How will coastal communities be affected by climate change?

Published: 2018
Product type: Science Brief
Categories: Land Ice & Sea Level Rise

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Rising sea level and the expected increases in the frequency and severity of strong storms make coastal areas and their residents among the most vulnerable to natural hazards from a changing climate.

Why it matters

Extreme weather events cause billions of dollars in damage, scores of deaths and injuries, and thousands of disrupted lives each year. Coastal areas are among the most developed regions in the world. In the United States, 23 of the 25 most densely populated counties are on the coast; globally, 19 of the 20 emerging mega cities are coastal. Damages from flooding exceed those from any other natural disaster.