New estimates of potential impacts of sea level rise and coastal floods in Poland
D. Paprotny1 and P. Terefenko21Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, the Netherlands 2Remote Sensing and Marine Cartography Unit, Faculty of Geosciences, University of Szczecin, Mickiewicza 18, 70-383 Szczecin, Poland
Received: 23 Mar 2015 – Accepted for review: 25 Mar 2015 – Discussion started: 14 Apr 2015
Abstract. Polish coastal zone is thought to be of the most exposed to sea level rise in Europe. With climate change expected to raise mean sea levels between 26 and 200 cm by the end of the century, and storms increasing in severity, accurate estimates of those phenomena are needed. Recent advances in quality and availability of spatial data in Poland made in possible to revisit previous estimates. Up-to-date detailed information on land use, population and buildings were used to calculate inundation risk at a broad range of scenarios. Inclusion, though imperfect, of flood defences from a high-resolution digital elevation model contributes to a further improvement of estimates. The results revealed that even by using a static "bathtub fill" approach the amount of land, population or assets at risk has been significantly revised down. Sea level rise or storm surges are unlikely to reach intensity required to cause significant damage to the economy or endanger the population. The exposure of different kinds of assets and sectors of the economy varies to a large extent, though the structural breakdown of potential losses is remarkably stable between scenarios.
Paprotny, D. and Terefenko, P.: New estimates of potential impacts of sea level rise and coastal floods in Poland, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., 3, 2493-2536, doi:10.5194/nhessd-3-2493-2015, 2015.