Cyprus Cyprus Cyprus Cyprus

Coastal floods Cyprus

Vulnerabilities - Cyprus

Recent studies demonstrated high sea level rise of about 10 mm/year and tide gauge measurements show a 5 cm rise during 1977‐1991, and a further 10 cm for the period 1990‐2001, along the Israeli Mediterranean coast. Sea level near the Israeli coast is expected to rise by some 0.5 m by 2050 and by approximately 1m by 2100 (2).

The most vulnerable areas to possible sea level rise, likely to face inundation risk and greater exposure to storm surges, are the low lying area of Larnaca and the adjacent salt lake, the Akrotiri peninsula wetland, the Akamas Coastal/Marine Protected area and especially the Lara/Toxeftra Turtle Reserve, Cape Greko marine caves, and Poli Chrysochous coastline (1).

Some of the most important infrastructures of Cyprus are located in low-lying coastal areas like the Larnaca airport, the desalination plant as well as the major power generating stations (2).

Global sea level rise


For the latest results: see Europe Coastal floods


For the latest results: see Europe Coastal floods


Extreme water levels - Global trends

More recent studies provide additional evidence that trends in extreme coastal high water across the globe reflect the increases in mean sea level (6), suggesting that mean sea level rise rather than changes in storminess are largely contributing to this increase (although data are sparse in many regions and this lowers the confidence in this assessment). It is therefore considered likely that sea level rise has led to a change in extreme coastal high water levels. It is likely that there has been an anthropogenic influence on increasing extreme coastal high water levels via mean sea level contributions. While changes in storminess may contribute to changes in sea level extremes, the limited geographical coverage of studies to date and the uncertainties associated with storminess changes overall mean that a general assessment of the effects of storminess changes on storm surge is not possible at this time.

On the basis of studies of observed trends in extreme coastal high water levels it is very likely that mean sea level rise will contribute to upward trends in the future.

Adaptation strategies - The costs of adaptation

Both the risk of sea-level rise and the costs of adaptation to sea-level rise in the European Union have been estimated for 2100 compared with 2000 (7). Model calculations have been made based on the IPCC SRES A2 and B1 scenarios. In these projections both flooding due to sea-level rise near the coast and the backwater effect of sea level rise on the rivers have been included. Salinity intrusion into coastal aquifers has not been included, only salt water intrusion into the rivers. Changes in storm frequency and intensity have not been considered; the present storm surge characteristics are simply displaced upwards with the rising sea level following 20th century observations. The assessment is based on national estimates of GDP.

The projections show that without adaptation (no further raising of the dikes and no beach nourishments), the number of people affected annually by coastal flooding would be 20 (B1 scenario) to 70 (A2 scenario) times higher in 2100 than in 2000. This is about 0.05 - 0.13% of the population of the 27 EU countries in 2010 (7).

Without adaptation, damage costs would increase roughly by a factor of 5 during the century under both scenarios, up to US$ 17×109 in 2100. Total damage costs would amount to roughly 0.04% of GDP of the 27 EU countries in 2100 under both scenarios. Damage costs relative to national GDP would be highest in the Netherlands (0.3% in 2100 under A2). For all other countries relative damage costs do not exceed 0.1% of GDP under both scenarios (7).

Adaptation (raising dikes and beach nourishments in response to sea level rise) would strongly reduce the number of people flooded by factors of 110 to 288 and total damage costs by factors of 7 to 9. In 2100 adaptation costs are projected to be US$ 3.5×109 under A2 and 2.6×109 under B1. Relative to GDP, annual adaptation costs constitute 0.005 % of GDP under B1 and 0.009% under A2 in 2100. Adaptation costs relative to GDP are highest for Estonia (0.16% under A2) and Ireland (0.05% under A2). These results suggest that adaptation measures to sea-level rise are beneficial and affordable, and will be widely applied throughout the European Union (7).


The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for Cyprus.

  1. European Commission - Cyprus (2009); Parari (2009), both in: Shoukri and Zachariadis (2012)
  2. Shoukri and Zachariadis (2012)
  3. Bindoff et al. (2007), in: IPCC (2012)
  4. Church and White (2011), in: IPCC (2012)
  5. Velicogna (2009); Rignot et al. (2011); Sørensen et al. (2011), all in: IPCC (2012)
  6. Marcos et al. (2009); Haigh et al. (2010); Menendez and Woodworth (2010), all in: IPCC (2012)
  7. Hinkel et al. (2010)
  8. Cazenave et al. (2014)
  9. IPCC (2014)
  10. Watson et al. (2015)
  11. Yi et al. (2015)
  12. Church et al. (2013), in: Watson et al. (2015)
  13. Shepherd et al. (2012), in: Watson et al. (2015)
  14. Church et al. (2013), in: Watson et al. (2015)