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Ranking Port Cities with High Exposure and Vulnerability to Climate Extremes: Exposure Estimates

  • R. J. Nicholls
  • S. Hanson
  • Celine Herweijer
  • Nicola Patmore
  • Stéphane Hallegatte
  • Jan Corfee-Morlot
  • Jean Château
  • Robert Muir-Wood

This global screening study makes a first estimate of the exposure of the world's large port cities to coastal flooding due to storm surge and damage due to high winds. This assessment also investigates how climate change is likely to impact each port city's exposure to coastal flooding by the 2070s, alongside subsidence and population growth and urbanisation. The study provides a much more comprehensive analysis than earlier assessments, focusing on the 136 port cities around the world that have more than one million inhabitants in 2005. The analysis demonstrates that a large number of people are already exposed to coastal flooding in large port cities. Across all cities, about 40 million people (0.6% of the global population or roughly 1 in 10 of the total port city population in the cities considered here) are exposed to a 1 in 100 year coastal flood event. For present-day conditions (2005), the top ten cities in terms of exposed population are estimated to be Mumbai, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Miami, Ho Chi Minh City, Kolkata, Greater New York, Osaka-Kobe, Alexandria and New Orleans; almost equally split between developed and developing countries. When assets are considered, the current distribution becomes more heavily weighted towards developed countries, as the wealth of the cities becomes important. The top 10 cities in terms of assets exposed are Miami, Greater New York, New Orleans, Osaka-Kobe, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Nagoya, Tampa-St Petersburg and Virginia Beach. These cities contain 60% of the total exposure, but are from only three (wealthy) countries: USA, Japan and the Netherlands. The total value of assets exposed in 2005 is across all cities considered here is estimated to be US$3,000 billion; corresponding to around 5% of global GDP in 2005 (both measured in international USD)... Cette étude globale propose une première estimation de l'exposition des grandes villes portuaires aux inondations côtières, dues aux marées de tempête, et aux vents forts. Elle s'intéresse en particulier aux effets du changement climatique sur l'exposition de chacune de ces villes à l'horizon des années 2070. Cette évaluation comprend les 136 villes côtières qui ont plus d'un million d'habitants dans le monde en 2005. Elle est donc beaucoup plus exhaustive que les estimations disponibles jusqu'à présent. Cette analyse montre que la population des villes portuaires exposée aux inondations côtières est déjà très importante. Dans les villes considérées par cette étude, environ 40 millions de personnes (soit 0.6% de la population mondiale et environ un habitant sur dix de ces villes) sont exposés à l?inondation centennale (celle dont la probabilité annuelle est de 1% et le temps de retour 100 ans). Dans les conditions présentes (en 2005), les dix villes les plus exposées en termes de population sont Bombay, Canton, Shanghai, Miami, Ho Chi Minh Ville, Calcutta, l?agglomération New-yorkaise, Osaka- Kobe, Alexandrie et la Nouvelle Orléans. Ces villes sont également réparties entre pays développés et pays en développement. Quand on s'intéresse au patrimoine exposé, les pays développé deviennent beaucoup plus représentés, car le niveau de vie est alors un facteur essentiel. Les dix villes les plus exposées en terme de patrimoine sont Miami, l'agglomération New-yorkaise, la Nouvelle Orléans, Osaka-Kobe, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Nagoya, Tampa-Saint-Petersbourg, et Virginia Beach. Ces villes représentent 60% de l'exposition totale, mais sont dans seulement trois pays riches : les USA, le Japon et la Hollande. La valeur totale du patrimoine exposé en 2005 est estimée à 3.000 milliards de dollars américains, ce qui correspond à environ 5% du PIB annuel mondial...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Environment Working Papers with number 1.

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Date of creation: 19 Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:oec:envaaa:1-en
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