Future Coastal Population and Ecosystem Exposure to Sea Level Rise Along the European Coastline


  •   Shrinidhi Ambinakudige


The average global sea level has been predicted to rise anywhere between 0.53–2.5 m by 2100 with some local and regional variations in various climate change scenarios. Relative sea level change along most of the European coastline is similar to the global average. The objective of this paper is to estimate the extent of impact regarding three sea level rise (SLR) scenarios on European coastal regions. First, three inundation models estimate the area affected by the base sea level, 1 m SLR, and 2 m SLR. Then, based on the population and land cover classes in the coastal regions, land cover types and the estimated future population affected by the SLR scenarios are analyzed. This study used an inundation model (EU-DEM v1.1 digital elevation model). Land cover data from CLC2018 and monthly averaged sea level anomalies (SLA) files from 2013 to 2015 were used in the model. In the SLR0 scenario, about 8.7 million people are estimated to be affected at 2100. An estimated 11.6 million people will be affected in the SLR1 scenario; and an estimated 14.8 million people will be affected by the SLR2 scenarios. Arable lands and pastures are the two top land cover classes that will be affected by SLR. However, land under urban fabric and transportation are also two important land cover types affected by SLR which can induce major economic costs to coastal countries. A significant area of underwater bodies and wetlands will come in contact with sea water due to the extreme events caused by SLR.

Keywords: Coastal, Europe, Mean Sea Level, Sea Level Rise


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How to Cite
Ambinakudige, S. (2020). Future Coastal Population and Ecosystem Exposure to Sea Level Rise Along the European Coastline. European Journal of Environment and Earth Sciences, 1(5). https://doi.org/10.24018/ejgeo.2020.1.5.80