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Climate change and coastal archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa: assessing past impacts and future threats

Westley, K; Andreou, G; El Safadi, C; Huigens, HO; Nikolaus, J; Ortiz-Vazquez, R; Ray, N; ... Breen, C; + view all (2021) Climate change and coastal archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa: assessing past impacts and future threats. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 10.1080/15564894.2021.1955778. (In press).

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Abstract

Climate change threatens coastal archaeology through storm flooding (extreme sea-level: ESL), long-term sea-level rise (SLR) and coastal erosion. Many regions, like the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), lack key baseline evidence. We present initial results from a climate change threat assessment of MENA's coastal heritage using the Maritime Endangered Archaeology inventory: a geospatial database of MENA maritime archaeological sites incorporating a disturbance/ threat assessment. It informs two analyses of past disturbance and future threat: (1) using the integral threat/disturbance assessment, and (2) geospatial extraction of information from external coastal change models. Analysis suggests <5% of documented coastal sites are definitely affected by coastal erosion but up to 34% could also have experienced past flooding, erosion, or storm action. Climate change-related threats will increase over the 21st Century and accelerate post-2050 if carbon emissions remain high. SLR and ESL could impact 14–25% of sites by 2050 and 18–34% by 2100. Over 30% to 40% of sites could be impacted by erosion by 2050 and 2100 respectively. Whilst documentation is ongoing and there remain modeling uncertainties, this approach provides a means to redress the absence of baseline data on climate change threats to coastal cultural heritage in MENA.

Type: Article
Title: Climate change and coastal archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa: assessing past impacts and future threats
DOI: 10.1080/15564894.2021.1955778
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/15564894.2021.1955778
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Spatial analysis, remote sensing, coastal, Middle East and North Africa
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10136912
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