Ecoaction experts together with scientists presented results of the research “Impact of Sea Level Rise on Coastal Areas due to Climate Change”. The goal is to draw attention to climate change consequences in Ukraine and stimulate the government and cities to combat climate change while adapting to the new realities of today.
The results of the study and the interactive map show which towns, buildings, roads, factories and parts of the nature reserve fund may be flooded by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov by the end of the century, if the humanity does not manage to limit global warming to 1.5 – 2 ˚C. The study also indicate how many associated climate refugees Ukraine may have: due to climate change and reluctance of governments around the world, including Ukraine, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The study was conducted for the coastal areas of Ukraine’s southern regions. Modelling of potential flood zones is made for 2100 and the condition that the current greenhouse gas emission trend remains, with sea level rise reaching 0.82 meters by the end of the century. The analysis was carried out using open source data based on OpenStreetMap (OSM) and GIS technologies.
According to the results of the study, the consequences for Ukraine may be the following:
- 34 Ukrainian cities may partially flooded, including: Odesa, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Mariupol, Berdiansk, Kerch;
- 6 towns and 62 villages may be fully flooded, including: Hola Prystan, Zatoka, Lazurne;
- 75 thousand people are risking to become climate refugees, as their houses may appear in the flood zone;
- 660 environmentally hazardous sites appear located in the flood zone, including 13 landfills and 36 treatment facilities, “Azovstal” Iron and Steel Works in Mariupol and settling ponds of the Crimean “Titan” plant near Armyansk;
- 200 thousand ha of agricultural lands may be flooded and 10 thousand production territories, as well as 1917 buildings of commercial and production use;
- Sea level rise may cause flooding of 98 nature reserve fund objects, including a part of territories of Black Sea and Danube biosphere reserves;
- Objects of historical and cultural heritage in the flood zone include the archeological site Chersonesus founded more than two thousand years ago and included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
“Climate change and as a consequence sea level rise are the issues which demand urgent action at the international, national and local levels. The Paris Agreement which Ukraine ratified in 2016 includes two complementing directions of action: climate change mitigation and adaptation. Ukraine has to set an ambitious target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, adopt at the national level a policy of transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050, as well as take an active part in the international climate negotiations process. Only in this way we can make climate change consequences not so tragic for people”, – comments Sofia Sadogurska, climate policy campaigner at Ecoaction.
According to the Paris Agreement, which entered into force in 2016, countries should aim at holding the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5°C – 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The warming, not very significant at first sight, is already causing serious problems: Arctic sea ice has been declining and sea level rising; storms, tornadoes, floods and draughts became more frequent. According to IPCC, between 1901 and 2010 average global sea level increased by 20 cm and the rate of increase is going up. Global sea level rise threatens first of all coastal areas around the world.