PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (5): 870-882.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2021.05.013

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Understanding the climate change and disaster risks in coastal areas of China to develop coping strategies

WANG Jun1,2(), TAN Jinkai1,3,*()   

  1. 1. School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
    2. Research Center for Urban Public Security, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
    3. School of Atmospheric Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai 519082, Guangdong, China
  • Received:2020-06-22 Revised:2020-11-23 Online:2021-05-28 Published:2021-07-28
  • Contact: TAN Jinkai;
  • Supported by:
    Major Program of National Social Science Foundation of China(18ZDA105);National Key Research and Development Program of China(2018YFC1508803);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971199);National Natural Science Foundation of China(42001182)


In the context of global climate change, extreme weather events and the concomitant natural disasters are becoming a primary risk restricting the socioeconomic development in coastal areas that are often highly urbanized. This study sets out to explore the new characteristics of natural hazards and disasters in the coastal areas of China against the backdrop of a changing climate. Major conclusions are as follows. First, the occurrences of extreme weather and climatic events are considerably uncertain. The climate and disasters are different across various temporal and spatial scales, and the components of the disaster risk system become more complicated. Second, in view of the new challenges brought by climate change, we suggest paying close attention to three issues in the future, including the change of temporal and spatial scales that are used to depict the disasters, the synergism of multi-disasters, and the effects of climate change and urbanization. Based on these, a new framework of disaster risk system is established to reflect the qualities of disasters in complex spatiotemporal contexts. Lastly, to develop more effective coping strategies for the climate and natural hazards and disasters in coastal areas, it is necessary to promote diversification of the disaster prevention system and enhance its robustness, and to strengthen the self-recovery capability of the social, economic, and ecological environments. Meanwhile, information sharing in multi-disaster management and risk sharing and transfer policies are also important for accommodating the negative impacts of extreme events and disasters coming with climate change.

Key words: climate change, urbanization, disaster risk assessment, risk framework, coastal areas