Oh my! Climate change threatens to cause 'trillions' in damage to world's coastal regions

From the University of Southampton  and the department of potential assorted threats and sundries, comes this claim.

Aerial views during an Army search and rescue mission show damage from Hurricane Sandy to the New Jersey coast, Oct. 30, 2012

New research predicts that coastal regions may face massive increases in damages from storm surge flooding over the course of the 21st century.

Yes, and a asteroid could hit us, and some errant jihadist might get a nuke and set it off. I worry about those things more than I worry about coastlines and the affluent who build there, especially since Global Tropical Cyclone activity is at 33-year lows.

According to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, global average storm surge damages could increase from about $10-$40 billion per year today to up to $100,000 billion per year by the end of century, if no adaptation action is taken.

The study, led by the Berlin-based think-tank Global Climate Forum (GCF) and involving the University of Southampton, presents, for the first time, comprehensive global simulation results on future flood damages to buildings and infrastructure in coastal flood plains. Drastic increases in these damages are expected due to both rising sea levels and population and economic growth in the coastal zone. Asia and Africa may be particularly hard hit because of their rapidly growing coastal mega-cities, such as Shanghai, Manila and Lagos.

“If we ignore this problem, the consequences will be dramatic,” explains Jochen Hinkel from GCF and the study’s lead author. In 2100, up to 600 million people (around 5 per cent of the global population) could be affected by coastal flooding if no adaptation measures are put in place.

“Countries need to take action and invest in coastal protection measures, such as building or raising dikes, amongst other options,” urges Hinkel. With such protection measures, the projected damages could be reduced to below $80 billion per year during the 21st century. The researchers found that an investment level of $10 to $70 billion per year could achieve such a reduction. Prompt action is needed most in Asia and Africa where, today, large parts of the coastal population are already affected by storm surge flooding.

However, investment must also occur in Europe as shown by the recent coastal floods in South West England. Professor Robert Nicholls from the University of Southampton, who is a co-author of the paper, says: “If we ignore sea-level rise, flood damages will progressively rise and presently good defences will be degraded and ultimately overwhelmed. Hence we must start to adapt now, be that planning higher defences, flood proofing buildings and strategically planning coastal land use.”

Meeting the challenge of adapting to rising sea levels will not be easy, explains Hinkel: “Poor countries and heavily impacted small-island states are not able to make the necessary investments alone, they need international support.” Adding to the challenge, international finance mechanisms have thus far proved sluggish in mobilising funds for adapting to climate change, as the debate on adaptation funding at the recent climate conference in Warsaw once again confirmed.

“If we do not reduce greenhouse gases swiftly and substantially, some regions will have to seriously consider relocating significant numbers of people in the longer run,” adds Hinkel. Yet regardless of how much sea-level rise climate change brings, the researchers say careful long-term strategic planning can ensure that development in high-risk flood zones is appropriately designed or avoided. Professor Nicholls says: “This long-term perspective is however a challenge to bring about, as coastal development tends to be dominated by short-term interests of, for example, real-estate and tourism companies, which prefer to build directly at the waterfront with little thought about the future.”

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Wow, what glittering generalities! I missed a prediction of how much the sea level will rise sometime in the distant future. One of the things they seem to ignore is the fact that humans have adapted to real climate change for 200,000 years. If the worry is the water rising over the next 86 years, I bet even a fat old man like me can walk or wheel his way ahead of it.

Alan Robertson

If Jochen Hinkel ever needs another job, he could write copy for National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting Service (gov’t radio and gov’t TV in the US.) Hinkel’s work sounds exactly like some of their programming.

This is the religion of could, might, maybe, if.

Chris4692

Want to stop weather related damage along the coasts? Stop building by the coasts.

Les Johnson

Interesting numbers they have. 60,000,000 people affected? 5% of the population? Thats 12 billion people.
100,000 billion damages? Thats 20% of total GDP by then.
The IPCC, in its projections (which Castles and Henderson showed to fatally flawed), had global population at 7 billion in 2100. GDP is 522 trillion.
Wow. Talk about inflation. These guys need Bernanke to control it.

David in Cal

At least this study is calling for improved infrastructure to protect against flooding and storm surge. Such steps would have real value, even if the frequency of flooding remains where it is today. By comparison, many carbon schemes have virtually no value at all. The amount of CO2 reduction would have negligible effect even if the catastrophic models are correct.

Only “trillions” ??!! Seems to me Obama flushed a coupe of trillion down the drain in a couple of years.

Gunga Din

Hmmm…does Barbara Streisand have government flood insurance? Who pays if her beachfront is flooded?

albertalad

Duh! You built at the ocean edge and then act surprised when ocean storms rage and floods y’all? But the bad news – obviously this was the first time the UK ever experienced storms in their long history? Oh – you’re flooding over there because you built on low level former swamp, and your government never dredged the rivers. But they did collect all your green taxes – for the climate change people doing this study – how’s that for bang for the buck?

Mike Bromley the Kurd

Man, this is a really BAD cookie-cutter alarmism presentation. How many time have we heard this, nearly word-for-word? Reduce it to a dull roar, won’t somebody…Puh-leeeeeez

Sandy is the best-named storm in history, moving around goodly amounts of sand that beach-lovers chose to build on. Ship captains don’t typically build their homes on sand. Why is that?

Curious George

Why aren’t Dutch people alarmed?

Tez

In areas that may be prone to flooding they should build floor levels higher than the expected high water level.
This simple plan of mine will save 600,000,000 lives and possibly save the human race from extinction.

Bill Illis

Beaches are great and who wouldn’t want to have a home on a great beach in a nice warm location.
So yeah, these homes are expensive because most people want to own one and, every now and again, a storm from the ocean or the lake comes in and does damage to them.
Why isn’t insurance coverage based on this risk? Its not like the people who can afford these expensive homes and real estate cannot afford to pay much higher insurance premiums.
If some people think those premiums should be even higher because of global warming or sea level rise then so be it.
It is not more complicated than that.

My latest cartoon is a comment on this kind of scare-mongering:
http://itsnotclimatescience.com
(cartoon number 17)

My Real Science comment:
“We are on the brink of disaster. Urgent action by the government is needed.” -Econuts and Democrats, 1960s
“We are on the brink of disaster. Urgent action by the government is needed.” -Econuts and Democrats, 1970s
“We are on the brink of disaster. Urgent action by the government is needed.” -Econuts and Democrats, 1980s
“We are on the brink of disaster. Urgent action by the government is needed.” -Econuts and Democrats, 1990s
“We are on the brink of disaster. Urgent action by the government is needed.” -Econuts and Democrats, 2000s
“We are on the brink of disaster. Urgent action by the government is needed.” -Econuts and Democrats, 2010s

schitzree

Did they just say we could lower the damages from $100 Billion to $80 Billion a year if we just spent up to $70 Billion a year to fix things?

WIthout Global Warming, cavemen would still be isolated around the equator, so I guess the cost is non-existent. No people, no damage. More people, more damage.

It might be helpful if these people put a sock in it and started paying attention to the REAL experts who have been working on these problems for decades/centuries. With some success in many places. Even if these expectations were realistic, the changes would take decades to be apparent. (Of course,”stop building near the coast” provides no answer to what is already built too close.)

schitzree

Oh, my mistake. That was $100,000 Billion, not $100 Billion a year. I didn’t catch that since it’s a patently ridicules number.

Larry Butler

I was laid back in a lounge chair on my neighbor’s nice dock, drinking an excellent English tea he smuggles in past the gaggle of government agents from his family back in Yorkshire. The subject of AGW came up as he’s a greenie believer. I told him to simply look across the Ashley River to the 1820’s steamboat cypress dock that used to deliver rich Charlestonians from downtown to Magnolia Gardens Plantation’s mansion when it got too hot in Summer back then. “Take a picture with your digital camera, once a year, from now on at ebb tide when all the flow stops.”, I told him. “Make it a closeup of where the water level is on the closest cypress leg, then compare all the pictures from all the years.” We’ll see in a few years if it changes…..
“You’re really lucky, you know.”, I quipped. “You’re dock is a floating dock so we can have our teas out here for a few more years, at least!”….(c;]

Flew into SFO yesterday and noticed that the San Mateo bridge is mostly a causeway at just above sea level. If the US gov’t or CA state were that worried about sea level rise, they would be raising it up well above sea level.

Lauren R.

And sun-caused skin cancers will cause millions of deaths and trillions in health care expenses over coming decades. Oxygen-caused damage to humans will cause DNA mutations, premature deaths and cost trillions over coming decades. Oxygen-caused damage to fresh foods like fruits and vegetables will cost food producers billions to mitigate over coming decades. Coastal flooding, sun, oxygen and oxidation; all part of life on earth. Deal with it and stop putting arbitrary and meaningless price tags on it.

pat

love this bit: “That some are planning to get rich from the warming world only underscores the reality of climate change”:
3 Feb: Time: McKenzie Funk: The Big Business of Global Warming
Corporations are betting on climate change — and primed for a big payday when things really heat up
(McKenzie Funk writes for Harper’s, Outside, National Geographic and Rolling Stone, and is the author of Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming (The Penguin Press, 2014).)
The pharmaceutical giant Bayer has made a remarkable — and lucrative — discovery. Allergies are on the rise…
Bayer mentions this in its annual response to the watchdog CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, which surveys the greenhouse-gas emissions of the world’s largest corporations…
One of Bayer’s latest products is “a new generation of mosquito net,” the LifeNet. It also has two advanced bug sprays in the pipeline. These will be lucrative because mosquitoes and the disease they carry are expected to thrive in a warmer world, leaving another 40 million to 60 million people at risk of malaria in Africa alone. “In light of an expected climate-change-related increase of malaria incidents in further regions of the world (e.g., Northern Europe), we expect a growing demand for Bayer mosquito nets,” the company writes…
Bayer is not alone in seeing opportunities in a hotter planet. In Australia’s climate-stressed bread belt, the Murray-Darling basin, and its analog in the American West, the Colorado River basin, hedge funds have bought up millions of gallons worth of water rights. Other funds, convinced that commodity prices can only keep rising, are part of a new scramble for Africa in which as many as 100,000 sq. mi. of farmland — an area larger than the U.K. — have been leased or purchased by foreign investors…
In the Netherlands, the stock of the seawall-building company Arcadis jumped by 6% the moment New York City — a potential client — was struck by Hurricane Sandy…
That some are planning to get rich from the warming world only underscores the reality of climate change: its impacts, though mostly bad for most people in most places, are deeply uneven…
This unevenness suggests that self-interest, however rational, may never be enough to jump-start real climate action in the wealthy countries where it’s most needed. It’s hard to scare people into cutting emissions if they’re not actually all that scared…
http://ideas.time.com/2014/02/03/the-big-business-of-global-warming/

Speed

In 1870, 70-80 percent of the US population was employed in agriculture. As of 2008, less than 2 percent of the population is directly employed in agriculture.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_the_United_States#Employment
When people realized that there was no future in agricultural rural America, they moved away. If people see no future living near the ocean then sometime in the next 100 years, they will move away. Problem solved and no taxpayers were harmed.

jl

“10 to 40 billion today up to 100 billion by the end of the century.” Interesting for what it doesn’t say. How much of that monetary increase is from inflation?- things will just cost more 85 years from now. And how much is from more people living in those areas?

Gail Combs
Rud Istvan

Princess Bride, Inigo Montoya:
I don’t think it means what you think it means…
En Garde!!

Gail Combs

Adrenal Exhaustion is setting in among the sheeple.

ilma630 says at 5:24 pm
Flew into SFO yesterday and noticed that the San Mateo bridge is mostly a causeway at just above sea level. If the US gov’t or CA state were that worried about sea level rise, they would be raising it up well above sea level.
————– ————————- ———————– ———–
There’s so much stuff like that, things just barely above sea level and the owner or governments aren’t the least bit concerned. And what about the Malibu Colonies and celebrity mansions? There’s been no rise in front of their estates in at least four decades. The beach is just the same as it ever was. And what about Al Gore’s Montecito (CA) seaside mansion he bought in 2009? Is he even slightly concerned? He doesn’t seem to be.
I can feel it: over the next several decades to come there’s going to be no sea level rise. None. And that’s the main aspect of the doomers’ scare mongering. And here’s a video where Nils-Axel Morner shows, with a tree in the Maldives, that there has in fact been zero, or even negative, sea level rise in the last 5 decades:

Yet regardless of how much sea-level rise climate change brings, the researchers say careful long-term strategic planning can ensure that development in high-risk flood zones is appropriately designed or avoided.“. Well, that tells you how much to spend on cutting CO2 emissions. Zero. Now, about the long term planning: how about we leave that to the people doing the development – (a) private or (b) elected or (c) dictating – if they get it right everyone wins, if they get it wrong then (a) they lose or (b) they get thrown out or (c) the public loses. Conclusion : avoid dictatorships.

troe

What a load of baloney. A long rant and nothing more. Meanwhile here in the US the climate zombies are threatening ugliness if the Keystone pipeline is approved.
Radicalization could have some very positive benefits for society. Get the nuttiness into plain view where it can be observed by the public. They are civilized as long as the process is going their way. Now we may come to the heart of the matter.

Mike Tremblay

“If we ignore this problem, the consequences will be dramatic,” explains Jochen Hinkel from GCF and the study’s lead author.
People have been ignoring the problem of settling in flood areas since they first found that crops grow better in fertile river valleys.
Does Herr Hinkel also realize that if we continue to ignore the widespread poverty and hunger that this environmentalist obsession with the climate is causing that there will be even more dire consequences much sooner than the next century?
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

ossqss

Ummmm, did I miss any reference to susidence and or building in flood plains or landfill construction on the water?
What percentage of the population lives near the water (any water) globally. Is it really 80%.
Perhaps I dont see how one can complain when most water threats are really an elective choice made by those who made that choice in the first place.
Just sayin……….
Ignorance and greed is no excuse.

Quinx

Nothing in Africa is worth $10 billion.

Fabi

One hundred trillion dollars? That’s a lot of money – we had better take this seriously!
/sarc
Is there a metric for ‘scare dollars’? This is getting out of hand. Soon it will exceed the value of all known and future wealth.

Almah Geddon

Professor Nicholls says: “This long-term perspective is however a challenge to bring about, as coastal development tends to be dominated by short-term interests of, for example, real-estate and tourism companies, which prefer to build directly at the waterfront with little thought about the future.”
Maybe the Dutch should have done a multi-century modelling exercise on sea-level impacts before founding New Amsterdam in the 1620’s. Maybe all our ancestors should have done this, world-wide, but then again, port cities tended to be close to the ocean.

Steve from Rockwood

At some point in the distant future someone deciphering our ancient English will mistranslate asteroid epidemic for hemorrhoid epidemic and a new search will begin.

Steve from Rockwood

And how do you invest money to reduce greenhouse gases anyway…

Eric Simpson says:
February 4, 2014 at 5:57 pm
I can guarantee you that if you take a mal dive YOU will be sinking. Be careful out there.

Some good references.

Jeef

But imagine all that extra land once the seas boil off…/sarc

Chad Wozniak

@pat –
Here’s how people are really getting rich from global warming;
1. Global warming scare leads governments to demand development of “renewable” energy.
2. To cover the excessive cost of that “renewable energy,” so that “investors” in it can make a profit, electric rates are raised (doubled here in California, as a direct response to the renewables mandate) and big taxpayer subsidies for it are provided.
3. Low- and middle -income people pay those higher rates, so that billionaire “investors” (translate: scam artists) can get richer.
A perfect case of wealth redistribution: from poorer to richer.
Why does anyone think some (not all – a few do have scruples and/or know better) wealthy “investors” support renewable energy? There’s your answer – another opportunity to rip off ordinary folk.

Martin C

OK, just posting that I wrote Prof. Nichols with the below in an e-mail to him ( it was my ‘new years resolution’ to this more, and I am beginning to . . )
We are TIRED of the GLOBAL WARMNG/CLIMATE CHANGE GARBAGE ! ! ! ! ! that supposed ‘academics’ like you are trying to peddle on the world. Referece your shameless article: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/mediacentre/news/2014/feb/14_19.shtml
I don’t buy any of this garbage, and you need to know your article was posted on Anthony Watts’ site :
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/04/oh-my-climate-change-threatens-to-cause-trillions-in-damage-to-worlds-coastal-regions/#more-102669
I have followed the ‘global warming’ movement since the 2007 IPCC report, and I am tired of the ‘alarmism’.
I am writing to you to ask you to PLEASE STOP THIS DRIVEL .
I know that sea leve rise IS NOT ACCELERATING per the University of Colorado website:
http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
There are a LARGE number of people in the WORLD that are tired of this. I have no idea if more people than me are letting you know this, but is is true.
I can only assume that some ‘funding’ you may have been promised is the reason for your PATHETIC paper.
Please prove me wrong, and reply to me. Tell me WHY your really think people are at risk. OH, please don’t use the excuse , ” . .because people are building near the shore line . .”: NO, BASE IT ON YOUR ‘SEAL LEVEL RISE ‘ comment in your article, and PROVE TO ME THAT ‘GREENHOUSE GAS emissions ( that is, CO2 primarily ) are causing SEA LEVELS to rise.
I eagerly await your SCIENTIFIC BASIS for this.
Martin C
USA
Mechanical/Aeronautical Engineer, 1982.

Bob Shapiro

“From $10 – 40 Billion to $100 Billion…”
I think these guys are waaay understating the case. That’s only a 2.5 to 10 times increase. Based on the last 86 years, the Dollar should lose more value than that by 2100… maybe even another 30 times. If they’re right, then in real Dollars, such catastrophic losses are due to decrease.

James at 48

And in other “news”:
O … M … G! Glacier QUADRUPLES speed!

For Gail – something a little more upscale: http://www.overwater-bungalows.com/main.php
Doesn’t look like this group and dozens more like them are too worried. Course they can jack them up an inch or so every few years and no one will notice … 🙂

True Conservative

“prefer to build directly at the waterfront with little thought about the future” … you mean like AlBore?

CNC

It is amazing how short peoples memories are. Sandy is always to be brought up as a an example of more server storms do to global warming but there were many stronger and more destructive storms in the past, always ignored. For the New Jersey shore the 1962 Ash Wednesday storm is a perfect example. Compare the picture of the Jersey shore at the beginning of this article to some picture of the 1962 storm and decide which is worse.
http://www.lbiviews.com/about/history/march-1962-storm.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ash_Wednesday_Storm_of_1962
You build a house on a big sand bar an this is what happen every 50 years or so.

norah4you

Where and by whom have these clowns got their basic mathematic education? That they forgotten all doesn’t make their case stronger.