published on 31 August 2021 in water
Sea levels will become increasingly more extreme
Extreme sea levels will become much more frequent due to global warming and climate change, as will other extreme weather events such as heat waves. This was stated in a study published in Nature Climate Change in which 7,000 coastal locations around the world were mapped and the level of risk was estimated for each of them based on various global temperature increase scenarios, from +1.5°C to +5°C. Extreme sea levels are defined as peaks in water height that can occur due to a combination of tides, waves and storms and which consequently cause flooding. Little is said about these events, which are often underrated, but can have a profound impact on our societies and coastal ecosystems.
Areas where the frequency of extreme sea levels is expected to increase most rapidly include the southern hemisphere and subtropical areas. But large areas of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the Arabian Peninsula, the southern half of the Pacific coast of North America and other areas including Hawaii, the Caribbean, the Philippines and Indonesia are also at risk.
The changes are likely to come before the end of the century, with many locations experiencing a 100-fold increase in extreme events even by 2070.