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23 October, 2023

Many of the world’s coastal cities are not at all prepared to cope with changing weather conditions. This is stated by an international research group that wants to see climate adaptation gain momentum.

Another research group warns of more powerful hurricanes across the Atlantic.

The research group that has reviewed the cities’ preparedness has analyzed the situation in 61 coastal cities worldwide. They have looked at how the localities prepared for climate change, both sudden events such as floods and slower changes such as sea level rise and groundwater becoming saltier.

In August, a storm and heavy rains on the Florida coast caused extensive damage. Researchers believe that many cities are not sufficiently prepared for the effects of climate change, which is expected to lead to, among other things, more extreme weather.
Photo: Jason Lee/AP/TT

Short sterm plans

The conclusions are that there are major shortcomings in above all the long-term adaptations. Although in many places’ adaptations take place or plans are made for, for example, floods, these are often short-term measures.

One of the lead authors, Robert Nicholls, professor of climate adaptation at the University of East Anglia in the UK, puts it as rules and projects are focused on single events and poorly monitored. There is also little evidence that the efforts and adaptations that are made really have any effect.

Coral islands exposed

If no extensive adaptations are made, by the end of the century, climate change will lead to non-reversible consequences, especially on Arctic coasts and coral islands. The study is published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change.

At the same time, another study is published in Scientific Reports which points to an increase in the number of hurricanes across the Atlantic. Climate change, caused by human influence, is leading to conditions that make storms more likely to develop into hurricanes. According to the researchers, higher surface temperatures in the sea are one of the biggest driving forces behind this.

text: Petra Hedbom/TT
Photo: Jason Lee/AP/TT
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