Climate Change and Changing Coasts

Geophysical and Jurisdictional Implications of Sea Level Rise for Pacific Island States

in The Korean Journal of International and Comparative Law
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Sea level rise has provoked widespread concerns that low-lying parts of coastal States including parts or even the entirety of small island developing States face a looming threat of erosion and inundation. Concerns over the potential impacts of sea level rise on the location of baselines along the coast and therefore on the scope of national claims to maritime jurisdiction have also been raised. The article outlines climate change impacts on the oceans before briefly reviewing projections of sea level rise. A number of the complexities and uncertainties which make prediction of the scale and speed of global sea level rise problematic are highlighted. The importance of assessing relative sea level against the contrasting responses of coasts with diverse geophysical characteristics and distinct coastal ecosystems is emphasised. Potential impacts on island coastlines in the Pacific are then considered and implications maritime claims discussed.

Climate Change and Changing Coasts

Geophysical and Jurisdictional Implications of Sea Level Rise for Pacific Island States

in The Korean Journal of International and Comparative Law

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References

5

SeeClimate Change 2014 Synthesis Report42.

7

Ibid. 62.

11

See for example Vivien Gornitz‘Monitoring Sea Level Changes’Climate Change31 (1995) 515at 515–516. See also John A. Church Neil J. White Thorkild Aarup W. Stanley Wilson Philip L. Woodworth Catia M. Domingues John R. Hunter and Kurt Lambrek ‘Understanding global sea levels: past present and future’ Sustainability Science (2008) 3 at 9.

15

Gornitzsupra note 11 at 518.

16

Kenchington and Warnersupra note 14.

17

Gornitzsupra note 11 at 523.

20

Gornitzsupra note 11 at 521.

22

Gornitzsupra note 11 at 523.

27

SeeClimate Change 2014 Synthesis Report42.

29

Ibid. 778–780.

38

Gornitz Monitoring Sea Level Changessupra note 11 at 529.

42

Rogers and Schofieldsupra note 4.

45

Rogers and Schofieldsupra note 4.

53

See for example Ilan Kelman‘Island evacuation’Forced Migration Review31 (October 2008) 20 20. See also Rosemary Rayfuse ‘W(h)ither Tuvalu:? International Law and Disappearing States’ University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series Working Paper 9 (April 2009).

69

Ibid. 2–3.

70

Ibid. 7.

Figures

  • View in gallery
    Maritime Claims and Boundaries in the South Pacific Region

    (source: andi arsana and clive schofield, 2015).

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