What Are the Implications of Sea-Level Rise for a 1.5, 2 and 3 °C Rise in Global Mean Temperatures in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Other Vulnerable Deltas? (2018)

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Even if climate change mitigation is successful, sea levels will keep rising. With subsidence, relative sea-level rise represents a long-term threat to low-lying deltas. A large part of coastal Bangladesh was analysed using the Delta Dynamic Integrated Emulator Model to determine changes in flood depth, area and population affected given sea-level rise equivalent to global mean temperature rises of 1.5, 2.0 and 3.0 °C with respect to pre-industrial for three ensemble members of a modified A1B scenario. Annual climate variability today (with approximately 1.0 °C of warming) is potentially more important, in terms of coastal impacts, than an additional 0.5 °C warming. In coastal Bangladesh, the average depth of flooding in protected areas is projected to double to between 0.07 and 0.09 m when temperatures are projected at 3.0 °C compared with 1.5 °C. In unprotected areas, the depth of flooding is projected to increase by approximately 50% to 0.21–0.27 m, whilst the average area inundated increases 2.5 times (from 5 to 13% of the region) in the same temperature frame. The greatest area of land flooded is projected in the central and north-east regions. In contrast, lower flood depths, less land area flooded and fewer people are projected in the poldered west of the region. Over multi-centennial timescales, climate change mitigation and controlled sedimentation to maintain relative delta height are key to a delta’s survival. With slow rates of sea-level rise, adaptation remains possible, but further support is required. Monitoring of sea-level rise and subsidence in deltas is recommended, together with improved datasets of elevation.
Year: 2018
Language: English
In: Regional Environmental Change,

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 Record created 2018-04-27, last modified 2018-04-27