XXVII IUSSP International Population Conference
"Urbanization and climate change hazards in Asia"
Deborah Balk and Mark Montgomery
This paper documents the current locations of urban-dwellers in Asia of ecologically delineated zones that are expected to experience the full force of climate change: the low-elevation coastal zones, areas susceptible to inland flooding (apart from coastal sources), and the arid regions known to ecologists as drylands. Low-lying cities and towns near the coast will most probably face increased risks from storm surges and flooding; those in drylands are expected to experience increased water stress and episodes of extreme heat, as well as flash flooding. It is especially important to quantify the exposure of urban residents in low-elevation coastal zones, and to understand the likely implications for their health. While potential coastal flooding in cities has received attention, in part because the long-term implications of rising sea-levels and change coastal zones, increasing precipitation, in general, and more extreme weather events will also lead to greater flood risks to city-dwellers from in-land water sources. In this paper, flood exposures from in-land water sources are also estimated, not only because some coastal cities are also at risk of flooding from in-land waterway.
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