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Generic adaptation pathways for coastal archetypes under uncertain sea-level rise

Generic adaptation pathways for coastal archetypes under uncertain sea-level rise
Generic adaptation pathways for coastal archetypes under uncertain sea-level rise
Adaptation to coastal flood risk is hampered by high uncertainty in the rate and magnitude of sea-level rise. Subsequently, adaptation decisions carry strong risks of under- or over-investment, and could lead to costly retrofitting or unnecessary high margins. To better allocate resources timely and effectively, and achieve long-term sustainability, planners could utilise adaptation pathways, revealing the path-dependencies of adaptation options. This helps to identify low-regret short-term decisions that preserve options in an uncertain future, while monitoring to detect signals to adapt. A major barrier to the application of adaptation pathways is limited experience. To facilitate this, here we generalize this pathways approach for six common coastal archetypes, resulting in generic pathways suitable to be adjusted to local conditions. This provides a much richer analysis of coastal adaptation than provided by any previous analysis, by assessing the solution space and options over time for a variety of coastal regions. Based on this analysis, we find that the number of adaptation options declines while sea-level rises. For some archetypes, it becomes clear that long-term thinking is needed now, about if, how and when to move to transformative options, such as planned retreat, which may presently not be considered or acceptable. Our analysis further shows that coastal adaptation needs to start earlier than anticipated, especially given time required for local debate and choice and to implement measures.
Haasnoot, Marjolijn
bfc23da2-d659-4f33-b4f0-77bb3b900ce9
Brown, Sally
dd3c5852-78cc-435a-9846-4f3f540f2840
Scussolini, Paolo
38f2e04f-e7a2-4895-b241-d3af277b7e8d
Scussolini, Jose A
8cfe4a69-6f10-48f0-a127-c5048fa1a277
Vafeidis, Athanasios
495c5e09-19a6-48c3-ab99-d76710a31584
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Haasnoot, Marjolijn
bfc23da2-d659-4f33-b4f0-77bb3b900ce9
Brown, Sally
dd3c5852-78cc-435a-9846-4f3f540f2840
Scussolini, Paolo
38f2e04f-e7a2-4895-b241-d3af277b7e8d
Scussolini, Jose A
8cfe4a69-6f10-48f0-a127-c5048fa1a277
Vafeidis, Athanasios
495c5e09-19a6-48c3-ab99-d76710a31584
Nicholls, Robert
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076

Haasnoot, Marjolijn, Brown, Sally, Scussolini, Paolo, Scussolini, Jose A, Vafeidis, Athanasios and Nicholls, Robert (2019) Generic adaptation pathways for coastal archetypes under uncertain sea-level rise. Environmental Research Communications. (doi:10.1088/2515-7620/ab1871).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Adaptation to coastal flood risk is hampered by high uncertainty in the rate and magnitude of sea-level rise. Subsequently, adaptation decisions carry strong risks of under- or over-investment, and could lead to costly retrofitting or unnecessary high margins. To better allocate resources timely and effectively, and achieve long-term sustainability, planners could utilise adaptation pathways, revealing the path-dependencies of adaptation options. This helps to identify low-regret short-term decisions that preserve options in an uncertain future, while monitoring to detect signals to adapt. A major barrier to the application of adaptation pathways is limited experience. To facilitate this, here we generalize this pathways approach for six common coastal archetypes, resulting in generic pathways suitable to be adjusted to local conditions. This provides a much richer analysis of coastal adaptation than provided by any previous analysis, by assessing the solution space and options over time for a variety of coastal regions. Based on this analysis, we find that the number of adaptation options declines while sea-level rises. For some archetypes, it becomes clear that long-term thinking is needed now, about if, how and when to move to transformative options, such as planned retreat, which may presently not be considered or acceptable. Our analysis further shows that coastal adaptation needs to start earlier than anticipated, especially given time required for local debate and choice and to implement measures.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 11 April 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 430733
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/430733
PURE UUID: c9022629-e5df-47a6-b10b-4a9443bc0ba5
ORCID for Sally Brown: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1185-1962
ORCID for Robert Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109

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Date deposited: 09 May 2019 16:30
Last modified: 10 May 2019 00:34

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Contributors

Author: Marjolijn Haasnoot
Author: Sally Brown ORCID iD
Author: Paolo Scussolini
Author: Jose A Scussolini
Author: Athanasios Vafeidis
Author: Robert Nicholls ORCID iD

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