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Adapting to sea-level rise: relative sea level trends to 2100 for the United States

Adapting to sea-level rise: relative sea level trends to 2100 for the United States
Adapting to sea-level rise: relative sea level trends to 2100 for the United States
Global sea levels have slowly risen during this century, and that rise is expected to accelerate in the coming century due to anthropogenic global warming. A total rise of up to 1 m is possible by the year 2100 (relative to 1990). To deal with this change, coastal managers require site-specific information on relative (i.e., local) changes in sea level to determine what might be threatened. Therefore as a first step, global sea?level rise scenarios need to be transformed into relative sea-level change scenarios which take account of local and regional factors, such as vertical land movements, in addition to global changes. Even present rates of relative sea-evel rise have important long-erm implications for coastal management-projecting existing trends predicts a relative sea-level rise from 1990 to 2100 of up to 0.4 m and 1.15 m for the Mid-Atlantic Region and Louisiana, respectively. Ignoring sea-level rise will lead to unwise decisions and increasing hazard with time.

This article adapts the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) global scenarios for sea-level rise (Warrick et al., 1996) to three relative sea-level rise scenarios for the contiguous United States. These scenarios cover the period 1990 to 2100 and provide a basis to assess possible proactive measures for sea-level rise. However, they are subject to the same uncertainties as the global scenarios as most of the sea-level rise will occur decades into the future. When considering what should be done now in response to future sea-level rise, given these large uncertainties, it is best to identify (1) low-cost, no regret responses which would maintain or enhance the choices available to tomorrow's coastal managers; and (2) sectors where reactive adaptation would have particularly high costs and where allowance for future sea-level rise can be considered a worthwhile “insurance policy.”; Sea-level rise will impact an evolving coastal landscape which already is experiencing a range of other pressures. Therefore, to be most effective, responses to sea-level rise need to be integrated with all other planning occurring in the coastal zone.
adaptation to sea-level rise, climate change, sea-level rise, subsidence
0892-0753
301-324
Nicholls, R.J.
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Leatherman, S.P.
a4f7e57b-5601-4474-960e-aa31f6dc656f
Nicholls, R.J.
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Leatherman, S.P.
a4f7e57b-5601-4474-960e-aa31f6dc656f

Nicholls, R.J. and Leatherman, S.P. (1996) Adapting to sea-level rise: relative sea level trends to 2100 for the United States. Coastal Management, 24 (4), 301-324. (doi:10.1080/08920759609362298).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Global sea levels have slowly risen during this century, and that rise is expected to accelerate in the coming century due to anthropogenic global warming. A total rise of up to 1 m is possible by the year 2100 (relative to 1990). To deal with this change, coastal managers require site-specific information on relative (i.e., local) changes in sea level to determine what might be threatened. Therefore as a first step, global sea?level rise scenarios need to be transformed into relative sea-level change scenarios which take account of local and regional factors, such as vertical land movements, in addition to global changes. Even present rates of relative sea-evel rise have important long-erm implications for coastal management-projecting existing trends predicts a relative sea-level rise from 1990 to 2100 of up to 0.4 m and 1.15 m for the Mid-Atlantic Region and Louisiana, respectively. Ignoring sea-level rise will lead to unwise decisions and increasing hazard with time.

This article adapts the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) global scenarios for sea-level rise (Warrick et al., 1996) to three relative sea-level rise scenarios for the contiguous United States. These scenarios cover the period 1990 to 2100 and provide a basis to assess possible proactive measures for sea-level rise. However, they are subject to the same uncertainties as the global scenarios as most of the sea-level rise will occur decades into the future. When considering what should be done now in response to future sea-level rise, given these large uncertainties, it is best to identify (1) low-cost, no regret responses which would maintain or enhance the choices available to tomorrow's coastal managers; and (2) sectors where reactive adaptation would have particularly high costs and where allowance for future sea-level rise can be considered a worthwhile “insurance policy.”; Sea-level rise will impact an evolving coastal landscape which already is experiencing a range of other pressures. Therefore, to be most effective, responses to sea-level rise need to be integrated with all other planning occurring in the coastal zone.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 1996
Keywords: adaptation to sea-level rise, climate change, sea-level rise, subsidence
Organisations: Energy & Climate Change Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 353013
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/353013
ISSN: 0892-0753
PURE UUID: 77f76f75-bec6-49ad-b0ed-76f7f474bf0d
ORCID for R.J. Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 Jun 2013 12:48
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:44

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