Rising seas are one of the crucial impacts of global warming. Rise in the mean sea level may impact coastal communities under an increasingly warming climate. The coastal zones are highly resourceful and dynamic. The coastal zones are facing many natural hazards such as erosion, storm surge, tsunami, coastal flooding and sea level rise. It is projected to have a three-time expansion of density of population in the coastal areas, and 50% of the world’s population will be occupied within the vicinity of 100 km of coastal areas. India has a very long coastline of 7500 km and covers 16.7% of the world’s population and has a very high population growth rate which itself make India highly sensitive to these environmental challenge. Projections of mean global sea level rise (GSLR) provide insufficient information to plan adaptive responses; local decisions require local projections that accommodate different risk tolerances and time frames and that can be linked to storm surge projections. Therefore, in this chapter, the main endeavor is to identify and compare coastal vulnerability to projected future sea level rise. In order to project the sea level rise at local level, a climate- and sea level rise simulator model output based on IPCC AR5 (Special Report on Emission Scenarios) has been employed under different scenarios. The results reveal that sea level for Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Cochin and Mumbai may increase by 1.16, 1.19, 1.34, 1.24 m, respectively, by 2100 under the high-emission business as usual carbon pollution scenario under IPCC AR5 Representative Concentration Pathway. The sea level of west coast tends to rise slightly more than the east coastal areas of India. These estimates have great potential for the coastal regulatory authority and other decision-makers to take precautions with regard to inundations of low-lying areas and to conserve India’s eco-sensitive coastal resources.
Part of the book: Sea Level Rise and Coastal Infrastructure