According to the recent news, the higher sea levels are, the bigger the costs. It appears the extreme events such as floods are considerably higher than the sea level when talking about the consequences of climate change. A team of scientists created a method to track financial losses caused by coastal floods under sea-level rise.
The new technique turns the occurrence rate of flood impacts into the possibility of inundation damages. Experts claimed they analyzed the expected sea level rise by diving two major components. The components taken into consideration are the increasing number of events and the damages produces by each one. Researchers said the results suggested the damage costs are extremely high when sea levels increase.
Increased sea levels caused by the climate change are a great risk especially for coastal areas. Researchers explained the severity of flood events is closely connected to environmental factors but also to human decisions. They claimed the flood defense strategies can prevent the flood risk. Markus Boettle from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany mentioned
“Our study illustrates that the complexity of climate change, adaptation, and flood damage can be disentangled by surprisingly simple mathematical functions to provide estimates of the average annual costs of sea-level rise over a longer time period”.
Flood defense strategies such as dikes or sea walls can be taken into consideration as they prevent or mitigate consequences of storm surges. Even though coastal regions are different around the world and flood-related impacts have their own characteristics, the scientists claim the results are general.
They explained their calculations work for Mumbai, New York, Hamburg, Pacific, Atlantic and the North Sea. To test their new method, scientists applied it to the city of Copenhagen, Denmark. The results indicated a mild sea level rise of almost 4, 33 inches until mid-century would double the financial losses in the city if no action is taken.
Diego Rybski, co-author of the study stated that an accurate evaluation of the potential economic loss is mandatory for the efficiency of the flood defense strategies. He also said even if temperatures stabilize, sea levels will continue to increase. Therefore, preventive strategies must be taken into consideration apart from diminishing greenhouse gas emissions.
This way, coastal areas and developing countries will limit the damage costs. However, the new method cannot predict extreme events as years can pass by without any damage at all. Scientist explained they cannot predict single events and their consequences. Nonetheless, their method predicts damage expectations over long periods. They insisted saying the higher sea levels are, the bigger the costs and prevention strategies must be implemented.
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