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Rising sea levels in the English Channel 1900 to 2100

Rising sea levels in the English Channel 1900 to 2100
Rising sea levels in the English Channel 1900 to 2100
There is great concern about rising sea levels in the coming century, particularly in terms of extreme sea levels and the increased likelihood of coastal flooding. This is especially true for the south-east coast of England where rising sea levels interact with a growing population and economy. This paper examines how extreme sea levels (excluding waves) have changed through the twentieth century at 16 sites around the English Channel. Extreme sea levels were found to have increased at all 16 sites, but at rates not statistically different from the observed rise in mean sea level. Potential future changes in extreme high sea levels throughout the twenty-first century are estimated for nine UK south coast sites using the 2009 projections from the UK Climate Impacts Programme. For the low, medium and high emissions scenarios (12, 40 and 81?cm total ocean rise, respectively), the exceedence frequency of extreme high sea levels along the south coast would on average increase over the twenty-first century by a factor of 10, 100 and about 1800, respectively. Finally these changes are considered in relation to a large recent surge event in March 2008, which caused significant flooding in the central Channel.
coastal engineering, floods & floodworks, sea defences
1741-7597
81-92
Haigh, Ivan
945ff20a-589c-47b7-b06f-61804367eb2d
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Wells, Neil
4c27167c-f972-4822-9614-d6ca8d8223b5
Haigh, Ivan
945ff20a-589c-47b7-b06f-61804367eb2d
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Wells, Neil
4c27167c-f972-4822-9614-d6ca8d8223b5

Haigh, Ivan, Nicholls, Robert and Wells, Neil (2011) Rising sea levels in the English Channel 1900 to 2100. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Maritime Engineering, 164 (2), 81-92. (doi:10.1680/maen.2011.164.2.81).

Record type: Article

Abstract

There is great concern about rising sea levels in the coming century, particularly in terms of extreme sea levels and the increased likelihood of coastal flooding. This is especially true for the south-east coast of England where rising sea levels interact with a growing population and economy. This paper examines how extreme sea levels (excluding waves) have changed through the twentieth century at 16 sites around the English Channel. Extreme sea levels were found to have increased at all 16 sites, but at rates not statistically different from the observed rise in mean sea level. Potential future changes in extreme high sea levels throughout the twenty-first century are estimated for nine UK south coast sites using the 2009 projections from the UK Climate Impacts Programme. For the low, medium and high emissions scenarios (12, 40 and 81?cm total ocean rise, respectively), the exceedence frequency of extreme high sea levels along the south coast would on average increase over the twenty-first century by a factor of 10, 100 and about 1800, respectively. Finally these changes are considered in relation to a large recent surge event in March 2008, which caused significant flooding in the central Channel.

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More information

Published date: 2011
Keywords: coastal engineering, floods & floodworks, sea defences
Organisations: Physical Oceanography, Coastal & Shelf Research

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 193797
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/193797
ISSN: 1741-7597
PURE UUID: 827168d7-378e-4022-b8b4-38ef05cd0cfe
ORCID for Robert Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Jul 2011 12:31
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:02

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