A global analysis of subsidence, relative sea-level change and coastal flood exposure

Nicholls, Robert J., Lincke, Daniel, Hinkel, Jochen, Brown, Sally, Vafeidis, Athanasios T., Meyssignac, Benoit, Hanson, Susan E., Merkens, Jan-ludolf and Fang, Jiayi (2021) A global analysis of subsidence, relative sea-level change and coastal flood exposure. Nature Climate Change, 11 (4). pp. 338-342. ISSN 1758-678X

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Abstract

Climate-induced sea-level rise and vertical land movements, including natural and human-induced subsidence in sedimentary coastal lowlands, combine to change relative sea levels around the world’s coasts. Although this affects local rates of sea-level rise, assessments of the coastal impacts of subsidence are lacking on a global scale. Here, we quantify global-mean relative sea-level rise to be 2.5 mm yr−1 over the past two decades. However, as coastal inhabitants are preferentially located in subsiding locations, they experience an average relative sea-level rise up to four times faster at 7.8 to 9.9 mm yr−1. These results indicate that the impacts and adaptation needs are much higher than reported global sea-level rise measurements suggest. In particular, human-induced subsidence in and surrounding coastal cities can be rapidly reduced with appropriate policy for groundwater utilization and drainage. Such policy would offer substantial and rapid benefits to reduce growth of coastal flood exposure due to relative sea-level rise.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climatic Change
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2021 00:49
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2021 23:48
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/79565
DOI: 10.1038/s41558-021-00993-z

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