-assisted vulnerability analysis (AVVA) technique was combined with various data sets to assess the vulnerability of the coastal zone of The Gambia to sea level rise. Land loss due to inundation, flooding, and erosion was estimated. Costs of damage and population at risk were also evaluated. Only historical data and maps were used to assess the vulnerability of the coastal zone of the Abidjan region of Côte d'Ivoire to sea level rise. Results show that with a 1 m sea level rise the whole of the capital city of Banjul will be under mean sea level in the next 50 to 60 yr as a greater part of the city is below 1 m. The mangrove systems on St. Mary's Island, Kombo St. Mary, and the strand plains in the north bank will be inundated. About 1950 billion Dalasis (US $217 million) worth of land will be lost. The most appropriate response would be to protect the whole of the coastline of Banjul, the shoreline area from the Banjul cemeteries to Laguna Beach Hotel, the infrastructure at Sarro, and the hotel complex at Cape Point. Innovative sand management, repair of the damaged groins, and construction of dikes, breakwater structures, revetments, and low-cost seawall are some of the shoreline stabilization and hardening techniques suggested for the protection of this area. For the Abidjan region, the same response strategies should be used. Adaptation responses identified for both regions include public awareness, increase in height of coastal infrastructure, urban growth planning, wetland preservation and mitigation, and development of a coastal zone management plan.
Raey, M. El, Kh. Dewidar, and M.
El Hattab. 1999. "Adaptation to the impacts of sea
level rise in Egypt," Climate Research, Vol. 12, pp.
ABSTRACT: Assessment of the vulnerability of and expected socioeconomic losses over the Nile Delta coast due to the impact of sea level rise (SLR) was carried out in detail. Impacts of SLR on the Governorates of Alexandria and Port Said, in particular, were evaluated quantitatively. Options and costs of adaptation were analyzed and presented. Multi-criteria and decision matrix approaches based on questionnaire surveys were carried out to identify priorities in the 2 case studies. Results indicate that there are very limited possibilities of changing jobs for vulnerable stakeholders; cost is the main barrier of implementation; the majority of stakeholders recommend protection actions; and beach nourishment with limited hard structures (groins and breakwaters) is the best immediate option for adaptation, while the ICZM approach is the best available strategic option.
Perez, Rosa T., Leoncio A. Amadore,
and Renato B. Feir. 1999. "Climate change impacts and
responses in the Philippines coastal sector," Climate
Research, Vol. 12, pp. 97-107.
ABSTRACT: The Manila Bay coastal area in The Philippines was evaluated for the possible consequences of accelerated sea level rise in the context of climate change and to assess adaptive responses to such threats. The coastal area is an important region in terms of commercial, industrial, agricultural, and aquacultural activities of The Philippines. Results show that areas along the coast if inundated by a 1 m sea level rise would include coastal barangays from 19 municipalities of Metro Manila, Bulacan, and Cavite and would cover an area of 5555 ha. Proposed response strategies consist of protecting the coast by building sea walls; institutional actions such as formulation of setback policies and construction regulations; and adaptive planning in the context of an integrated coastal zone management to address the short- and long-term problems, with the involvement of communities in the area. Information, education, and communication are essential along with the technical and scientific efforts to achieve a well-balanced adaptation plan.
Kont, Are, Urve Ratas, and Elle Puurmann.
1997. "Sea-Level Rise Impact on Coastal Areas of Estonia,"
Climatic Change, Vol. 36, No. 1-2, May - June, pp. 175-184.
ABSTRACT: Due to long coastline (3,794 km in total) and extensive low-lying coastal areas, global climate change through sea-level rise will strongly affect the territory of Estonia. A number of valuable natural ecosystems (both, marine and terrestrial) containing rare plant communities often rich in species, but also suitable breeding places for birds will be in danger. Most sandy beaches high in recreative value will disappear. However, isostatic land uplift and location of coastal settlements at a distance from the present coastline reduce the rate of risk. Four case study areas characterizing all the shore types of Estonia have been selected for sea-level rise vulnerability and adaptation assessment. Preliminary results and estimates of vulnerability to 1.0 m sea-level rise by 2075 for two case study areas - Hiiumaa, West-Estonian Archipelago and Pärnu-Ikla, south-western coast of the mainland - are presented in this paper.
Zeidler, Ryszard B. 1997. "Climate
Change Vulnerability and Response Strategies for the Coastal
Zone of Poland," Climatic Change, Vol. 36, No. 1-2,
May - June, pp. 151-173.
ABSTRACT: Four accelerated sea level rise scenarios, 30 and 100 cm by the year 2100, and 10 and 30 cm by the year 2030, have been assumed as boundary conditions (along with some wind climate changes) for the entire Polish coast, under two recent programmes completed in 1992 and 1995. Three adaptation strategies, i.e., retreat, limited protection and full protection have been adopted and compared in physical and socio-economic terms. Over 2,200 km2 and 230,000 people are found vulnerable in the most severe case of 100-cm rise by 2100. The total cost of land at loss in that case is estimated at nearly 30 USD billion (plus some 18 USD billion at risk of flooding), while the cost of full protection reaches 6 USD billion. Particular features of vulnerability and adaptation schemes have been examined as well, including specific sites and the effects of not only sea level rise but also other climate change factors, and interactions with other climate change studies in Poland. Planning of coastal zone management facing climate change can be facilitated by the use of a GIS-supported coastal information and analysis system. An example of the application of such a system for a selected Polish coastal site is shown to illustrate the most recent smaller-scale research activities undertaken in the wake of the overall assessment of the vulnerability to climate change for the entire Polish coastal zone.
Saizar, Andrés. 1997. "Assessment
of impacts of a potential sea-level rise on the coast of
Montevideo, Uruguay," Climate Research, Vol. 9, No.
1-2, December 29, pp. 73-79.
ABSTRACT: In this study, sea-level rise scenarios derived from a potential climate change were considered and the physical impacts on the coast of Montevideo, Uruguay, under each scenario were determined. The Bruun Rule was used to calculate coastal erosion. The impacts under a 'no action' response were first assessed. Land and coastal construction loss as well as the effects on infrastructure, such as the sewer system and the port, were evaluated. Inundation along the streams which discharge at the coast was qualitatively assessed. The associated costs were estimated. In addition, possible active responses were identified and their costs were estimated. Costs and benefits of each response option, including the 'no action' option, are discussed in the paper, concluding on the need for planning of anticipatory measures.
Lorenzo, Eugenio, and Luis Teixeira.
1997. "Sensitivity of storm waves in Montevideo (Uruguay)
to a hypothetical climate change," Climate Research,
Vol. 9, No. 1-2, December 29, pp. 81-85.
ABSTRACT: Outputs from the application of a simple storm wave generation model using real wind data for several years in the 1980s are compared with simulations representing conditions of a 10% higher wind strength and a 1 m sea-level rise. A numeric wave propagation model (combined refraction-diffraction) is also used to calculate propagation coefficients for waves approaching the Montevideo coast under 2 different scenarios. The first one (baseline scenario) describes the current situation, while the second one reflects a 1 m rise in sea level. The analysis of propagation coefficients is carried out for all directions of the wind waves approaching the Montevideo shoreline, using the most representative wave period and height in each case. As a general conclusion it is observed that, under such a climate change scenario, storm waves would increase in height, while their angle of incidence would remain unchanged
de Lourdes Olivo, María.
1997. "Assessment of the vulnerability of Venezuela
to sea-level rise," Climate Research, Vol. 9, No. 1-2,
December 29, pp. 57-65.
ABSTRACT: The goal of this study is to assess the vulnerability of 5 sectors of the coast of Venezuela to potential sea-level rise using the methodology proposed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Sea-level rise resulting from thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of glaciers is viewed as one of the main impacts of climate changes. A 0.5 m rise scenario for the year 2100 was used for this study. A modified version of the Brunn Rule was used to estimate land loss due to erosion. Land loss due to inundation was considered for the case of lowlands. According to the assessments performed, land loss due to erosion in the 5 coastal areas chosen for the study (20.07 km2) would be less than that due to inundation (52.63 km2). Oil infrastructure, urban areas, and tourist infrastructure, all of which are essential to the national economy, would be affected. The areas with more population at risk would be the Costa Oriental del Lago de Maracaibo (eastern coast of Maracaibo Lake) and Costa Oriental del Estado Falcón (eastern coast of Falcón State). The former has the highest capital value at risk, followed by Barcelona-Puerto La Cruz-Guanta. Assuming a 'No Protection' response and a 0.5 m sea-level rise, approximately 131.13 km2 would be lost. If the 'Important Areas Protection' option was implemented, only 86.16 km2 (US$ 15000 million) would be lost. The vulnerability of these coastal areas could be reduced by more appropriate planning and management.
Yohe, Gary W., and Michael E. Schlesinger.
1998. "Sea-Level Change: The Expected Economic Cost
of Protection Or Abandonment in the United States,"
Climatic Change, Vol. 38, No. 4, April, pp. 447-472.
ABSTRACT: Three distinct models from earlier work are combined to: (1) produce probabilistically weighted scenarios of greenhouse-gas-induced sea-level rise; (2) support estimates of the expected discounted value of the cost of sea-level rise to the developed coastline of the United States, and (3) develop reduced-form estimates of the functional relationship between those costs to anticipated sea-level rise, the cost of protection, and the anticipated rate of property-value appreciation. Four alternative representations of future sulfate emissions, each tied consistently to the forces that drive the initial trajectories of the greenhouse gases, are considered. Sea-level rise has a nonlinear effect on expected cost in all cases, but the estimated sensitivity falls short of being quadratic. The mean estimate for the expected discounted cost across the United States is approximately $2 billion (with a 3% real discount rate), but the range of uncertainty around that estimate is enormous; indeed, the 10th and 90th percentile estimates run from less than $0.2 billion up to more than $4.6 billion. In addition, the mean estimate is very sensitive to associated sulfate emissions; it is, specifically, diminished by nearly 25% when base-case sulfate emission trajectories are considered and by more than 55% when high-sulfate trajectories are allowed.
Mimura, Nobuo. 1999. "Vulnerability
of island countries in the South Pacific to sea level rise
and climate change," Climate Research, Vol. 12, pp.
ABSTRACT: An assessment of the vulnerability to sea level rise and climate change was performed for island countries in the South Pacific (Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, and Tuvalu) under the collaboration of Japanese experts and the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme. A combination of experience-based and scientific methods were developed to reveal the overall vulnerability of and possible impacts on the coastal zone sectors. The studies identified the common impacts on and vulnerability of these countries. Inundation and flooding are the common threats to these islands because of their low-lying setting; the problem is exacerbated by the social trends of population growth and migration to main islands, in particular to the capital cities. Other threats include beach erosion, saltwater intrusion, and impacts on the infrastructure and coastal society. For the island countries, the response to sea level rise and climate change focuses on adaptation rather than on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (that is, mitigation). Based on the results of the vulnerability assessment, the concept of and options for adaptation are also discussed
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