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Impacts of climate change on the Senegalese coastal zones : Examples of the Cap Vert peninsula and Saloum estuary


Following a first study made to assess the impacts of sea level rise on the Senegalese coastline (Dennis et al., 1995), this vulnerability and adaptation (V&A) study tried to determine the impacts of climate change on two representative coastal zones, the Cap Vert peninsula and the Saloum estuary as well as potential adaptation options. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Methodology (Carter et al., 1994), completed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Handbook (Feenstra et al., 1998), were used together with different models (like the Bruun rule, the FEFLOW model), geographical information system and economic data to determine the physical and socio-economic impacts of different climate change scenarios on these coastal zones. Land losses are expected due to sea level rise that will enhance coastal erosion and increase inundation levels, the second phenomenon being responsible for most of these losses, especially in low lying areas like the Saloum estuary (27% of the total area lost with a 1 m inundation level). The combination of sea level rise and decreased precipitation will increase the salt water intrusion in a number of coastal aquifers, especially around Dakar and in the Saloum estuary.

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