Coastal cities under threat from sea level rise according to latest IPCC report

  • environment

On 25 September, the IPCC released its latest Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

Following the Special report on Global Warming of 1.5° from October 2018, more than 100 scientists from 30 countries assessed the state of world’s oceans and ice, and the impacts of climate change on the communities depending on oceans and coastal areas.  While sea levels have risen globally by around 15cm during the 20th century, currently it is rising more than twice as fast – 3.6mm per year – and accelerating, as a consequence of melting glaciers and ice sheets. Extreme sea level events that are historically rare will become common by 2100. 
In coastal cities both population and infrastructures are very vulnerable to sea level rise. Among those, the city of Rotterdam is mentioned in the report as an example of participatory scenario planning, and where joining transnational networks of cities helped accelerate social learning and innovations in governance practices. 
The report urges implementation of measures to adapt to climate change, in order to manage risks and build resilience for a future in which extreme sea level rise events will be more and more frequent. Key success factors identified are long term planning that considers risks beyond 2050, acknowledging the cross-level and cross-cutting nature of climate adaptation, and the importance of drawing on local knowledge and public awareness.   
European cities are already taking action to increase their resilience, and prevent or minimise the damage of the adverse effects of climate changes.
Among EUROCITIES members, more than 60%* have already developed a climate adaptation strategy. 
On the IPCC reports : The IPCC prepares Assessment Reports about the state of scientific, technical and socio-economic knowledge on climate change. It also produces Special Reports on topics agreed to by its member governments, like this one. The next publications will be in 2021 on  Mitigation of Climate Change, and on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability 
Do you want to know more about adapting to climate change and what cities in Europe are already doing?  
Climate adaptation partnership of the EU Urban Agenda –  
Link to the Covenant of Mayors adaptation page -
* Results of data gathered via an online quantitative survey of 74 EUROCITIES members conducted between 17 April 2019 and 10 May 2019.