According to updated estimates, the sea level in the Gulf of Finland could rise by as much as 80–90 cm during this century. The rising sea level will clearly increase the likelihood of coastal flooding, especially along Finland's southern coastline. Flood risks around the Bay of Bothnia, in contrast, will not significantly increase during the coming century.
Photo: Jukka Salmi
In recent research by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, estimates for the rising sea level and flood risks have been updated for the Finnish coastline for the period up to 2100. The research draws on the newest international research results for global rising sea levels and also takes into account regional variations.
The research combined predictions for the rise in the sea level over the long term and observation-based assessments of short-term water level variations. In this way, it was possible to estimate the likelihood of floods in the future. Flood risks are expected to increase significantly along the southern coastline. For example, the flood experienced in January 2005, which raised the sea level to a record high along the Gulf of Finland, could by the end of this century be something that takes place on average every other year. In the Bay of Bothnia, however, where the land uplift is stronger and the sea level rise is weaker, no large changes in flooding risks are expected during the coming century. Along the coastline of the Sea of Bothnia, on the other hand, flooding risks will probably increase to some extent.
A number of preparations have been made in Finland for the rising sea level, including the issuing of recommendations for minimum construction elevations, which were last set in 2014. The research now carried out does not significantly change the estimates on which these construction elevation recommendations are based.
See also the Flood Centre's press release "Uudesta meritulvakartasta tarkemmat arviot rannikon tulvavahingoista"