New estimates of potential impacts of sea level rise and coastal floods in Poland

Dominik Paprotny, Pawel Terefenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Polish coastal zone is thought to be one of the most exposed to sea level rise in Europe. With mean sea levels expected to increase between 28 and 98 cm by the end of the century, and storms increasing in severity, accurate estimates of the consequences of those phenomena are needed. Recent advances in quality and availability of spatial data in Poland made possible the reassessment of previous estimates of inundation caused by sea level rise. Up-to-date, detailed information on land use, population and buildings was used here to calculate their exposure to floods at a broad range of scenarios. Inclusion of a high-resolution digital elevation model contributed to a further improvement in estimates. The results revealed that even by using a static ``bathtub fill'' approach, the amount of exposed land, population or assets is significantly smaller than indicated in previous assessments. In the perspective of the twenty-first century, direct damages caused by sea level rise will be small and adaptation costs will not be significant. However, the increase in the frequency of storm surges could elevate the risk to the population and economy, but cost-effective flood protection measures would be able to mitigate the risk. The exposure of different kinds of assets and sectors of the economy varies to a large extent, though the structural breakdown of potential losses is remarkably stable between scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1259-1277
Number of pages29
JournalNatural Hazards
Volume85
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Coastal floods
  • Flood risk
  • GIS
  • Poland
  • Sea level rise

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