IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

Coastal systems and low-lying areas

Coasts are projected to be exposed to increasing risks, including coastal erosion, due to climate change and sea-level rise. The effect will be exacerbated by increasing human-induced pressures on coastal areas. *** D [6.3, 6.4]

Corals are vulnerable to thermal stress and have low adaptive capacity. Increases in sea surface temperature of about 1-3°C are projected to result in more frequent coral bleaching events and widespread mortality, unless there is thermal adaptation or acclimatisation by corals. *** D [B6.1, 6.4]

Coastal wetlands including salt marshes and mangroves are projected to be negatively affected by sea-level rise especially where they are constrained on their landward side, or starved of sediment. *** D [6.4]

Many millions more people are projected to be flooded every year due to sea-level rise by the 2080s. Those densely-populated and low-lying areas where adaptive capacity is relatively low, and which already face other challenges such as tropical storms or local coastal subsidence, are especially at risk. The numbers affected will be largest in the mega-deltas of Asia and Africa while small islands are especially vulnerable. *** D [6.4]

Adaptation for coasts will be more challenging in developing countries than in developed countries, due to constraints on adaptive capacity. ** D [6.4, 6.5, T6.11]