Climate change is poised to significantly affect coastlines worldwide, including those in India. As sea levels rise, stronger waves and currents are anticipated to reshape coastal regions, posing a threat to low-lying areas through inundation and submersion.


India’s Extensive Coastline:

  • India boasts a coastline stretching approximately 7,500 kilometers.
  • Although research suggests a relatively smaller rise in sea levels in this region compared to others, the risks remain substantial.

Recent Studies and Findings:

  • A study by IIT Bombay has highlighted the impacts of climate change on India’s coasts in terms of:
  • Coastal sediment transport
  • Shoreline erosion
  • Overall coastal vulnerability

Sediment Transport and Erosion:

  • Erosion rates and sediment transport are studied using historical data to predict future trends.
  • Wind vectors significantly influence wave height, direction, and coastal currents, which in turn affect sediment transport and erosion rates.
  • For example, in Udupi, Karnataka, a 25% increase in average wind speeds could lead to a 35% rise in mean wave height, causing erosion rates to increase 1.5 times over the next 30 years compared to the past three decades.

Local Factors and Vulnerability:

  • The presence of barriers such as harbors or river mouths and the local geomorphology play crucial roles in coastal erosion patterns.
  • Uninterrupted coastlines are more vulnerable to the impacts of stronger waves and rising sea levels.

Future Challenges:

  • India’s beaches and coasts are likely to face increased erosion and vulnerability in the coming years due to climate change.


  • Comprehensive studies using advanced climate models and projected data are necessary for a better understanding of potential impacts on India’s coastline.
  • Strict enforcement of existing regulations, including Coastal Regulation Zone rules, is essential to mitigate these risks and protect vulnerable coastal areas.
Legacy Editor Changed status to publish June 4, 2024