Climate Change: Can coastal cities hold back the sea?

WOBO Members and fellow Professionals deal with risks on a daily basis, however, the focus is on the “here and now” geared to the location and development of specific buildings.  There are many instances where the global element is sidelined and not given due consideration.   Zurich, a global insurer, seeks to address this issue and provides a reminder….

“There’s no simple solution as the impact of rising sea levels will manifest itself in different ways at a regional level,” says Amar Rahman, Global Risk Engineering Practice Leader for natural hazards resilience at Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich)”.

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Research from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests a 2°C increase in global average temperature will cause global sea levels to rise between 0.35 and 0.93 meters by 2100. Other studies suggest this could be much higher.

This magnitude of sea rise will displace people, destroy land and property, and generate billions of dollars in losses in many cities. There’s also potential harm to transport infrastructure, farmland, sanitation and drinking water, and ultimately it could cause a city to become uninhabitable.

Rapid urbanization is also exacerbating the problem together with the destruction of coastal mangroves, reefs, marshes, sand dunes and wetlands, which act as natural flood defenses.

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