Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Coastal risks

Defence against the rising seas

The rate of sea-level rise varies around the world, as do local infrastructure and standards for defending against the risks of flooding. Now research indicates that coastal communities can also have very different times left to act before defences fall short of those standards.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Rasmussen, D. J., Kopp, R. E., Shwom, R. & Oppenheimer, M. Earths Future 9, e2020EF001575 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Hermans, T. H. J. et al. Nat. Clim. Change (2023).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Conrad, C. P. & Hager, B. H. Geophys. Res. Lett. 24, 1503–1506 (1997).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Hay, C. C., Morrow, E., Kopp, R. E. & Mitrovica, J. X. Nature 517, 481–484 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Wong, T. E., Bakker, A. M. R. & Keller, K. Climatic Change 144, 347–364 (2017).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Garner, G. G. et al. IPCC AR6 sea level projections. Zenodo (2021).

  7. Hallegatte, S., Green, C., Nicholls, R. J. & Corfee-Morlot, J. Nat. Clim. Change 3, 802–806 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Tiggeloven, T. et al. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. 20, 1025–1044 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Kirezci, E. et al. Sci. Rep. 10, 11629 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to David R. Johnson.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Johnson, D.R. Defence against the rising seas. Nat. Clim. Chang. 13, 313–314 (2023).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing