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IPCC WG2 IV AR - Chapter 6: Coastal systems and low-lying areas (2007)


Chapter on coastal systems and low lying areas in IPCC's 4th Assessment. Since the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR), our understanding of the implications of climate change for coastal systems and low-lying areas (henceforth referred to as ‘coasts’) has increased substantially and six important policy-relevant messages have emerged. Coasts are experiencing the adverse consequences of hazards related to climate and sea level (very high confidence). Coasts will be exposed to increasing risks, including coastal erosion, over coming decades due to climate change and sea-level rise (very high confidence). The impact of climate change on coasts is exacerbated by increasing human-induced pressures (very high confidence). Adaptation for the coasts of developing countries will be more challenging than for coasts of developed countries, due to constraints on adaptive capacity (high confidence). Adaptation costs for vulnerable coasts are much less than the costs of inaction (high confidence). The unavoidability of sea-level rise, even in the longer-term, frequently conflicts with present-day human development patterns and trends (high confidence).

Reference information



adaptive capacity, coastal safety, hotspots, trade-off

Climate impacts

Flooding, Sea Level Rise


Observations and Scenarios, Vulnerability Assessment


Buildings, Coastal areas, Energy, Marine and Fisheries, Transport

Geographic characterisation


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