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African heritage threatened by coastal floods and erosion as sea level rise accelerates

Cardo Maximus is part of the Algerian World Heritage Tipaza, which is predicted to be at risk. Credit: Dr Jane Chick

Dr. Nicholas Simpson of the University of Cape Town (UCT) Africa Climate Development Initiative (ACDI) was one of the key contributors, and a global team of climate risk and heritage experts was the first inclusive of African exposure. Provided a good reputation for climatic and natural heritage to extreme sea levels and erosion associated with accelerated sea level rise.


The team spent a year identifying and carefully mapping the physical boundaries of the 284 African coasts. heritage site. Next, we modeled the exposure of each site in future global warming scenarios.

They found that 56 sites (20 percent) were at risk of a once-in-a-century extreme sea level event, including the iconic ruins of Tipaza (Algeria) and the North Sinai Ruins Zone (Egypt). did. The author of the paper writes, “By 2050, the number of exposed sites is projected to more than triple, reaching nearly 200 at high emissions.”

At least 151 nature and 40 Cultural site Regardless of the warming scenario, you will be exposed to 100 years of events after 2050. The author explains: “Regardless of the scenario, there are some countries where all coastal heritage is predicted to be exposed to 100 years of coastal extremes by the end of the century: Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Western Sahara, Libya, Mauritania, Mauritania, Namibia. “

under Worst scenario, This also applies to Côte d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, Sudan and Tanzania. “This is of great concern as none of these countries currently show the proper management or adaptability to predict or establish heritage protection commensurate with the seriousness of these dangers,” they said. I added.

According to one co-author of the paper, the heritage of a small island is especially at risk. For example, the world’s second largest coral atolls, Aldabra Atoll and Kunta Kinteh Island (The Gambia), can both see significant exposures by 2100 under high emissions. Climate change..

The results highlight the importance of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures to protect and reduce the exposure of these iconic heritage sites. The author writes: “If climate change mitigation successfully reduces greenhouse gas emissions from high to medium emission channels, we can reduce the number of exposed sites by 25% by 2050. Loss and damage due to fluctuations.

“These findings help prioritize endangered sites and highlight the need for immediate safeguards for African heritage sites. The design details vulnerabilities and adaptation options. Local scale evaluation is required urgently. climate Changes in adaptation to African heritage include improved governance and management approaches, site-specific vulnerability assessments, exposure monitoring, and protection strategies including ecosystem-based adaptation. ”


Almost half of World Heritage Sites could lose glaciers by 2100


For more information:
Michalis Vousdoukas, an African heritage threatened as sea level rise accelerates, Natural climate change (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41558-022-01280-1.. www.nature.com/articles/s41558-022-01280-1

Courtesy of South African University-Cape Town

Quote: An African heritage site (February 10, 2022) threatened by coastal floods and erosion as sea level rise accelerates, https: //phys.org/news/2022-02-african-heritage- Obtained from sites-threatened-coastal on February 10, 2022.html

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African heritage threatened by coastal floods and erosion as sea level rise accelerates

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