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Climate change and coastal archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa: assessing past impacts and future threats

Climate change and coastal archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa: assessing past impacts and future threats
Climate change and coastal archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa: assessing past impacts and future threats

Climate change threatens coastal archaeology through storm flooding (extreme sea-level: ESL), long-term sea-level rise (SLR) and coastal erosion. Many regions, like the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), lack key baseline evidence. We present initial results from a climate change threat assessment of MENA's coastal heritage using the Maritime Endangered Archaeology inventory: a geospatial database of MENA maritime archaeological sites incorporating a disturbance/ threat assessment. It informs two analyses of past disturbance and future threat: (1) using the integral threat/disturbance assessment, and (2) geospatial extraction of information from external coastal change models. Analysis suggests <5% of documented coastal sites are definitely affected by coastal erosion but up to 34% could also have experienced past flooding, erosion, or storm action. Climate change-related threats will increase over the 21st Century and accelerate post-2050 if carbon emissions remain high. SLR and ESL could impact 14–25% of sites by 2050 and 18–34% by 2100. Over 30% to 40% of sites could be impacted by erosion by 2050 and 2100 respectively. Whilst documentation is ongoing and there remain modeling uncertainties, this approach provides a means to redress the absence of baseline data on climate change threats to coastal cultural heritage in MENA.

Middle East and North Africa, Spatial analysis, coastal, remote sensing
1556-4894
Westley, Kieran
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Andreou, Georgia
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El Safadi, Crystal
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Huigens, Harmen
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Nikolaus, Julia
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Ortiz Vazquez, Rodrigo
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Ray, Nick
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Smith, Ashley
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Tews, Sophie
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Blue, Lucy
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Breen, Colin
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Westley, Kieran
8a2c120d-53f8-4d89-b9d4-7f926b4e630e
Andreou, Georgia
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El Safadi, Crystal
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Huigens, Harmen
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Nikolaus, Julia
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Ortiz Vazquez, Rodrigo
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Ray, Nick
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Smith, Ashley
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Tews, Sophie
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Blue, Lucy
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Breen, Colin
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Westley, Kieran, Andreou, Georgia, El Safadi, Crystal, Huigens, Harmen, Nikolaus, Julia, Ortiz Vazquez, Rodrigo, Ray, Nick, Smith, Ashley, Tews, Sophie, Blue, Lucy and Breen, Colin (2021) Climate change and coastal archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa: assessing past impacts and future threats. The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology. (doi:10.1080/15564894.2021.1955778).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Climate change threatens coastal archaeology through storm flooding (extreme sea-level: ESL), long-term sea-level rise (SLR) and coastal erosion. Many regions, like the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), lack key baseline evidence. We present initial results from a climate change threat assessment of MENA's coastal heritage using the Maritime Endangered Archaeology inventory: a geospatial database of MENA maritime archaeological sites incorporating a disturbance/ threat assessment. It informs two analyses of past disturbance and future threat: (1) using the integral threat/disturbance assessment, and (2) geospatial extraction of information from external coastal change models. Analysis suggests <5% of documented coastal sites are definitely affected by coastal erosion but up to 34% could also have experienced past flooding, erosion, or storm action. Climate change-related threats will increase over the 21st Century and accelerate post-2050 if carbon emissions remain high. SLR and ESL could impact 14–25% of sites by 2050 and 18–34% by 2100. Over 30% to 40% of sites could be impacted by erosion by 2050 and 2100 respectively. Whilst documentation is ongoing and there remain modeling uncertainties, this approach provides a means to redress the absence of baseline data on climate change threats to coastal cultural heritage in MENA.

Text
MarEA-Overview-ClimateChange-JICA-acceptedVersion - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 March 2023.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 28 July 2021
Published date: 2 September 2021
Additional Information: Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor * Francis Group.
Keywords: Middle East and North Africa, Spatial analysis, coastal, remote sensing

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 450627
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/450627
ISSN: 1556-4894
PURE UUID: 022cc951-573f-47a5-98cd-52dd71fb02a8
ORCID for Georgia Andreou: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8557-9554
ORCID for Crystal El Safadi: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6399-5875
ORCID for Rodrigo Ortiz Vazquez: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3451-0952
ORCID for Ashley Smith: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5312-1189

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Aug 2021 16:31
Last modified: 30 Nov 2022 02:58

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Contributors

Author: Kieran Westley
Author: Georgia Andreou ORCID iD
Author: Harmen Huigens
Author: Julia Nikolaus
Author: Nick Ray
Author: Ashley Smith ORCID iD
Author: Sophie Tews
Author: Lucy Blue
Author: Colin Breen

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