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Heterogeneous sea-level rises along coastal zones and small islands
Li, G.; Li, X.; Yao, T.; Che, T.; Yang, H.; Ma, M.; Zhao, H.; Pan, X. (2019). Heterogeneous sea-level rises along coastal zones and small islands. Science Bulletin 64(11): 748-755.
In: Science Bulletin. Science Press: Beijing. ISSN 2095-9273; e-ISSN 2095-9281, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Sea-level rise; Coastal zones; Small islands; Heterogeneity

Authors  Top 
  • Li, G.
  • Li, X.
  • Yao, T.
  • Che, T.
  • Yang, H.
  • Ma, M.
  • Zhao, H.
  • Pan, X.

    Coastal zones and many small islands are highly susceptible to sea-level rise (SLR). Coastal zones have a large exposed population and integrated high-value assets, and islands provide diverse ecosystem services to millions of people worldwide. The coastal zones and small islands affected by SLR are likely to suffer from submergence, flooding and erosion in the future. However, very few studies have addressed the heterogeneity in SLR changes and the potential risk to coastal zones and small islands. Here we used the mean sea level (MSL) derived from satellite altimetry data to analyse the trends and accelerations of SLRs along global coastal zones and small islands. We found that except for the Antarctic coastal zone, the annual MSL within 50 km of the coasts presented an increasing trend of 3.09 ± 0.13 mm a−1 but a decreasing acceleration of −0.02 ± 0.02 mm a−2 from 1993 to 2017. The highest coastal MSL trend of 3.85 ± 0.60 mm a−1 appeared in Oceania, and the lowest trend of 2.32 ± 0.37 mm a−1 occured in North America. Africa, North America and South America showed acceleration trends, and Eurasia, Australia and Oceania had deceleration trends. Further, MSLs around global small islands reflected an increasing trend with a rate of 3.01 ± 0.16 mm a−1 but a negative acceleration of −0.02 ± 0.02 mm a−2. Regional heterogeneity in the trends and accelerations of MSLs along the coasts and small islands suggests that stakeholders should take discriminating precautions to cope with future disadvantageous impacts of the SLR.

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