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Quantifying land and people exposed to sea-level rise with no mitigation and 1.5 and 2.0 °C rise in global temperatures to year 2300

Quantifying land and people exposed to sea-level rise with no mitigation and 1.5 and 2.0 °C rise in global temperatures to year 2300
Quantifying land and people exposed to sea-level rise with no mitigation and 1.5 and 2.0 °C rise in global temperatures to year 2300
We use multiple synthetic mitigation sea-level scenarios, together with a non-mitigation sea-level scenario from the Warming Acidification and Sea-level Projector model. We find sea-level rise continues to accelerate post 2100 for all but the most aggressive mitigation scenarios indicative of 1.5°C and 2.0°C. Using the Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment modelling framework, we project land and population exposed in the 1 in 100 year coastal flood plain under sea-level rise and population change.
In 2000, the flood plain is estimated at 540 x103 km2. By 2100, under the mitigation scenarios, it ranges between 610 x103 km2 and 640 x103 km2 [580 x103 km2 and 700 x103 km2 for the 5th and 95th percentiles]. Thus differences between the mitigation scenarios are small in 2100. However, in 2300, flood plains are projected to increase to between 700 x103 km2 and 960 x103 km2 in 2300 [610 x103 km2 and 1,290 x103 km2] for the mitigation scenarios, but 1,630 x103 km2 [1,190 x103 km2 and 2,220 x103 km2] for the non-mitigation scenario. The proportion of global population exposed to sea-level rise in 2300 is projected to be between 1.5% and 5.4% [1.2% to 7.6%] (assuming no population growth after 2100) for the aggressive mitigation and the non-mitigation scenario, respectively. Hence over centennial timescales there are significant benefits to climate change mitigation and temperature stabilization. However, sea-levels will continue to rise albeit at lower rates. Thus potential impacts will keep increasing necessitating adaptation to existing coastal infrastructure and the careful planning of new coastal developments.

Plain Language Summary

If we reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stabilize global temperatures, sea‐level rise (SLR) will continue at a reduced rate for centuries. This is because changes to the ocean and cryosphere (ice) which contribute to SLR take very long timescales to respond to changes in global warming. Early and aggressive climate change mitigation will be most effective to reduce flood risk, particularly after the 21st century. Even with climate change mitigation, the land area exposed to coastal flooding will continue to increase for centuries. Adapting the coast to cope with rising sea levels is inevitably required. The long‐term implications for coastal habitation need to be considered.
2328-4277
Brown, Sally
dd3c5852-78cc-435a-9846-4f3f540f2840
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Goodwin, Philip
87dbb154-5c39-473a-8121-c794487ee1fd
Haigh, Ivan
945ff20a-589c-47b7-b06f-61804367eb2d
Lincke, Daniel
8b279c5b-dd6e-46f4-9c8d-adf83f6ea2cd
Vafeidis, Athanasios
495c5e09-19a6-48c3-ab99-d76710a31584
Hinkel, Jochen
9c7e8026-955c-42cd-9179-6113efbf1339
Brown, Sally
dd3c5852-78cc-435a-9846-4f3f540f2840
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Goodwin, Philip
87dbb154-5c39-473a-8121-c794487ee1fd
Haigh, Ivan
945ff20a-589c-47b7-b06f-61804367eb2d
Lincke, Daniel
8b279c5b-dd6e-46f4-9c8d-adf83f6ea2cd
Vafeidis, Athanasios
495c5e09-19a6-48c3-ab99-d76710a31584
Hinkel, Jochen
9c7e8026-955c-42cd-9179-6113efbf1339

Brown, Sally, Nicholls, Robert, Goodwin, Philip, Haigh, Ivan, Lincke, Daniel, Vafeidis, Athanasios and Hinkel, Jochen (2018) Quantifying land and people exposed to sea-level rise with no mitigation and 1.5 and 2.0 °C rise in global temperatures to year 2300. Earth's Future. (doi:10.1002/2017EF000738).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We use multiple synthetic mitigation sea-level scenarios, together with a non-mitigation sea-level scenario from the Warming Acidification and Sea-level Projector model. We find sea-level rise continues to accelerate post 2100 for all but the most aggressive mitigation scenarios indicative of 1.5°C and 2.0°C. Using the Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment modelling framework, we project land and population exposed in the 1 in 100 year coastal flood plain under sea-level rise and population change.
In 2000, the flood plain is estimated at 540 x103 km2. By 2100, under the mitigation scenarios, it ranges between 610 x103 km2 and 640 x103 km2 [580 x103 km2 and 700 x103 km2 for the 5th and 95th percentiles]. Thus differences between the mitigation scenarios are small in 2100. However, in 2300, flood plains are projected to increase to between 700 x103 km2 and 960 x103 km2 in 2300 [610 x103 km2 and 1,290 x103 km2] for the mitigation scenarios, but 1,630 x103 km2 [1,190 x103 km2 and 2,220 x103 km2] for the non-mitigation scenario. The proportion of global population exposed to sea-level rise in 2300 is projected to be between 1.5% and 5.4% [1.2% to 7.6%] (assuming no population growth after 2100) for the aggressive mitigation and the non-mitigation scenario, respectively. Hence over centennial timescales there are significant benefits to climate change mitigation and temperature stabilization. However, sea-levels will continue to rise albeit at lower rates. Thus potential impacts will keep increasing necessitating adaptation to existing coastal infrastructure and the careful planning of new coastal developments.

Plain Language Summary

If we reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stabilize global temperatures, sea‐level rise (SLR) will continue at a reduced rate for centuries. This is because changes to the ocean and cryosphere (ice) which contribute to SLR take very long timescales to respond to changes in global warming. Early and aggressive climate change mitigation will be most effective to reduce flood risk, particularly after the 21st century. Even with climate change mitigation, the land area exposed to coastal flooding will continue to increase for centuries. Adapting the coast to cope with rising sea levels is inevitably required. The long‐term implications for coastal habitation need to be considered.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 19 February 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 25 March 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 418285
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/418285
ISSN: 2328-4277
PURE UUID: a58ed806-f7de-46de-afd1-8d26d21fae06
ORCID for Sally Brown: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1185-1962
ORCID for Robert Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Feb 2018 17:30
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:48

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Contributors

Author: Sally Brown ORCID iD
Author: Robert Nicholls ORCID iD
Author: Philip Goodwin
Author: Ivan Haigh
Author: Daniel Lincke
Author: Athanasios Vafeidis
Author: Jochen Hinkel

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