Sea Level Rise Impacts on the Egyptian Coastal Zone

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Contents

Summary

The study provides an assessment to vulnerability of the Nile Delta coats to sea level rise (SLR) expected from the climate change. The two scenarios named; B1 scenario (optimistic scenario where this scenario assume that the world will increase in the usage of renewable energy, then the greenhouse gases will reduce) and A1F1 scenario (pessimistic scenario optimistic scenario where this scenario assume that the world will increase in the usage of fusel fuel, then the greenhouse gases will increase) were designed according to temperature projection in 2025, 2050, 2075, and 2100. The study was carried out in two different modules; first with no considerations to natural and man-made protection systems; second with the consideration of the natural and man-made protection systems.

Results indicate that for the first module the vulnerable areas represent about 4.25% and 11.75% of the total area of the Nile Delta for B1, A1F1 scenarios respectively without any protection. On the other hand, considering the natural and man-made protection systems, vulnerable areas have percentages of 0.97, and 3.01 of the area of the Nile Delta area for B1, and A1F1 scenarios respectively.

The lesson learned shows that the current manmade protection is very important to protect the delta and mitigates losses in the future.

Purpose of the activity

Development of climate change scenario based on the analysis of the climatologically data of different terms to estimate the sea level rise and its impacts on the Egyptian coastal zone.

Original issue addressed by the activity

The dominant feature of Egypt’s Northern Coastal Zone is the low lying delta of the River Nile, with its large cities, industry, agriculture and tourism. The Delta and the narrow valley of the Nile comprise 5.5% of the area of Egypt but over 95% of its people of which 25% live in the Low Elevation Coastal Zone (LECZ) areas. In this context, the Nile Delta and Mediterranean Coast include 30-40% of Egypt’s agricultural production, half of Egypt’s industrial production, mainly Alexandria, Damietta and Port Said. The three main Delta lagoons are Idku, Burullus and Manzala (Figure 1) produce over 60% Egypt’s fish catch. In addition, Alexandria is known as the main summer resort in Egypt and the returns from the inbound tourism forms one of the main sources of income to the city. Approximately 15% of Egypt’s GDP is generated in these LECZ. In this regards, any increasing in the sea level can lead to a disaster.

Map of the Nile Delta

Strategy / approach chosen to address the issue

Strategy / approach chosen to address the issue' - Describe in 1-2 paragraphs the strategy chosen to improve the initial situation.

Implementation of the strategy / chosen approach

  • The study was carried out by using actual measurements of tide gages for the last three decades to estimate the trend of average mean sea level in three locations represent Nile Delta coastal regions.
  • Aerial photos and about two hundred hydrographic profiles were used to illustrate the vulnerable areas associated with three different scenarios till the end of the current century.
  • The two scenarios named; B1 scenario and A1F1 scenario were designed according to temperature projection in 2025, 2050, 2075, and 2100.
  • The study was carried out in two different modules; first with no considerations to natural and man-made protection systems; second with the consideration of the natural and man-made protection systems.

Results and Impacts

Statistical analysis of data indicated that the average mean sea level rise changes from region to another due to land subsidence and sea level rise, where the yearly average mean SLR is 5.3mm, 2.3mm, and 1.6 mm in Port Said, Al-Burullus, and Alexandria respectively.

Predicted values of SLR

Results of SLR values confirmed that the values are varied from location to another along the coastal zone according to the two used scenarios. These values increased from west to east, so the values of SLR at Port Said are greater than values at Alexandria. In addition, the predicted values of SLR using pessimistic A1F1 scenario are the double of the values of optimistic B1 scenario. Figures (2) and (3) presents the predicted SLR values at several locations in 2025, 2050, 2075 and 2100 using B1 and A1F1 scenarios.

Predicted SLR values at several locations in 2025, 2050, 2075 and 2100 using optimistic B1 scenario
predicted SLR values at several locations in 2025, 2050, 2075 and 2100 using pessimistic A1F1 scenario

Expected Impacted Areas from SLR

The impacts of SLR were studied in order to use protection (Mohammed Ali wall) and do not use protection. Figure (4) shows the importance of the protection wall where the presence Mohammed Ali wall save about 90% of lands compare with no protection. In addition Figure (5) shows the predicted inundated lands in some coastal governorates (El Behara, Kafr El-Shakh, El-Dakhlia and Damitta) at 2050 using B1 scenario. The losses for the four mentioned coastal governorates at 2050 using B1 scenario for agricultural land and urban land are 59.93 and 18.28 billion L.E. respectively.

Predicted inundated areas at Alexandria and Port Said (with and without protection)
File:Environment and Climate Change Image-Egy-LL-5.5.png
Predicted inundated lands in some coastal governorates at 2050 using B1 scenario

From the results of the study, it is concluded that the sea level rise is a fact but the values of SLR are not uncertain. Therefore it is highly recommended to protect the coastal areas by constructing the protection construction to avoid the damage that can be occurred due to SLR.

Evidence

What kind of supporting sources are available which attest to the lesson learned? Such evidence can be quantitative or qualitative, and come from a variety of sources, e.g. evaluation findings, program participants’ experiences, expert opinion, etc. Consider the question: what is the evidence that the lesson was actually "learnt"?

Next Steps

Detailed Adaptation cost analysis for the protection of the Egyptian coastal zone will be developed. This objective will be archive by listing the suggested measures of adaptation and making feasibility study for each measure including the costs of implementations and benefits. Then the combination between several measures will be studied to choose the best way (technically, environmentally, economically and social) to adapt with climate change.

Potential replication / application

The study is replicable for any hot spot area to sea level rise specially the neighbor coastal countries which have coasts on the Mediterranean sea.

Information products

Adaptation policy to manage the Egyptian coastal zone.

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