Escaping the Rising Tide by Moving

Klaus Desmet

Research output: Other contribution

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Global warming is causing the thermal expansion of oceans, the melting of glaciers, and the retreat of the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. If the world continues with “business as usual”, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) expects the average sea level to rise by 0.3 to 0.6 meters by the end of the century. This is bound to disrupt life as we know it, especially in many of the world’s coastal cities, from Bangkok to Houston. Researchers have struggled to come up with credible estimates of the economic cost of coastal flooding. Existing studies have often been limited to simple accounting exercises that estimate the current value of structures or income in flood-prone areas. Essentially, using economic data of today, these studies interpret the cost of coastal flooding as the value of housing and GDP that will become permanently inundated as the sea level rises. As such, these assessments implicitly assume that people and economic activity will simply drown, thus obviating the possibility of relocation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Place of PublicationEsch-sur-Alzette
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NamePolicy Brief
ISSN (Electronic)2716-7437


  • Rising tide
  • moving
  • economic cost
  • coastal flooding
  • global warm

Liser Collections

  • Policy Brief

Cite this

Desmet, K. (2020, Apr 13). Escaping the Rising Tide by Moving. LISER.