Accelerated sea level rise and coastal vulnerability in the Hersonisos coastal region (Crete, Greece)
The IPCC predictions for climate changes in the 21st century assess sea level rise from 5 to 10mm/year due to the Greenhouse effect. We have already entered a period of accelerated temperature and sea level rise and one of the most important impacts of these changes is the severe erosion of the coastal areas. According to Bruun rule, a sea level rise of 1cm induces a coastal retreat of (approximately) 1m in low-lying coastal areas. Taking into consideration the inundation concept, the historical retreat and the Bruun erosion model, the assessment of the coastal setback comes nearer to the response of nature due to climate changes. In the coastal region of the Hersonissos in Crete, Greece and for 21km of its shoreline, the impacts of the above models are considered in order to assess the vulnerability due to the Greenhouse effect. The results are impressive and estimate a coastal retreat of more than 280m up to the end of the century, posing a threat to the coastal infrastructure. In view of the results, decisions and measures should be considered without delay.