Global probabilistic projections of extreme sea levels show intensification of coastal flood hazard

Michalis I. Vousdoukas, Lorenzo Mentaschi, Evangelos Voukouvalas, Martin Verlaan, Svetlana Jevrejeva, Luke P. Jackson, Luc Feyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

136 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Global warming is expected to drive increasing extreme sea levels (ESLs) and flood risk along the world's coastlines. In this work we present probabilistic projections of ESLs for the present century taking into consideration changes in mean sea level, tides, wind-waves, and storm surges. Between the year 2000 and 2100 we project a very likely increase of the global average 100-year ESL of 34-76 cm under a moderate-emission-mitigation-policy scenario and of 58-172 cm under a business as usual scenario. Rising ESLs are mostly driven by thermal expansion, followed by contributions from ice mass-loss from glaciers, and ice-sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Under these scenarios ESL rise would render a large part of the tropics exposed annually to the present-day 100-year event from 2050. By the end of this century this applies to most coastlines around the world, implying unprecedented flood risk levels unless timely adaptation measures are taken.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2360
JournalNature Communications
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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