Rising sea levels, droughts, floods and extreme heat are the main vulnerabilities of the region, identified in the study for a Metropolitan Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change of the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon (PMAAC-AML).

“Councils will now have to analyse this plan and consider at local level where to act, because it is not possible to act everywhere at the same time,” said Sérgio Barroso, coordinator of the plan.

Sérgio Barroso said that, in the short term, what most worries him is the issue of the coastline, for which there are already commitments to remove some residential areas in the municipality of Almada, which are exposed to the risk of flooding in the immediate future.

The issue of rising sea levels “affects all estuary and coastal municipalities particularly Mafra, Sintra, Sesimbra and Setúbal”.

In many of these areas “we have seen for many years a growing reduction in the size of beaches and this will worsen, but the case generally recognised as more worrying is the case of Almada”.

The implications of rising sea levels within the Tagus and Sado estuaries, especially the Tagus, “is something that poses no danger tomorrow, but we have data that points to an increase in sea level by the end of this century, which could go up 90cm”.

In the case of floods, the main areas affected are the municipalities of the AML North, where the river basins have greater impact, such as Cascais, in Oeiras, Sintra, Loures and Odivelas.

In the cities of Lisbon and Setúbal, there is a problem of floods related to urban drainage, “which is also to be considered”.

As far as heat waves are concerned, due to their locations, Mafra and Sintra will be least affected because “the air on their Atlantic front has a mitigating effect on thermal extremes”.

In the case of droughts, more and more extensive in time, will be above all a critical problem in the Lezíria de Vila Franca de Xira, but also in the interior of the Setúbal Peninsula,” he added.