Assessment of coastal risks to climate change related impacts

Reference : Satta A, Puddu M, Venturini S, Giupponi C (2017) Assessment of coastal risks to climate change related impacts at the regional scale: The case of the Mediterranean region. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 24 (2017) 284–296

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This paper presents a Coastal Risk Index (CRI-MED) developed to assess coastal risks and vulnerabilities associated with the physical and socio-economic impacts of climate change in all Mediterranean coastal zones. CRI-MED is a spatial risk index, which combines variables (multiple data layers) representing different aspects of risk in such a way that coastal areas of relatively higher risk emerge from the integration of the variables. It creates an interface between theoretical concepts of risk and the decision-making process relating to disaster risk reduction. Based on a GIS application, CRI-MED provides relative hazard, exposure, vulnerability and risk maps of the Mediterranean region that allow researchers and policy-makers to identify coastal areas most at risk from coastal erosion and coastal flooding, the so-called “hot-spots”. Through the application of CRI-MED on 21 Mediterranean countries, coastal hot-spots are found to be predominantly located in the south-eastern Mediterranean region. Countries with the highest percentage of extremely high risk values are Syria (30.5%), Lebanon (22.1%), Egypt (20.7%), and Palestine (13.7%). The CRI-MED method is intended as a scientific tool which produces easily understandable outcomes, to support international organizations and national govern-ments to enhance and mainstream decision-making based on information that is accessible and useful. The definition of coastal hot-spots aims to support the prioritization of policies and resources for adaptation and Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). In particular, the resulting risk maps enable identification of suitable and less suitable areas for urban settlements, infrastructures and economic activities.


Schematic of interactions among the physical climate system, exposure and vulnerability producing risk (IPCC 2014; used in this article)

IPCC (2014) Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Field CB, VR Barros, DJ Dokken, KJ Mach, MD Mastrandrea, TE Bilir, M Chatterjee, KL Ebi, YO Estrada, RC Genova, B Girma, ES Kissel, AN Levy, S MacCracken, PR Mastrandrea, and LL White (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 1132 pp.

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