The impact of climate change on coastal geological disasters in southeastern China

Huang, Yu; Cheng, Hualin
January 2013
Natural Hazards;Jan2013, Vol. 65 Issue 1, p377
Academic Journal
Climate change is presently a major global challenge. As the world's largest developing country, China is particularly vulnerable to global warming, especially in the rapidly developing coastal regions in the southeast of the country. This paper provides an overview of the impacts of climate change on the nature of geological disasters in the coastal regions of southeastern China. In the context of climate change, processes with the potential for causing geological disasters in this region, including sea-level rise, land subsidence, storm surges, and slope failures, which already have a substantial occurrence history, are all aggravated. All these processes have their own characteristics and relevance to climate change. Sea-level rise together with land subsidence reduces the function of dikes and flood prevention infrastructure in the study areas and makes the region more vulnerable to typhoons, storm surges, floods, and astronomical tidal effects. Storm surges have caused great losses in the study areas and also have contributed to increases in rainstorms. As a result, numerous rainfall-induced slope failures, characterized by focused time concentration, high frequencies, strong 'burstiness,' and substantial damage, occur in the study areas. To prevent and mitigate such disasters that are accelerated by climate change, and to reduce losses, a series of measures is proposed that may help to achieve sustainable development in coastal southeastern China.


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