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Empirical Assessment of Coastal Environmental Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise

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DOI: 10.4236/jep.2014.512116    2,757 Downloads   3,477 Views  


Sea level rise (SLR) could critically endanger the environment along all the world’s sea coasts. Although sudden SLRs of meters-high waves that might have apocalyptic results would generally be limited to specific areas, on-going SLR of dozens of cms over decades is likely to have adverse impact on coastal environments throughout the world. This study’s objective is to assess relative regional vulnerability of global sea coasts to SLR. The study focuses upon key natural and anthropogenic parameters that might either cause or enhance SLR and thus significantly influence regional coastal environments. Careful assessment can enable reasonable estimates of relative vulnerability of such environments. An initial step involves specifying key parameters and assigning their weightings and ratings. To demonstrate the feasibility of this approach, six seacoast regions from various parts of the world have been considered in this paper, assessing their natural and anthropogenic parameters vis-à-vis general global data. The results emphasize the relative vulnerability of these areas’ environments to SLR. Recommendations are then made for improving global SLR modeling and monitoring.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Collin, M. and Melloul, A. (2014) Empirical Assessment of Coastal Environmental Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 1197-1219. doi: 10.4236/jep.2014.512116.


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