Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

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15.2.1 Coastal Vulnerability to Climate Change

Sea-level rise and changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme events, such as cyclones, storm surges and high river flows, can cause:

  • inundation and displacement of wetlands and lowlands;
  • erosion and degradation of shorelines and coral reefs;
  • increased coastal flooding;
  • salinisation of estuaries and freshwater aquifers.

Bijlsma et al. (1996) concluded that most coastal areas are vulnerable to such impacts to some degree and some adaptation will be necessary. However, certain settings are more vulnerable than other ones. Deltaic areas, small islands-especially coral atolls-and coastal wetlands appear particularly vulnerable to climate change. In addition, developed sandy shores could be vulnerable because of the large investment and significant sand resources required to maintain beaches and adjoining infrastructure. Taking a regional perspective, Watson et al. (1998) concluded that the threat of increased coastal flooding is most severe for South and South-East Asia, Africa, the southern Mediterranean coasts, the Caribbean and most islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans

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