New publication: Adaptation to multi-meter sea-level rise should start now

The article “Adaptation to multi-meter sea-level rise should start now” was published in Environmental Research Letters.

Sea-level rise is inevitable due to ongoing climate change, and it will significantly impact coastal zones worldwide. Adapting to this rise is crucial alongside mitigation efforts, and adaptation needs to be integrated into coastal development strategies. This coastal adaptation is a long-term process that requires collaboration between science, policy, and practice.

The main results of the publication are highlighted below:

  • When will sea-level rise exceed two meters?:
    • Global sea levels have already risen, with an accelerated rise linked to human-induced climate change.
    • Sea levels will continue to rise for centuries even if global temperatures stabilize.
    • The possibility of a 2-meter rise is likely, and the timing depends on greenhouse gas emissions and ice-sheet melting.
    • High emissions scenarios could lead to exceeding 2 meters by 2200 or even earlier if the Antarctic ice-sheet collapses.

  • How might we respond?:
    • Mitigation efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are essential to delay the occurrence of a 2-meter rise and achieve co-benefits.
    • Monitoring for signs of ice-sheet collapse is crucial, and early response plans should be prepared.
    • Adaptation is necessary and should involve stakeholders, considering multiple options including potential relocation.
    • Adaptation to meters of sea-level rise should focus on long-lived critical infrastructure and assets as well as options with immediate cobenefits. 
    • Climate services and ongoing monitoring are vital to support adaptation efforts.

The article emphasizes the urgency of addressing the impacts of 2 meters of sea-level rise, the need for collaboration between various stakeholders, and the importance of proactive adaptation measures alongside global mitigation strategies.

Check out the presentation of the paper to go further:

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