Future response of global coastal wetlands to sea level rise

Schuerch, Mark and Spencer, Tom and Temmerman, Stijn and Kirwan, Matthew L. and Wolff, Claudia and Lincke, Daniel and McOwen, Chris J. and Pickering, Mark D. and Reef, Ruth and Vafeidis, Athanasios T. and Hinkel, Jochen and Nicholls, Robert J. and Brown, Sally (2018) Future response of global coastal wetlands to sea level rise. Nature, 561 . pp. 231-234. ISSN 0028-0836

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0476-5

Documents
Future response of global coastal wetlands to sea level rise

Request a copy
Future response of global coastal wetlands to sea level rise
Original Accepted Manuscript

Request a copy
Author Correction: Future response of global coastal wetlands to sea-level rise
Author Correction
[img]
[Download]
Future response of global coastal wetlands to sea level rise
Accepted Manuscript
[img]
[Download]
[img] PDF
__network.uni_staff_S2_mschuerch_Documents_Research_Papers_DIVA_WCM_Letter_Schuerch_etal_Nature.pdf - Whole Document
Restricted to Repository staff only

10MB
[img] PDF
M Schuerch - Future response of global....pdf - Whole Document
Restricted to Repository staff only

8MB
[img] PDF
Corrigendum_Schuerch_etal_2018_final.pdf - Whole Document

81kB
[img] PDF
Accepted_manuscript_25.07.18_June19 (1).pdf - Whole Document

8MB
Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

The response of coastal wetlands to sea level rise (SLR) during the 21st century remains uncertain. Global-scale projections suggest that between 20% and 90% (for low and high SLR scenarios, respectively) of the present-day coastal wetland area will be lost, including the loss of biodiversity and highly valued ecosystem services. These projections do not necessarily take into account all essential geomorphological and socio-economic system feedbacks. Here we present an integrated global modelling approach that considers (i) the ability of coastal wetlands to build up vertically by sediment accretion and (ii) the accommodation space, namely the vertical and lateral space available for fine sediments to accumulate and to be colonised by wetland vegetation. We use this approach to assess global-scale changes in coastal wetland area in response to global SLR and anthropogenic coastal occupation during the 21st century. Based on our simulations we find that, globally, wetland gains of up to 60% of the current area are expected, if more than 37% of coastal wetlands have sufficient accommodation space, and sediment supply remains at present levels. In contrast to previous studies, we project that until 2100 global coastal wetland loss will range between 0% and 30%, assuming no additional accommodation space. Our simulations suggest that global wetland resilience is primarily driven by the availability of accommodation space, which is strongly influenced by the building of anthropogenic infrastructure in the coastal zone and its expected to change over the 21st century. Rather than being an inevitable consequence of global SLR, our findings indicate that large-scale coastal wetland loss might be avoidable, if sufficient additional accommodation space can be created through innovative “nature-based adaptation” solutions to coastal management.

Additional Information:An Author Correction of this paper was published in May: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1205-4
Keywords:Global change, sea level rise, coastal wetlands, sediment accretion, accommodation space
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F850 Environmental Sciences
F Physical Sciences > F820 Geomorphology
F Physical Sciences > F640 Earth Science
F Physical Sciences > F811 Biogeography
F Physical Sciences > F840 Physical Geography
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
Related URLs:
ID Code:32819
Deposited On:30 Aug 2018 09:02

Repository Staff Only: item control page