With a temperature increase of two degrees Celsius, 100 airports would be below average sea level and 364 would be exposed to periodic storm surges. And if the temperature increase were to exceed two degrees, 572 airports would become at risk with all that would follow in terms of disruption of connections.
Bangkok airport is the most at risk, followed by Wenzhou airport in China and all the airports in the Solomon Islands. But there is also that of Bremen in Germany, of New Orleans and the La Guardia of New York in the United States, London City in Great Britain, Marco Polo of Venice and that of Pisa in Italy.
This is the list of stopovers at risk of being submerged due to climate change drawn up by the Newcastle University School of Engineering. Venice and Pisa are in the ranking of the top winds most exposed in 2100 considering both the probability of flooding given by a higher sea level and the current presence or absence of protections.
Geographically, however, the majority are concentrated in East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Among the most important airports are Suvarnabhumi in Bangkok (BKK) and Shanghai Pudong.
Rising ocean levels will make coastal airports disappear
In the study published by the journal Climate Risk Management, entitled Global analysis of sea level rise risk to airports, 14,000 structures around the world were examined and found that even a modest increase in temperature would put 100 below the level of the sea by 2100.
The research from Newcastle University has identified 100 stopovers at risk of flooding due to climate change. According to British researchers, led by Richard Dawson and Aaron Yesudian, there would be no need to wait 79 years to see potentially disastrous effects.
They found that 269 airports are already currently at risk from coastal flooding. In some locations, the rate of sea level rise, limited economic resources or the lack of space to build alternative airports will make some airports unprofitable from an economic point of view and therefore inevitably destined to disappear.
Options on the table for avoiding the worst include flood barriers, land raising, or relocation of the facility. Richard Dawson said: "These are major stopovers for the global air network. Between 10 and 20% of all routes will be directly affected.
Sea level rise therefore poses a real threat to passenger movement. and freight. The cost will be modest when considering the overall infrastructure spending."