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Exposure of coastal built assets in the South Pacific to climate risks
Kumar, L.; Taylor, T. (2015). Exposure of coastal built assets in the South Pacific to climate risks. Nat. Clim. Chang. 5(11): 992-996. hdl.handle.net/10.1038/nclimate2702
In: Nature Climate Change. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 1758-678X; e-ISSN 1758-6798, meer
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  • Kumar, L.
  • Taylor, T.

Abstract
    Pacific island countries (PICs) are situated in a highly dynamic ocean–atmosphere interface, are dispersed over a large ocean area, and have highly populated urban centres located on the coastal margin1. The built infrastructure associated with urban centres is also located within close proximity to the coastlines, exposing such infrastructure to a variety of natural and climate change-related hazards. In this research we undertake a comprehensive analysis of the exposure of built infrastructure assets to climate risk for 12 PICs. We show that 57% of the assessed built infrastructure for the 12 PICs is located within 500 m of their coastlines, amounting to a total replacement value of US$21.9 billion. Eight of the 12 PICs have 50% or more of their built infrastructure located within 500 m of their coastlines. In particular, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu have over 95% of their built infrastructure located within 500 m of their coastlines. Coastal adaptation costs will require substantial financial resources, which may not be available in developing countries such as the PICs, leaving them to face very high impacts but lacking the adaptive capacity.

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