Recife in Brazil in Danger

Rising sea levels could inundate city

Where is Recife?

Recife is located on the East Coast of Brazil, close to the Easternmost point of the country. The Rio Capibaribe has its mouth at Recife.

The map below shows the location of Recife (Image: Google Maps)

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Impact of Climate Change on Recife

Recife is known for its warm, sandy beaches. The Boa Viagem beach stretches more than 4 miles (7 kilometers). However, it is a narrow beach, lined with tall high rises. Beaches provide the first line of defense against the power of seawater. But buildings and development close to the beach leave no room for natural beach processes that respond to sea–level rise.

For natural beaches without roads or buildings, storms are the engines that allow barrier islands to migrate upslope and inland. On low–sloping shorelines, a strong storm can create a surge of water and waves—sometimes high enough to destroy dunes and redeposit sand further inland. Wind can then reshape the sand into a new dune. So even as the original beach erodes away, this episodic process redraws the shoreline and allows the beach to eventually reform at a higher elevation.

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