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What are the implications of sea-level rise for a 1.5°C, 2°C and 3°C rise in global mean temperatures in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and other vulnerable deltas?

What are the implications of sea-level rise for a 1.5°C, 2°C and 3°C rise in global mean temperatures in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and other vulnerable deltas?
What are the implications of sea-level rise for a 1.5°C, 2°C and 3°C rise in global mean temperatures in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and other vulnerable deltas?
Even if climate change mitigation is successful, sea levels will keep rising. With subsidence, relative sea-level rise represents a long-term threat to low-lying deltas. A large part of coastal Bangladesh was analysed using the Delta Dynamic Integrated Emulator Model to determine changes in flood depth, area and population affected given sea-level rise equivalent to global mean temperature rises of 1.5°C, 2.0°C and 3.0°C with respect to pre-industrial for three ensemble members of a modified A1B scenario.

Annual climate variability today (with approximately 1.0°C of warming) is potentially more important, in terms of coastal impacts, than an additional 0.5°C warming. In coastal Bangladesh, the average depth of flooding in protected areas is projected to double to between 0.07m to 0.09m when temperatures are projected at 3.0°C compared with 1.5°C. In unprotected areas, depth of flooding is projected to increase by approximately 50% to 0.21-0.27m, whilst the average area inundated increases 2.5 times (from 5% to 13% of the region) in the same temperature frame. The greatest area of land flooded is projected in the central and north-east regions. In contrast, lower flood depths, less land area flooded and fewer people are projected in the poldered west of the region.

Over multi-centennial timescales, climate change mitigation and controlled sedimentation to maintain relative delta height are key to a delta’s survival. With slow rates of sea-level rise, adaptation remains possible, but further support is required. Monitoring of sea-level rise and subsidence in deltas is recommended, together with improved data sets of elevation.
sea-level rise; flooding, delta; Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna; Volta; Mahanadi
1436-3798
Brown, Sally
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Nicholls, Robert J.
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Lazar, Attila N.
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Hornby, Duncan D.
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Hill, Chris
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Hazra, Sugata
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Addo, Kwasi Appeaning
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Haque, Anisul
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Caesar, John
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Tompkins, Emma L.
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Brown, Sally
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Nicholls, Robert J.
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Lazar, Attila N.
d7f835e7-1e3d-4742-b366-af19cf5fc881
Hornby, Duncan D.
75cfaf57-72c1-4392-a78c-89b4b1033dca
Hill, Chris
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Hazra, Sugata
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Addo, Kwasi Appeaning
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Haque, Anisul
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Caesar, John
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Tompkins, Emma L.
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Brown, Sally, Nicholls, Robert J., Lazar, Attila N., Hornby, Duncan D., Hill, Chris, Hazra, Sugata, Addo, Kwasi Appeaning, Haque, Anisul, Caesar, John and Tompkins, Emma L. (2018) What are the implications of sea-level rise for a 1.5°C, 2°C and 3°C rise in global mean temperatures in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and other vulnerable deltas? Regional Environmental Change. (doi:10.1007/s10113-018-1311-0).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Even if climate change mitigation is successful, sea levels will keep rising. With subsidence, relative sea-level rise represents a long-term threat to low-lying deltas. A large part of coastal Bangladesh was analysed using the Delta Dynamic Integrated Emulator Model to determine changes in flood depth, area and population affected given sea-level rise equivalent to global mean temperature rises of 1.5°C, 2.0°C and 3.0°C with respect to pre-industrial for three ensemble members of a modified A1B scenario.

Annual climate variability today (with approximately 1.0°C of warming) is potentially more important, in terms of coastal impacts, than an additional 0.5°C warming. In coastal Bangladesh, the average depth of flooding in protected areas is projected to double to between 0.07m to 0.09m when temperatures are projected at 3.0°C compared with 1.5°C. In unprotected areas, depth of flooding is projected to increase by approximately 50% to 0.21-0.27m, whilst the average area inundated increases 2.5 times (from 5% to 13% of the region) in the same temperature frame. The greatest area of land flooded is projected in the central and north-east regions. In contrast, lower flood depths, less land area flooded and fewer people are projected in the poldered west of the region.

Over multi-centennial timescales, climate change mitigation and controlled sedimentation to maintain relative delta height are key to a delta’s survival. With slow rates of sea-level rise, adaptation remains possible, but further support is required. Monitoring of sea-level rise and subsidence in deltas is recommended, together with improved data sets of elevation.

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Accepted/In Press date: 18 February 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 16 March 2018
Keywords: sea-level rise; flooding, delta; Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna; Volta; Mahanadi

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 418286
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/418286
ISSN: 1436-3798
PURE UUID: c9c8419a-4be4-4343-84b7-6499f012cebd
ORCID for Sally Brown: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1185-1962
ORCID for Robert J. Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109
ORCID for Attila N. Lazar: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2033-2013
ORCID for Duncan D. Hornby: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6295-1360

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

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