UNESCO World Heritage sites (WHS) located in coastal areas are increasingly at risk from coastal hazards due to sea-level rise. In this study, Mediterranean cultural WHS at risk from coastal flooding and erosion under four sea-level rise scenarios until 2100 are assessed.
Based on the analysis of spatially explicit WHS data, an index-based approach that allows for ranking WHS at risk from both coastal hazards is developed. Here it is shown that of 49 cultural WHS located in low-lying coastal areas of the Mediterranean, 37 are at risk from a 100-year flood and 42 from coastal erosion, already today. Until 2100, flood risk may increase by 50% and erosion risk by 13% across the region, with considerably higher increases at individual WHS. The results provide a first-order assessment of where adaptation is most urgently needed and can support policymakers in steering local-scale research to devise suitable adaptation strategies for each WHS.