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Climate-Focus-Paper "Global Sea Level Rise"

Why have we developed this Focus Paper on global sea level rise?

Sea level rise (SLR) is of major relevance and importance to a range of different adaptation investment decisions in coastal areas, and as such needs to be adequately considered in climate feasibility studies.

SLR is however, a highly complex topic with much associated scientific uncertainty, chiefly around questions of how much sea level rise there might be, and, how soon a certain level of SLR might be reached. This Focus Paper has been developed to raise awareness of the issue and how wide ranging the impacts from SLR are, and to assist decision makers in incorporating future projections of SLR into climate feasibility studies.

The Focus Paper at a glance

This paper has been developed within the context of supporting the work of the KfW, which is the German development bank, and so the analysis presented in the paper has a natural bias towards results that are results that are most relevant to developing countries and emerging economies. The Focus Paper draws widely on the results presented in chapter 13 of the recently published IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), and the results of an analysis by Hallegatte et al. (2013), on future flood risk associated with SLR, in the world’s 136 largest coastal cities. The Focus Paper provides:

  • A summary of the main drivers of global sea level rise
  • Estimates of past and present global mean sea level rise
  • An illustration of the regional variability in SLR
  • Information on projections of future global mean SLR
  • A summary of the various ways in which a rising sea level impacts on different ecosystems and economic activities
  • Estimates of the likely future economic losses associated with future flood risk, under two different scenarios of global sea level rise, and assumptions about the level of adaptation that takes place
  • Links to further information about SLR available on the web

Download the Climate-Focus-Paper

The Climate-Focus-Paper is available as a free download.

Order form CFP GSLR


Dr. Paul Bowyer

Phone: +49 (0) 40 226 338 427

Fax: +49 (0) 40 226 338 163

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