Effects of future sea level rise – the example of the island of Gotland, Sweden

TitleEffects of future sea level rise – the example of the island of Gotland, Sweden
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsEbert, Karin, Jerker Jarsjö, and Karin Ekstedt
Secondary AuthorsJasiewicz, Jaroslaw, Zbigniew Zwoliński, Helena Mitasova, and Tomislav Hengl
Book TitleGeomorphometry for Geosciences
Pagination31 - 34
PublisherBogucki Wydawnictwo Naukowe, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań - Institute of Geoecology and Geoinformation
CityPoznań, Poland
ISBN Number978-83-7986-059-3
Abstract

Sea level rise is confirmed to be an upcoming and pressing issue; on a global as well as local scale; and with it comes the necessity to adapt. Using the local case study of the island of Gotland, Sweden, we investigate the effects of future sea level rise on a multitude of features combined and thereby assess the overall impact on the environment and infrastructure of the island. Sea level is expected to rise 1 - 2 m until 2100 [1]. We analyze what percentage of Gotland’s total land surface will be submerged under the given scenario, using ArcGIS environment using LIDAR elevation data. Through successive overlay analysis of both raster and vector data, we then quantify the loss of infrastructure; including wells, roads, industrial areas and gas stations. Secondly we investigate what percentage of Gotland’s natural and cultural heritage will drown.

In this ongoing study we found that about 3% of Gotland’s land area will drown. Future pressures of water extraction will yield increased risk of saltwater intrusion for a considerable part of the population. For southern Gotland, projections show that about 30% of the wells will be associated with high risk of saltwater intrusion. Furthermore, around 90% of the wells would be at medium or high risk of saltwater intrusion in that case. Even a minimum predicted sea level rise will drown the entire shore meadows and the associated breeding places for birds. We expect that current quantifications of the impact of sea level rise on multiple environmental and anthropogenic features can provide a scientifically sound basis for assessment of main consequences and costs of direct losses.

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