The rising tide: assessing the risks of climate change and human settlements in low elevation coastal zones

  title={The rising tide: assessing the risks of climate change and human settlements in low elevation coastal zones},
  author={Gordon Mcgranahan and Deborah Balk and Bridget Anderson},
  journal={Environment \& Urbanization},
  pages={17 - 37}
Settlements in coastal lowlands are especially vulnerable to risks resulting from climate change, yet these lowlands are densely settled and growing rapidly. In this paper, we undertake the first global review of the population and urban settlement patterns in the Low Elevation Coastal Zone (LECZ), defined here as the contiguous area along the coast that is less than 10 metres above sea level. Overall, this zone covers 2 per cent of the world's land area but contains 10 per cent of the world's… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Vulnerability of Coastal Populations
Climate change is a major threat to coastal populations around the world. This chapter starts by briefly describing the main effects of global climate change on coastal areas, such as the risk of
Climate change and coastal ecosystem in India: Issues in perspectives
In this paper issues pertaining to climate change in coastal areas in general and India's coastal regions in particular are discussed based on literature and information collected from various secondary sources.
A Regional Perspective on Urbanization and Climate-Related Disasters in the Northern Coastal Region of Central Java, Indonesia
Indonesia, as an archipelagic nation, has about 150 million people (60%) living in coastal areas. Such communities are increasingly vulnerable to the effects of change, in the form of sea level rise
Vulnerability of south east coastal villages of India on sea level rise
Sea level rise is one of the evident ill effects of climate change. As per the fifth assessment report of IPCC the rate of sea level rise has increased in recent years as compared to the previous
Human settlement and regional development in the context of climate change: a spatial analysis of low elevation coastal zones in China
  • Jianli Liu, J. Wen, Hui Xu
  • Environmental Science, Economics
    Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change
  • 2013
Low elevation coastal zone (LECZ) in China is densely populated and economically developed, which is exposed to increasing risks of hazards related to climate change and sea level rise. To mitigate
A global ranking of port cities with high exposure to climate extremes
This paper presents a first estimate of the exposure of the world’s large port cities (population exceeding one million inhabitants in 2005) to coastal flooding due to sea-level rise and storm surge
Coastal protection assessment: a tradeoff between ecological, social, and economic issues
Marine coastal ecosystems are crucial to human populations in reducing disaster risk. Least Developed Countries are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as sea-level rise
Climate Change and Asia’s Coastal Urban Cities
The scientific literature has documented the growing risks of flooding posed for Asia’s coastal cities by the combination of climate change, as reflected in sea level rise and intensified storms and
Future Coastal Population Growth and Exposure to Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Flooding - A Global Assessment
This work combines spatially explicit estimates of the baseline population with demographic data in order to derive scenario-driven projections of coastal population development and highlights countries and regions with a high degree of exposure to coastal flooding and help identifying regions where policies and adaptive planning for building resilient coastal communities are not only desirable but essential.


A global analysis of human settlement in coastal zones
Recent improvements in mapping of global population distribution makes it possible to estimate the number and distribution of people near coasts with greater accuracy than previously possible, and
Coastal systems and low-lying areas
Since the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR), our understanding of the implications of climate change for coastal systems and low-lying areas (henceforth referred to as ‘coasts’) has increased
Cities and Climate Change
This was prepared as a background paper for the World Development Report 2003, and was presented at the World Bank’s Urban Forum in April 2002. Its four key messages are the following: a) Cities in
World Urbanization Prospects: The 2003 Revision
The Department of Economic and Social Affairs' Population Division is responsible for providing the international community with up-to-date and scientifically objective infor- mation on population
Building safer cities : the future of disaster risk
Disaster impacts are increasing in severity, and affect communities far beyond the areas of geographic impact as regions are linked in new ways. While industrialized countries may register higher