4.3 Case study

Nichols et al (2008) investigated 136 port cities around the world having >one million inhabitants in 2005, to exposure of coastal flooding due to storm surge and damage due to high winds in the 2070’s. Across all cities, about 40 million people (0.6% of the global population or roughly 1 in 10 of the total port city population in the considered cities) are exposed to a 1 in 100 year coastal flood event. By the 2070s, total population exposed could grow to circa 150 million due to the combined effects of climate change (sea-level rise surges and increased storminess), subsidence, population growth and urbanisation. Asset exposure could reach US $35,000 billion by the 2070s; more than ten times current levels rising to some 9% of projected global GDP in this period. On a global-scale, population growth, socio-economic growth and urbanization are the most important drivers of the overall increase in exposure.

Nicholls, R.J., Hanson, S .,. Herweijer, N., Patmore,, S. Hallegatte, J., Corfee-Morlot, J., Château and R. Muir-Wood (2), 2008. Ranking port cities with high exposure and vulnerabilitiy to climate extremes exposure estimates, Environment Working Papers No.1, OECD, 68pp.