WorldWideScience

Sample records for century sea-level rise

  1. Sea level rise

    OpenAIRE

    Warrick, R. A.; Oerlemans, J.

    1990-01-01

    This Section addresses three questions: Has global-mean sea level been rising during the last 100 years? What are the causal factors that could explain a past rise in sea level? And what increases in sea level can be expected in the future?

  2. Determination and characterization of 20th century global sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, Chung-Yen

    In this study, we provide a determination of the 20th Century (1900--2002) global sea level rise, the associated error budgets, and the quantifications of the various geophysical sources of the observed sea level rise, using data and geophysical models. We analyzed significant geographical variations of the global sea level including those caused by the steric component (heat and salinity) in the ocean, and the self-gravitational signal as a result of ice sheets melting, including the effects of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) since the Pleistocene. In particular, relative sea level data from long-term (longest is 150 year records) and over 600 tide gauge sites globally from PSMSL and other sources, and geocentric sea level data from multiple satellite altimetry (1985--2005) have been used to determine and characterize 20th century global sea level rise. Altimeter and selected tide gauge sea level data have been used for the 20th century sea level determination, accounting for relative biases between the altimeters, effects of sea level corresponding to oceanic thermal expansion, vertical motions affecting tide gauge measurements, self gravitations, and barotropic ocean response. This study is also characterized by the roles of the polar ocean in the global sea level study and addressing the question whether there is a detectable sea level rise acceleration during the last decade. Vertical motions have been estimated by combining geocentric sea level measurements from satellite altimetry (TOPEX/POSEIDON) and long-term relative (crust-fixed) sea level records from global tide gauges using the Gauss-Markov (GM) model with stochastic constraints. The study provided a demonstration of improved vertical motion solutions in semi-enclosed seas and lakes, including Fennoscandia and the Great Lakes region, showing excellent agreement with independent GPS observed radial velocities, or with predictions from GIA models. In general, the estimated uncertainty of the observed

  3. Efficacy of geoengineering to limit 21st century sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J C; Jevrejeva, S; Grinsted, A

    2010-09-01

    Geoengineering has been proposed as a feasible way of mitigating anthropogenic climate change, especially increasing global temperatures in the 21st century. The two main geoengineering options are limiting incoming solar radiation, or modifying the carbon cycle. Here we examine the impact of five geoengineering approaches on sea level; SO(2) aerosol injection into the stratosphere, mirrors in space, afforestation, biochar, and bioenergy with carbon sequestration. Sea level responds mainly at centennial time scales to temperature change, and has been largely driven by anthropogenic forcing since 1850. Making use a model of sea-level rise as a function of time-varying climate forcing factors (solar radiation, volcanism, and greenhouse gas emissions) we find that sea-level rise by 2100 will likely be 30 cm higher than 2000 levels despite all but the most aggressive geoengineering under all except the most stringent greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. The least risky and most desirable way of limiting sea-level rise is bioenergy with carbon sequestration. However aerosol injection or a space mirror system reducing insolation at an accelerating rate of 1 W m(-2) per decade from now to 2100 could limit or reduce sea levels. Aerosol injection delivering a constant 4 W m(-2) reduction in radiative forcing (similar to a 1991 Pinatubo eruption every 18 months) could delay sea-level rise by 40-80 years. Aerosol injection appears to fail cost-benefit analysis unless it can be maintained continuously, and damage caused by the climate response to the aerosols is less than about 0.6% Global World Product.

  4. Sea Level Rise in the 21st Century: Will projections ever become reliable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, J. K.

    2014-12-01

    Global sea level rise has the potential to become one of the most costly and least well predicted impacts of human caused climate change. Unlike global surface temperature, the spread of possible scenarios (as little as 1 foot and as much as 6 feet by 2100) is not due to uncertainty about future rates of greenhouse gas emissions, but rather by a fundamental lack of knowledge about how the major ice sheets will behave in a warming climate. Clearly improved projections of sea level rise should become a major research priority in the next decade. At present, controversial techniques based on comparison with historical analogs and rates of recent warming and sea level rise are often used to create projections for the 21st Century. However, many in the scientific community feel that reliable projections must be based on a sound knowledge of the physics governing sea level rise, and particularly ice sheet behavior. In particular, large portions of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and parts of the Greenland Ice Sheet rest on solid earth that sits below sea level. These regions may be threatened, not by atmospheric warming or changes in precipitation, but rather by direct forcing from the ocean. Fledgling efforts to understand these ocean ice interactions are already underway, as are efforts to make improved models of ice sheet behavior. However a great deal of work is still needed before widely accepted projections of sea level rise become a reality. This paper will highlight the hurdles to making such projections today and suggest ways forward in this critical area of research.

  5. Observed sea-level rise in the north Indian Ocean coasts during the past century

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Unnikrishnan, A.S.

    , Bindoff et al. (2007) reported the estimated value of global sea level rise close to 1.8 mm/year for the period 1961-2003. Sea- level- rise trends along the Indian coasts Earlier attempts to study the sea-level-rise along the Indian coasts were made... by Emery and Aubrey (1989) and Douglas (1991) and recent work include those from Unnikrishnan et al. (2006) and Unnikrishnan and Shankar (2007). Even though studies on sea-level rise trends are a few in the north Indian Ocean, there had many studies...

  6. The actual measurements at the tide gauges do not support strongly accelerating twentieth-century sea-level rise reconstructions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, A.

    2016-03-01

    Contrary to what is claimed by reconstructions of the Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) indicating accelerating sea level rates of rise over the twentieth-century, the actual measurements at the tide gauges show the sea levels have not risen nor accelerated that much. The most recent estimation by Hay et al of the twentieth-century global mean sea level (GMSL) rise is the last attempt to give exact reconstructions without having enough information of the state of the world oceans over a century where unfortunately the good measurements were not that many. The information on relative rates of rise at the tide gauges and land subsidence of global positioning system (GPS) domes suggest the relative rate of rise is about 0.25mm/year, without any detectable acceleration. [The naïve average of all the world tide gauges of sufficient quality and length of the Permanent Service to Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) data base], Both the relative rates of rise at the tide gauges and the land vertical velocity of GPS domes of the Système d'Observation du Niveau des Eaux Littorales (SONEL) data base are strongly variable in space and time to make a nonsense the GMSL estimation.

  7. Glaciers dominate eustatic sea-level rise in the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Mark Frederick; Dyurgerov, M.B.; Rick, Ursula K.; Pfeffer, William Tad; Anderson, Suzanne P.; Glazovsky, Andrey F.

    2007-01-01

    Ice loss to the sea currently accounts for virtually all of the sea-level rise that is not attributable to ocean warming, and about 60% of the ice loss is from glaciers and ice caps rather than from the two ice sheets. The contribution of these smaller glaciers has accelerated over the past decade, in part due to marked thinning and retreat of marine-terminating glaciers associated with a dynamic instability that is generally not considered in mass-balance and climate modeling. This acceleration of glacier melt may cause 0.1 to 0.25 meter of additional sea-level rise by 2100.

  8. Reconciling past changes in Earth's rotation with 20th century global sea-level rise: Resolving Munk's enigma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrovica, Jerry X; Hay, Carling C; Morrow, Eric; Kopp, Robert E; Dumberry, Mathieu; Stanley, Sabine

    2015-12-01

    In 2002, Munk defined an important enigma of 20th century global mean sea-level (GMSL) rise that has yet to be resolved. First, he listed three canonical observations related to Earth's rotation [(i) the slowing of Earth's rotation rate over the last three millennia inferred from ancient eclipse observations, and changes in the (ii) amplitude and (iii) orientation of Earth's rotation vector over the last century estimated from geodetic and astronomic measurements] and argued that they could all be fit by a model of ongoing glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) associated with the last ice age. Second, he demonstrated that prevailing estimates of the 20th century GMSL rise (~1.5 to 2.0 mm/year), after correction for the maximum signal from ocean thermal expansion, implied mass flux from ice sheets and glaciers at a level that would grossly misfit the residual GIA-corrected observations of Earth's rotation. We demonstrate that the combination of lower estimates of the 20th century GMSL rise (up to 1990) improved modeling of the GIA process and that the correction of the eclipse record for a signal due to angular momentum exchange between the fluid outer core and the mantle reconciles all three Earth rotation observations. This resolution adds confidence to recent estimates of individual contributions to 20th century sea-level change and to projections of GMSL rise to the end of the 21st century based on them. PMID:26824058

  9. The Maastrichtian sea level rise

    OpenAIRE

    Gullentops, F.

    1986-01-01

    The maximum sea level rise during the Maastrichtian has been much less than the 500 m claimed by some recent authors on this subject. Sedimentological and geomorphological arguments against such an hypothesis are forwarded.

  10. Climate warming and sea level rise.

    OpenAIRE

    Yue, Jun; Dong, Yue; Wu, Sangyun; Geng, Xiushan; Zhao, Changrong

    2012-01-01

    Based on a large number of actual data, the author believe that the modern global warming and sea level rise resulted from climate warming after the cold front of the Little Ice Age about 200 years ago and the developmnet of the sea level rise phase. In the past 30 years, the rate of sea level rise was increasing, which is under the background of the average temperature uplift 0.2F°(0.11 °C)every 10 years in succession from the 1980s to the past 10 years this century. On the basis of the abso...

  11. The Reversibility of Sea Level Rise

    OpenAIRE

    Bouttes, N.; J. M. Gregory; Lowe, J A

    2013-01-01

    During the last century, global climate has been warming, and projections indicate that such a warming is likely to continue over coming decades. Most of the extra heat is stored in the ocean, resulting in thermal expansion of seawater and global mean sea level rise. Previous studies have shown that after CO2 emissions cease or CO2 concentration is stabilized, global mean surface air temperature stabilizes or decreases slowly, but sea level continues to rise. Using idealized CO2 scenario simu...

  12. Sea-Level Rise by 2100

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Church, J.A.; Clark, P.A.; Cazenave, A.; Gregory, J.M.; Jevrejeva, S.; Levermann, A.; Merrifield, M.A.; Milne, G.A.; Nerem, R.S.; Nunn, P.D.; Payne, A.J.; Pfeffer, W.T.; Stammer, D.; Unnikrishnan, A.S.

    the average rate of rise during the 20th century. In the calibrated uncertainty language of the IPCC, this assessed likelihood means that there is roughly a one-third probability that sea-level rise by 2100 may lie outside the “likely” range. That is...

  13. Modeling Floodplain Dynamics: Can the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta keep pace with 21st Century Sea Level Rise?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, K. G.; Overeem, I.

    2013-12-01

    The low-lying Ganges-Brahmaputra (G-B) Delta in Bangladesh is densely populated (~1200 people/km2) and could be flooded within the next century by rapid sea level rise and increased monsoonal rains. The G-B Rivers currently transport 1*109 tons of sediment from their basins in the Himalaya Mountains to the delta each year, with ~90% of the annual sediment load delivered during the Asian summer monsoon. Sediment distribution across the delta's surface by floods and coastal storms has kept pace with the rate of relative sea level rise along the Bengal coast, enabling the delta to maintain a positive elevation. However, ensemble Community Climate System Model experiments predict 11% higher monsoonal rainfall for the next century, potentially leading to extreme flooding events in the delta. Stratigraphic reconstructions show that sedimentation in the upper G-B floodplain was more than doubled under the Early Holocene enhanced monsoonal regime, suggesting that the delta may withstand an increase in monsoon intensity, flooding, and tropical cyclones that are currently predicted. Whether the G-B floodplains and coastal areas will ultimately drown under predicted sea level rise and monsoon intensification depends on a balance of aggradation, eustatic sea level rise and subsidence. To improve predictions of climatic forcing on aggradation rates in the lower G-B floodplain and coastal plain, direct sedimentation measurements collected in 2008 and 2012 in the lower delta are paired with a series of model components coupled within the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS) Modeling Tool (CMT). We use three separate numerical models to simulate river basin sediment flux, floodplain sedimentation, and tidal-plain aggradation. The model inputs are based on available 20Th century climate and river gauge data, and outputs are compared to modern sedimentation rates within the G-B tidal delta and highly cultivated central coastal plain. The models are then used to test

  14. Relative sea-level rising and its control strategy in coastal regions of China in the 21st century

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    武强; 郑铣鑫; 徐华; 应玉飞; 侯艳声; 谢晓程; 王世训

    2003-01-01

    The Chinese coastal regions are the high risk areas of natural disasters for their low land and weak and sensitive eco-evironment. The relative sea-level rising (RSLR), resulting from the piling of global sea-level rising and regional land subsidence, is to speed up in the 21st century. Certainly the RSLR will exacerbate the land submerging, the disaster from storm-tide and flood- waterlogging and the water shortage, and then affect urban withstanding function, construction safety and eco-resources. According to sustainable development theory, the sustainable utilization of resources and environment and sustainable development of economy and society can both be effectively achieved in coastal regions of China in the 21st century only by the implementation of controlling discharge of greenhouse gas, optimal exploitation of and artificial recharge of groundwater, systematic control of land subsidence, higher design standards for tide and flood control engineering, improving urban anti-disaster ability, a study on strategy and policy for RSLR and establishment of forecast and pre-warning institution.

  15. Anthropogenic forcing dominates sea level rise since 1850

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jevrejeva, Svetlana; Grinsted, Aslak; Moore, John

    2009-01-01

    that until 1800 the main drivers of sea level change are volcanic and solar radiative forcings. For the past 200 years sea level rise is mostly associated with anthropogenic factors. Only 4 ± 1.5 cm (25% of total sea level rise) during the 20th century is attributed to natural forcings, the remaining 14 ± 1......The rate of sea level rise and its causes are topics of active debate. Here we use a delayed response statistical model to attribute the past 1000 years of sea level variability to various natural (volcanic and solar radiative) and anthropogenic (greenhouse gases and aerosols) forcings. We show...

  16. Sea-level rise and its possible impacts given a ‘beyond 4°C world’ in the twenty-first century

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nicholls, R.; Marinova, N.A.; Lowe, J.; Brown, S.; Vellinga, P.

    2011-01-01

    The range of future climate-induced sea-level rise remains highly uncertain with continued concern that large increases in the twenty-first century cannot be ruled out. The biggest source of uncertainty is the response of the large ice sheets of Greenland and west Antarctica. Based on our analysis,

  17. Potential impact of sea level rise on French islands worldwide

    OpenAIRE

    Celine Bellard; Camille Leclerc; Franck Courchamp

    2013-01-01

    Although sea level rise is one of the most certain consequences of global warming, yet it remains one of the least studied. Several studies strongly suggested that sea level rise will accelerate in the future with a potentially rise from 0.5 to 2 m at the end of the century. However, currently island conservation programs do not take into account the potential effects of sea level rise. Therefore, we investigated the potential consequences of sea level rise for 1,269 French islands worldwide,...

  18. Preliminary analysis of acceleration of sea level rise through the twentieth century using extended tide gauge data sets (August 2014)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogarth, Peter

    2014-11-01

    This work explores the potential for extending tide gauge time series from the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) using historical documents, PSMSL ancillary data, and by developing additional composite time series using near neighbor tide gauges. The aim was to increase the number, completeness, and geographical extent of records covering most or all of the twentieth century. The number of at least 75% complete century-scale time series have been approximately doubled over the original PSMSL data set. In total, over 4800 station years have been added, with 294 of these added to 10 long Southern Hemisphere records. Individual century-scale acceleration values derived from this new extended data set tend to converge on a value of 0.01 ± 0.008 mm/yr2. This result agrees closely with recent work and is statistically significant at the 1 sigma level. Possible causes of acceleration and errors are briefly discussed. Results confirm the importance of current data archeology projects involving digitization of the remaining archives of hard copy tide gauge data for sea level and climate studies.

  19. Lower bounds to future sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zecca, Antonio; Chiari, Luca

    2012-12-01

    Sea-level rise is among the most important changes expected as a consequence of anthropogenic global warming. Climate model-based projections made until the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) yield a 21st century rise spanning nearly 20-60 cm. However, it is known that current climate models are likely to underestimate sea-level change in response to rapid climatic variations. Recent alternative semi-empirical approaches predict a much higher sea-level rise than the IPCC AR4 projections. Nevertheless, the underway depletion of conventional fossil fuels might, at least in principle, constrain future fossil CO2 emissions and, in turn, affect also the extent of sea-level rise. Here we project 2000-2200 sea-level rise with a semi-empirical method coupled to a simple climate model that is run under a range of fossil-fuel exhaustion scenarios. We find that, in spite of fossil-fuel depletion, sea level is predicted to rise by at least ~ 80 cm at the end of this century and is expected to continue rising for at least the next two hundred years. The present results support the need for prompt and substantial emission cuts in order to slow down future sea-level rise and implement adaptation measures.

  20. Impacts of 21st century sea-level rise on a Danish major city - an assessment based on fine-resolution digital topography and a new flooding algorithm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moeslund, Jesper Erenskjold; Bøcher, Peter Klith; Svenning, J.-C.;

    2009-01-01

    This study examines the potential impact of 21st century sea-level rise on Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark, emphasizing the economic risk to the city's real estate. Furthermore, it assesses which possible adaptation measures that can be taken to prevent flooding in areas particularly...... at risk from flooding. We combine a new national Digital Elevation Model in very fine resolution (~2 meter), a new highly computationally efficient flooding algorithm that accurately models the influence of barriers, and geospatial data on real-estate values to assess the economic real-estate risk posed...... by future sea-level rise to Aarhus. Under the A2 and A1FI (IPCC) climate scenarios we show that relatively large residential areas in the northern part of the city as well as areas around the river running through the city are likely to become flooded in the event of extreme, but realistic weather events...

  1. Probabilistic surface reconstruction of relative sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choblet, Gael; Husson, Laurent; Bodin, Thomas; Capdeville, Yann

    2013-04-01

    Relative sea level is shaped by multiple processes (mantle dynamic topography, plate tectonics, glacio-isostatic adjustment, present day melting of continental ice, anthropogenic causes…), most of which induce spatial gradients in relative sea level fluctuations. The evaluation of the global mean sea level rise is a also a key variable to decipher sea level evolution. Tide gauges represent the only mean to monitor sea-level rise on the scale of the 20th century, while the high quality satellite altimetry era is too short to be immune from short-term fluctuations. Tide gauge data compiled by the Permanent Service for the Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) converts into local estimates of sea level rise. Classically, these in situ observations are averaged spatially in order to infer the global mean sea level trend. However, the strongly heterogeneous distribution of tide gauges (e.g. very sparse in the Southern hemisphere) makes this approach relatively prone to uncertainties, given that sea level rise strongly varies geographically. Last, the societal consequences for coastal communities raise the prominent need for local (rather than global) sea level estimates. An alternative is therefore to provide a global surface reconstruction of relative sea level leading to both local variations and a better constrained global average. Here, we propose such a model from tide gauge records using a probabilistic scheme based on the reversible jump Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm (as described by Bodin et al., JGR, 2012 for the example of the Australian Moho). This method allows to infer both model and parameter space so that not only the functions within the model but also the number of functions itself are free to vary. This is particulalry relevant to the case of tide gauges that are unevenly distributed on the surface of the Earth and whose record lengths are strongly variable. In addition, Bayesian statistics leads to a probabilistic representation (rather than a best fitting

  2. Projected sea level rise and changes in extreme storm surge and wave events during the 21st century in the region of Singapore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannaby, Heather; Palmer, Matthew D.; Howard, Tom; Bricheno, Lucy; Calvert, Daley; Krijnen, Justin; Wood, Richard; Tinker, Jonathan; Bunney, Chris; Harle, James; Saulter, Andrew; O'Neill, Clare; Bellingham, Clare; Lowe, Jason

    2016-05-01

    Singapore is an island state with considerable population, industries, commerce and transport located in coastal areas at elevations less than 2 m making it vulnerable to sea level rise. Mitigation against future inundation events requires a quantitative assessment of risk. To address this need, regional projections of changes in (i) long-term mean sea level and (ii) the frequency of extreme storm surge and wave events have been combined to explore potential changes to coastal flood risk over the 21st century. Local changes in time-mean sea level were evaluated using the process-based climate model data and methods presented in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC AR5). Regional surge and wave solutions extending from 1980 to 2100 were generated using ˜ 12 km resolution surge (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean - NEMO) and wave (WaveWatchIII) models. Ocean simulations were forced by output from a selection of four downscaled ( ˜ 12 km resolution) atmospheric models, forced at the lateral boundaries by global climate model simulations generated for the IPCC AR5. Long-term trends in skew surge and significant wave height were then assessed using a generalised extreme value model, fit to the largest modelled events each year. An additional atmospheric solution downscaled from the ERA-Interim global reanalysis was used to force historical ocean model simulations extending from 1980 to 2010, enabling a quantitative assessment of model skill. Simulated historical sea-surface height and significant wave height time series were compared to tide gauge data and satellite altimetry data, respectively. Central estimates of the long-term mean sea level rise at Singapore by 2100 were projected to be 0.52 m (0.74 m) under the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP)4.5 (8.5) scenarios. Trends in surge and significant wave height 2-year return levels were found to be statistically insignificant and/or physically

  3. Stochastic secular trends in sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocaña, Victor; Zorita, Eduardo; Heimbach, Patrick

    2016-04-01

    Global mean sea level (GMSL) has been rising since (at least) the nineteenth century and the rate of rise may be increasing. Several studies that attempt to explain the long-term trend of GMSL during the instrumental record share the common assumption that this trend is deterministic in nature and different from natural variations. Here we show that the trend can alternatively be explained, at least in part, as being caused by random variations within the coupled ocean-atmosphere-cryosphere system, and hence not having a deterministic origin. These random trends, which add to externally forced changes (e.g., through anthropogenic climate change), are a consequence of the integrated character of GMSL, which is the cumulative addition of temporal contributions that exhibit random character, and whose integration results in GMSL variations with persistence on decadal-centennial time scales. The generation of trends by integration of random stationary noise (i.e., even in a constant climate) is a robust and fundamental feature of stochastically forced systems with memory. The integrated character of GMSL results in an intrinsic difficulty in distinguishing internal from externally forced trends.

  4. Rising Sea Levels threatens the Nile Delta

    OpenAIRE

    Attia, Shady

    2007-01-01

    Like many other deltas, Egypt is particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming. A relative rise in sea-level of 1 m would submerge much of the delta region within 30 km of the coast during the next 100 years. Rising sea levels would have significant long-term impacts on physical, biological and socio-economic conditions of the Nile Delta. These include the damage and destruction of buildings near beaches, erosion of beaches, salt-water intrusion, and flooding more than 1,200 km2 o...

  5. Potential impact of sea level rise on French islands worldwide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celine Bellard

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Although sea level rise is one of the most certain consequences of global warming, yet it remains one of the least studied. Several studies strongly suggested that sea level rise will accelerate in the future with a potentially rise from 0.5 to 2 m at the end of the century. However, currently island conservation programs do not take into account the potential effects of sea level rise. Therefore, we investigated the potential consequences of sea level rise for 1,269 French islands worldwide, by assessing the total number of island that will be totally submerged for three different scenarios (1, 2 and 3 m. Under the worst scenario, up to 12% of all islands could be entirely submerged. Two regions displayed the most significant loss of island: New Caledonia and French Polynesia. Focusing on New Caledonia, we highlighted that endemic plant species that are already classified as critically endangered by the IUCN will be the most vulnerable to sea level rise. Losses of insular habitats will thus be important in the next decades for the French islands. Given that French islands covers all latitudes in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans and in the Mediterranean, our results suggested that the implications for the 180 000 islands around the world should be considerable. Therefore, decision makers are required to define island conservation priorities that will suffer of the future sea level rise.

  6. Sea level rise projections for northern Europe under RCP8.5

    OpenAIRE

    Grinsted, A.; Jevrejeva, S.; Riva, R. E. M.; Dahl-Jensen, D.

    2015-01-01

    Sea level rise poses a significant threat to coastal communities, infrastructure, and ecosystems. Sea level rise is not uniform globally but is affected by a range of regional factors. In this study, we calculate regional projections of 21st century sea level rise in northern Europe, focusing on the British Isles, the Baltic Sea, and the North Sea. The input to the regional sea level projection is a probabilistic projection of the major components of the global sea level budget. Local sea lev...

  7. Sea level rise: A literature survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oude Essink, G.H.P.

    1992-01-01

    In order to assess the impact of sea level rise on Water Management, it is useful to understand the mechanisrns that determine the level of the sea. In this study, a literature survey is executed to analyze these mechanisms. Climate plays a centra! role in these mechanisms, Climate mainly changes du

  8. Sea level rise projections for Northern Europe under RCP8.5

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grinsted, A.; Jevrejeva, S.; Riva, R.E.M.; Dahl-Jensen, D.

    2015-01-01

    Sea level rise poses a significant threat to coastal communities, infrastructure, and ecosystems. Sea level rise is not uniform globally but is affected by a range of regional factors. In this study, we calculate regional projections of 21st century sea level rise in northern Europe, focusing on the

  9. Impacts of 21st century sea-level rise on a Danish major city - an assessment based on fine-resolution digital topography and a new flooding algorithm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moeslund, Jesper Erenskjold; Svenning, Jens-Christian [Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity Group, Department of Biological Sciences, Aarhus University (Denmark); Boecher, Peder Klith [Department of Agroecology and Environment, Aarhus University (Denmark); Moelhave, Thomas; Arge, Lars, E-mail: jesper.moeslund@biology.au.d [MADALGO - Center for Massive Data Algorithmics, Aarhus University (Denmark)

    2009-11-01

    This study examines the potential impact of 21st century sea-level rise on Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark, emphasizing the economic risk to the city's real estate. Furthermore, it assesses which possible adaptation measures that can be taken to prevent flooding in areas particularly at risk from flooding. We combine a new national Digital Elevation Model in very fine resolution ({approx}2 meter), a new highly computationally efficient flooding algorithm that accurately models the influence of barriers, and geospatial data on real-estate values to assess the economic real-estate risk posed by future sea-level rise to Aarhus. Under the A2 and A1FI (IPCC) climate scenarios we show that relatively large residential areas in the northern part of the city as well as areas around the river running through the city are likely to become flooded in the event of extreme, but realistic weather events. In addition, most of the large Aarhus harbour would also risk flooding. As much of the area at risk represent high-value real estate, it seems clear that proactive measures other than simple abandonment should be taken in order to avoid heavy economic losses. Among the different possibilities for dealing with an increased sea level, the strategic placement of flood-gates at key potential water-inflow routes and the construction or elevation of existing dikes seems to be the most convenient, most socially acceptable, and maybe also the cheapest solution. Finally, we suggest that high-detail flooding models similar to those produced in this study will become an important tool for a climate-change-integrated planning of future city development as well as for the development of evacuation plans.

  10. CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 projections of coastal cliff retreat due to 21st century sea-level rise

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Summary: This dataset contains projections of coastal cliff-retreat rates and positions for future scenarios of sea-level rise (SLR). Projections were made using...

  11. CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System) Southern California v3.0 projections of shoreline change due to 21st century sea level rise

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Summary: This dataset contains projections of shoreline positions and uncertainty bands for future scenarios of sea-level rise. Projections were made using...

  12. Hurricanes, sea level rise, and coastal change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallenger,, Asbury H., Jr.

    2011-01-01

    Sixteen hurricanes have made landfall along the U.S. east and Gulf coasts over the past decade. For most of these storms, the USGS with our partners in NASA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have flown before and after lidar missions to detect changes in beaches and dunes. The most dramatic changes occurred when the coasts were completely submerged in an inundation regime. Where this occurred locally, a new breach was cut, like during Hurricane Isabel in North Carolina. Where surge inundated an entire island, the sand was stripped off leaving marshy outcrops behind, like during Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Sea level rise together with sand starvation and repeated hurricane impacts could increase the probabilities of inundation and degrade coasts more than sea level rise alone.

  13. Coastal subsidence and relative sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingebritsen, Steven E.; Galloway, Devin L.

    2014-01-01

    Subsurface fluid-pressure declines caused by pumping of groundwater or hydrocarbons can lead to aquifer-system compaction and consequent land subsidence. This subsidence can be rapid, as much as 30 cm per year in some instances, and large, totaling more than 13 m in extreme examples. Thus anthropogenic subsidence may be the dominant contributor to relative sea-level rise in coastal environments where subsurface fluids are heavily exploited. Maximum observed rates of human-induced subsidence greatly exceed the rates of natural subsidence of unconsolidated sediments (~0.1–1 cm yr−1) and the estimated rates of ongoing global sea-level rise (~0.3 cm yr−1).

  14. Sea level rise and its coastal impacts

    OpenAIRE

    Cazenave, Anny; Le Cozannet, Gonéri

    2014-01-01

    Link to the paper: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013EF000188/abstract International audience Global warming in response to accumulation of human-induced greenhouse gases inside the atmosphere has already caused several visible consequences, among them increase of the Earth's mean temperature and ocean heat content, melting of glaciers, and loss of ice from the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets. Ocean warming and land ice melt in turn are causing sea level to rise. Sea le...

  15. Rising sea level may cause decline of fringing coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, Michael E.; Ogston, Andrea S.; Storlazzi, Curt D.

    2011-08-01

    Coral reefs are major marine ecosystems and critical resources for marine diversity and fisheries. These ecosystems are widely recognized to be at risk from a number of stressors, and added to those in the past several decades is climate change due to anthropogenically driven increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. Most threatening to most coral reefs are elevated sea surface temperatures and increased ocean acidity [e.g., Kleypas et al., 1999; Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2007], but sea level rise, another consequence of climate change, is also likely to increase sedimentary processes that potentially interfere with photosynthesis, feeding, recruitment, and other key physiological processes (Figure 1). Anderson et al. [2010] argue compellingly that potential hazardous impacts to coastlines from 21st-century sea level rise are greatly underestimated, particularly because of the rapid rate of rise. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that sea level will rise in the coming century (1990-2090) by 2.2-4.4 millimeters per year, when projected with little contribution from melting ice [Meehl et al., 2007]. New studies indicate that rapid melting of land ice could substantially increase the rate of sea level rise [Grinsted et al., 2009; Milne et al., 2009].

  16. Modelling dynamics of Jakobshavn Isbræ and its contribution to sea level rise over the past and future century

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muresan, Ioana Stefania

    The rate of net ice mass loss from Greenland’s marine terminating glaciers has more than doubled over the past two decades highlighting their importance for future sealevel rise. Current projections are built upon observations from a short term record spanning only from several years to a decade...... Greenland) since the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA). The model is forced with different climate variables: near-surface air temperature, surface mass balance (SMB), sea-surface temperature and salinity. In order to accurately simulate and understand the longer term controls of dynamic changes, the model....... This buttressing effecttends to govern JI’s behaviour. Consequently, the results showed that the dynamicchanges modelled at JI are triggered at the terminus. In a final phase, using this model that has been adjusted to the longer-term record, I performed experiments to the near future (i.e., 2013-2100) using five...

  17. Implications of Rising Sea Level on Everglades Restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanless, H. R.

    2008-05-01

    The strong likelihood of a significant rise in sea level during this century must be incorporated into the design of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and its execution. With a warming Arctic and increased wind shear in the waters adjacent to Antarctica, accelerated ice melt of both Greenland and Antarctica has begun. With positive feedbacks, this melt appears irreversible on the century scale. Scientists of the Miami-Dade County Climate Change Task Force project that a global rise of sea level of at least 0.9-1.5 meters (3-5 feet) will occur by the end of the century. This anticipated rise will diminish the value of CERP unless (a) the design thoroughly incorporates a realistic sea level rise scenario and (b) there is a refocus of CERP's design to optimize water flow for wetland-community peat growth with the purpose of retarding saline encroachment. The goals of Everglades restoration must become (1) to provide an increase in water flowing at a gradually increasing elevation to permit rapid accumulation of robust organic peat beneath the freshwater wetland and (2) to actively manage the coastal mangrove wetland (e.g., aid hurricane recovery) to help it maintain a robust upwards-building peat margin. If this is done, the central and northern Everglades may survive as a healthy wetland habitat and provide fresh groundwater resources well into the next century. Actively building freshwater and mangrove peat and a dependable supply of freshwater are both critical to retarding saline encroachment up the Everglades depression. Without these, a 1.5 meter rise in sea level could move saline water nearly to Lake Okeechobee. Critical research questions and changes in management need to be addressed for this to succeed. The communities and conditions for optimal freshwater peat buildup must be documented and demonstrated. New management strategies must be designed and maintained to encourage rapid recovery of mangrove forests destroyed by hurricanes

  18. Global warming, sea-level rise, and coastal marsh survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahoon, Donald R.

    1997-01-01

    Coastal wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. These wetlands at the land-ocean margin provide many direct benefits to humans, including habitat for commercially important fisheries and wildlife; storm protection; improved water quality through sediment, nutrient, and pollution removal; recreation; and aesthetic values. These valuable ecosystems will be highly vulnerable to the effects of the rapid rise in sea level predicted to occur during the next century as a result of global warming.

  19. Projection of the Zhujiang (Pearl) River Delta’s potential submerged area due to sea level rise during the 21st century based on CMIP5 simulations

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XIA Jiangjiang; YAN Zhongwei; ZHOU Wen; FONG Soi Kun; LEONG Ka Cheng; TANG Iu Man; CHANG S W; LEONG W K; JIN Shaofei

    2015-01-01

    Projections of potential submerged area due to sea level rise are helpful for improving understanding of the influence of ongoing global warming on coastal areas. The Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition method is used to adaptively decompose the sea level time series in order to extract the secular trend component. Then the linear relationship between the global mean sea level (GMSL) change and the Zhujiang (Pearl) River Delta (PRD) sea level change is calculated:an increase of 1.0 m in the GMSL corresponds to a 1.3 m (uncertainty interval from 1.25 to 1.46 m) increase in the PRD. Based on this relationship and the GMSL rise projected by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 under three greenhouse gas emission scenarios (representative concentration pathways, or RCPs, from low to high emission scenarios RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5), the PRD sea level is calculated and projected for the period 2006–2100. By around the year 2050, the PRD sea level will rise 0.29 (0.21 to 0.40) m under RCP2.6, 0.31 (0.22 to 0.42) m under RCP4.5, and 0.34 (0.25 to 0.46) m under RCP8.5, respectively. By 2100, it will rise 0.59 (0.36 to 0.88) m, 0.71 (0.47 to 1.02) m, and 1.0 (0.68 to 1.41) m, respectively. In addition, considering the extreme value of relative sea level due to land subsidence (i.e., 0.20 m) and that obtained from intermonthly variability (i.e., 0.33 m), the PRD sea level will rise 1.94 m by the year 2100 under the RCP8.5 scenario with the upper uncertainty level (i.e., 1.41 m). Accordingly, the potential submerged area is 8.57×103 km2 for the PRD, about 1.3 times its present area.

  20. Sea-level rise: towards understanding local vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahmstorf, Stefan

    2012-06-01

    Projections of global sea-level rise into the future have become more pessimistic over the past five years or so. A global rise by more than one metre by the year 2100 is now widely accepted as a serious possibility if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated. That is witnessed by the scientific assessments that were made since the last IPCC report was published in 2007. The Delta Commission of the Dutch government projected up to 1.10 m as a 'high-end' scenario (Vellinga et al 2009). The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) projected up to 1.40 m (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research 2009), and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) gives a range of 0.90-1.60 m in its 2011 report (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme 2011). And recently the US Army Corps of Engineers recommends using a 'low', an 'intermediate' and a 'high' scenario for global sea-level rise when planning civil works programmes, with the high one corresponding to a 1.50 m rise by 2100 (US Army Corps of Engineers 2011). This more pessimistic view is based on a number of observations, most importantly perhaps the fact that sea level has been rising at least 50% faster in the past decades than projected by the IPCC (Rahmstorf et al 2007, IPCC 2007). Also, the rate of rise (averaged over two decades) has accelerated threefold, from around 1 mm yr-1 at the start of the 20th century to around 3 mm yr-1 over the past 20 years (Church and White 2006), and this rate increase closely correlates with global warming (Rahmstorf et al 2011). The IPCC projections, which assume almost no further acceleration in the 20th century, thus look less plausible. And finally the observed net mass loss of the two big continental ice sheets (Van den Broeke et al 2011) calls into question the assumption that ice accumulation in Antarctica would largely balance ice loss from Greenland in the course of further global warming (IPCC 2007). With such a serious sea-level rise on the horizon

  1. A Critical Assessment of Sea-Level Rise Projections for the Northeast United States in the 21st Century: Discrepancies and Their Cost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, M.

    2015-12-01

    Several studies have projected the magnitudes of sea-level rise (SLR) in the Northeast United States for the 21th Century as a result of anthropogenic climate change. Among them are those by NOAA, the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), and the US Army Corps of Engineers (COE). The projected magnitudes of SLR from some of these sources are being used by policymakers to make difficult choices of investments on infrastructure that can be resilient against anticipated SLR. While there is no question that SLR will happen and resilience measures against SLR is very necessary, this presentation questions the rigor of science behind some of these projections that can have significant costs to the society. A critical assessment of available SLR projections for the northeast US and their discrepancies is presented. It is concluded from the current understanding of science that the mean values and upper bounds of SLR from NOAA, NPCC and COE are likely exaggerated for the region. It is also argued that scientists should treat the SLR projection as a separate problem from policies so that the best cost-benefit analysis can be performed in the decision process.

  2. Some considerations on coastal processes relevant to sea level rise

    OpenAIRE

    Mehta, Ashish J.; Dean, Robert G.; Dally, William R.; Montague, Clay L.

    1987-01-01

    The effects of potential sea level rise on the shoreline and shore environment have been briefly examined by considering the interactions between sea level rise and relevant coastal processes. These interactions have been reviewed beginning with a discussion of the need to reanalyze previous estimates of eustatic sea level rise and compaction effects in water level measurement. This is followed by considerations on sea level effects on coastal and estuarine tidal ranges, storm ...

  3. Storminess helps coastal marshes withstand sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2013-03-01

    Rising sea levels are predicted to threaten many coastal sea marshes around the world in the coming decades as the Earth's climate warms. In addition to accelerating sea level rise, global climate change is predicted to increase the frequency and severity of storms in many places around the world. However, few studies have taken into account how an increased storminess might affect the ability of coastal marshes to withstand sea level rise.

  4. Timescales for detecting a significant acceleration in sea level rise

    OpenAIRE

    Haigh, Ivan D.; Wahl, Thomas; Rohling, Eelco J.; Price, René M.; Pattiaratchi, Charitha B.; Calafat, Francisco M.; Dangendorf, Sönke

    2014-01-01

    There is observational evidence that global sea level is rising and there is concern that the rate of rise will increase, significantly threatening coastal communities. However, considerable debate remains as to whether the rate of sea level rise is currently increasing and, if so, by how much. Here we provide new insights into sea level accelerations by applying the main methods that have been used previously to search for accelerations in historical data, to identify the timings (with uncer...

  5. Twentieth century sea level: An enigma

    OpenAIRE

    Munk, Walter

    2002-01-01

    Changes in sea level (relative to the moving crust) are associated with changes in ocean volume (mostly thermal expansion) and in ocean mass (melting and continental storage): ζ(t) = ζsteric(t) + ζeustatic(t). Recent compilations of global ocean temperatures by Levitus and coworkers are in accord with coupled ocean/atmosphere modeling of greenhouse warming; they yield an increase in 20th century ocean heat content by 2 × 1023 J (compared to 0.1 × 1023 J of atmospheric storage), which correspo...

  6. The social values at risk from sea-level rise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Analysis of the risks of sea-level rise favours conventionally measured metrics such as the area of land that may be subsumed, the numbers of properties at risk, and the capital values of assets at risk. Despite this, it is clear that there exist many less material but no less important values at risk from sea-level rise. This paper re-theorises these multifarious social values at risk from sea-level rise, by explaining their diverse nature, and grounding them in the everyday practices of people living in coastal places. It is informed by a review and analysis of research on social values from within the fields of social impact assessment, human geography, psychology, decision analysis, and climate change adaptation. From this we propose that it is the ‘lived values’ of coastal places that are most at risk from sea-level rise. We then offer a framework that groups these lived values into five types: those that are physiological in nature, and those that relate to issues of security, belonging, esteem, and self-actualisation. This framework of lived values at risk from sea-level rise can guide empirical research investigating the social impacts of sea-level rise, as well as the impacts of actions to adapt to sea-level rise. It also offers a basis for identifying the distribution of related social outcomes across populations exposed to sea-level rise or sea-level rise policies

  7. The social values at risk from sea-level rise

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graham, Sonia, E-mail: sonia.graham@unimelb.edu.au [Department of Resource Management and Geography, The University of Melbourne, 221 Bouverie St., Carlton, Victoria 3053 (Australia); Barnett, Jon, E-mail: jbarn@unimelb.edu.au [Department of Resource Management and Geography, The University of Melbourne, 221 Bouverie St., Carlton, Victoria 3053 (Australia); Fincher, Ruth, E-mail: r.fincher@unimelb.edu.au [Department of Resource Management and Geography, The University of Melbourne, 221 Bouverie St., Carlton, Victoria 3053 (Australia); Hurlimann, Anna, E-mail: anna.hurlimann@unimelb.edu.au [Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne, Architecture and Planning Building, Parkville, Victoria 3010 (Australia); Mortreux, Colette, E-mail: colettem@unimelb.edu.au [Department of Resource Management and Geography, The University of Melbourne, 221 Bouverie St., Carlton, Victoria 3053 (Australia); Waters, Elissa, E-mail: elissa.waters@unimelb.edu.au [Department of Resource Management and Geography, The University of Melbourne, 221 Bouverie St., Carlton, Victoria 3053 (Australia)

    2013-07-15

    Analysis of the risks of sea-level rise favours conventionally measured metrics such as the area of land that may be subsumed, the numbers of properties at risk, and the capital values of assets at risk. Despite this, it is clear that there exist many less material but no less important values at risk from sea-level rise. This paper re-theorises these multifarious social values at risk from sea-level rise, by explaining their diverse nature, and grounding them in the everyday practices of people living in coastal places. It is informed by a review and analysis of research on social values from within the fields of social impact assessment, human geography, psychology, decision analysis, and climate change adaptation. From this we propose that it is the ‘lived values’ of coastal places that are most at risk from sea-level rise. We then offer a framework that groups these lived values into five types: those that are physiological in nature, and those that relate to issues of security, belonging, esteem, and self-actualisation. This framework of lived values at risk from sea-level rise can guide empirical research investigating the social impacts of sea-level rise, as well as the impacts of actions to adapt to sea-level rise. It also offers a basis for identifying the distribution of related social outcomes across populations exposed to sea-level rise or sea-level rise policies.

  8. Overestimation of marsh vulnerability to sea level rise

    OpenAIRE

    M. L. Kirwan; TEMMERMAN, S; Skeehan, E.E.; G. R. Guntenspergen; Fagherazzi, S.

    2016-01-01

    Coastal marshes are considered to be among the most valuable and vulnerable ecosystems on Earth, where the imminent loss of ecosystem services is a feared consequence of sea level rise. However, we show with a meta-analysis that global measurements of marsh elevation change indicate that marshes are generally building at rates similar to or exceeding historical sea level rise, and that process-based models predict survival under a wide range of future sea level scenarios. We argue that marsh ...

  9. Estuaries May Face Increased Parasitism as Sea Levels Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendel, JoAnna

    2014-12-01

    Invertebrates in estuaries could be at a greater risk of parasitism as climate change causes sea levels to rise. A new paper published 8 December in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (doi:10.1073/pnas.1416747111) describes how rapid sea level rise in the Holocene affected the population of parasitic flatworms called trematodes.

  10. Implications of Sea Level Rise on Coastal Flood Hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roeber, V.; Li, N.; Cheung, K.; Lane, P.; Evans, R. L.; Donnelly, J. P.; Ashton, A. D.

    2012-12-01

    Recent global and local projections suggest the sea level will be on the order of 1 m or higher than the current level by the end of the century. Coastal communities and ecosystems in low-lying areas are vulnerable to impacts resulting from hurricane or large swell events in combination with sea-level rise. This study presents the implementation and results of an integrated numerical modeling package to delineate coastal inundation due to storm landfalls at future sea levels. The modeling package utilizes a suite of numerical models to capture both large-scale phenomena in the open ocean and small-scale processes in coastal areas. It contains four components to simulate (1) meteorological conditions, (2) astronomical tides and surge, (3) wave generation, propagation, and nearshore transformation, and (4) surf-zone processes and inundation onto dry land associated with a storm event. Important aspects of this package are the two-way coupling of a spectral wave model and a storm surge model as well as a detailed representation of surf and swash zone dynamics by a higher-order Boussinesq-type wave model. The package was validated with field data from Hurricane Ivan of 2005 on the US Gulf coast and applied to tropical and extratropical storm scenarios respectively at Eglin, Florida and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The results show a nonlinear increase of storm surge level and nearshore wave energy with a rising sea level. The exacerbated flood hazard can have major consequences for coastal communities with respect to erosion and damage to infrastructure.

  11. Timescales for detecting a significant acceleration in sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haigh, Ivan D.; Wahl, Thomas; Rohling, Eelco J.; Price, René M.; Pattiaratchi, Charitha B.; Calafat, Francisco M.; Dangendorf, Sönke

    2014-04-01

    There is observational evidence that global sea level is rising and there is concern that the rate of rise will increase, significantly threatening coastal communities. However, considerable debate remains as to whether the rate of sea level rise is currently increasing and, if so, by how much. Here we provide new insights into sea level accelerations by applying the main methods that have been used previously to search for accelerations in historical data, to identify the timings (with uncertainties) at which accelerations might first be recognized in a statistically significant manner (if not apparent already) in sea level records that we have artificially extended to 2100. We find that the most important approach to earliest possible detection of a significant sea level acceleration lies in improved understanding (and subsequent removal) of interannual to multidecadal variability in sea level records.

  12. Timescales for detecting a significant acceleration in sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haigh, Ivan D; Wahl, Thomas; Rohling, Eelco J; Price, René M; Pattiaratchi, Charitha B; Calafat, Francisco M; Dangendorf, Sönke

    2014-01-01

    There is observational evidence that global sea level is rising and there is concern that the rate of rise will increase, significantly threatening coastal communities. However, considerable debate remains as to whether the rate of sea level rise is currently increasing and, if so, by how much. Here we provide new insights into sea level accelerations by applying the main methods that have been used previously to search for accelerations in historical data, to identify the timings (with uncertainties) at which accelerations might first be recognized in a statistically significant manner (if not apparent already) in sea level records that we have artificially extended to 2100. We find that the most important approach to earliest possible detection of a significant sea level acceleration lies in improved understanding (and subsequent removal) of interannual to multidecadal variability in sea level records. PMID:24728012

  13. Sea-Level Rise Impacts on Hudson River Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooks, A.; Nitsche, F. O.

    2015-12-01

    The response of tidal marshes to increasing sea-level rise is uncertain. Tidal marshes can adapt to rising sea levels through vertical accretion and inland migration. Yet tidal marshes are vulnerable to submergence if the rate of sea-level rise exceeds the rate of accretion and if inland migration is limited by natural features or development. We studied how Piermont and Iona Island Marsh, two tidal marshes on the Hudson River, New York, would be affected by sea-level rise of 0.5m, 1m, and 1.5m by 2100. This study was based on the 2011-2012 Coastal New York LiDAR survey. Using GIS we mapped sea-level rise projections accounting for accretion rates and calculated the submerged area of the marsh. Based on the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve Vegetation 2005 dataset, we studied how elevation zones based on vegetation distributions would change. To evaluate the potential for inland migration, we assessed land cover around each marsh using the National Land Cover Database 2011 Land Cover dataset and examined the slope beyond the marsh boundaries. With an accretion rate of 0.29cm/year and 0.5m of sea-level rise by 2100, Piermont Marsh would be mostly unchanged. With 1.5m of sea-level rise, 86% of Piermont Marsh would be flooded. For Iona Island Marsh with an accretion rate of 0.78cm/year, sea-level rise of 0.5m by 2100 would result in a 4% expansion while 1.5m sea-level rise would cause inundation of 17% of the marsh. The results indicate that Piermont and Iona Island Marsh may be able to survive rates of sea-level rise such as 0.5m by 2100 through vertical accretion. At rates of sea-level rise like 1.5m by 2100, vertical accretion cannot match sea-level rise, submerging parts of the marshes. High elevations and steep slopes limit Piermont and Iona Island Marsh's ability to migrate inland. Understanding the impacts of sea-level rise on Piermont and Iona Island Marsh allows for long-term planning and could motivate marsh conservation programs.

  14. Sea Level Enigmatic Rising - New Perspectives from an Expanding Globe

    CERN Document Server

    Scalera, Giancarlo

    2015-01-01

    In the expanding Earth framework it is possible to find additional phenomena that could contribute in a proper way to the water balance and general tectonic eustatism involved in the sea lever rising. Recent compilations seems to leave unexplained up to 12 cm/century of sea rising, and possible solutions invoking a polar ice shells melting near to the upper limit of the error bars reveal in conflict with the consequent expected decreasing of the Earth angular velocity. It is shown that taking into account possible effects of an expanding Earth, the problem can be initiated towards an appropriate solution, at least as regards the just orders of magnitude. Major effects on sea-level could come from ongoing relaxation of curvature variations that are peculiar for an expanding globe.

  15. Barrier response to Holocene sea-level rise

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pejrup, Morten; Andersen, Thorbjørn Joest; Johannessen, Peter N;

    Normally it is believed that sea-level rise causes coastal barrier retreat. However, sea-level is only one of the parameters determining the long term coastal development of barrier coasts. Sediment supply is an equally important determinant and may overshadow the effects of sea-level rise. Conce...... a much stronger component of sea-level control. The distance between the islands is only 50 km, and therefore our study shows that prediction of barrier development during a period of rising sea level may be more complicated than formerly believed.......Normally it is believed that sea-level rise causes coastal barrier retreat. However, sea-level is only one of the parameters determining the long term coastal development of barrier coasts. Sediment supply is an equally important determinant and may overshadow the effects of sea-level rise....... Conceptually this has been known for a long time but for the first time we can show the relative effect of these two parameters. We have studied three neighboring barrier islands in the Wadden Sea, and described their 3D morphological evolution during the last 8000 years. It appears that the barrier islands...

  16. Sea Level did not Accelerate in the Last Quarter of the 20th Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galvin, C.

    2004-12-01

    The Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL)collects quality-controlled sea levels from tide gages on all seas, and tabulates them at www.pol.ac.uk/psmsl/psmsl(underline)individual(underline)stations.html. I examined annual average sea levels (Ra in column 6) for generally open-coast tide gages having data at the years defining quarter points in the 20th century: 1900, 1925, 1950, 1975, 2000. Gages lacking data for a given date, say 1975, were assumed to qualify if they had data for one year, plus or minus, of the missing data, i. e., for 1974 or 1976 in this example. This examination of data from gages on all seas identified 54 gages with data for the last three of the five dates, which included 26 gages with data for the last four of the five dates, which included 7 gages with data for all five dates. This means that sea-level change during the last quarter (Q4) of the 20th century could be compared at 54 sites with sea-level change in Q3, at 26 sites with sea- level change in Q2, and at 7 sites with sea-level change in Q1, providing 87 tests of the widely reported acceleration in rate of sea-level rise at the end of the 20th century. If sea level is rising at an accelerating rate, then sea-level rise during Q4 should almost always exceed sea-level rises in Q1, Q2, and Q3 of the 20th century. Of the 87 tests, 44 showed more sea-level rise in Q4, and 43 showed less sea-level rise in Q4, compared to the earlier quarters. Thus there is no evidence for an accelerating rise in sea level at the end of the 20th century from these quality-controlled data. The data do indicate that sea-level changes are synchronized over long reaches of shoreline (Sturges, 1990), and sites where gages are imbedded in deposits of clastic sediment have higher apparent sea-level rise attributable to sediment compaction. Beach erosion on the East Coast of the U.S. is widely attributed to the acceleration of sea-level rise, yet all 8 long-term gages at this coast show significantly LESS

  17. The influence of uncertainty in past sea level reconstructions on 21st century mean sea level projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, T. P.; Hamlington, B. D.; Nerem, R.; Leben, R. R.

    2010-12-01

    Currently, in most sea-level rise projections computed using semi-empirical models, the well-established Church and White sea-level reconstruction (data 1880-2009) is used. Numerous papers have focused on the variation of the projections for sea level rise by 2100, which ranges between 20 cm (the lower limit of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC 4th assessment report) and 210 cm. In this study we focus on the sea level reconstruction and the accompanying error bars. We use the Church and White data set and its error bars as well as our own sea level reconstruction for 1950-2010. The sensitivity of the mean sea level reconstruction depends on the selection of the tide gages, the construction of the basis functions as well as the weighting (e.g. latitudinal). We used a Monte Carlo simulation in order to establish the errors in the reconstruction. We used the Vermeer and Rahmstorf semi-empirical sea level rise projection model, and simulated four different initial conditions: a) using the Church and White’s and Hamlington and Leben’s reconstructions, b) using the different error estimates suggested by the two groups c) using various time periods to train the model for the projections d) testing the model’s sensitivity to outliers. Our preliminary results show that all simulations indicate higher sea level rise projections by 2100 than suggested by the 4th IPCC assessment report in 2007 and are therefore in agreement with current projections made with the Rahmstorf or Grinsted models. Our preliminary results suggest that the range of sea level rise projections by 2100 depends strongly on the error estimate of the sea level reconstruction, the number of years included as well as its trend. This underlines the importance of understanding the sensitivity of sea level reconstruction and hence the selection of the most realistic approach for sea level projection. Hamlington and Leben’s mean projection for each of the IPCC scenarios lie within the

  18. PERSPECTIVE: The tripping points of sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecht, Alan D.

    2009-12-01

    When President Nixon created the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970 he said the environment must be perceived as a single, interrelated system. We are nowhere close to achieving this vision. Jim Titus and his colleagues [1] highlight one example of where one set of regulations or permits may be in conflict with another and where regulations were crafted in the absence of understanding the cumulative impact of global warming. The issue here is how to deal with the impacts of climate change on sea level and the latter's impact on wetland polices, clean water regulations, and ecosystem services. The Titus paper could also be called `The tripping points of sea level rise'. Titus and his colleagues have looked at the impact of such sea level rise on the east coast of the United States. Adaptive responses include costly large- scale investment in shore protection (e.g. dikes, sand replenishment) and/or ecosystem migration (retreat), where coastal ecosystems move inland. Shore protection is limited by available funds, while ecosystem migrations are limited by available land use. The driving factor is the high probability of sea level rise due to climate change. Estimating sea level rise is difficult because of local land and coastal dynamics including rising or falling land areas. It is estimated that sea level could rise between 8 inches and 2 feet by the end of this century [2]. The extensive data analysis done by Titus et al of current land use is important because, as they observe, `property owners and land use agencies have generally not decided how they will respond to sea level rise, nor have they prepared maps delineating where shore protection and retreat are likely'. This is the first of two `tripping points', namely the need for adaptive planning for a pending environmental challenge that will create economic and environment conflict among land owners, federal and state agencies, and businesses. One way to address this gap in adaptive management

  19. USGS Map service: Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The coastal vulnerability index (CVI)provides a preliminary overview, at a National scale, of the relative susceptibility of the Nation's coast to sea-level rise....

  20. Overestimation of marsh vulnerability to sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirwan, Matthew L.; Temmerman, Stijn; Skeehan, Emily E.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Fagherazzi, Sergio

    2016-01-01

    Coastal marshes are considered to be among the most valuable and vulnerable ecosystems on Earth, where the imminent loss of ecosystem services is a feared consequence of sea level rise. However, we show with a meta-analysis that global measurements of marsh elevation change indicate that marshes are generally building at rates similar to or exceeding historical sea level rise, and that process-based models predict survival under a wide range of future sea level scenarios. We argue that marsh vulnerability tends to be overstated because assessment methods often fail to consider biophysical feedback processes known to accelerate soil building with sea level rise, and the potential for marshes to migrate inland.

  1. Glacial Isostatic Adjustment and Contemporary Sea Level Rise: An Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spada, Giorgio

    2016-08-01

    Glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) encompasses a suite of geophysical phenomena accompanying the waxing and waning of continental-scale ice sheets. These involve the solid Earth, the oceans and the cryosphere both on short (decade to century) and on long (millennia) timescales. In the framework of contemporary sea-level change, the role of GIA is particular. In fact, among the processes significantly contributing to contemporary sea-level change, GIA is the only one for which deformational, gravitational and rotational effects are simultaneously operating, and for which the rheology of the solid Earth is essential. Here, I review the basic elements of the GIA theory, emphasizing the connections with current sea-level changes observed by tide gauges and altimetry. This purpose is met discussing the nature of the "sea-level equation" (SLE), which represents the basis for modeling the sea-level variations of glacial isostatic origin, also giving access to a full set of geodetic variations associated with GIA. Here, the SLE is employed to characterize the remarkable geographical variability of the GIA-induced sea-level variations, which are often expressed in terms of "fingerprints". Using harmonic analysis, the spatial variability of the GIA fingerprints is compared to that of other components of contemporary sea-level change. In closing, some attention is devoted to the importance of the "GIA corrections" in the context of modern sea-level observations, based on tide gauges or satellite altimeters.

  2. Coastal floods in view of sea level rise

    OpenAIRE

    Böttle, Markus

    2015-01-01

    The sea level rise induced intensification of coastal floods is a serious threat to many regions in proximity to the ocean. Although severe flood events are rare they can entail enormous damage costs, especially when built-up areas are inundated. Fortunately, the mean sea level advances slowly and there is enough time for society to adapt to the changing environment. Most commonly, this is achieved by the construction or reinforcement of flood defence measures such as dykes or sea walls but a...

  3. Implications of sea level rise scenarios on land use /land cover classes of the coastal zones of Cochin, India..

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    ManiMurali, R.; DineshKumar, P.K.

    pressures. Key words: Land Use, Land Cover, Sea level rise, Inundation, Vulnerability, Cochin, India Introduction: Global sea level rise (SLR) ranging from 0.5 m to 2m has been predicted over the next century and it would disrupt the physical... processes, economic activities and social systems in the coastal zones (Gommes et al., 1997; NOAA Report, 1999; Solomon et al., 2007). Besides the destruction through increased rates of erosion, sea level rise situations increase the risk of inundation...

  4. Implications of accelerated sea-level rise on Louisiana coastal environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsey, Karen E.; Penland, Shea; Roberts, Harry H.

    1991-01-01

    Natural and human-induced processes have combined to produce high rates of relative sea-level rise and coastal land loss in Louisiana. This paper presents historical trends in sea-level rise and the implication of predicted accelerated rise scenarios on Louisiana's coastal environments. Mean eustatic sea-level in the Gulf of Mexico is 0.23 cm/yr. In Louisiana, relative sea-level rise, which combines eustacy and subsidence, averages from 0.50 cm/yr in the chenier plain to 1.0 cm/yr in the delta plain. Subsidence due to the compaction of Holocene sediments is believed to be the major component influencing these high rates of rise. Subsidence contributes up to 80% of the observed relative sea-level rise in coastal Louisiana. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) predicts the rate of sea-level rise to increase over the next century due to global climate change. If these predictions are accurate, a dramatic increase in the coastal land loss conditions in Louisiana can be expected.

  5. Sea level rise and variability around Peninsular Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkalich, Pavel; Luu, Quang-Hung; Tay, Tze-Wei

    2014-05-01

    Peninsular Malaysia is bounded from the west by Malacca Strait and the Andaman Sea, both connected to the Indian Ocean, and from the east by South China Sea being largest marginal sea in the Pacific Basin. As a result, sea level along Peninsular Malaysia coast is assumed to be governed by various regional phenomena associated with the adjacent parts of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. At annual scale, sea level anomalies (SLAs) are generated by the Asian monsoon; interannual sea level variability is determined by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD); whilst long term sea level trend is coordinated by the global climate change. To quantify the relative impacts of these multi-scale phenomena on sea level trend and variability surrounding the Peninsular Malaysia, long-term tide gauge record and satellite altimetry are used. During 1984-2011, relative sea level rise (SLR) rates in waters of Malacca Strait and eastern Peninsular Malaysia are found to be 2.4 ± 0.8 mm/yr and 2.7 ± 0.6 mm/yr, respectively. Discounting for their vertical land movements (0.8 ± 2.6 mm/yr and 0.9 ± 2.2 mm/yr, respectively), their pure SLR rates are 1.6 ± 3.4 mm/yr and 1.8 ± 2.8 mm/yr, respectively, which are lower than the global tendency. At interannual scale, ENSO affects sea level over the Malaysian east coast in the range of ± 5 cm with very high correlation coefficient. Meanwhile, IOD modulates sea level anomalies in the Malacca Strait in the range of ± 2 cm with high correlation coefficient. Interannual regional sea level drops are associated with El Niño events and positive phases of the IOD index; while the rises are correlated with La Niña episodes and the negative periods of the IOD index. Seasonally, SLAs are mainly monsoon-driven, in the order of 10-25 cm. Geographically, sea level responds differently to the monsoon: two cycles per year are observed in the Malacca Strait, presumably due to South Asian - Indian Monsoon; while single

  6. Barriers to and opportunities for landward migration of coastal wetlands with sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enwright, Nicholas M.; Griffith, Kereen T.; Osland, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    In the 21st century, accelerated sea-level rise and continued coastal development are expected to greatly alter coastal landscapes across the globe. Historically, many coastal ecosystems have responded to sea-level fluctuations via horizontal and vertical movement on the landscape. However, anthropogenic activities, including urbanization and the construction of flood-prevention infrastructure, can produce barriers that impede ecosystem migration. Here we show where tidal saline wetlands have the potential to migrate landward along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast, one of the most sea-level rise sensitive and wetland-rich regions of the world. Our findings can be used to identify migration corridors and develop sea-level rise adaptation strategies to help ensure the continued availability of wetland-associated ecosystem goods and services.

  7. Sea Level Rise and Subsidence in the Gulf of Thailand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemnil, Sommart

    In the Thailand -EC GEO2TECDI-SONG Project we investigate the sea level change and vertical land motion in Thailand. First, Bangkok is situated in river delta and average height is closed to sea level. Second, it is subsiding due to ground water extraction. Third, it is experiencing post-seismic motion due to nearby mega thrust earthquakes and fourth, it suffers from rising of sea levels due to global climate change. This poses a serious threat on Thai society and economy. Before mitigation methods can be devised we aim at charting, qualifying and quantifying all contributing effects by the use of satellite altimetry, GNSS, InSAR techniques and combining results with the in situ observations like tide gauge and with geophysical modeling. Adding GPS based vertical land motion to the tide gauge sea level registration reveals the absolute sea level change, which is nicely confirmed by altimetry. We find an average absolute rise of 3.5 mm/yr + 0.7, but nears mouth of Chao Praya River (Bangkok) and the Mekong delta (Ho Chi Min City), this mounts to 4 to 5 mm/yr, faster than global average. This is reinforced when accounting for the tectonic subsidence that resulted from 2004 9.1Mw Sumatra/Andaman earthquake; from 2005 onwards we find downfall in the order of 10 mm/yr. RADARSAT InSAR analyses show subsidence rates up to 25 mm/yr at many places along coastal Bangkok.

  8. Effects of sea level rise on coastal evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stive, M.J.F.

    1990-01-01

    Using the Dutch coastal evolution in the Holocene upto the present as an example and a test case, a coastal evolution concept is proposed and materialized with which shoreline position changes for different sea level rise scenarios are predicted. The (more generally applicable) model applies to (qua

  9. The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Florida's Everglades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senarath, S. U.

    2005-12-01

    Global warming and the resulting melting of polar ice sheets could increase global sea levels significantly. Some studies have predicted mean sea level increases in the order of six inches to one foot in the next 25 to 50 years. This could have severe irreversible impacts on low-lying areas of Florida's Everglades. The key objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of a one foot sea level rise on Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow (CSSS) nesting areas within the Everglades National Park (ENP). A regional-scale hydrologic model is used to assess the sensitivities of this sea-level rise scenario. Florida's Everglades supports a unique ecosystem. At present, about 50 percent of this unique ecosystem has been lost due to urbanization and farming. Today, the water flow in the remnant Everglades is also regulated to meet a variety of competing environmental, water-supply and flood-control needs. A 30-year, eight billion dollar (1999 estimate) project has been initiated to improve Everglades' water flows. The expected benefits of this restoration project will be short-lived if the predicted sea level rise causes severe impacts on the environmentally sensitive areas of the Everglades. Florida's Everglades is home to many threatened and endangered species of wildlife. The Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow population in the ENP is one such species that is currently listed as endangered. Since these birds build their nests close to the ground surface (the base of the nest is approximately six inches from the ground surface), they are directly affected by any sea level induced ponding depth, frequency or duration change. Therefore, the CSSS population serves as a good indicator species for evaluating the negative impacts of sea level rise on the Everglades' ecosystem. The impact of sea level rise on the CSSS habitat is evaluated using the Regional Simulation Model (RSM) developed by the South Florida Water Management District. The RSM is an implicit, finite-volume, continuous

  10. Acceleration of Sea Level Rise Over Malaysian Seas from Satellite Altimeter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamid, A. I. A.; Din, A. H. M.; Khalid, N. F.; Omar, K. M.

    2016-09-01

    Sea level rise becomes our concern nowadays as a result of variously contribution of climate change that cause by the anthropogenic effects. Global sea levels have been rising through the past century and are projected to rise at an accelerated rate throughout the 21st century. Due to this change, sea level is now constantly rising and eventually will threaten many low-lying and unprotected coastal areas in many ways. This paper is proposing a significant effort to quantify the sea level trend over Malaysian seas based on the combination of multi-mission satellite altimeters over a period of 23 years. Eight altimeter missions are used to derive the absolute sea level from Radar Altimeter Database System (RADS). Data verification is then carried out to verify the satellite derived sea level rise data with tidal data. Eight selected tide gauge stations from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak are chosen for this data verification. The pattern and correlation of both measurements of sea level anomalies (SLA) are evaluated over the same period in each area in order to produce comparable results. Afterwards, the time series of the sea level trend is quantified using robust fit regression analysis. The findings clearly show that the absolute sea level trend is rising and varying over the Malaysian seas with the rate of sea level varies and gradually increase from east to west of Malaysia. Highly confident and correlation level of the 23 years measurement data with an astonishing root mean square difference permits the absolute sea level trend of the Malaysian seas has raised at the rate 3.14 ± 0.12 mm yr-1 to 4.81 ± 0.15 mm yr-1 for the chosen sub-areas, with an overall mean of 4.09 ± 0.12 mm yr-1. This study hopefully offers a beneficial sea level information to be applied in a wide range of related environmental and climatology issue such as flood and global warming.

  11. ACCELERATION OF SEA LEVEL RISE OVER MALAYSIAN SEAS FROM SATELLITE ALTIMETER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. I. A. Hamid

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Sea level rise becomes our concern nowadays as a result of variously contribution of climate change that cause by the anthropogenic effects. Global sea levels have been rising through the past century and are projected to rise at an accelerated rate throughout the 21st century. Due to this change, sea level is now constantly rising and eventually will threaten many low-lying and unprotected coastal areas in many ways. This paper is proposing a significant effort to quantify the sea level trend over Malaysian seas based on the combination of multi-mission satellite altimeters over a period of 23 years. Eight altimeter missions are used to derive the absolute sea level from Radar Altimeter Database System (RADS. Data verification is then carried out to verify the satellite derived sea level rise data with tidal data. Eight selected tide gauge stations from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak are chosen for this data verification. The pattern and correlation of both measurements of sea level anomalies (SLA are evaluated over the same period in each area in order to produce comparable results. Afterwards, the time series of the sea level trend is quantified using robust fit regression analysis. The findings clearly show that the absolute sea level trend is rising and varying over the Malaysian seas with the rate of sea level varies and gradually increase from east to west of Malaysia. Highly confident and correlation level of the 23 years measurement data with an astonishing root mean square difference permits the absolute sea level trend of the Malaysian seas has raised at the rate 3.14 ± 0.12 mm yr-1 to 4.81 ± 0.15 mm yr-1 for the chosen sub-areas, with an overall mean of 4.09 ± 0.12 mm yr-1. This study hopefully offers a beneficial sea level information to be applied in a wide range of related environmental and climatology issue such as flood and global warming.

  12. Modeling Tidal Wetland Resiliency in the Face of Predicted Accelerated Sea-Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schile, L. M.; Callaway, J.; Morris, J. T.; Kelly, M.

    2014-12-01

    Tidal wetland ecosystems are dynamic coastal habitats that, in California, often occur at the complex nexus of aquatic environments, diked and leveed baylands, and modified upland habitat. Because of their prime location and rich peat soil, many wetlands have been reduced, degraded, and/or destroyed, and yet their important role in carbon sequestration, nutrient and sediment filtering, and as habitat requires us to further examine their sustainability in light of predicted climate change. Predictions of climate change effects for the San Francisco Bay Estuary present a future with reduced summer freshwater input and increased sea levels. We examined the applicability and accuracy of the Marsh Equilibrium Model (MEM), a zero-dimensional model that models organic and inorganic accretion rates under a given rate of sea-level rise. MEM was calibrated using data collected from salt and brackish marshes in the San Francisco Bay Estuary to examine wetland resiliency under a range of sea-level rise and suspended sediment concentration scenarios. At sea-level rise rates 100 cm/century and lower, wetlands remained vegetated. Once sea levels rise above 100 cm, marshes begin to lose ability to maintain elevation, and the presence of adjacent upland habitat becomes increasingly important for marsh migration. The negative effects of sea-level rise on elevations were compounded as suspended sediment concentrations decreased. Results from this study emphasize that the wetland landscape in the bay is threatened with rising sea levels, and there are a limited number of wetlands that will be able to migrate to higher ground as sea levels rise.

  13. Final report for sea-level rise response modeling for San Francisco Bay estuary tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takekawa, John Y.; Thorne, Karen M.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Spragens, Kyle A.; Swanson, Kathleen M.; Drexler, Judith Z.; Schoellhamer, David H.; Overton, Cory T.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2013-01-01

    The International Panel on Climate Change has identified coastal ecosystems as areas that will be disproportionally affected by climate change. Current sea-level rise projections range widely with 0.57 to 1.9 meters increase in mea sea level by 2100. The expected accelerated rate of sea-level rise through the 21st century will put many coastal ecosystems at risk, especially those in topographically low-gradient areas. We assessed marsh accretion and plant community state changes through 2100 at 12 tidal salt marshes around San Francisco Bay estuary with a sea-level rise response model. Detailed ground elevation, vegetation, and water level data were collected at all sites between 2008 and 2011 and used as model inputs. Sediment cores (taken by Callaway and others, 2012) at four sites around San Francisco Bay estuary were used to estimate accretion rates. A modification of the Callaway and others (1996) model, the Wetland Accretion Rate Model for Ecosystem Resilience (WARMER), was utilized to run sea-level rise response models for all sites. With a mean sea level rise of 1.24 m by 2100, WARMER projected that the vast majority, 95.8 percent (1,942 hectares), of marsh area in our study will lose marsh plant communities by 2100 and to transition to a relative elevation range consistent with mudflat habitat. Three marshes were projected to maintain marsh vegetation to 2100, but they only composed 4.2 percent (85 hectares) of the total marsh area surveyed.

  14. Present-day sea level rise: a synthesis; Hausse actuelle du niveau de la mer: synthese

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cazenave, A.; Llovel, W. [Laboratoire d' Etudes en Geophysique et Oceanographie Spatiales (LEGOS), Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees, 31 - Toulouse (France); Lombard, A. [CNES, 31 - Toulouse (France)

    2008-11-15

    Measuring sea level change and understanding its causes have improved considerably in the recent years, essentially because new in situ and remote sensing data sets have become available. Here we report on the current knowledge of present-day sea level change. We briefly present observational results on sea level change from satellite altimetry since 1993 and tide gauges for the past century. We next discuss recent progress made in quantifying the processes causing sea level change on time scales ranging from years to decades, i.e., thermal expansion, land ice mass loss and land water storage change. For the 1993-2003 decade, the sum of climate-related contributions agree well (within the error bars) with the altimetry-based sea level, half of the observed rate of rise being due to ocean thermal expansion, land ice plus land waters explaining the other half. Since about 2003, thermal expansion increase has stopped, whereas the sea level continues to rise, although at a reduced rate compared to the previous decade (2.5 mm/yr versus 3.1 mm/yr). Recent increases in glacier melting and ice mass loss from the ice sheets appear able to account alone for the rise in sea level reported over the last five years. (authors)

  15. Sea level rise projection in the South China Sea from CMIP5 models

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG Chuanjiang; QIAO Fangli

    2015-01-01

    Future potential sea level change in the South China Sea (SCS) is estimated by using 24 CMIP5 models under different representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios. By the end of the 21st century (2081–2100 relative to 1986–2005), the multimodel ensemble mean dynamic sea level (DSL) is projected to rise 0.9, 1.6, and 1.1 cm under RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5 scenarios, respectively, resulting in a total sea level rise (SLR) of 40.9, 48.6, and 64.1 cm in the SCS. It indicates that the SCS will experience a substantial SLR over the 21st century, and the rise is only marginal larger than the global mean SLR. During the same period, the steric sea level (SSL) rise is estimated to be 6.7, 10.0, and 15.3 cm under the three scenarios, respectively, which accounts only for 16%, 21% and 24% of the total SLR in this region. The changes of the SSL in the SCS are almost out of phase with those of the DSL for the three scenarios. The central deep basin has a slightly weak DSL rise, but a strong SSL rise during the 21st century, compared with the north and southwest shelves.

  16. Rapid shoreward encroachment of salt marsh cordgrass in response to accelerated sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, J P; Bertness, M D

    2001-12-01

    The distribution of New England salt marsh communities is intrinsically linked to the magnitude, frequency, and duration of tidal inundation. Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) exclusively inhabits the frequently flooded lower elevations, whereas a mosaic of marsh hay (Spartina patens), spike grass (Distichlis spicata), and black rush (Juncus gerardi) typically dominate higher elevations. Monitoring plant zonal boundaries in two New England salt marshes revealed that low-marsh cordgrass rapidly moved landward at the expense of higher-marsh species between 1995 and 1998. Plant macrofossils from sediment cores across modern plant community boundaries provided a 2,500-year record of marsh community composition and documented the migration of cordgrass into the high marsh. Isotopic dating revealed that the initiation of cordgrass migration occurred in the late 19th century and continued through the 20th century. The timing of the initiation of cordgrass migration is coincident with an acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise recorded by the New York tide gauge. These results suggest that increased flooding associated with accelerating rates of sea-level rise has stressed high-marsh communities and promoted landward migration of cordgrass. If current rates of sea-level rise continue or increase slightly over the next century, New England salt marshes will be dominated by cordgrass. If climate warming causes sea-level rise rates to increase significantly over the next century, these cordgrass-dominated marshes will likely drown, resulting in extensive losses of coastal wetlands.

  17. As the sea level rises the Earth does not stand still

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, S. C.; Alizad, K.; Bilskie, M. V.; Hovenga, P. A.; Medeiros, S. C.; Passeri, D. L.; Wang, D.

    2015-12-01

    Global mean sea level rise was largely linear over the 20th century; however, according to global satellite altimetry, the rate of rise has increased from approximately 1.6 to 3.4 mm/year. It is clear that this eustatic sea level rise has been predominantly caused by thermal expansion of ocean water (i.e., it is a manifestation of an increase in the average annual global temperature). Future projections of increased global temperatures, among others, introduce additional contributions (e.g., land ice loss and changes in land water storage) resulting in higher sea level rise that can only be accommodated by accelerations in the rate of the rise. Increased temperatures lead to changes in evapotranspiration rates, precipitation rates and patterns, etc. As the sea level changes the Earth experiences many other directly or indirectly related processes (e.g., population growth and migration, local variation in subsidence, etc.). Proper assessment of the local, regional and global impacts of relative sea level rise should include as many of these linear and nonlinear processes as possible. This presentation will explain our approach to understanding the relationships between these processes and their impacts to better equip adaptation strategies and enhance coastal resiliency. References Bilskie, M. V., et al. "Dynamics of sea level rise and coastal flooding on a changing landscape." Geophys. Res. Lett., 41(3), 2014, 927-934, doi:10.1002/2013GL058759 Church, J. A. and N. J. White, "A 20th century acceleration in global sea-level rise." Geophys. Res. Lett., 33(1), 2006, L01602 Passeri, D.L., et al. "The dynamic effects of sea level rise on low-gradient coastal landscapes: a review." Earth's Future, Online, 2015. doi:10.1002/2015EF000298 Passeri, D.L., et al. "On the significance of incorporating shoreline changes for evaluating coastal hydrodynamics under sea level rise scenarios." Nat. Haz., 75 (2), 2015, 1599-1617. doi:10.1007/s11069-014-1386-y Wang, D., et al. "Climate

  18. Is the detection of accelerated sea level rise imminent?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasullo, J T; Nerem, R S; Hamlington, B

    2016-01-01

    Global mean sea level rise estimated from satellite altimetry provides a strong constraint on climate variability and change and is expected to accelerate as the rates of both ocean warming and cryospheric mass loss increase over time. In stark contrast to this expectation however, current altimeter products show the rate of sea level rise to have decreased from the first to second decades of the altimeter era. Here, a combined analysis of altimeter data and specially designed climate model simulations shows the 1991 eruption of Mt Pinatubo to likely have masked the acceleration that would have otherwise occurred. This masking arose largely from a recovery in ocean heat content through the mid to late 1990 s subsequent to major heat content reductions in the years following the eruption. A consequence of this finding is that barring another major volcanic eruption, a detectable acceleration is likely to emerge from the noise of internal climate variability in the coming decade. PMID:27506974

  19. Is the detection of accelerated sea level rise imminent?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasullo, J. T.; Nerem, R. S.; Hamlington, B.

    2016-08-01

    Global mean sea level rise estimated from satellite altimetry provides a strong constraint on climate variability and change and is expected to accelerate as the rates of both ocean warming and cryospheric mass loss increase over time. In stark contrast to this expectation however, current altimeter products show the rate of sea level rise to have decreased from the first to second decades of the altimeter era. Here, a combined analysis of altimeter data and specially designed climate model simulations shows the 1991 eruption of Mt Pinatubo to likely have masked the acceleration that would have otherwise occurred. This masking arose largely from a recovery in ocean heat content through the mid to late 1990 s subsequent to major heat content reductions in the years following the eruption. A consequence of this finding is that barring another major volcanic eruption, a detectable acceleration is likely to emerge from the noise of internal climate variability in the coming decade.

  20. A Bayesian network to predict coastal vulnerability to sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, B.T.; Plant, N.G.; Thieler, E.R.

    2011-01-01

    Sea level rise during the 21st century will have a wide range of effects on coastal environments, human development, and infrastructure in coastal areas. The broad range of complex factors influencing coastal systems contributes to large uncertainties in predicting long-term sea level rise impacts. Here we explore and demonstrate the capabilities of a Bayesian network (BN) to predict long-term shoreline change associated with sea level rise and make quantitative assessments of prediction uncertainty. A BN is used to define relationships between driving forces, geologic constraints, and coastal response for the U.S. Atlantic coast that include observations of local rates of relative sea level rise, wave height, tide range, geomorphic classification, coastal slope, and shoreline change rate. The BN is used to make probabilistic predictions of shoreline retreat in response to different future sea level rise rates. Results demonstrate that the probability of shoreline retreat increases with higher rates of sea level rise. Where more specific information is included, the probability of shoreline change increases in a number of cases, indicating more confident predictions. A hindcast evaluation of the BN indicates that the network correctly predicts 71% of the cases. Evaluation of the results using Brier skill and log likelihood ratio scores indicates that the network provides shoreline change predictions that are better than the prior probability. Shoreline change outcomes indicating stability (-1 1 m/yr) was not well predicted. We find that BNs can assimilate important factors contributing to coastal change in response to sea level rise and can make quantitative, probabilistic predictions that can be applied to coastal management decisions. Copyright ?? 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  1. Predicting Land-Ice Retreat and Sea-Level Rise with the Community Earth System Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipscomb, William [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2012-06-19

    Coastal stakeholders need defensible predictions of 21st century sea-level rise (SLR). IPCC assessments suggest 21st century SLR of {approx}0.5 m under aggressive emission scenarios. Semi-empirical models project SLR of {approx}1 m or more by 2100. Although some sea-level contributions are fairly well constrained by models, others are highly uncertain. Recent studies suggest a potential large contribution ({approx}0.5 m/century) from the marine-based West Antarctic Ice Sheet, linked to changes in Southern Ocean wind stress. To assess the likelihood of fast retreat of marine ice sheets, we need coupled ice-sheet/ocean models that do not yet exist (but are well under way). CESM is uniquely positioned to provide integrated, physics based sea-level predictions.

  2. How mangrove forests adjust to rising sea level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauss, Ken W.; McKee, Karen L.; Lovelock, Catherine E.; Cahoon, Donald R.; Saintilan, Neil; Reef, Ruth; Chen, Luzhen

    2014-01-01

    Mangroves are among the most well described and widely studied wetland communities in the world. The greatest threats to mangrove persistence are deforestation and other anthropogenic disturbances that can compromise habitat stability and resilience to sea-level rise. To persist, mangrove ecosystems must adjust to rising sea level by building vertically or become submerged. Mangroves may directly or indirectly influence soil accretion processes through the production and accumulation of organic matter, as well as the trapping and retention of mineral sediment. In this review, we provide a general overview of research on mangrove elevation dynamics, emphasizing the role of the vegetation in maintaining soil surface elevations (i.e. position of the soil surface in the vertical plane). We summarize the primary ways in which mangroves may influence sediment accretion and vertical land development, for example, through root contributions to soil volume and upward expansion of the soil surface. We also examine how hydrological, geomorphological and climatic processes may interact with plant processes to influence mangrove capacity to keep pace with rising sea level. We draw on a variety of studies to describe the important, and often under-appreciated, role that plants play in shaping the trajectory of an ecosystem undergoing change.

  3. Salt marsh persistence is threatened by predicted sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosby, Sarah C.; Sax, Dov F.; Palmer, Megan E.; Booth, Harriet S.; Deegan, Linda A.; Bertness, Mark D.; Leslie, Heather M.

    2016-11-01

    Salt marshes buffer coastlines and provide critical ecosystem services from storm protection to food provision. Worldwide, these ecosystems are in danger of disappearing if they cannot increase elevation at rates that match sea-level rise. However, the magnitude of loss to be expected is not known. A synthesis of existing records of salt marsh elevation change was conducted in order to consider the likelihood of their future persistence. This analysis indicates that many salt marshes did not keep pace with sea-level rise in the past century and kept pace even less well over the past two decades. Salt marshes experiencing higher local sea-level rise rates were less likely to be keeping pace. These results suggest that sea-level rise will overwhelm most salt marshes' capacity to maintain elevation. Under the most optimistic IPCC emissions pathway, 60% of the salt marshes studied will be gaining elevation at a rate insufficient to keep pace with sea-level rise by 2100. Without mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions this potential loss could exceed 90%, which will have substantial ecological, economic, and human health consequences.

  4. Geologic effects and coastal vulnerability to sea-level rise, erosion, and storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, S.J.; Gutierrez, B.T.; Thieler, E.R.; Pendleton, E.

    2008-01-01

    A combination of natural and human factors are driving coastal change and making coastal regions and populations increasingly vulnerable. Sea level, a major agent of coastal erosion, has varied greatly from -120 m below present during glacial period low-stands to + 4 to 6 m above present during interglacial warm periods. Geologic and tide gauge data show that global sea level has risen about 12 to 15 cm during the past century with satellite measurements indicating an acceleration since the early 1990s due to thermal expansion and ice-sheet melting. Land subsidence due to tectonic forces and sediment compaction in regions like the mid-Atlantic and Louisiana increase the rate of relative sea-level rise to 40 cm to 100 cm per century. Sea- level rise is predicted to accelerate significantly in the near future due to climate change, resulting in pervasive impacts to coastal regions and putting populations increasingly at risk. The full implications of climate change for coastal systems need to be understood better and long-term plans are needed to manage coasts in order to protect natural resources and mitigate the effects of sea-level rise and increased storms on human infrastructure. Copyright ASCE 2008.

  5. US power plant sites at risk of future sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierkandt, R.; Auffhammer, M.; Levermann, A.

    2015-12-01

    Unmitigated greenhouse gas emissions may increase global mean sea-level by about 1 meter during this century. Such elevation of the mean sea-level enhances the risk of flooding of coastal areas. We compute the power capacity that is currently out-of-reach of a 100-year coastal flooding but will be exposed to such a flood by the end of the century for different US states, if no adaptation measures are taken. The additional exposed capacity varies strongly among states. For Delaware it is 80% of the mean generated power load. For New York this number is 63% and for Florida 43%. The capacity that needs additional protection compared to today increases by more than 250% for Texas, 90% for Florida and 70% for New York. Current development in power plant building points towards a reduced future exposure to sea-level rise: proposed and planned power plants are less exposed than those which are currently operating. However, power plants that have been retired or canceled were less exposed than those operating at present. If sea-level rise is properly accounted for in future planning, an adaptation to sea-level rise may be costly but possible.

  6. US power plant sites at risk of future sea-level rise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Unmitigated greenhouse gas emissions may increase global mean sea-level by about 1 meter during this century. Such elevation of the mean sea-level enhances the risk of flooding of coastal areas. We compute the power capacity that is currently out-of-reach of a 100-year coastal flooding but will be exposed to such a flood by the end of the century for different US states, if no adaptation measures are taken. The additional exposed capacity varies strongly among states. For Delaware it is 80% of the mean generated power load. For New York this number is 63% and for Florida 43%. The capacity that needs additional protection compared to today increases by more than 250% for Texas, 90% for Florida and 70% for New York. Current development in power plant building points towards a reduced future exposure to sea-level rise: proposed and planned power plants are less exposed than those which are currently operating. However, power plants that have been retired or canceled were less exposed than those operating at present. If sea-level rise is properly accounted for in future planning, an adaptation to sea-level rise may be costly but possible. (letter)

  7. Mangrove Sedimentation and Response to Relative Sea-Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodroffe, C. D.; Rogers, K.; McKee, K. L.; Lovelock, C. E.; Mendelssohn, I. A.; Saintilan, N.

    2016-01-01

    Mangroves occur on upper intertidal shorelines in the tropics and subtropics. Complex hydrodynamic and salinity conditions, related primarily to elevation and hydroperiod, influence mangrove distributions; this review considers how these distributions change over time. Accumulation rates of allochthonous and autochthonous sediment, both inorganic and organic, vary between and within different settings. Abundant terrigenous sediment can form dynamic mudbanks, and tides redistribute sediment, contrasting with mangrove peat in sediment-starved carbonate settings. Sediments underlying mangroves sequester carbon but also contain paleoenvironmental records of adjustments to past sea-level changes. Radiometric dating indicates long-term sedimentation, whereas measurements made using surface elevation tables and marker horizons provide shorter perspectives, indicating shallow subsurface processes of root growth and substrate autocompaction. Many tropical deltas also experience deep subsidence, which augments relative sea-level rise. The persistence of mangroves implies an ability to cope with moderately high rates of relative sea-level rise. However, many human pressures threaten mangroves, resulting in a continuing decline in their extent throughout the tropics. *

  8. Modelling the increased frequency of extreme sea levels in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta due to sea level rise and other effects of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kay, S; Caesar, J; Wolf, J; Bricheno, L; Nicholls, R J; Saiful Islam, A K M; Haque, A; Pardaens, A; Lowe, J A

    2015-07-01

    Coastal flooding due to storm surge and high tides is a serious risk for inhabitants of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) delta, as much of the land is close to sea level. Climate change could lead to large areas of land being subject to increased flooding, salinization and ultimate abandonment in West Bengal, India, and Bangladesh. IPCC 5th assessment modelling of sea level rise and estimates of subsidence rates from the EU IMPACT2C project suggest that sea level in the GBM delta region may rise by 0.63 to 0.88 m by 2090, with some studies suggesting this could be up to 0.5 m higher if potential substantial melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet is included. These sea level rise scenarios lead to increased frequency of high water coastal events. Any effect of climate change on the frequency and severity of storms can also have an effect on extreme sea levels. A shelf-sea model of the Bay of Bengal has been used to investigate how the combined effect of sea level rise and changes in other environmental conditions under climate change may alter the frequency of extreme sea level events for the period 1971 to 2099. The model was forced using atmospheric and oceanic boundary conditions derived from climate model projections and the future scenario increase in sea level was applied at its ocean boundary. The model results show an increased likelihood of extreme sea level events through the 21st century, with the frequency of events increasing greatly in the second half of the century: water levels that occurred at decadal time intervals under present-day model conditions occurred in most years by the middle of the 21st century and 3-15 times per year by 2100. The heights of the most extreme events tend to increase more in the first half of the century than the second. The modelled scenarios provide a case study of how sea level rise and other effects of climate change may combine to produce a greatly increased threat to life and property in the GBM delta by the end

  9. Accelerated sea level rise and Florida Current transport

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Park

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The Florida Current is the headwater of the Gulf Stream and is a component of the North Atlantic western boundary current from which a geostrophic balance between sea surface height and mass transport directly influence coastal sea levels along the Florida Straits. A linear regression of daily Florida Current transport estimates does not find a significant change in transport over the last decade; however, a nonlinear trend extracted from empirical mode decomposition (EMD suggests a 3 Sv decline in mean transport. This decline is consistent with observed tide gauge records in Florida Bay and the straits exhibiting an acceleration of mean sea level (MSL rise over the decade. It is not known whether this recent change represents natural variability or the onset of the anticipated secular decline in Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC; nonetheless, such changes have direct impacts on the sensitive ecological systems of the Everglades as well as the climate of western Europe and eastern North America.

  10. Accelerated sea level rise and Florida Current transport

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Park

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The Florida Current is the headwater of the Gulf Stream and is a component of the North Atlantic western boundary current from which a geostrophic balance between sea surface height and mass transport directly influence coastal sea levels along the Florida Straits. A linear regression of daily Florida Current transport estimates does not find a significant change in transport over the last decade, however, a nonlinear trend extracted from empirical mode decomposition suggests a 3 Sv decline in mean transport. This decline is consistent with observed tide gauge records in Florida Bay and the Straits, all exhibiting an acceleration of mean sea level rise over the decade. It is not known whether this recent change represents natural variability or the onset of the anticipated secular decline in Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, nonetheless, such changes have direct impacts on the sensitive ecological systems of the Everglades as well as the climate of western Europe and eastern North America.

  11. The contribution of sea-level rise to flooding in large river catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiele-Eich, I.; Hopson, T. M.; Gilleland, E.; Lamarque, J.; Hu, A.; Simmer, C.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change is expected to both impact sea level rise as well as flooding. Our study focuses on the combined effect of climate change on upper catchment precipitation as well as on sea-level rise at the river mouths and the impact this will have on river flooding both at the coast and further upstream. We concentrate on the eight catchments of the Amazonas, Congo, Orinoco, Ganges/Brahmaputra/Meghna, Mississippi, St. Lawrence, Danube and Niger rivers. To assess the impact of climate change, upper catchment precipitation as well as monthly mean thermosteric sea-level rise at the river mouth outflow are taken from the four CCSM4 1° 20th Century ensemble members as well as from six CCSM4 1° ensemble members for the RCP scenarios RCP8.5, 6.0, 4.5 and 2.6. Continuous daily time series for average catchment precipitation and discharge are available for each of the catchments. To arrive at a future discharge time series, we used these observations to develop a simple statistical hydrological model which can be applied to the modelled future upper catchment precipitation values. The analysis of this surrogate discharge time series alone already yields significant changes in flood return levels as well as flood duration. Using the geometry of the river channel, the backwater effect of sea-level rise is incorporated in our analysis of both flood frequencies and magnitudes by calculating the effective additional discharge due to the increase in water level at the river mouth outflow, as well as its tapering impact upstream. By combining these effects, our results focus on the merged impact of changes in extreme precipitation with increases in river height due to sea-level rise at the river mouths. Judging from our preliminary results, the increase in effective discharge due to sea-level rise cannot be neglected when discussing late 21st century flooding in the respective river basins. In particular, we find that especially in countries with low elevation gradient, flood

  12. Historical change and future scenarios of sea level rise in Macau and adjacent waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lin; Huang, Gang; Zhou, Wen; Chen, Wen

    2016-04-01

    Against a background of climate change, Macau is very exposed to sea level rise (SLR) because of its low elevation, small size, and ongoing land reclamation. Therefore, we evaluate sea level changes in Macau, both historical and, especially, possible future scenarios, aiming to provide knowledge and a framework to help accommodate and protect against future SLR. Sea level in Macau is now rising at an accelerated rate: 1.35 mm yr-1 over 1925-2010 and jumping to 4.2 mm yr-1 over 1970-2010, which outpaces the rise in global mean sea level. In addition, vertical land movement in Macau contributes little to local sea level change. In the future, the rate of SLR in Macau will be about 20% higher than the global average, as a consequence of a greater local warming tendency and strengthened northward winds. Specifically, the sea level is projected to rise 8-12, 22-51 and 35-118 cm by 2020, 2060 and 2100, respectively, depending on the emissions scenario and climate sensitivity. Under the +8.5 W m-2 Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP8.5) scenario the increase in sea level by 2100 will reach 65-118 cm—double that under RCP2.6. Moreover, the SLR will accelerate under RCP6.0 and RCP8.5, while remaining at a moderate and steady rate under RCP4.5 and RCP2.6. The key source of uncertainty stems from the emissions scenario and climate sensitivity, among which the discrepancies in SLR are small during the first half of the 21st century but begin to diverge thereafter.

  13. Influence of Sea Level Rise and Marsh Hypsometry on the Equilibrium Morphology of Tidal Inlets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovering, J. L.; Adams, P. N.

    2011-12-01

    As global sea level is predicted to rise between 0.18 and 1.9 meters by the end of the 21st century, it is critical to understand how the geomorphology and ecology of coastal regions worldwide will be affected for a range of sea level rise rate scenarios. Tidal inlets along sandy, passive margin coasts are sensitive to water levels, nearshore currents, and wave fields, so changes in environmental conditions in the vicinity of inlets should drive a morphologic response. Due to their importance in commercial shipping, military navigation, and recreation, an improved understanding of tidal inlet response to sea level rise will assist in future planning efforts. The widely accepted conceptual model of tidal inlet evolution predicts that, as sea level rises, salt marshes in the lagoon become drowned and converted to subtidal environments, increasing accommodation space in the back barrier basin. This conversion increases the tidal prism, inlet cross-sectional area, and ebb shoal volume. The purpose of this study is to quantify the relationship between sea level rise, the ecomorphodynamic environment of the back barrier basin, and the resulting changes in equilibrium tidal inlet morphology. Threshold values of sea level rise rate for which marsh habitats convert to subtidal environments, determined by the tidal range and suspended sediment concentration found in the back barrier basin, were developed using previously published numerical simulations and field-based observations. We paired the threshold values with Escoffier equilibrium curve calculations, in order to predict changes in tidal inlet equilibrium cross-sectional area. Halophytic vegetation that is supplied with high suspended sediment concentrations and lives in an area with a high tidal range is able to trap sediment and drive vertical accretion at a faster pace than vegetation in areas of low sediment availability and low tidal range; therefore marshes with high sediment availability and tidal range are

  14. Salt marsh stability modelled in relation to sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartholdy, Jesper; Bartholdy, Anders T.; Kroon, Aart

    2010-05-01

    Accretion on a natural backbarrier salt marsh was modeled as a function of high tide level, initial salt marsh level and distance to the source. Calibration of the model was based on up to ca 80 year old marker horizons, supplemented by 210Pb/137Cs datings and subsequent measurements of clay thickness. Autocompaction was incorporated in the model, and shown to play a major role for the translation of accretion rates measured as length per unit time to accumulation rates measured as mass per area per unit time. This is important, even for shallow salt marsh deposits for which it is demonstrated that mass depth down core can be directly related to the bulk dry density of the surface layer by means of a logarithmic function. The results allow for an evaluation of the use of marker horizons in the topmost layers and show that it is important to know the level of the marker in relation to the salt marsh base. In general, deeper located markers will indicate successively smaller accretion rates with the same sediment input. Thus, stability analysis made on the basis of newly established marker horizons will be biased and indicate salt marsh stabilities far above the correct level. Running the model with a constant sea level revealed that balance between the inner and the outer salt marsh deposition can not be achieved within a reasonable time scale. Likewise it is shown that only one specific sea level rise provides equilibrium for a given location on the salt marsh. With a higher sea level rise, the marsh at the specific location will eventually drown, whereas - with a sea level rise below this level - it will grow towards the top of the rising tidal frame. The short term variation of salt marsh accretion was found to correlate well with variations in the North Atlantic Oscillation - the NAO winter index. Comparisons between the geomorphological development of wind tide affected salt marshes, like those present on the Danish North Sea coasts, and primary astronomically

  15. A High School Project Seminar on Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seitz, M.; Bosch, W.

    2012-04-01

    In Bavaria the curriculum of the upper grade of high school includes a so called project seminar, running over one and a half year. The aims of the seminar are to let the pupils learn to work on a specific topic, to organize themselves in a team, to improve their soft skills and become familiar with the working life. The topic of the project seminar, jointly organized by the Bertold-Brecht-Gymnasium in Munich and the Deutsche Geodätische Forschungsinstitut (DGFI) was on the "Global sea level rise". A team of 13 pupils computed the mean sea level rise by using on the one hand altimetry data of TOPEX, Jason-1 and Jason2 and on the other hand data of globally distributed tide gauges, corrected for vertical crustal movements derived from GPS products. The results of the two independent approaches were compared with each other and discussed considering also statements and discussions found in press, TV, and the web. Finally, a presentation was prepared and presented at school.

  16. NOAA Digital Coast Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer depicts potential sea level rise and its associated impacts on the nation's coastal areas. These coastal...

  17. Island abandonment and sea-level rise: an historical analog from the Chesapeake Bay, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gibbons, S.J.A. [Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo (Canada). Dept. of Geography and Enivronmental Studies; Nicholls, R.J. [University of Southampton (United Kingdom). School of Civil Engineering

    2006-02-15

    Small islands are widely agreed to be vulnerable to human-induced sea-level rise during the 21st century and beyond, with forced abandonment of some low-lying oceanic islands being a real possibility. A regional abandonment of islands in the Chesapeake Bay, USA provides an historical analog of such vulnerability as this has been linked to a mid 19th Century acceleration in relative sea-level rise. Using a case study approach for Holland Island, Maryland, this hypothesis was tested using a range of physical and human historical data. While sea-level rise was the underlying driver, this analysis shows that the abandonment was more complex than a direct response to sea-level rise. Between 1850 and 1900, Holland Island was a booming community and population increased from 37 to 253, with immigration causing the majority of the increase. At the same time, the upland area where people made their homes was steadily diminishing, losing about 15 ha or 38% of the total. After 1900, the island experienced a decrease in population to 169 in 1916, with final abandonment in 1918, with the exception of one family who left by 1920. Final abandonment was triggered by this depopulation as the population fell below a level that could support critical community services, and the community lost faith in their future on Holland Island. It is likely that similar social processes determined the abandonment of the other Chesapeake Bay islands. Looking to the future, it shows that many small low-lying islands could be abandoned due to sea-level rise long before they become physically uninhabitable. (author)

  18. Sea-level rise caused by climate change and its implications for society

    OpenAIRE

    MIMURA, nobuo

    2013-01-01

    Sea-level rise is a major effect of climate change. It has drawn international attention, because higher sea levels in the future would cause serious impacts in various parts of the world. There are questions associated with sea-level rise which science needs to answer. To what extent did climate change contribute to sea-level rise in the past? How much will global mean sea level increase in the future? How serious are the impacts of the anticipated sea-level rise likely to be, and can human ...

  19. The impact of global sea-level rise on tides: a revisit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carless, Stacey; Green, Mattias; Wilmes, Sophie

    2015-04-01

    As a result of climate change sea level rise is expected globally. However, the predicted change in sea level is unlikely to be linear or uniform along our coastlines, with some regions more at risk than others. A number of papers have recently highlighted how regional tides may change with relatively large levels of future sea-level, but global estimates of the impact of SLR on tides are sparse, or have shown that the models at the time were not accurate enough to reproduce existing signals in the tide gauge record. The tide gauge record in many place now span a century or more, and thus observe both relative sea level rise and trends in tidal amplitudes. It is thus be possible, with the latest global tidal models, to investigate if the models capture the observed signals when subject to realistic levels of SLR. To ensure enough resolution we investigated the response of the tides to sea-level change in a number of shelf seas around the globe. The trends in the tidal amplitudes were then compared to those seen in the PSMSL long-term tide gauge record, and shown to agree fairly well. The main conclusion is that in order to accurately capture change sin tidal amplitudes in the future we must simulate tidal changes for each individual shelf sea - only then can we predict and mitigate future change.

  20. A Bayesian network to predict vulnerability to sea-level rise: data report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, Benjamin T.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Thieler, E. Robert

    2011-01-01

    During the 21st century, sea-level rise is projected to have a wide range of effects on coastal environments, development, and infrastructure. Consequently, there has been an increased focus on developing modeling or other analytical approaches to evaluate potential impacts to inform coastal management. This report provides the data that were used to develop and evaluate the performance of a Bayesian network designed to predict long-term shoreline change due to sea-level rise. The data include local rates of relative sea-level rise, wave height, tide range, geomorphic classification, coastal slope, and shoreline-change rate compiled as part of the U.S. Geological Survey Coastal Vulnerability Index for the U.S. Atlantic coast. In this project, the Bayesian network is used to define relationships among driving forces, geologic constraints, and coastal responses. Using this information, the Bayesian network is used to make probabilistic predictions of shoreline change in response to different future sea-level-rise scenarios.

  1. Steric Sea Level Trends in the Northeast Pacific Ocean: Possible Evidence of Global Sea Level Rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Richard E.; Tabata, Susumu

    1989-06-01

    Thirty-year time series of hydrographic observations from Ocean Station PAPA and Line P' are used to estimate secular trends in monthly mean steric sea level heights relative to depths of 100 and 1000 decibars in the northeast Pacific Ocean. Linear trends at station P' (50°N, 145°W) indicate that steric heights relative to the 1000 db (approx. 1000 m) level are rising at a rate of 1.1 mm yr1, comparable with the Order 1 mm yr1 global trends suggested by analysis of selected long-term coastal tide gauge records. Approximately 67% of the increase in steric levels is due to thermosteric change at depths below 100 m, the smaller 33% contribution from the halosteric component apeasrs to be confined to the upper 100 m. Steric height trends at fine P' locations are also of order 1 mm yr1 but, in contrast to station P' trends, arise mainly through the halosteric component.Confidence levels for the linear trends an calculated in two ways. (i) using the Student-t test assuming that cub monthly observation is a statistically independent sample; and (ii) using the Student-t test in conjunction with the effective number of degrees of freedom derived from integral time scales. For station P', trends based on (i) are reliable to the 99% confidence level while for line P' only stations on the eastern portion of the fine have significant trends relative to the 1000 db level. Confidence levels obtained from (i) fail to take into consideration the long-term fluctuations in steric level records. To obtain more reliable estimates of the confidence intervals, we use integral time scales to determine the effective number of degrees of freedom for each monthly time series. Subsequent recalculation of trend-line confidence intervals indicates that the total steric height trends at Station P' remain significant at the 90% confidence level. The halosteric trend relative to 100 db is significant at 90% while the thermosteric trend relative to 1000 db is marginally significant at 70 to 80

  2. Communicating uncertainties in assessments of future sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wikman-Svahn, P.

    2013-12-01

    How uncertainty should be managed and communicated in policy-relevant scientific assessments is directly connected to the role of science and the responsibility of scientists. These fundamentally philosophical issues influence how scientific assessments are made and how scientific findings are communicated to policymakers. It is therefore of high importance to discuss implicit assumptions and value judgments that are made in policy-relevant scientific assessments. The present paper examines these issues for the case of scientific assessments of future sea level rise. The magnitude of future sea level rise is very uncertain, mainly due to poor scientific understanding of all physical mechanisms affecting the great ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, which together hold enough land-based ice to raise sea levels more than 60 meters if completely melted. There has been much confusion from policymakers on how different assessments of future sea levels should be interpreted. Much of this confusion is probably due to how uncertainties are characterized and communicated in these assessments. The present paper draws on the recent philosophical debate on the so-called "value-free ideal of science" - the view that science should not be based on social and ethical values. Issues related to how uncertainty is handled in scientific assessments are central to this debate. This literature has much focused on how uncertainty in data, parameters or models implies that choices have to be made, which can have social consequences. However, less emphasis has been on how uncertainty is characterized when communicating the findings of a study, which is the focus of the present paper. The paper argues that there is a tension between on the one hand the value-free ideal of science and on the other hand usefulness for practical applications in society. This means that even if the value-free ideal could be upheld in theory, by carefully constructing and hedging statements characterizing

  3. Potential for bias in 21st century semiempirical sea level projections

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jevrejeva, S.; Moore, J. C.; Grinsted, A.

    2012-01-01

    by satellite altimetry. Nonradiative forcing contributors, such as long-term adjustment of Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets since Last Glacial Maximum, abyssal ocean warming, and terrestrial water storage, may bias model calibration which, if corrected for, tend to reduce median sea level projections...... at 2100 by 2-10 cm, though this is within the confidence interval. We apply the semiempirical approach to simulate individual contributions from thermal expansion and small glacier melting. Steric sea level projections agree within 3 cm of output from process-based climate models. In contrast...... and dynamics of Greenland ice sheet made contributions to the sea level rise in the early 20th century and therefore are included within the semiempirical model calibration period and hence are included in semiempirical sea level projections by 2100. Antarctic response is probably absent from semiempirical...

  4. Constraining the Antarctic contribution to interglacial sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naish, T.; Mckay, R. M.; Barrett, P. J.; Levy, R. H.; Golledge, N. R.; Deconto, R. M.; Horgan, H. J.; Dunbar, G. B.

    2015-12-01

    Observations, models and paleoclimate reconstructions suggest that Antarctica's marine-based ice sheets behave in an unstable manner with episodes of rapid retreat in response to warming climate. Understanding the processes involved in this "marine ice sheet instability" is key for improving estimates of Antarctic ice sheet contribution to future sea-level rise. Another motivating factor is that far-field sea-level reconstructions and ice sheet models imply global mean sea level (GMSL) was up to 20m and 10m higher, respectively, compared with present day, during the interglacials of the warm Pliocene (~4-3Ma) and Late Pleistocene (at ~400ka and 125ka). This was when atmospheric CO2 was between 280 and 400ppm and global average surface temperatures were 1- 3°C warmer, suggesting polar ice sheets are highly sensitive to relatively modest increases in climate forcing. Such magnitudes of GMSL rise not only require near complete melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, but a substantial retreat of marine-based sectors of East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Recent geological drilling initiatives on the continental margin of Antarctica from both ship- (e.g. IODP; International Ocean Discovery Program) and ice-based (e.g. ANDRILL/Antarctic Geological Drilling) platforms have provided evidence supporting retreat of marine-based ice. However, without direct access through the ice sheet to archives preserved within sub-glacial sedimentary basins, the volume and extent of ice sheet retreat during past interglacials cannot be directly constrained. Sediment cores have been successfully recovered from beneath ice shelves by the ANDRILL Program and ice streams by the WISSARD (Whillans Ice Stream Sub-glacial Access Research Drilling) Project. Together with the potential of the new RAID (Rapid Access Ice Drill) initiative, these demonstrate the technological feasibility of accessing the subglacial bed and deeper sedimentary archives. In this talk I will outline the

  5. On analysing sea level rise in the German Bight since 1844

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Wahl

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a methodology to analyse observed sea level rise (SLR in the German Bight, the shallow south-eastern part of the North Sea, is presented. The paper focuses on the description of the methods used to generate and analyse mean sea level (MSL time series. Parametric fitting approaches as well as non-parametric data adaptive filters, such as Singular System Analysis (SSA are applied. For padding non-stationary sea level time series, an advanced approach named Monte-Carlo autoregressive padding (MCAP is introduced. This approach allows the specification of uncertainties of the behaviour of smoothed time series near the boundaries. As an example, the paper includes the results from analysing the sea level records of the Cuxhaven tide gauge and the Heligoland tide gauge, both located in the south-eastern North Sea. For comparison, the results from analysing a worldwide sea level reconstruction are also presented. The results for the North Sea point to a weak negative acceleration of SLR since 1844 with a strong positive acceleration at the end of the 19th century, to a period of almost no SLR around the 1970s with subsequent positive acceleration and to high recent rates.

  6. Fate of Water Pumped from Underground and Contributions to Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wada, Yoshihide; Lo, Min-Hui; Yeh, Pat J.-F.; Reager, John T.; Famiglietti, James S.; Wu, Ren-Jie; Tseng, Yu-Heng

    2016-01-01

    The contributions from terrestrial water sources to sea-level rise, other than ice caps and glaciers, are highly uncertain and heavily debated1-5. Recent assessments indicate that groundwater depletion (GWD) may become the most important positive terrestrial contribution6-10 over the next 50 years, probably equal in magnitude to the current contributions from glaciers and ice caps6. However, the existing estimates assume that nearly 100% of groundwater extracted eventually ends up in the oceans. Owing to limited knowledge of the pathways and mechanisms governing the ultimate fate of pumped groundwater, the relative fraction of global GWD that contributes to sea-level rise remains unknown. Here, using a coupled climate-hydrological model11,12 simulation, we show that only 80% of GWDends up in the ocean. An increase in runo to the ocean accounts for roughly two-thirds, whereas the remainder results from the enhanced net flux of precipitation minus evaporation over the ocean, due to increased atmospheric vapour transport from the land to the ocean. The contribution of GWD to global sea-level rise amounted to 0.02 (+/- 0.004)mm yr(sup-1) in 1900 and increased to 0.27 (+/- 0.04)mm yr(sup-1) in 2000. This indicates that existing studies have substantially overestimated the contribution of GWD to global sea-level rise by a cumulative amount of at least 10 mm during the twentieth century and early twenty-first century. With other terrestrial water contributions included, we estimate the net terrestrial water contribution during the period 1993-2010 to be +0.12 +/-0.04)mm yr(sup-1), suggesting that the net terrestrialwater contribution reported in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report report is probably overestimated by a factor of three.

  7. Fate of water pumped from underground and contributions to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wada, Yoshihide; Lo, Min-Hui; Yeh, Pat J.-F.; Reager, John T.; Famiglietti, James S.; Wu, Ren-Jie; Tseng, Yu-Heng

    2016-08-01

    The contributions from terrestrial water sources to sea-level rise, other than ice caps and glaciers, are highly uncertain and heavily debated. Recent assessments indicate that groundwater depletion (GWD) may become the most important positive terrestrial contribution over the next 50 years, probably equal in magnitude to the current contributions from glaciers and ice caps. However, the existing estimates assume that nearly 100% of groundwater extracted eventually ends up in the oceans. Owing to limited knowledge of the pathways and mechanisms governing the ultimate fate of pumped groundwater, the relative fraction of global GWD that contributes to sea-level rise remains unknown. Here, using a coupled climate-hydrological model simulation, we show that only 80% of GWD ends up in the ocean. An increase in runoff to the ocean accounts for roughly two-thirds, whereas the remainder results from the enhanced net flux of precipitation minus evaporation over the ocean, due to increased atmospheric vapour transport from the land to the ocean. The contribution of GWD to global sea-level rise amounted to 0.02 (+/-0.004) mm yr-1 in 1900 and increased to 0.27 (+/-0.04) mm yr-1 in 2000. This indicates that existing studies have substantially overestimated the contribution of GWD to global sea-level rise by a cumulative amount of at least 10 mm during the twentieth century and early twenty-first century. With other terrestrial water contributions included, we estimate the net terrestrial water contribution during the period 1993-2010 to be +0.12 (+/-0.04) mm yr-1, suggesting that the net terrestrial water contribution reported in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report report is probably overestimated by a factor of three.

  8. Statistical analysis of the acceleration of Baltic mean sea-level rise, 1900-2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Birgit Hünicke

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available We analyse annual mean sea-level records from tide-gauges located in the Baltic and parts of the North Sea with the aim of detecting an acceleration of sea-level rise over the 20textsuperscript{th} and 21textsuperscript{st} centuries. The acceleration is estimated as a (1 fit to a polynomial of order two in time, (2 a long-term linear increase in the rates computed over gliding overlapping decadal time segments, and (3 a long-term increase of the annual increments of sea level.The estimation methods (1 and (2 prove to be more powerful in detecting acceleration when tested with sea-level records produced in global climate model simulations. These methods applied to the Baltic-Sea tide-gauges are, however, not powerful enough to detect a significant acceleration in most of individual records, although most estimated accelerations are positive. This lack of detection of statistically significant acceleration at the individual tide-gauge level can be due to the high-level of local noise and not necessarily to the absence of acceleration.The estimated accelerations tend to be stronger in the north and east of the Baltic Sea. Two hypothesis to explain this spatial pattern have been explored. One is that this pattern reflects the slow-down of the Glacial Isostatic Adjustment. However, a simple estimation of this effect suggests that this slow-down cannot explain the estimated acceleration. The second hypothesis is related to the diminishing sea-ice cover over the 20textsuperscript{th} century. The melting o of less saline and colder sea-ice can lead to changes in sea-level. Also, the melting of sea-ice can reduce the number of missing values in the tide-gauge records in winter, potentially influencing the estimated trends and acceleration of seasonal mean sea-level This hypothesis cannot be ascertained either since the spatial pattern of acceleration computed for winter and summer separately are very similar. The all-station-average-record displays an

  9. Sea Level Enigmatic Rising - New Perspectives from an Expanding Globe

    OpenAIRE

    Scalera, Giancarlo

    2015-01-01

    In the expanding Earth framework it is possible to find additional phenomena that could contribute in a proper way to the water balance and general tectonic eustatism involved in the sea lever rising. Recent compilations seems to leave unexplained up to 12 cm/century of sea rising, and possible solutions invoking a polar ice shells melting near to the upper limit of the error bars reveal in conflict with the consequent expected decreasing of the Earth angular velocity. It is shown that taking...

  10. Past and future sea-level rise along the coast of North Carolina, United States

    CERN Document Server

    Kopp, Robert E; Kemp, Andrew C; Tebaldi, Claudia

    2014-01-01

    Focusing on factors that cause relative sea-level (RSL) rise to differ from the global mean, we evaluate RSL trajectories for North Carolina, United States, in the context of tide gauge and geological sea-level proxy records spanning the last $\\mathord{\\sim}$11,000 years. RSL rise was fastest ($\\mathord{\\sim}$7 mm/yr) during the early Holocene and decreased over time. During the Common Era before the 19th century, RSL rise ($\\mathord{\\sim}$0.7 to 1.1 mm/yr) was driven primarily by glacio-isostatic adjustment, dampened by tectonic uplift along the Cape Fear Arch. Ocean/atmosphere dynamics caused centennial variability of up to $\\mathord{\\sim}$0.6 mm/yr around the long-term rate. It is extremely likely (probability $P = 0.95$) that 20th century RSL rise at Sand Point, NC, (2.8 $\\pm$ 0.5 mm/yr) was faster than during any other century in $\\geq2,900$ years. Projections based on a fusion of process models, statistical models, expert elicitation and expert assessment indicate that RSL at Wilmington, NC, is very lik...

  11. Building Stories about Sea Level Rise through Interactive Visualizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, S. H.; DeLorme, D. E.; Hagen, S. C.

    2013-12-01

    Digital media provide storytellers with dynamic new tools for communicating about scientific issues via interactive narrative visualizations. While traditional storytelling uses plot, characterization, and point of view to engage audiences with underlying themes and messages, interactive visualizations can be described as 'narrative builders' that promote insight through the process of discovery (Dove, G. & Jones, S. 2012, Proc. IHCI 2012). Narrative visualizations are used in online journalism to tell complex stories that allow readers to select aspects of datasets to explore and construct alternative interpretations of information (Segel, E. & Heer, J. 2010, IEEE Trans. Vis. Comp. Graph.16, 1139), thus enabling them to participate in the story-building process. Nevertheless, narrative visualizations also incorporate author-selected narrative elements that help guide and constrain the overall themes and messaging of the visualization (Hullman, J. & Diakopoulos, N. 2011, IEEE Trans. Vis. Comp. Graph. 17, 2231). One specific type of interactive narrative visualization that is used for science communication is the sea level rise (SLR) viewer. SLR viewers generally consist of a base map, upon which projections of sea level rise scenarios can be layered, and various controls for changing the viewpoint and scenario parameters. They are used to communicate the results of scientific modeling and help readers visualize the potential impacts of SLR on the coastal zone. Readers can use SLR viewers to construct personal narratives of the effects of SLR under different scenarios in locations that are important to them, thus extending the potential reach and impact of scientific research. With careful selection of narrative elements that guide reader interpretation, the communicative aspects of these visualizations may be made more effective. This presentation reports the results of a content analysis of a subset of existing SLR viewers selected in order to comprehensively

  12. How effective is albedo modification (solar radiation management geoengineering) in preventing sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Applegate, Patrick J.; Keller, Klaus

    2015-08-01

    Albedo modification (AM) is sometimes characterized as a potential means of avoiding climate threshold responses, including large-scale ice sheet mass loss. Previous work has investigated the effects of AM on total sea-level rise over the present century, as well as AM’s ability to reduce long-term (≫103 yr) contributions to sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). These studies have broken new ground, but neglect important feedbacks in the GIS system, or are silent on AM’s effectiveness over the short time scales that may be most relevant for decision-making (<103 yr). Here, we assess AM’s ability to reduce GIS sea-level contributions over decades to centuries, using a simplified ice sheet model. We drive this model using a business-as-usual base temperature forcing scenario, as well as scenarios that reflect AM-induced temperature stabilization or temperature drawdown. Our model results suggest that (i) AM produces substantial near-term reductions in the rate of GIS-driven sea-level rise. However, (ii) sea-level rise contributions from the GIS continue after AM begins. These continued sea level rise contributions persist for decades to centuries after temperature stabilization and temperature drawdown begin, unless AM begins in the next few decades. Moreover, (iii) any regrowth of the GIS is delayed by decades or centuries after temperature drawdown begins, and is slow compared to pre-AM rates of mass loss. Combined with recent work that suggests AM would not prevent mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, our results provide a nuanced picture of AM’s possible effects on future sea-level rise.

  13. How effective is albedo modification (solar radiation management geoengineering) in preventing sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Albedo modification (AM) is sometimes characterized as a potential means of avoiding climate threshold responses, including large-scale ice sheet mass loss. Previous work has investigated the effects of AM on total sea-level rise over the present century, as well as AM’s ability to reduce long-term (≫103 yr) contributions to sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). These studies have broken new ground, but neglect important feedbacks in the GIS system, or are silent on AM’s effectiveness over the short time scales that may be most relevant for decision-making (<103 yr). Here, we assess AM’s ability to reduce GIS sea-level contributions over decades to centuries, using a simplified ice sheet model. We drive this model using a business-as-usual base temperature forcing scenario, as well as scenarios that reflect AM-induced temperature stabilization or temperature drawdown. Our model results suggest that (i) AM produces substantial near-term reductions in the rate of GIS-driven sea-level rise. However, (ii) sea-level rise contributions from the GIS continue after AM begins. These continued sea level rise contributions persist for decades to centuries after temperature stabilization and temperature drawdown begin, unless AM begins in the next few decades. Moreover, (iii) any regrowth of the GIS is delayed by decades or centuries after temperature drawdown begins, and is slow compared to pre-AM rates of mass loss. Combined with recent work that suggests AM would not prevent mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, our results provide a nuanced picture of AM’s possible effects on future sea-level rise. (letter)

  14. Understanding the Effects of Sea-Level Rise on Coastal Wetlands: The Human Dimension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Denise

    2010-05-01

    In the 21st century coastal systems are subject to the pressures of centuries of population growth and resource exploitation. In 2003, in the US approximately 153 million people (53 percent of the population) lived in coastal counties, an increase of 33 million people since 1980 and this is expected to increase by approximately 7 million by the year 2008. Eight of the world's top ten largest cities are located at the coast, 44 % of the world's population (more people than inhabited the entire globe in 1950) live within 150 km of the coast and in 2001 over half the world's population lived within 200 km of a coastline. . Increased population density at the coasts often brings pollution and habitat degradation - decreasing the value of many of the resources that initially attract the coastal development - and it also means the effect of sea-level rise on coastal geomorphic systems must be seen in the context of additional human pressures. For global sea-level debate centers on the magnitude and rate of the rise around most of the world; the exception being those areas still experiencing falling sea-levels due to isostatic rebound. Many coastal island states are clearly vulnerable. While the ‘lurid and misleading maps' of the 1980's used by many to indicate areas to be flooded by rising seas in the future, have been replaced by more considered discussion of the response of coastal dynamics to rising seas there is still considerable debate about the amount of sea-level rise shorelines will experience in the 21st century. For coastal wetlands four main sets of physical factors - fine sediment regime; tidal conditions; coastal configuration; and relative sea-level change - define the geomorphic context for coastal marsh development and survival during the 21st century. Each of these factors is influenced by changes in climate and human alterations to coastal and inshore environments. In turn changes in sediment dynamics are mediated by both physical forcing and biotic

  15. SEA LEVEL CHANGES FROM THE I TO THE XIII CENTURIES AND THEIR CLIMATOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yossi Mart

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Correlation between archaeological ruins and geological observations show that the region of the port city of Caesarea in central Israel has been stable during the last 2000 years. This stability, and the low range of the diurnal tidal variations of sea level, attributes global climatic significance to the reconstructions of various sea levels during several clear archaeological time-frames. It seems that while 2000 years ago sea level, and therefore also climate, was similar to the present one. Sea level was higher in the VII–VIII Centuries AD, and the climate was probably warmer, and sea level was lower, and the climate colder, in the ХII–ХIII Centuries AD. Consequently it is suggested that the presumption that the present global climatic warming in anthropogenic requires strong supporting evidence. On the other hand, the link between recent heavy damages to coral reefs and the anthropogenic activities that caused the rise in atmospheric CO2 content seems quite likely.

  16. A framework for sea level rise vulnerability assessment for southwest U.S. military installations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadwick, B.; Flick, Reinhard; Helly, J.; Nishikawa, T.; Pei, Fang Wang; O'Reilly, W.; Guza, R.; Bromirski, Peter; Young, A.; Crampton, W.; Wild, B.; Canner, I.

    2011-01-01

    We describe an analysis framework to determine military installation vulnerabilities under increases in local mean sea level as projected over the next century. The effort is in response to an increasing recognition of potential climate change ramifications for national security and recommendations that DoD conduct assessments of the impact on U.S. military installations of climate change. Results of the effort described here focus on development of a conceptual framework for sea level rise vulnerability assessment at coastal military installations in the southwest U.S. We introduce the vulnerability assessment in the context of a risk assessment paradigm that incorporates sources in the form of future sea level conditions, pathways of impact including inundation, flooding, erosion and intrusion, and a range of military installation specific receptors such as critical infrastructure and training areas. A unique aspect of the methodology is the capability to develop wave climate projections from GCM outputs and transform these to future wave conditions at specific coastal sites. Future sea level scenarios are considered in the context of installation sensitivity curves which reveal response thresholds specific to each installation, pathway and receptor. In the end, our goal is to provide a military-relevant framework for assessment of accelerated SLR vulnerability, and develop the best scientifically-based scenarios of waves, tides and storms and their implications for DoD installations in the southwestern U.S. ?? 2011 MTS.

  17. Assessing coastal flood risk and sea level rise impacts at New York City area airports

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohman, K. A.; Kimball, N.; Osler, M.; Eberbach, S.

    2014-12-01

    's understanding of the effects of sea level rise on coastal flooding at the airports and guiding decision-making in the selection of effective adaptation actions. Given the importance of these airports to transportation, this project is advancing security and continuity of national and international commerce well into the 21st century.

  18. Measuring the Economic Effects of Sea Level Rise on Beach Recreation

    OpenAIRE

    John C. Whitehead; Ben Poulter; Dumas, Christopher F.; Okmyung Bin

    2009-01-01

    We develop estimates of the economic effects of climate change-induced sea level rise on recreation at seventeen southern North Carolina beaches. We estimate the relationship between recreation behavior and beach width and simulate the effects of sea level rise on recreation site choice and trip frequency. We find that reductions in beach width due to increased erosion from sea-level rise negatively affect the number and value of beach recreation trips. For beach goers who only take day trips...

  19. A scaling approach to project regional sea level rise and its uncertainties

    OpenAIRE

    Perrette, M.; Landerer, F.; Riva, R.; K. Frieler; M. Meinshausen

    2013-01-01

    Climate change causes global mean sea level to rise due to thermal expansion of seawater and loss of land ice from mountain glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets. Locally, sea level can strongly deviate from the global mean rise due to changes in wind and ocean currents. In addition, gravitational adjustments redistribute seawater away from shrinking ice masses. However, the land ice contribution to sea level rise (SLR) remains very challenging to model, and comprehensive region...

  20. Sea Level Rise Projections for DSL-SAMBI

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This dataset is output from the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) for the South Atlantic Migratory Bird Initiative (SAMBI) geographic planning region. It...

  1. Thermosteric Sea Level Rise Projections with Parametric Uncertainty

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — These files contain spatial fields of simulated yearly thermosteric sea-level anomalies between 1951-2100 (referenced to year 1800) from a perturbed physics...

  2. Spatial variations of sea-level rise and impacts: an application of DIVA

    OpenAIRE

    S. Brown; Nicholls, R J; Lowe, J A; Hinkel, J.

    2013-01-01

    Due to complexities of creating sea-level rise scenarios, impacts of climate-induced sea-level rise are often produced from a limited number of models assuming a global uniform rise in sea level. A greater number of models, including those with a pattern reflecting regional variations would help to assure reliability and a range of projections, indicating where models agree and disagree. This paper determines how nine new patterned-scaled sea-level rise scenarios (plus the uniform and pattern...

  3. Limited effectiveness of solar radiation management geoengineering in preventing sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Applegate, Patrick; Keller, Klaus

    2015-04-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) is an important contributor to present-day sea level rise, and the ice sheet's importance for sea level rise will likely increase with Arctic temperatures. Some scientists have recently suggested that geoengineering, the deliberate management of Earth's climate, could prevent sea level rise from the ice sheets. Previous efforts to assess geoengineering's effects on the GIS and sea level rise have broken important new ground, but neglect key feedbacks and/or are silent on the short-term effects of geoengineering that are perhaps most important for decision-making. Here, we use a simplified, three-dimensional model of the GIS (SICOPOLIS by Ralf Greve) to examine the response of the Greenland Ice Sheet under plausible geoengineering scenarios. We find that i) the GIS generally continues to melt over the first 100 yr after geoengineering initiation; ii) reductions in GIS sea level contributions over these first 100 yr are small; and iii) there is a delay of decades to centuries between the initiation of aggressive geoengineering and any regrowth of the ice sheet, and the rate of this regrowth is slow. However, geoengineering produces appreciable reductions in the rate of sea level rise contributions from the GIS within the first few decades. Our results suggest that past studies have overestimated the effectiveness of geoengineering in preventing mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet and in reversing sea level rise once it has occurred. We comment on the importance of feedbacks in the ice sheet system in assessing geoengineering's effectiveness in reducing sea level rise from the GIS.

  4. Rates and causes of recent global sea-level rise inferred from long tide gauge data records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakada, Masao; Inoue, Hiroshi

    2005-05-01

    Tide gauge data at seven sites of the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL), with information for relative sea-level during the past 140-200 yr, were analyzed to examine the rates and causes of the global sea-level rise (GSLR) during the twentieth century. By subtracting linear trends for relative sea-level rise during the past 100 yr from the observed data, we get the apparent GSLRs of ˜1 mm yr -1 for five sites around the Baltic Sea and Brest. The rate for San Francisco is significantly larger than this, with an optimum value ˜2 mm yr -1. The spatial difference of ˜1 mm yr -1 between these sites is reasonably explained by the recent melting of the Greenland ice sheet with an equivalent sea-level rise of ˜1 mm yr -1. The predicted relative sea-level change for this melting scenario is 0.5 mm yr -1 at sites around the Baltic Sea and Brest, and 1.5 mm yr -1 for San Francisco. The residuals between observations and predictions, ˜0.5 mm yr -1 at all sites, may be contributed by thermal expansion of seawater and/or other melting sources. These results suggest the rate of twentieth-century GSLR to be 1.5 mm yr -1.

  5. A new model for global glacier change and sea-level rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias eHuss

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The anticipated retreat of glaciers around the globe will pose far-reaching challenges to the management of fresh water resources and significantly contribute to sea-level rise within the coming decades. Here, we present a new model for calculating the 21st century mass changes of all glaciers on Earth outside the ice sheets. The Global Glacier Evolution Model (GloGEM includes mass loss due to frontal ablation at marine-terminating glacier fronts and accounts for glacier advance/retreat and surface Elevation changes. Simulations are driven with monthly near-surface air temperature and precipitation from 14 Global Circulation Models forced by the RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission scenarios. Depending on the scenario, the model yields a global glacier volume loss of 25-48% between 2010 and 2100. For calculating glacier contribution to sea-level rise, we account for ice located below sea-level presently displacing ocean water. This effect reduces glacier contribution by 11-14%, so that our model predicts a sea-level equivalent (multi-model mean +-1 standard deviation of 79+-24 mm (RCP2.6, 108+-28 mm (RCP4.5 and 157+-31 mm (RCP8.5. Mass losses by frontal ablation account for 10% of total ablation globally, and up to 30% regionally. Regional equilibrium line altitudes are projected to rise by 100-800 m until 2100, but the effect on ice wastage depends on initial glacier hypsometries.

  6. A new model for global glacier change and sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huss, Matthias; Hock, Regine

    2015-09-01

    The anticipated retreat of glaciers around the globe will pose far-reaching challenges to the management of fresh water resources and significantly contribute to sea-level rise within the coming decades. Here, we present a new model for calculating the 21st century mass changes of all glaciers on Earth outside the ice sheets. The Global Glacier Evolution Model (GloGEM) includes mass loss due to frontal ablation at marine-terminating glacier fronts and accounts for glacier advance/retreat and surface Elevation changes. Simulations are driven with monthly near-surface air temperature and precipitation from 14 Global Circulation Models forced by the RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission scenarios. Depending on the scenario, the model yields a global glacier volume loss of 25-48% between 2010 and 2100. For calculating glacier contribution to sea-level rise, we account for ice located below sea-level presently displacing ocean water. This effect reduces glacier contribution by 11-14%, so that our model predicts a sea-level equivalent (multi-model mean +-1 standard deviation) of 79+-24 mm (RCP2.6), 108+-28 mm (RCP4.5) and 157+-31 mm (RCP8.5). Mass losses by frontal ablation account for 10% of total ablation globally, and up to 30% regionally. Regional equilibrium line altitudes are projected to rise by 100-800 m until 2100, but the effect on ice wastage depends on initial glacier hypsometries.

  7. SPATIAL ANALYSIS AS TOOL FOR SENSITIVITY ASSESSMENT OF SEA LEVEL RISE IMPACTS ON MARTINIQUE

    OpenAIRE

    Christine Schleupner

    2005-01-01

    Sea level in the Caribbean region is expected to rise approximately10-20 cm by 2025. In some areas of Martinique coastal erosion and saltwater intrusion are already a severe problem. Because the island has a mountainous character, the majority of its settlements are situated along the coast almost at sea level. Considerations and strategies for dealing with potential sea level rise and its consequences for Martinique do not exist. This part of a detailed case study concentrates on the evaluat...

  8. Global change and relative sea level rise at Venice: what impact in term of flooding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carbognin, Laura; Tosi, Luigi [Institute of Marine Sciences, National Research Council, Venice (Italy); Teatini, Pietro [Institute of Marine Sciences, National Research Council, Venice (Italy); University of Padova, Department of Mathematical Methods and Models for Scientific Applications, Padua (Italy); Tomasin, Alberto [Institute of Marine Sciences, National Research Council, Venice (Italy); University Ca' Foscari in Venice, Venice (Italy)

    2010-11-15

    Relative sea level rise (RSLR) due to climate change and geodynamics represents the main threat for the survival of Venice, emerging today only 90 cm above the Northern Adriatic mean sea level (msl). The 25 cm RSLR occurred over the 20th century, consisting of about 12 cm of land subsidence and 13 cm of sea level rise, has increased the flood frequency by more than seven times with severe damages to the urban heritage. Reasonable forecasts of the RSLR expected to the century end must be investigated to assess the suitability of the Mo.S.E. project planned for the city safeguarding, i.e., the closure of the lagoon inlets by mobile barriers. Here we consider three RSLR scenarios as resulting from the past sea level rise recorded in the Northern Adriatic Sea, the IPCC mid-range A1B scenario, and the expected land subsidence. Available sea level measurements show that more than 5 decades are required to compute a meaningful eustatic trend, due to pseudo-cyclic 7-8 year long fluctuations. The period from 1890 to 2007 is characterized by an average rate of 0.12 {+-} 0.01 cm/year. We demonstrate that linear regression is the most suitable model to represent the eustatic process over these 117 year. Concerning subsidence, at present Venice is sinking due to natural causes at 0.05 cm/year. The RSLR is expected to range between 17 and 53 cm by 2100, and its repercussions in terms of flooding frequency are associated here to each scenario. In particular, the frequency of tides higher than 110 cm, i.e., the value above which the gates would close the lagoon to the sea, will increase from the nowadays 4 times per year to a range between 20 and 250. These projections provide a large spread of possible conditions concerning the survival of Venice, from a moderate nuisance to an intolerable aggression. Hence, complementary solutions to Mo.S.E. may well be investigated. (orig.)

  9. Sea defence and flood protection in the Netherlands anticipating increased sea-level rise

    OpenAIRE

    Verhagen, H.J.

    1990-01-01

    The 1400 km Dutch coastline is affected by sea-level rise. At this moment a legal framework is made to guarantee safety of the dikes also in future. Also a national policy is developed for compensation of all coastal erosion. Both measures should make it possible for the Netherlands to survive an increased sea-level rise.

  10. The multi-millennial Antarctic commitment to future sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golledge, N R; Kowalewski, D E; Naish, T R; Levy, R H; Fogwill, C J; Gasson, E G W

    2015-10-15

    Atmospheric warming is projected to increase global mean surface temperatures by 0.3 to 4.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial values by the end of this century. If anthropogenic emissions continue unchecked, the warming increase may reach 8-10 degrees Celsius by 2300 (ref. 2). The contribution that large ice sheets will make to sea-level rise under such warming scenarios is difficult to quantify because the equilibrium-response timescale of ice sheets is longer than those of the atmosphere or ocean. Here we use a coupled ice-sheet/ice-shelf model to show that if atmospheric warming exceeds 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius above present, collapse of the major Antarctic ice shelves triggers a centennial- to millennial-scale response of the Antarctic ice sheet in which enhanced viscous flow produces a long-term commitment (an unstoppable contribution) to sea-level rise. Our simulations represent the response of the present-day Antarctic ice-sheet system to the oceanic and climatic changes of four representative concentration pathways (RCPs) from the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We find that substantial Antarctic ice loss can be prevented only by limiting greenhouse gas emissions to RCP 2.6 levels. Higher-emissions scenarios lead to ice loss from Antarctic that will raise sea level by 0.6-3 metres by the year 2300. Our results imply that greenhouse gas emissions in the next few decades will strongly influence the long-term contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet to global sea level.

  11. The multi-millennial Antarctic commitment to future sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golledge, N R; Kowalewski, D E; Naish, T R; Levy, R H; Fogwill, C J; Gasson, E G W

    2015-10-15

    Atmospheric warming is projected to increase global mean surface temperatures by 0.3 to 4.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial values by the end of this century. If anthropogenic emissions continue unchecked, the warming increase may reach 8-10 degrees Celsius by 2300 (ref. 2). The contribution that large ice sheets will make to sea-level rise under such warming scenarios is difficult to quantify because the equilibrium-response timescale of ice sheets is longer than those of the atmosphere or ocean. Here we use a coupled ice-sheet/ice-shelf model to show that if atmospheric warming exceeds 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius above present, collapse of the major Antarctic ice shelves triggers a centennial- to millennial-scale response of the Antarctic ice sheet in which enhanced viscous flow produces a long-term commitment (an unstoppable contribution) to sea-level rise. Our simulations represent the response of the present-day Antarctic ice-sheet system to the oceanic and climatic changes of four representative concentration pathways (RCPs) from the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We find that substantial Antarctic ice loss can be prevented only by limiting greenhouse gas emissions to RCP 2.6 levels. Higher-emissions scenarios lead to ice loss from Antarctic that will raise sea level by 0.6-3 metres by the year 2300. Our results imply that greenhouse gas emissions in the next few decades will strongly influence the long-term contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet to global sea level. PMID:26469052

  12. Prediction and prevention of the impacts of sea level rise on the Yangtze River Delta and its adjacent areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    施雅风; 朱季文; 谢志仁; 季子修; 蒋自巽; 杨桂山

    2000-01-01

    The Yangtze River Delta region is characterized by high density of population and rapidly developing economy. There are low lying coastal plain and deltaic plain in this region. Thus, the study area could be highly vulnerable to accelerated sea level rise caused by global warming. This paper deals with the scenarios of the relative sea level rise in the early half period of the 21st century in the study area. The authors suggested that relative sea level would rise 25-50 cm by the year 2050 in the study area, of which the magnitude of relative sea level rise in the Yangtze River Delta would double the perspective worldwide average. The impacts of sea level rise include: (i) exacerbation of coastline recession in several sections and vertical erosion of tidal flat, and increase in length of eroding coastline; (ii) decrease in area of tidal flat and coastal wetland due to erosion and inundation; (iii) increase in frequency and intensity of storm surge, which would threaten the coastal protection works; (i

  13. Allowances for evolving coastal flood risk under uncertain local sea-level rise

    OpenAIRE

    Buchanan, Maya K.; Kopp, Robert E.; Oppenheimer, Michael; Tebaldi, Claudia

    2015-01-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) causes estimates of flood risk made under the assumption of stationary mean sea level to be biased low. However, adjustments to flood return levels made assuming fixed increases of sea level are also inaccurate when applied to sea level that is rising over time at an uncertain rate. To accommodate both the temporal dynamics of SLR and their uncertainty, we develop an Average Annual Design Life Level (AADLL) metric and associated Design Life SLR (DL-SLR) allowances. The AA...

  14. A scaling approach to project regional sea level rise and its uncertainties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Perrette

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Climate change causes global mean sea level to rise due to thermal expansion of seawater and loss of land ice from mountain glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets. Locally, sea level can strongly deviate from the global mean rise due to changes in wind and ocean currents. In addition, gravitational adjustments redistribute seawater away from shrinking ice masses. However, the land ice contribution to sea level rise (SLR remains very challenging to model, and comprehensive regional sea level projections, which include appropriate gravitational adjustments, are still a nascent field (Katsman et al., 2011; Slangen et al., 2011. Here, we present an alternative approach to derive regional sea level changes for a range of emission and land ice melt scenarios, combining probabilistic forecasts of a simple climate model (MAGICC6 with the new CMIP5 general circulation models. The contribution from ice sheets varies considerably depending on the assumptions for the ice sheet projections, and thus represents sizeable uncertainties for future sea level rise. However, several consistent and robust patterns emerge from our analysis: at low latitudes, especially in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific, sea level will likely rise more than the global mean (mostly by 10–20%. Around the northeastern Atlantic and the northeastern Pacific coasts, sea level will rise less than the global average or, in some rare cases, even fall. In the northwestern Atlantic, along the American coast, a strong dynamic sea level rise is counteracted by gravitational depression due to Greenland ice melt; whether sea level will be above- or below-average will depend on the relative contribution of these two factors. Our regional sea level projections and the diagnosed uncertainties provide an improved basis for coastal impact analysis and infrastructure planning for adaptation to climate change.

  15. The complex reality of sea-level rise in an atoll nation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donner, S. D.

    2012-12-01

    Sea-level rise famously poses an existential threat to island nations like Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Maldives. Yet as the global mean sea-level rises, the response of any one location at any given time will depend on the natural variability in regional sea-level and other impact of local human activities on coastal processes. As with climate warming, the state of an individual shoreline or the extent of flooding on a given day is not proof of a sea-level trend, nor is a global sea-level trend a good predictor of individual flooding or erosion events. Failure to consider the effect of natural variability and local human activity on coastal processes often leads to misattribution of flooding events and even some long-term shoreline changes to global sea level rise. Moreover, unverified attribution of individual events or changes to specific islets to sea level rise can inflame or invite scepticism of the strong scientific evidence for an accelerating increase in the global sea level due to the impacts of human activity on the climate system. This is particularly important in developing nations like Kiribati, which are depending on international financial support to adapt to rising sea levels. In this presentation, I use gauge data and examples from seven years of field work in Tarawa Atoll, the densely populated capital of Kiribati, to examine the complexity of local sea level and shoreline change in one of the world's most vulnerable countries. First, I discuss how the combination of El Nino-driven variability in sea-level and the astronomical tidal cycle leads to flooding and erosion events which can be mistaken for evidence of sea-level rise. Second, I show that human modification to shorelines has redirected sediment supply, leading, in some cases, to expansion of islets despite rising sea levels. Taken together, the analysis demonstrates the challenge of attributing particular coastal events to global mean sea-level rise and the impact on decision-making. The

  16. Long-term sea-level rise implied by 1.5oC and 2oC warming levels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaeffer, M.; Hare, W.; Rahmstorf, S.; Vermeer, A.

    2012-01-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) is a critical and uncertain climate change risk, involving timescales of centuries(1). Here we use a semi-empirical model, calibrated with sea-level data of the past millennium(2), to estimate the SLR implications of holding warming below 2 degrees C or 1.5 degrees C above pre-i

  17. Plants mediate soil organic matter decomposition in response to sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Peter; Jensen, Kai; Megonigal, James Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Tidal marshes have a large capacity for producing and storing organic matter, making their role in the global carbon budget disproportionate to land area. Most of the organic matter stored in these systems is in soils where it contributes 2-5 times more to surface accretion than an equal mass of minerals. Soil organic matter (SOM) sequestration is the primary process by which tidal marshes become perched high in the tidal frame, decreasing their vulnerability to accelerated relative sea level rise (RSLR). Plant growth responses to RSLR are well understood and represented in century-scale forecast models of soil surface elevation change. We understand far less about the response of SOM decomposition to accelerated RSLR. Here we quantified the effects of flooding depth and duration on SOM decomposition by exposing planted and unplanted field-based mesocosms to experimentally manipulated relative sea level over two consecutive growing seasons. SOM decomposition was quantified as CO2 efflux, with plant- and SOM-derived CO2 separated via δ(13) CO2 . Despite the dominant paradigm that decomposition rates are inversely related to flooding, SOM decomposition in the absence of plants was not sensitive to flooding depth and duration. The presence of plants had a dramatic effect on SOM decomposition, increasing SOM-derived CO2 flux by up to 267% and 125% (in 2012 and 2013, respectively) compared to unplanted controls in the two growing seasons. Furthermore, plant stimulation of SOM decomposition was strongly and positively related to plant biomass and in particular aboveground biomass. We conclude that SOM decomposition rates are not directly driven by relative sea level and its effect on oxygen diffusion through soil, but indirectly by plant responses to relative sea level. If this result applies more generally to tidal wetlands, it has important implications for models of SOM accumulation and surface elevation change in response to accelerated RSLR. PMID:26342160

  18. Accelerated sea-level rise from West Antarctica.

    OpenAIRE

    Thomas, R.; RIGNOT, E.; Casassa, G.; Kanagaratnam, P.; Acuña, C; Akins, T; Brecher, H; Frederick, E; Gogineni, P; Krabill, W.; Manizade, S; Ramamoorthy, H; Rivera, A; Russell, R.; Sonntag, J

    2004-01-01

    Recent aircraft and satellite laser altimeter surveys of the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica show that local glaciers are discharging about 250 cubic kilometers of ice per year to the ocean, almost 60% more than is accumulated within their catchment basins. This discharge is sufficient to raise sea level by more than 0.2 millimeters per year. Glacier thinning rates near the coast during 2002-2003 are much larger than those observed during the 1990s. Most of these glaciers flow into flo...

  19. Coastal vulnerability assessment of Gulf Islands National Seashore (GUIS) to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendleton, Elizabeth A.; Hammar-Klose, Erika S.; Thieler, E. Robert; Williams, S. Jeffress

    2004-01-01

    A coastal vulnerability index (CVI) was used to map the relative vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise within Gulf Islands National Seashore (GUIS) in Mississippi and Florida. The CVI ranks the following in terms of their physical contribution to sea-level rise-related coastal change: geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate of relative sea-level rise, shoreline change rates, mean tidal range and mean wave height. The rankings for each variable were combined and an index value calculated for 1-minute grid cells covering the park. The CVI highlights those regions where the physical effects of sea-level rise might be the greatest. This approach combines the coastal system's susceptibility to change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, yielding a quantitative, although relative, measure of the park's natural vulnerability to the effects of sea-level rise. The Gulf Islands in Mississippi and Florida consist of stable and washover dominated portions of barrier beach backed by wetland and marsh. The areas likely to be most vulnerable to sea-level rise are those with the highest occurrence of overwash, the highest rates of shoreline change, the gentlest regional coastal slope, and the highest rates of relative sea-level rise. The CVI provides an objective technique for evaluation and long-term planning by scientists and park managers.

  20. Assessment of the impact of sea-level rise due to climate change on coastal groundwater discharge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masciopinto, Costantino; Liso, Isabella Serena

    2016-11-01

    An assessment of sea intrusion into coastal aquifers as a consequence of local sea-level rise (LSLR) due to climate change was carried out at Murgia and Salento in southern Italy. The interpolation of sea-level measurements at three tide-gauge stations was performed during the period of 2000 to 2014. The best fit of measurements shows an increasing rate of LSLR ranging from 4.4mm/y to 8.8mm/y, which will result in a maximum LSLR of approximately 2m during the 22nd century. The local rate of sea-level rise matches recent 21st and 22nd century projections of mean global sea-level rise determined by other researchers, which include increased melting rates of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, the effect of ocean thermal expansion, the melting of glaciers and ice caps, and changes in the quantity of stored land water. Subsequently, Ghyben-Herzberg's equation for the freshwater/saltwater interface was rewritten in order to determine the decrease in groundwater discharge due to the maximum LSLR. Groundwater flow simulations and ArcGIS elaborations of digital elevation models of the coast provided input data for the Ghyben-Herzberg calculation under the assumption of head-controlled systems. The progression of seawater intrusion due to LSLR suggests an impressive depletion of available groundwater discharge during the 22nd century, perhaps as much as 16.1% of current groundwater pumping for potable water in Salento. PMID:27376921

  1. Assessment of the impact of sea-level rise due to climate change on coastal groundwater discharge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masciopinto, Costantino; Liso, Isabella Serena

    2016-11-01

    An assessment of sea intrusion into coastal aquifers as a consequence of local sea-level rise (LSLR) due to climate change was carried out at Murgia and Salento in southern Italy. The interpolation of sea-level measurements at three tide-gauge stations was performed during the period of 2000 to 2014. The best fit of measurements shows an increasing rate of LSLR ranging from 4.4mm/y to 8.8mm/y, which will result in a maximum LSLR of approximately 2m during the 22nd century. The local rate of sea-level rise matches recent 21st and 22nd century projections of mean global sea-level rise determined by other researchers, which include increased melting rates of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, the effect of ocean thermal expansion, the melting of glaciers and ice caps, and changes in the quantity of stored land water. Subsequently, Ghyben-Herzberg's equation for the freshwater/saltwater interface was rewritten in order to determine the decrease in groundwater discharge due to the maximum LSLR. Groundwater flow simulations and ArcGIS elaborations of digital elevation models of the coast provided input data for the Ghyben-Herzberg calculation under the assumption of head-controlled systems. The progression of seawater intrusion due to LSLR suggests an impressive depletion of available groundwater discharge during the 22nd century, perhaps as much as 16.1% of current groundwater pumping for potable water in Salento.

  2. The Science-Policy Link: Stakeholder Reactions to the Uncertainties of Future Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plag, H.; Bye, B.

    2011-12-01

    would provide a different kind of science input to policy makers and stakeholders. Like in many other insurance problems (for example, earthquakes), where deterministic predictions are not possible and decisions have to be made on the basis of statistics and probabilities, the statistical approach to coastal resilience would require stakeholders to make decisions on the basis of probabilities instead of predictions. The science input for informed decisions on adaptation would consist of general probabilities of decadal to century scale sea level changes derived from paleo records, including the probabilities for large and rapid rises. Similar to other problems where the appearance of a hazard is associated with a high risk (like a fire in a house), this approach would also require a monitoring and warning system (a "smoke detector") capable of detecting any onset of a rapid sea level rise.

  3. Spatial Hedonic Models for Measuring the Impact of Sea-Level Rise on Coastal Real Estate

    OpenAIRE

    Okmyung Bin; Ben Poulter; Dumas, Christopher F.; John C. Whitehead

    2009-01-01

    This study uses a unique integration of geospatial and hedonic property data to estimate the impact of sea-level rise on coastal real estate in North Carolina. North Carolina’s coastal plain is one of several large terrestrial systems around the world threatened by rising sea-levels. High-resolution topographic LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data are used to provide accurate inundation maps for all properties that will be at risk under six different sea-level rise scenarios. A simulation...

  4. Assessing Coastal Aquifer Response to Projected Sea Level Rise in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odigie, K. O.; Hoover, D. J.; Barnard, P.; Swarzenski, P. W.

    2015-12-01

    The rate of global sea-level rise (SLR) has been increasing over the past century, primarily due to global warming and associated melting of polar icecaps. Recent projections indicate that sea level could rise globally by more than 1 m by 2100. Potential impacts of SLR in coastal regions are a concern, especially in California which has a ~1,800 km long coastline and where >70% of the population live in coastal counties. However, information on potential impacts of SLR-driven groundwater inundation in California is limited. In this study, we examined potential impacts of SLR-driven groundwater inundation in select low-lying areas of California, including Arcata, Stinson Beach, and Malibu Lagoon, under +1 m and +2 m SLR scenarios. The results indicate that Arcata, Stinson Beach, and Malibu Lagoon will be impacted by SLR-driven inundation to different extents. For example, ~15% of present-day dry land in Malibu Lagoon will be inundated with groundwater and the lagoon will be expanded by >100% relative to present-day area under the +2 m SLR scenario. In addition, the area with shallow water table ≤2 m from the ground surface will increase substantially with SLR at Malibu Lagoon. SLR-driven groundwater inundation could be problematic in some low-lying coastal regions. Therefore, improved understanding of potential response of coastal aquifers to SLR could help in preparing for mitigation and adaptation.

  5. Prediction and prevention of the impacts of sea level rise on the Yangtze River Delta and its adjacent areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    The Yangtze River Delta region is characterized by high density of population and rapidly developing economy. There are low lying coastal plain and deltaic plain in this region. Thus, the study area could be highly vulnerable to accelerated sea level rise caused by global warming. This paper deals with the scenarios of the relative sea level rise in the early half period of the 21st century in the study area. The authors suggested that relative sea level would rise 25 50 cm by the year 2050 in the study area, of which the magnitude of relative sea level rise in the Yangtze River Delta would double the perspective worldwide average. The impacts of sea level rise include: (i) exacerbation of coastline recession in several sections and vertical erosion of tidal flat, and increase in length of eroding coastline; (ii) decrease in area of tidal flat and coastal wetland due to erosion and inundation; (iii) increase in frequency and intensity of storm surge, which would threaten the coastal protection works; (iv) reduction of drainage capacity due to backwater effect in the Lixiahe lowland and the eastern lowland of Taihu Lake region, and exacerbation of flood and waterlogging disasters; and (v) increase in salt water intrusion into the Yangtze Estuary. Comprehensive evaluation of sea level rise impacts shows that the Yangtze River Delta and eastern lowland of Taihu Lake region, especially Shanghai Municipality, belong in the district in the extreme risk category and the next is the northern bank of Hangzhou Bay, the third is the abandoned Yellow River delta, and the district at low risk includes the central part of north Jiangsu coastal plain and Lixiahe lowland.

  6. Responses of estuarine salinity and transport processes to sea level rise in the Zhujiang (Pearl River) Estuary

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Yuxiang; ZUO Juncheng; ZOU Huazhi; ZHANG Min; ZHANG Kairong

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the changes of hydrodynamics in estuaries with respect to magnitude of sea level rise is important to understand the changes of transport process. Based on prediction of sea level rise over the 21st century, the Zhujiang (Pearl River) Estuary was chosen as a prototype to study the responses of the estuary to potential sea level rise. The numerical model results show that the average salt content, saltwater intrusion distance, and stratification will increase as the sea level rises. The changes of these parameters have obvious seasonal variations. The salt content in the Lingdingyang shows more increase in April and October (the transition periods). The saltwater intrusion distance has larger increase during the low-flow periods than during the high-flow periods in the Lingdingyang. The result is just the opposite in Modaomen. The stratification and its increase are larger during the low-flow periods than during the high-flow periods in Lingdingyang. The response results of transport processes to sea level rise demonstrate that: (1) The time of vertical transport has pronounced increase. The increased tidal range and currents would reinforce the vertical mixing, but the increased stratification would weaken the vertical exchange. The impact of stratification changes overwhelms the impact of tidal changes. It would be more difficult for the surface water to reach the bottom. (2) The lengthways estuarine circulation would be strengthened. Both the offshore surface residual current and inshore bottom residual current will be enhanced. The whole meridional resident flow along the transect of the Lingdingyang would be weakened. These phenomena are caused by the decrease of water surface slope (WWS) and the change of static pressure with the increase of water depth under sea level rise.

  7. Dtection of Sea Level Rise within the Arabian Gulf Using Space Based GNSS Measurements and Insitu Tide Gauge data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alothman, Abdulaziz; Ayhan, Mehmet

    In the 21st century, sea level rise is expected to be about 30 cm or even more (up to 60 cm). Saudi Arabia has very long coasts of about 3400 km and hundreds of islands. Therefore, sea level monitoring may be important in particular along coastal low lands on Red Sea and Arabian Gulf coasts. Arabian Gulf is connected to Indian Ocean and lying along a parallel course in the south-west of the Zagros Trust Belt. We expect vertical land motion within the area due to both tectonic structures of the Arabian Peninsula and oil production activities. Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Continues observations were used to estimate the vertical crustal motion. Bahrain International GPS Service (IGS-GPS) station is the only continuous GPS station accessible in the region, and it is close to the Mina Sulman tide gauge station in Bahrain. The weekly GPS time series of vertical component at Bahrain IGS-GPS station referring to the ITRF97 from 1999.2 to 2008.6 are used in the computation. We fitted a linear trend with an annual signal and a break to the GPS vertical time series and found a vertical land motion rate of 0.46 0.11 mm/yr. To investigate sea level variation within the west of Arabian Gulf, monthly means of sea level at 13 tide gauges along the coast of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, available in the database of the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL), are studied. We analyzed separately the monthly mean sea level measurements at each station, and estimated secular sea level rate by a robust linear trend fitting. We computed the average relative sea level rise rate of 1.96 0.21 mm/yr within the west of Arabian Gulf based on 4 stations spanning longer than 19 years. Sea level rates at the stations are first corrected for vertical land motion contamination using the ICE-5G v1.2 VM4 Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) model, and the average sea level rate is found 2.27 0.21 mm/yr. Assuming the vertical rate at Bahrain IGS-GPS station represents the vertical rate

  8. The impact of selected sea level rise scenarios in the vicinity of Cochin harbour, India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    DineshKumar, P.K.

    The physical response of selected sea level rise scenarios on a stretch of barrier beach in the vicinity of Cochin harbour, India are investigated with a thrust on quantifying landward displacement of the land/water interface. To model shoreline...

  9. Sea level rise, drought and the decline of Spartina patens in New England marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Already heavily impacted by coastal development, estuarine vegetated habitats (seagrasses, salt marshes, and mangroves) are increasingly affected by climate change via accelerated sea level rise, changes in the frequency and intensity of precipitation and storms, and warmer ocean...

  10. Sea-level-rise trends off the Indian coasts during the last two decades

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Unnikrishnan, A.S.; Nidheesh, A.G.; Lengaigne, M.

    The present communication discusses sea-level-rise trends in the north Indian Ocean, particularly off the Indian coasts, based on estimates derived from satellite altimeter and tide-gauge data. Altimeter data analysis over the 1993–2012 period...

  11. PACIFIC - Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise: U.S. Pacific Coast

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The goal of this project is to quantify, at the National scale, the relative susceptibility of the Nation's coast to sea-level rise through the use of a coastal...

  12. Examining effects of sea level rise and marsh crabs on Spartina patens using mesocosms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coastal salt marshes provide essential ecosystem services but face increasing threats from habitat loss, eutrophication, changing precipitation patterns, and accelerating rates of sea level rise (SLR). Recent studies have suggested that herbivory and burrowing by native salt mars...

  13. GULF - Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise: U.S. Gulf Coast

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The goal of this project is to quantify, at the National scale, the relative susceptibility of the Nation's coast to sea-level rise through the use of a coastal...

  14. Coastal Wetland Dynamics and Wildlife Populations: Modeling the Effects of Sea Level Rise and Landscape Change

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Assess the potential impacts of sea level rise on coastal ecosystems and related wildlife resources. Develop a Bayesian Belief network that projects the impact of...

  15. A framework to investigate the economic growth impact of sea level rise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This article reviews the channels through which sea level rise can affect economic growth, namely the loss of land, the loss of infrastructure and physical capital, the loss of social capital, the additional cost from extreme events and coastal floods, and the increased expenditure for coastal protection. It discusses how existing studies on the direct impact of sea level rise could be used to investigate the resulting consequences on economic growth, emphasizes research needs on this question, and discusses consequences on migration. (letter)

  16. Investigation of Responses of North Carolina Shorelines and Coastal Wetlands to Sea Level Rise

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Yon; Gares, Paul A.; Brinson, Mark M.

    2011-01-01

    The response of shorelines and coastal wetlands to sea level rise is a major challenge to natural resource managers, planners, coastal property owners, and scientists. The value of the coastal zone for fisheries, recreation, coastal ecosystem integrity, water quality, storm damage protection, and other benefits is extremely high. However, some coastal areas are highly vulnerable to sea level rise. In this proposal, we will investigate current and short-term responses of shorelines and coastal...

  17. Flooded! An Investigation of Sea-Level Rise in a Changing Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillette, Brandon; Hamilton, Cheri

    2011-01-01

    Explore how melting ice sheets affect global sea levels. Sea-level rise (SLR) is a rise in the water level of the Earth's oceans. There are two major kinds of ice in the polar regions: sea ice and land ice. Land ice contributes to SLR and sea ice does not. This article explores the characteristics of sea ice and land ice and provides some hands-on…

  18. Measuring the Impacts of Sea Level Rise on Marine Recreational Shore Fishing in North Carolina

    OpenAIRE

    John C. Whitehead; Ben Poulter; Dumas, Christopher F.; Okmyung Bin

    2008-01-01

    We develop estimates of the economic effects of sea level rise on marine recreational shore fishing in North Carolina. We estimate the relationship between angler behavior and spatial differences in beach width using the Marine Recreational Fishing Statistics Survey and geospatial data. We exploit the empirical relationship between beach width and site choice by simulating the effects of (1) sea level rise on beach width and (2) beach width on angler site choice. We find that the welfare loss...

  19. ASSESSING THE RISKS OF A FUTURE RAPID LARGE SEA LEVEL RISE: A REVIEW

    OpenAIRE

    Roger E. Kasperson; Maria T. Bohn; Clark L. Goble

    2005-01-01

    Our aim is to make an appropriate characterization and interpretation of the risk problem of rapid large sea level rise that reflects the very large uncertainty in present day knowledge concerning this possibility, and that will be useful in informing discussion about risk management approaches. We consider mainly the potential collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet as the source of such a sea level rise. Our review, characterization and interpretation of the risk makes us conclude that the...

  20. Population dynamics of Hawaiian seabird colonies vulnerable to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatfield, Jeff S.; Reynolds, Michelle H.; Seavy, Nathaniel E.; Krause, Crystal M.

    2012-01-01

    Globally, seabirds are vulnerable to anthropogenic threats both at sea and on land. Seabirds typically nest colonially and show strong fidelity to natal colonies, and such colonies on low-lying islands may be threatened by sea-level rise. We used French Frigate Shoals, the largest atoll in the Hawaiian Archipelago, as a case study to explore the population dynamics of seabird colonies and the potential effects sea-level rise may have on these rookeries. We compiled historic observations, a 30-year time series of seabird population abundance, lidar-derived elevations, and aerial imagery of all the islands of French Frigate Shoals. To estimate the population dynamics of 8 species of breeding seabirds on Tern Island from 1980 to 2009, we used a Gompertz model with a Bayesian approach to infer population growth rates, density dependence, process variation, and observation error. All species increased in abundance, in a pattern that provided evidence of density dependence. Great Frigatebirds (Fregata minor), Masked Boobies (Sula dactylatra), Red-tailed Tropicbirds (Phaethon rubricauda), Spectacled Terns (Onychoprion lunatus), and White Terns (Gygis alba) are likely at carrying capacity. Density dependence may exacerbate the effects of sea-level rise on seabirds because populations near carrying capacity on an island will be more negatively affected than populations with room for growth. We projected 12% of French Frigate Shoals will be inundated if sea level rises 1 m and 28% if sea level rises 2 m. Spectacled Terns and shrub-nesting species are especially vulnerable to sea-level rise, but seawalls and habitat restoration may mitigate the effects of sea-level rise. Losses of seabird nesting habitat may be substantial in the Hawaiian Islands by 2100 if sea levels rise 2 m. Restoration of higher-elevation seabird colonies represent a more enduring conservation solution for Pacific seabirds.

  1. Coastal vulnerability assessment of Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO) to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendleton, Elizabeth A.; Thieler, E. Robert; Williams, S. Jeffress

    2005-01-01

    A coastal vulnerability index (CVI) was used to map the relative vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise within Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida. The CVI ranks the following in terms of their physical contribution to sea-level rise-related coastal change: geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate of relative sea-level rise, historical shoreline change rates, mean tidal range and mean significant wave height. The rankings for each input variable were combined and an index value calculated for 1-minute grid cells covering the park. The CVI highlights those regions where the physical effects of sea-level rise might be the greatest. This approach combines the coastal system's susceptibility to change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, yielding a quantitative, although relative, measure of the park's natural vulnerability to the effects of sea-level rise. The CVI provides an objective technique for evaluation and long-term planning by scientists and park managers. Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO) consists of relatively stable to washover-dominated portions of carbonate beach and man-made fortification. The areas within Dry Tortugas that are likely to be most vulnerable to sea-level rise are those with the highest rates of shoreline erosion and the highest wave energy.

  2. Coastal vulnerability assessment of Cumberland Island National Seashore (CUIS) to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendleton, Elizabeth A.; Thieler, E. Robert; Jeffress Williams, S.

    2004-01-01

    A coastal vulnerability index (CVI) was used to map the relative vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise within Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia. The CVI ranks the following in terms of their physical contribution to sea-level rise-related coastal change: geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate of relative sea-level rise, historical shoreline change rates, mean tidal range and mean significant wave height. The rankings for each input variable were combined and an index value calculated for 1-minute grid cells covering the park. The CVI highlights those regions where the physical effects of sea-level rise might be the greatest. This approach combines the coastal system's susceptibility to change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, yielding a quantitative, although relative, measure of the park's natural vulnerability to the effects of sea-level rise. The CVI provides an objective technique for evaluation and long-term planning by scientists and park managers. Cumberland Island National Seashore consists of stable to washover-dominated portions of barrier beach backed by wetland, marsh, mudflat and tidal creek. The areas within Cumberland that are likely to be most vulnerable to sea-level rise are those with the lowest foredune ridge and highest rates of shoreline erosion.

  3. Coastal vulnerability assessment of Olympic National Park to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendleton, Elizabeth A.; Hammar-Klose, Erika S.; Thieler, E. Robert; Williams, S. Jeffress

    2004-01-01

    A coastal vulnerability index (CVI) was used to map the relative vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise within Olympic National Park (OLYM), Washington. The CVI scores the following in terms of their physical contribution to sea-level rise-related coastal change: geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate of relative sea-level rise, shoreline change rates, mean tidal range and mean wave height. The rankings for each variable were combined and an index value calculated for 1-minute grid cells covering the park. The CVI highlights those regions where the physical effects of sea-level rise might be the greatest. This approach combines the coastal system's susceptibility to change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, yielding a quantitative, although relative, measure of the park's natural vulnerability to the effects of sea-level rise. The CVI provides an objective technique for evaluation and long-term planning by scientists and park managers. The Olympic National Park coast consists of rocky headlands, pocket beaches, glacial-fluvial features, and sand and gravel beaches. The Olympic coastline that is most vulnerable to sea-level rise are beaches in gently sloping areas.

  4. Coastal vulnerability assessment of Point Reyes National Seashore (PORE) to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendleton, Elizabeth A.; Thieler, E. Robert; Williams, S. Jeffress

    2006-01-01

    A coastal vulnerability index (CVI) was used to map the relative vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise within Point Reyes National Seashore in Northern California. The CVI ranks the following in terms of their physical contribution to sea-level rise-related coastal change: geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate of relative sea-level rise, historical shoreline change rates, mean tidal range and mean significant wave height. The rankings for each input variable were combined and an index value calculated for 1-minute grid cells covering the park. The CVI highlights those regions where the physical effects of sea-level rise might be the greatest. This approach combines the coastal system's susceptibility to change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, yielding a quantitative, although relative, measure of the park's natural vulnerability to the effects of sea-level rise. The CVI provides an objective technique for evaluation and long-term planning by scientists and park managers. Point Reyes National Seashore consists of sand and gravel beaches, rock cliffs, sand dune cliffs, and pocket beaches. The areas within Point Reyes that are likely to be most vulnerable to sea-level rise are areas of unconsolidated sediment where the coastal slope is lowest and wave energy is high.

  5. Coastal vulnerability assessment of Assateague Island National Seashore (ASIS) to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendleton, Elizabeth A.; Williams, S. Jeffress; Thieler, E. Robert

    2004-01-01

    A coastal vulnerability index (CVI, http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2004/1020/html/cvi.htm) was used to map relative vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise within Assateague Island National Seashore (ASIS) in Maryland and Virginia. The CVI ranks the following in terms of their physical contribution to sea-level rise-related coastal change: geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate of relative sea-level rise, shoreline change rates, mean tidal range and mean wave height. Rankings for each variable were combined and an index value calculated for 1-minute grid cells covering the park. The CVI highlights those regions where the physical effects of sea-level rise might be the greatest. This approach combines the coastal system's susceptibility to change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, yielding a quantitative, although relative, measure of the park's natural vulnerability to the effects of sea-level rise. The CVI provides an objective technique for evaluation and long-term planning by scientists and park managers. Assateague Island consists of stable and washover dominated portions of barrier beach backed by wetland and marsh. The areas within Assateague that are likely to be most vulnerable to sea-level rise are those with the highest occurrence of overwash and the highest rates of shoreline change.

  6. Coastal vulnerability assessment of Cape Cod National Seashore to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammar-Klose, Erika S.; Pendleton, Elizabeth A.; Thieler, E. Robert; Williams, S. Jeffress

    2003-01-01

    A coastal vulnerability index (CVI) was used to map the relative vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise within the Cape Cod National Seashore (CACO). The CVI ranks the following in terms of their physical contribution to sea-level rise-related coastal change: geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate of relative sea-level rise, shoreline change rates, mean tidal range and mean wave height. The rankings for each variable were combined and an index value calculated for 1-minute grid cells covering the park. The CVI highlights those regions where the physical effects of sea-level rise might be the greatest. This approach combines the coastal system's susceptibility to change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, yielding a quantitative, although relative, measure of the park's natural vulnerability to the effects of sea-level rise. CACO consists of high glacial cliffs, beaches, sand spits, and salt marsh wetlands. The areas most vulnerable to sea-level rise are those with the lowest regional coastal slopes, geomorphologic types that are susceptible to inundation, and the highest rates of shoreline change. Most of CACO's infrastructure lies on high elevation uplands away from the shore; most high use areas are accessible by foot only. The CVI provides an objective technique for evaluation and long-term planning by scientists and park managers.

  7. Coastal vulnerability assessment of Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CAHA) to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendleton, Elizabeth A.; Theiler, E. Robert; Williams, S. Jeffress

    2005-01-01

    A coastal vulnerability index (CVI) was used to map the relative vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise within Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CAHA) in North Carolina. The CVI ranks the following in terms of their physical contribution to sea-level rise-related coastal change: geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate of relative sea-level rise, historical shoreline change rates, mean tidal range, and mean significant wave height. The rankings for each variable were combined and an index value was calculated for 1-minute grid cells covering the park. The CVI highlights those regions where the physical effects of sea-level rise might be the greatest. This approach combines the coastal system's susceptibility to change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, yielding a quantitative, although relative, measure of the park's natural vulnerability to the effects of sea-level rise. The CVI provides an objective technique for evaluation and long-term planning by scientists and park managers. Cape Hatteras National Seashore consists of stable and washover dominated segments of barrier beach backed by wetland and marsh. The areas within Cape Hatteras that are likely to be most vulnerable to sea-level rise are those with the highest occurrence of overwash and the highest rates of shoreline change.

  8. Coastal vulnerability assessment of Fire Island National Seashore to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendleton, Elizabeth A.; Williams, S. Jeffress; Thieler, E. Robert

    2004-01-01

    A coastal vulnerability index (CVI) was used to map the relative vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise within Fire Island National Seashore (FIIS), New York. The CVI ranks the following in terms of their physical contribution to sea-level rise-related coastal change: geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate of relative sea-level rise, shoreline change rates, mean tidal range and mean wave height. The rankings for each variable were combined and an index value calculated for 1-minute grid cells covering the park. The CVI highlights those regions where the physical effects of sea-level rise might be the greatest. This approach combines the coastal system's susceptibility to change with its natural ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, yielding a quantitative, although relative, measure of the park's natural vulnerability to the effects of sea-level rise. Fire Island consists of stable and washover dominated portions of barrier beach backed by lagoons, tidal wetlands and marsh. The areas most vulnerable to sea-level rise are those with the highest historic occurrence of overwash and the highest rates of shoreline change. Implementation of large-scale beach nourishment and other coastal engineering alternatives being considered for Fire Island could alter the CVI computed here. The CVI provides an objective technique for evaluation and long-term planning by scientists and park managers.

  9. National evaluation of Chinese coastal erosion to sea level rise using a Bayesian approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this paper a Causal Bayesian network is developed to predict decadal-scale shoreline evolution of China to sea-level rise. The Bayesian model defines relationships between 6 factors of Chinese coastal system such as coastal geomorphology, mean tide range, mean wave height, coastal slope, relative sea-level rise rate and shoreline erosion rate. Using the Bayesian probabilistic model, we make quantitative assessment of china's shoreline evolution in response to different future sea level rise rates. Results indicate that the probability of coastal erosion with high and very high rates increases from 28% to 32.3% when relative sea-level rise rates is 4∼6mm/a, and to 44.9% when relative sea-level rise rates is more than 6mm/a. A hindcast evaluation of the Bayesian model shows that the model correctly predicts 79.3% of the cases. Model test indicates that the Bayesian model shows higher predictive capabilities for stable coasts and very highly eroding coasts than moderately and highly eroding coasts. This study demonstrates that the Bayesian model is adapted to predicting decadal-scale Chinese coastal erosion associated with sea-level rise

  10. Processes contributing to resilience of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stagg, Camille L.; Krauss, Ken W.; Cahoon, Donald R.; Cormier, Nicole; Conner, William H.; Swarzenski, Christopher M.

    2016-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to identify processes that contribute to resilience of coastal wetlands subject to rising sea levels and to determine whether the relative contribution of these processes varies across different wetland community types. We assessed the resilience of wetlands to sea-level rise along a transitional gradient from tidal freshwater forested wetland (TFFW) to marsh by measuring processes controlling wetland elevation. We found that, over 5 years of measurement, TFFWs were resilient, although some marginally, and oligohaline marshes exhibited robust resilience to sea-level rise. We identified fundamental differences in how resilience is maintained across wetland community types, which have important implications for management activities that aim to restore or conserve resilient systems. We showed that the relative importance of surface and subsurface processes in controlling wetland surface elevation change differed between TFFWs and oligohaline marshes. The marshes had significantly higher rates of surface accretion than the TFFWs, and in the marshes, surface accretion was the primary contributor to elevation change. In contrast, elevation change in TFFWs was more heavily influenced by subsurface processes, such as root zone expansion or compaction, which played an important role in determining resilience of TFFWs to rising sea level. When root zone contributions were removed statistically from comparisons between relative sea-level rise and surface elevation change, sites that previously had elevation rate deficits showed a surplus. Therefore, assessments of wetland resilience that do not include subsurface processes will likely misjudge vulnerability to sea-level rise.

  11. Portrait of a Warming Ocean and Rising Sea Levels: Trend of Sea Level Change 1993-2008

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    Warming water and melting land ice have raised global mean sea level 4.5 centimeters (1.7 inches) from 1993 to 2008. But the rise is by no means uniform. This image, created with sea surface height data from the Topex/Poseidon and Jason-1 satellites, shows exactly where sea level has changed during this time and how quickly these changes have occurred. It's also a road map showing where the ocean currently stores the growing amount of heat it is absorbing from Earth's atmosphere and the heat it receives directly from the Sun. The warmer the water, the higher the sea surface rises. The location of heat in the ocean and its movement around the globe play a pivotal role in Earth's climate. Light blue indicates areas in which sea level has remained relatively constant since 1993. White, red, and yellow are regions where sea levels have risen the most rapidly up to 10 millimeters per year and which contain the most heat. Green areas have also risen, but more moderately. Purple and dark blue show where sea levels have dropped, due to cooler water. The dramatic variation in sea surface heights and heat content across the ocean are due to winds, currents and long-term changes in patterns of circulation. From 1993 to 2008, the largest area of rapidly rising sea levels and the greatest concentration of heat has been in the Pacific, which now shows the characteristics of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), a feature that can last 10 to 20 years or even longer. In this 'cool' phase, the PDO appears as a horseshoe-shaped pattern of warm water in the Western Pacific reaching from the far north to the Southern Ocean enclosing a large wedge of cool water with low sea surface heights in the eastern Pacific. This ocean/climate phenomenon may be caused by wind-driven Rossby waves. Thousands of kilometers long, these waves move from east to west on either side of the equator changing the distribution of water mass and heat. This image of sea level trend also reveals a significant

  12. Impact of climate change on sea level rise and on groundwater availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masciopinto, Costantino; Liso, Isabella S.

    2015-04-01

    A new formula for determining increasing sea intrusion in coastal fractured rock aquifers as a consequence of local sea level rise (LSLR) was presented. The formula was applied to the Salento peninsula (Southern Italy), which is an important source of drinking water for locals and, it can be applied to any coastal groundwater at a regional scale in order to evaluate the impact of climate change on local water resources. Moreover the interpolation of tide-gauge measurements was performed at three monitoring stations from 2000 to 2014. The best fit of measurements provides a rate of LSLR ranging from 4.4 to 8.8 mm/y. This local calculated rate matches the recent 21st and 22nd century projections of mean global sea level rise. It includes the melting of Greenland and Antarctica's ice sheets, the effect of seawater thermal expansion, glaciers and ice caps melting and changes in land water storage quantity. Thus, the Ghyben-Herzberg's equation of freshwater/saltwater interface position was rewritten in order to determine the decrease in groundwater discharge due to the maximum LSLR during the 21st and 22nd centuries. Results regarding the progress of seawater intrusion due to LSLR suggest an impressive depletion of available groundwater volume, which locally may achieve 15% of current pumping for drinking purposes from Salento's groundwater. This reduction does not take into account groundwater impairment due to overexploitations. This study strongly suggests the need for a prompt actuation of measures in order to limit groundwater depletion in the near future.

  13. Effects of Sea Level-Rise on Carbon Accretion in Coastal Wetlands (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, J. T.

    2010-12-01

    Long-term storage of organic carbon in sediment is one of the key functions of coastal wetlands. Owing to the rise of sea level, a fraction of their primary production is buried annually. However, the productivity of tidelands and, hence, carbon accretion depend on their relative elevation within the tidal frame. It has been shown empirically that there is an optimum relative elevation for maximum primary production. The equilibrium elevation is a function of the rate of sea-level rise. Hence, productivity and carbon accretion are also affected by the rate of sea-level rise. Mathematically it can be shown that tidelands maintain their elevation relative to the ocean through feedbacks among primary production, flooding, and sedimentation. At the low end of the sea-level-rise spectrum, a rising sea increases the flooding of marshes, decreasing sediment salinity, stimulating primary production and increasing sedimentation. At the high end, marshes cannot keep pace with sea level and convert to tidal mud flats or open water. Consequently, the long-term storage of carbon by tidelands will depend on the future trajectory of sea-level. In general, cumulative carbon accretion of existing marshes decreases as the forecasted rise in sea level increases. Other important variables include tide range and concentration of suspended sediments. Carbon accretion will be lower in microtidal than macrotidal estuaries, particularly at high rates of sea-level rise. Sensitivity of carbon accretion to tide range decreases as the concentration of suspended sediments increases. These results indicate that future carbon accretion by coastal wetlands will not be uniform in space or time.

  14. Prediction of China's Submerged Coastal Areas by Sea Level Rise due to Climate Change

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZUO Juncheng; YANG Yiqiu; ZHANG Jianli; CHEN Meixiang; XU Qing

    2013-01-01

    Based on the simulation with the Ocean-Atmosphere Coupled Model CCSM and Ocean Model POP under the greenhouse gas emission scenario of the IPCC SRES A2 (IPCC,2001),and on the earth crust subsidence and glacier melting data,the relative sea level change is obtained along the coast of China in the 21 st century.Using the SRTM elevation data the submergence of coastal low land is calculated under the extreme water level with a 100-year return period.The total flooding areas are 98.3× 103 and 104.9× 103 km2 for 2050 and 2080,respectively.For the three regions most vulnerable to extreme sea level rise,i.e.,the coast of Bohai Bay,the Yangtze River Delta together with neighboring Jiangsu Province and northern Zhejiang Province,and the Pearl River Delta,the flooded areas are 5.0 × 103,64.1 × 103 and 15.3 × 103 km2 in 2050 and 5.2 × 103,67.8 × 103 and 17.2 × 103 km2 in 2080,respectively.

  15. Rising Seas: Threat to Coastal Areas, A General Study about the Sea Level Rises on Coastal Areas of Earth, its Consequences and Preventive Measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kataria, A.

    2015-12-01

    Scientific research indicates that sea levels worldwide have been rising at a rate of 3 millimeters per year since the early 1990s (IPCC), which is much higher than the previous century. The recent measurements (march 2015; NASA) tells us that the present rise of sea level is 64.4 mm. Most recent satellite measurements and tide gauge readings (NASA) tell us that present rate sea level rise is 3.20 mm per year. A recent study says we can expect the oceans to rise between 2.5 and 6.5 feet (0.8 and 2 meters) by 2100. The two main causes of rising seas are thermal expansion and glacier melting which further corresponds to the root cause of sea level rise: Green House effect. For every degree Celsius that global average temperature rises, we can expect 2.3 meters of sea-level rise sometime over the ensuing 2,000 years. The main consequence of Sea level rise is increase in oceanic acidity as it releases the entrapped carbon dioxide in between the glaciers. The problem goes from bad to worse when we take into consideration that one third of the world population lives in a 60 km range from the coast. In the event of a flood, this massive population would have to move away from the coasts. The main objective of research is to find all the most vulnerable areas, to make people aware about the consequences and to take proper measurements to fight with such natural calamities. The rise in sea level would inevitably cause massive migration like never seen before. Over 25% of the world population could disappear if sea levels continues to rise with same or faster rate as present. The oceans, sea life and life of people at coastal areas will get extremely effected unless there are considerable cuts in the carbon dioxide emissions. What we need to do is just to apply all the methods and measurements in our daily life that can help reduce the green house gases emissions. Also we need to plan that how to prevent all these cities in case of such natural hazards.

  16. Tectonic subsidence provides insight into possible coral reef futures under rapid sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, Megan I.; Albert, Simon; Roelfsema, Chris M.; Leon, Javier X.; Woodroffe, Colin D.; Phinn, Stuart R.; Mumby, Peter J.

    2016-03-01

    Sea-level rise will change environmental conditions on coral reef flats, which comprise extensive habitats in shallow tropical seas and support a wealth of ecosystem services. Rapid relative sea-level rise of 0.6 m over a relatively pristine coral reef in Solomon Islands, caused by a subduction earthquake in April 2007, generated a unique opportunity to examine in situ coral reef response to relative sea-level rise of the magnitude (but not the rate) anticipated by 2100. Extent of live coral was measured from satellite imagery in 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012. Ecological data were obtained from microatolls and ecological surveys in May 2013. The reef was sampled at 12 locations where dense live hard coral remained absent, remained present or changed from absent to present following subsidence. Ecological data (substratum depth, live coral canopy depth, coral canopy height, substratum suitability, recruitment, diversity and Acropora presence) were measured at each location to identify factors associated with coral response to relative sea-level rise. Vertical and horizontal proliferation of coral occurred following subsidence. Lateral expansion of live coral, accomplished primarily by branching Acropora spp., resulted in lower diversity in regions which changed composition from pavement to dense live coral following subsidence. Of the ecological factors measured, biotic factors were more influential than abiotic factors; species identity was the most important factor in determining which regions of the reef responded to rapid sea-level rise. On relatively pristine reef flats under present climatic conditions, rapid relative sea-level rise generated an opportunity for hard coral to proliferate. However, the species assemblage of the existing reef was important in determining response to sea-level change, by providing previously bare substrate with a source of new coral colonies. Degraded reefs with altered species composition and slower coral growth rates may be less

  17. Potential effects of sea-level rise on coastal wetlands in southeastern Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glick, Patty; Clough, Jonathan; Polaczyk, Amy; Couvillion, Brady R.; Nunley, Brad

    2013-01-01

    Coastal Louisiana wetlands contain about 37% of the estuarine herbaceous marshes in the conterminous United States. The long-term stability of coastal wetlands is often a function of a wetland's ability to maintain elevation equilibrium with mean sea level through processes such as primary production and sediment accretion. However, Louisiana has sustained more coastal wetland loss than all other states in the continental United States combined due to a combination of natural and anthropogenic factors, including sea-level rise. This study investigates the potential impact of current and accelerating sea-level rise rates on key coastal wetland habitats in southeastern Louisiana using the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM). Model calibration was conducted using a 1956–2007 observation period and hindcasting results predicted 35% versus observed 39% total marsh loss. Multiple sea-level-rise scenarios were then simulated for the period of 2007–2100. Results indicate a range of potential wetland losses by 2100, from an additional 2,188.97 km2 (218,897 ha, 9% of the 2007 wetland area) under the lowest sea-level-rise scenario (0.34 m), to a potential loss of 5,875.27 km2 (587,527 ha, 24% of the 2007 wetland area) in the highest sea-level-rise scenario (1.9 m). Model results suggest that one area of particular concern is the potential vulnerability of the region's baldcypress-water tupelo (Taxodium distichum-Nyssa aquatica) swamp habitat, much of which is projected to become permanently flooded (affecting regeneration) under all modeled scenarios for sea-level rise. These findings will aid in the development of ecosystem management plans that support the processes and conditions that result in sustainable coastal ecosystems.

  18. Impact of sea-level rise on sea water intrusion in coastal aquifers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Adrian D; Simmons, Craig T

    2009-01-01

    Despite its purported importance, previous studies of the influence of sea-level rise on coastal aquifers have focused on specific sites, and a generalized systematic analysis of the general case of the sea water intrusion response to sea-level rise has not been reported. In this study, a simple conceptual framework is used to provide a first-order assessment of sea water intrusion changes in coastal unconfined aquifers in response to sea-level rise. Two conceptual models are tested: (1) flux-controlled systems, in which ground water discharge to the sea is persistent despite changes in sea level, and (2) head-controlled systems, whereby ground water abstractions or surface features maintain the head condition in the aquifer despite sea-level changes. The conceptualization assumes steady-state conditions, a sharp interface sea water-fresh water transition zone, homogeneous and isotropic aquifer properties, and constant recharge. In the case of constant flux conditions, the upper limit for sea water intrusion due to sea-level rise (up to 1.5 m is tested) is no greater than 50 m for typical values of recharge, hydraulic conductivity, and aquifer depth. This is in striking contrast to the constant head cases, in which the magnitude of salt water toe migration is on the order of hundreds of meters to several kilometers for the same sea-level rise. This study has highlighted the importance of inland boundary conditions on the sea-level rise impact. It identifies combinations of hydrogeologic parameters that control whether large or small salt water toe migration will occur for any given change in a hydrogeologic variable. PMID:19191886

  19. The contribution to future flood risk in the Severn Estuary from extreme sea level rise due to ice sheet mass loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, N.; Bates, P. D.; Siddall, M.

    2013-12-01

    The rate at which sea levels will rise in the coming century is of great interest to decision makers tasked with developing mitigation policies to cope with the risk of coastal inundation. Accurate estimates of future sea levels are vital in the provision of effective policy. Recent reports from UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) suggest that mean sea levels in the UK may rise by as much as 80 cm by 2100; however, a great deal of uncertainty surrounds model predictions, particularly the contribution from ice sheets responding to climatic warming. For this reason, the application of semi-empirical modelling approaches for sea level rise predictions has increased of late, the results from which suggest that the rate of sea level rise may be greater than previously thought, exceeding 1 m by 2100. Furthermore, studies in the Red Sea indicate that rapid sea level rise beyond 1m per century has occurred in the past. In light of such research, the latest UKCIP assessment has included a H++ scenario for sea level rise in the UK of up to 1.9 m which is defined as improbable but, crucially, physically plausible. The significance of such low-probability sea level rise scenarios upon the estimation of future flood risk is assessed using the Somerset levels (UK) as a case study. A simple asymmetric probability distribution is constructed to include sea level rise scenarios of up to 1.9 m by 2100 which are added to a current 1:200 year event water level to force a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model of coastal inundation. From the resulting ensemble predictions an estimation of risk by 2100 is established. The results indicate that although the likelihood of extreme sea level rise due to rapid ice sheet mass loss is low, the resulting hazard can be large, resulting in a significant (27%) increase to the projected annual risk. Furthermore, current defence construction guidelines for the coming century in the UK are expected to account for 95% of the sea level rise distribution

  20. Relative sea-level changes during the last century recorded by coral microatolls in Belloc, Haiti

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weil-Accardo, J.; Feuillet, N.; Jacques, E.; Deschamps, P.; Saurel, J.-M.; Thirumalai, K.; Demeza, S.; Anglade, D.

    2016-04-01

    record of B8, the diversity in shape of the S. siderea microatolls and the position of fossil D. strigosa corals overall indicate stable to slightly increasing relative sea-level (about 1 mm/yr). This is on the same order of magnitude, although slightly lower, as the rate we determined over the last 74 years by using eight tide gauge records around Hispaniola (1.63 ± 0.20 mm/yr) and the mean rate of sea-level rise previously published (2.0 ± 0.5 mm/yr) in the area. This study demonstrates that coral microatolls can be used to infer relative sea-level changes over the last decades or centuries in the Caribbean, where tide gauge records are often sparse, incomplete or nonexistent. This is of prime importance for the numerous small and flat Caribbean islands, highly vulnerable to the threat of global sea-level rise.

  1. Tension between reducing sea-level rise and global warming through solar-radiation management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irvine, P. J.; Sriver, R. L.; Keller, K.

    2012-02-01

    Geoengineering using solar-radiation management (SRM) is gaining interest as a potential strategy to reduce future climate change impacts. Basic physics and past observations suggest that reducing insolation will, on average, cool the Earth. It is uncertain, however, whether SRM can reduce climate change stressors such as sea-level rise or rates of surface air temperature change. Here we use an Earth system model of intermediate complexity to quantify the possible response of sea levels and surface air temperatures to projected climate forcings and SRM strategies. We find that SRM strategies introduce a potentially strong tension between the objectives to reduce (1) the rate of temperature change and (2) sea-level rise. This tension arises primarily because surface air temperatures respond faster to radiative forcings than sea levels. Our results show that the forcing required to stop sea-level rise could cause a rapid cooling with a rate similar to the peak business-as-usual warming rate. Furthermore, termination of SRM was found to produce warming rates up to five times greater than the maximum rates under the business-as-usual CO2 scenario, whereas sea-level rise rates were only 30% higher. Reducing these risks requires a slow phase-out of many decades and thus commits future generations.

  2. Impacts of sea-level rise on estuarine circulation: An idealized estuary and San Francisco Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chua, Vivien P.; Xu, Ming

    2014-11-01

    Estuaries lie at the interface of land and sea, and are particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise due to climate change that might lead to intrusion of salt water further upstream and affect circulation patterns. Climate change is also likely to have a major impact on hydrological cycles and consequently lead to changes in freshwater inflows into estuaries. An idealized estuary model is employed to investigate the effects of sea-level rise and freshwater inflows on estuarine circulation. Rising sea levels result in a stronger longitudinal salinity gradient ∂s/∂x, indicating an increase in the strength of the gravitational circulation UGC, higher longitudinal dispersion coefficients K and enhanced salinity intrusion. Under low-flow conditions, the effects of sea level rise on salinity intrusion are largest because sea-level rise has a greater impact due to weaker vertical stratification. Strong flows increase the strength of the gravitational circulation, resulting in higher vertical stratification, which leads to the nonlinear feedback between vertical mixing and stratification. The effect of sea-level rise on salinity intrusion is reduced owing to the suppression of mixing by stratification. Supporting three-dimensional simulations from northern San Francisco Bay are presented. The intrusion length scale L is used as a substitute for regulating inflows to ensure that sufficient fresh water is available to flush the Bay. Following a set of standards explicitly stated in the 1994 Bay-Delta Accord, a series of simulations is performed and we find that with sea-level rise stronger inflows are required to maintain L at the proposed locations.

  3. Sea level rise within the west of Arabian Gulf using tide gauge and continuous GPS measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayhan, M. E.; Alothman, A.

    2009-04-01

    Arabian Gulf is connected to Indian Ocean and located in the south-west of the Zagros Trust Belt. To investigate sea level variations within the west of Arabian Gulf, monthly means of sea level at 13 tide gauges along the coast of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, available in the database of the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL), are studied. We analyzed individually the monthly means at each station, and estimated secular sea level rate by a robust linear trend fitting. We computed the average relative sea level rise rate of 1.96 ± 0.21 mm/yr within the west of Arabian Gulf based on 4 stations spanning longer than 19 years. Vertical land motions are included into the relative sea level measurements at the tide gauges. Therefore sea level rates at the stations are corrected for vertical land motions using the ICE-5G v1.2 VM4 Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) model then we found the average sea level rise rate of 2.27 mm/yr. Bahrain International GPS Service (IGS) GPS station, which is close to the Mina Sulman tide gauge station in Bahrain, is the only continuous GPS station accessible in the region. The weekly GPS time series of vertical component at Bahrain IGS-GPS station referring to the ITRF97 from 1999.2 to 2008.6 are downloaded from http://www-gps.mit.edu/~tah/. We fitted a linear trend with an annual signal and one break to the GPS vertical time series and found a vertical land motion rate of 0.48 ± 0.11 mm/yr. Assuming the vertical rate at Bahrain IGS-GPS station represents the vertical rate at each of the other tide gauge stations studied here in the region, we computed average sea level rise rate of 2.44 ± 0.21 mm/yr within the west of Arabian Gulf.

  4. Regional spatial planning assessments for adaptation to accelerated sea level rise - an application to Martinique’s coastal zone

    OpenAIRE

    Christine Schleupner

    2007-01-01

    Accelerated sea level rise and hurricanes are increasingly influencing human coastal activities. With respect to the projected continuation of accelerated sea level rise and global warming one must count with additional expenses for adaptation strategies along the coasts. On the mountainous island Martinique the majority of settlements are situated along the coast almost at sea level. But potential rises in sea level and its impacts are not addressed in coastal management, even if saltwater i...

  5. A decade of sea level rise slowed by climate-driven hydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reager, J. T.; Gardner, A. S.; Famiglietti, J. S.; Wiese, D. N.; Eicker, A.; Lo, M.-H.

    2016-02-01

    Climate-driven changes in land water storage and their contributions to sea level rise have been absent from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sea level budgets owing to observational challenges. Recent advances in satellite measurement of time-variable gravity combined with reconciled global glacier loss estimates enable a disaggregation of continental land mass changes and a quantification of this term. We found that between 2002 and 2014, climate variability resulted in an additional 3200 ± 900 gigatons of water being stored on land. This gain partially offset water losses from ice sheets, glaciers, and groundwater pumping, slowing the rate of sea level rise by 0.71 ± 0.20 millimeters per year. These findings highlight the importance of climate-driven changes in hydrology when assigning attribution to decadal changes in sea level.

  6. A decade of sea level rise slowed by climate-driven hydrology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reager, J T; Gardner, A S; Famiglietti, J S; Wiese, D N; Eicker, A; Lo, M-H

    2016-02-12

    Climate-driven changes in land water storage and their contributions to sea level rise have been absent from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sea level budgets owing to observational challenges. Recent advances in satellite measurement of time-variable gravity combined with reconciled global glacier loss estimates enable a disaggregation of continental land mass changes and a quantification of this term. We found that between 2002 and 2014, climate variability resulted in an additional 3200 ± 900 gigatons of water being stored on land. This gain partially offset water losses from ice sheets, glaciers, and groundwater pumping, slowing the rate of sea level rise by 0.71 ± 0.20 millimeters per year. These findings highlight the importance of climate-driven changes in hydrology when assigning attribution to decadal changes in sea level.

  7. Adriatic and Black Sea level in the 20th century and projection to the end of the 21st century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scarascia, Luca; Lionello, Piero

    2015-04-01

    Adriatic and Black Sea are semi-enclosed basins characterized by densely populated coasts, industrial compounds and a rich cultural and historical heritage. It appears to be crucial, for the management and the protection of their coastlines, to understand how much they will be impacted by the global sea level (SL) rise, projected by the end of this century. The aim of this work is to develop a method that allows to estimate to which extent the SL of the two basins will depart from the mean global level. The future evolution of global sea level is not a meaningful indicator at this regional scale and past deviations, due to local factors of the Adriatic and Black Sea levels from the global one, have been observed. The Adriatic Sea is the basin of the Mediterranean Sea best covered by past SL observations. In fact, for the Adriatic Sea is possible to obtain, by statistical method based on PCA and Least square Method, a seamless and long time series (from 1900 to 2009) using records of 7 mareographic stations located along the Italian and Croatian coasts (from PSMSL database). Satellite data of SL are available for the whole Mediterranean from 1993 to 2012 and they show a very high correlation (rho > 0.9) with Adriatic time series based on mareographic records. The SL time series of the 20th century in the Black Sea is computed using data of 4 stations, which are available in the PSMSL (Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level) archive, located on the north-east coast. This time series shows a lower correlation (rho about 0.5) with satellite data than in the case of Adriatic Sea. Further it shows a higher interannual variability. All the time series are considered after the subtraction of the Inverse Barometer (IB) effect. A statistical approach, based on a multivariate linear regression model, is used to investigate the link between SL anomaly, computed as the difference between the regional SL and global SL, and three large scale climate variables (sea level pressure

  8. The role of sea-level rise and the Greenland ice sheet in dangerous climate change: implications for the stabilisation of climate

    OpenAIRE

    Lowe, J A; J. M. Gregory; J. Ridley; Huybrechts, Philippe; Nicholls, R J; Collins, M.

    2006-01-01

    Sea level rise is an important aspect of future climate change because, without upgraded coastal defences, it is likely to lead to significant impacts. Here we report on two aspects of sea-level rise that have implications for the avoidance of dangerous climate change and stabilisation of climate. If the Greenland ice sheet were to melt it would raise global sea levels by around 7m. We discuss the likelihood of such an event occurring in the coming centuries. We also examine the time scales a...

  9. Assessment on the Vulnerability of Mangrove Ecosystems in the Guangxi Coastal Zone under Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, S.; Ge, Z.; Zhang, L.

    2013-12-01

    Sea level rise caused by global climate change will have significant impacts on coastal zone. The mangrove ecosystems occur at the intertidal zone in tropical and subtropical coasts and are particularly sensitive to sea level rise. To study the responses of mangrove ecosystems to sea level rise, assess the impacts of sea level rise on mangrove ecosystem and formulate the feasible and practical mitigation strategies are the important prerequisites for securing the coastal ecosystems. In this research, taking the mangrove ecosystems in the coastal zone of Guangxi province, China as a case study, the potential impacts of sea level rise on the mangrove ecosystems were analyzed by adopting the SPRC (Source-Pathway- Receptor- Consequence) model. An index system for vulnerability assessment on coastal mangrove ecosystems under sea level rise was worked out, in which rate of sea level rise, subsidence/uplift rate, habitat elevation, daily inundation duration, intertidal slope and sedimentation rate were selected as the key indicators according to the IPCC definition of vulnerability, i.e. the aspects of exposure, sensitivity and adaptation. A quantitatively spatial assessment method based on the GIS platform was established by quantifying each indicator, calculating the vulnerability index and grading the vulnerability. The vulnerability assessment based on the sea-level rise rates of the present trend and IPCC A1F1 scenario were performed for three sets of projections of short-term (2030s), mid-term (2050s) and long-term (2100s). The results showed at the present trend of sea level rise rate of 0.27 cm/a, the mangrove ecosystems in the coastal zone of Guangxi was within the EVI score of 0 in the projections of 2030s, 2050s and 2100s, respectively. As the sedimentation and land uplift could offset the rate of sea level rise and the impact of sea level rise on habitats/species of mangrove ecosystems was negligible. While at the A1F1 scenario with a sea level rise rate of 0

  10. Sea-Level Rise and Flood Potential along the California Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delepine, Q.; Leung, C.

    2013-12-01

    Sea-level rise is becoming an ever-increasing problem in California. Sea-level is expected to rise significantly in the next 100 years, which will raise flood elevations in coastal communities. This will be an issue for private homeowners, businesses, and the state. One study suggests that Venice Beach could lose a total of at least $440 million in tourism spending and tax dollars from flooding and beach erosion if sea level rises 1.4 m by 2100. In addition, several airports, such as San Francisco International Airport, are located in coastal regions that have flooded in the past and will likely be flooded again in the next 30 years, but sea-level rise is expected to worsen the effects of flooding in the coming decades It is vital for coastal communities to understand the risks associated with sea-level rise so that they can plan to adapt to it. By obtaining accurate LiDAR elevation data from the NOAA Digital Coast Website (http://csc.noaa.gov/dataviewer/?keyword=lidar#), we can create flood maps to simulate sea level rise and flooding. The data are uploaded to ArcGIS and contour lines are added for different elevations that represent future coastlines during 100-year flooding. The following variables are used to create the maps: 1. High-resolution land surface elevation data - obtained from NOAA 2. Local mean high water level - from USGS 3. Local 100-year flood water level - from the Pacific Institute 4. Sea-level rise projections for different future dates (2030, 2050, and 2100) - from the National Research Council The values from the last three categories are added to represent sea-level rise plus 100-year flooding. These values are used to make the contour lines that represent the projected flood elevations, which are then exported as KML files, which can be opened in Google Earth. Once these KML files are made available to the public, coastal communities will gain an improved understanding of how flooding and sea-level rise might affect them in the future

  11. Delaware estuary situation reports: Sea-level rise. How could a potential rise in sea level due to global warming affect Delaware. Technical report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Our atmosphere is largely transparent to the solar radiation that warms the Earth's surface. But rather than allowing all the warmth to be radiated back into space, clouds and certain gases naturally present in the atmosphere act remarkably like glass in a greenhouse, retaining part of the heat by absorption and reradiation. Although human beings are not the primary cause of the greenhouse effect, many of our activities may enhance it, thereby altering global climate. Scientists who believe the climate balance will shift toward warmer temperatures see rising sea levels as a major consequence of such a change. The intent of the report is to inform the reader of how a rise in sea level may affect the state of Delaware, if predictions of global warming prove correct. Those responsible for managing our natural resources and developed communities should neither ignore nor overreact to potential scenarios for climate warming or sea-level rise. Instead, they should be aware of the range of possibilities for the years ahead as a basis for precautionary action

  12. Development of sea level rise scenarios for climate change assessments of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Thomas W.; Day, Richard H.; Michot, Thomas C.

    2010-01-01

    Rising sea level poses critical ecological and economical consequences for the low-lying megadeltas of the world where dependent populations and agriculture are at risk. The Mekong Delta of Vietnam is one of many deltas that are especially vulnerable because much of the land surface is below mean sea level and because there is a lack of coastal barrier protection. Food security related to rice and shrimp farming in the Mekong Delta is currently under threat from saltwater intrusion, relative sea level rise, and storm surge potential. Understanding the degree of potential change in sea level under climate change is needed to undertake regional assessments of potential impacts and to formulate adaptation strategies. This report provides constructed time series of potential sea level rise scenarios for the Mekong Delta region by incorporating (1) aspects of observed intra- and inter-annual sea level variability from tide records and (2) projected estimates for different rates of regional subsidence and accelerated eustacy through the year 2100 corresponding with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate models and emission scenarios.

  13. Comment [on “Sea level rise shown to drive coastal erosion”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilkey, Orrin H.; Young, Robert S.; Bush, David M.

    2000-01-01

    Leatherman et al. [2000] (Eos, Trans., AGU, February 8, 2000, p.55) affirm that global eustatic sea-level rise is driving coastal erosion. Furthermore, they argue that the long-term average rate of shoreline retreat is 150 times the rate of sea-level rise. This rate, they say, is more than a magnitude greater than would be expected from a simple response to sea-level rise through inundation of the shoreline. We agree that sea-level rise is the primary factor causing shoreline retreat in stable coastal areas.This is intuitive. We also believe, however, that the Leatherman et al. [2000] study has greatly underestimated the rate of coastal recession along most low slope shorelines. Slopes along the North Carolina continental shelf/coastal plain approach 10,000:1. To us, this suggests that we should expect rates of shoreline recession 10,000 times the rate of sea-level rise through simple inundation of the shoreline.

  14. How sea level rise affects sedimentation, plant growth, and carbon accumulation on coastal salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudd, S. M.; Howell, S. M.; Morris, J. T.

    2009-12-01

    The rate of accretion on coastal salt marshes depends on feedbacks between flow, macrophyte growth, and sedimentation. Under favourable conditions, marsh accretion rates will keep pace with the local rate of sea level rise. Marsh accretion is driven by both organic and inorganic sedimentation; mineral rich marshes will need less organic sedimentation to keep pace with sea level rise. Here we use a numerical model of marsh accretion, calibrated by sediment cores, to explore the relationship between sea level rise and carbon sequestration on salt marshes in the face of differing supplies of inorganic sediment. The model predicts that changes in carbon storage resulting from changing sediment supply or sea-level rise are strongly dependant on the background sediment supply: if inorganic sediment supply is reduced in an already sediment poor marsh the storage of organic carbon will increase to a far greater extent than in a sediment-rich marsh, provided that the rate of sea-level rise does not exceed a threshold. These results imply that altering sediment supply to estuaries (e.g., by damming upstream rivers or altering littoral sediment transport) could lead to significant changes in the carbon budgets of coastal salt marshes.

  15. The vulnerability of Indo-Pacific mangrove forests to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovelock, Catherine E.; Cahoon, Donald R.; Friess, Daniel A.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Krauss, Ken W.; Reef, Ruth; Rogers, Kerrylee; Saunders, Megan L.; Sidik, Frida; Swales, Andrew; Saintilan, Neil; Thuyen, Le Xuan; Triet, Tran

    2015-10-01

    Sea-level rise can threaten the long-term sustainability of coastal communities and valuable ecosystems such as coral reefs, salt marshes and mangroves. Mangrove forests have the capacity to keep pace with sea-level rise and to avoid inundation through vertical accretion of sediments, which allows them to maintain wetland soil elevations suitable for plant growth. The Indo-Pacific region holds most of the world's mangrove forests, but sediment delivery in this region is declining, owing to anthropogenic activities such as damming of rivers. This decline is of particular concern because the Indo-Pacific region is expected to have variable, but high, rates of future sea-level rise. Here we analyse recent trends in mangrove surface elevation changes across the Indo-Pacific region using data from a network of surface elevation table instruments. We find that sediment availability can enable mangrove forests to maintain rates of soil-surface elevation gain that match or exceed that of sea-level rise, but for 69 per cent of our study sites the current rate of sea-level rise exceeded the soil surface elevation gain. We also present a model based on our field data, which suggests that mangrove forests at sites with low tidal range and low sediment supply could be submerged as early as 2070.

  16. The vulnerability of Indo-Pacific mangrove forests to sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovelock, Catherine E; Cahoon, Donald R; Friess, Daniel A; Guntenspergen, Glenn R; Krauss, Ken W; Reef, Ruth; Rogers, Kerrylee; Saunders, Megan L; Sidik, Frida; Swales, Andrew; Saintilan, Neil; Thuyen, Le Xuan; Triet, Tran

    2015-10-22

    Sea-level rise can threaten the long-term sustainability of coastal communities and valuable ecosystems such as coral reefs, salt marshes and mangroves. Mangrove forests have the capacity to keep pace with sea-level rise and to avoid inundation through vertical accretion of sediments, which allows them to maintain wetland soil elevations suitable for plant growth. The Indo-Pacific region holds most of the world's mangrove forests, but sediment delivery in this region is declining, owing to anthropogenic activities such as damming of rivers. This decline is of particular concern because the Indo-Pacific region is expected to have variable, but high, rates of future sea-level rise. Here we analyse recent trends in mangrove surface elevation changes across the Indo-Pacific region using data from a network of surface elevation table instruments. We find that sediment availability can enable mangrove forests to maintain rates of soil-surface elevation gain that match or exceed that of sea-level rise, but for 69 per cent of our study sites the current rate of sea-level rise exceeded the soil surface elevation gain. We also present a model based on our field data, which suggests that mangrove forests at sites with low tidal range and low sediment supply could be submerged as early as 2070.

  17. Effects of sea-level rise and pumpage elimination on saltwater intrusion in the Hilton Head Island area, South Carolina, 2004-2104

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Dorothy F.

    2010-01-01

    Saltwater intrusion of the Upper Floridan aquifer has been observed in the Hilton Head area, South Carolina since the late 1970s and currently affects freshwater supply. Rising sea level in the Hilton Head Island area may contribute to the occurrence of and affect the rate of saltwater intrusion into the Upper Floridan aquifer by increasing the hydraulic gradient and by inundating an increasing area with saltwater, which may then migrate downward into geologic units that presently contain freshwater. Rising sea level may offset any beneficial results from reductions in groundwater pumpage, and thus needs to be considered in groundwater-management decisions. A variable-density groundwater flow and transport model was modified from a previously existing model to simulate the effects of sea-level rise in the Hilton Head Island area. Specifically, the model was used to (1) simulate trends of saltwater intrusion from predevelopment to the present day (1885-2004) and evaluate the conceptual model, (2) project these trends from the present day into the future based on different potential rates of sea-level change, and (3) evaluate the relative influences of pumpage and sea-level rise on saltwater intrusion. Four scenarios were simulated for 2004-2104: (1) continuation of the estimated sea-level rise rate over the last century, (2) a doubling of the sea-level rise, (3) a cessation of sea-level rise, and (4) continuation of the rate over the last century coupled with an elimination of all pumpage. Results show that, if present-day (year 2004) pumping conditions are maintained, the extent of saltwater in the Upper Floridan aquifer will increase, whether or not sea level continues to rise. Furthermore, if all pumpage is eliminated and sea level continues to rise, the simulated saltwater extent in the Upper Floridan aquifer is reduced. These results indicate that pumpage is a strong driving force for simulated saltwater intrusion, more so than sea-level rise at current rates

  18. Tidal marsh susceptibility to sea-level rise: importance of local-scale models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Karen M.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Elliott-Fisk, Deborah L.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2015-01-01

    Increasing concern over sea-level rise impacts to coastal tidal marsh ecosystems has led to modeling efforts to anticipate outcomes for resource management decision making. Few studies on the Pacific coast of North America have modeled sea-level rise marsh susceptibility at a scale relevant to local wildlife populations and plant communities. Here, we use a novel approach in developing an empirical sea-level rise ecological response model that can be applied to key management questions. Calculated elevation change over 13 y for a 324-ha portion of San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California, USA, was used to represent local accretion and subsidence processes. Next, we coupled detailed plant community and elevation surveys with measured rates of inundation frequency to model marsh state changes to 2100. By grouping plant communities into low, mid, and high marsh habitats, we were able to assess wildlife species vulnerability and to better understand outcomes for habitat resiliency. Starting study-site conditions were comprised of 78% (253-ha) high marsh, 7% (30-ha) mid marsh, and 4% (18-ha) low marsh habitats, dominated by pickleweed Sarcocornia pacifica and cordgrass Spartina spp. Only under the low sea-level rise scenario (44 cm by 2100) did our models show persistence of some marsh habitats to 2100, with the area dominated by low marsh habitats. Under mid (93 cm by 2100) and high sea-level rise scenarios (166 cm by 2100), most mid and high marsh habitat was lost by 2070, with only 15% (65 ha) remaining, and a complete loss of these habitats by 2080. Low marsh habitat increased temporarily under all three sea-level rise scenarios, with the peak (286 ha) in 2070, adding habitat for the endemic endangered California Ridgway’s rail Rallus obsoletus obsoletus. Under mid and high sea-level rise scenarios, an almost complete conversion to mudflat occurred, with most of the area below mean sea level. Our modeling assumed no marsh migration upslope due to human

  19. Predicting the retreat and migration of tidal forests along the northern Gulf of Mexico under sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, T.W.; Krauss, K.W.; Conner, W.H.; From, A.S.

    2010-01-01

    Tidal freshwater forests in coastal regions of the southeastern United States are undergoing dieback and retreat from increasing tidal inundation and saltwater intrusion attributed to climate variability and sea-level rise. In many areas, tidal saltwater forests (mangroves) contrastingly are expanding landward in subtropical coastal reaches succeeding freshwater marsh and forest zones. Hydrological characteristics of these low-relief coastal forests in intertidal settings are dictated by the influence of tidal and freshwater forcing. In this paper, we describe the application of the Sea Level Over Proportional Elevation (SLOPE) model to predict coastal forest retreat and migration from projected sea-level rise based on a proxy relationship of saltmarsh/mangrove area and tidal range. The SLOPE model assumes that the sum area of saltmarsh/mangrove habitat along any given coastal reach is determined by the slope of the landform and vertical tide forcing. Model results indicated that saltmarsh and mangrove migration from sea-level rise will vary by county and watershed but greater in western Gulf States than in the eastern Gulf States where millions of hectares of coastal forest will be displaced over the next century with a near meter rise in relative sea level alone. Substantial losses of coastal forests will also occur in the eastern Gulf but mangrove forests in subtropical zones of Florida are expected to replace retreating freshwater forest and affect regional biodiversity. Accelerated global eustacy from climate change will compound the degree of predicted retreat and migration of coastal forests with expected implications for ecosystem management of State and Federal lands in the absence of adaptive coastal management.

  20. Contribution of global groundwater depletion since 1900 to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konikow, L.F.

    2011-01-01

    Removal of water from terrestrial subsurface storage is a natural consequence of groundwater withdrawals, but global depletion is not well characterized. Cumulative groundwater depletion represents a transfer of mass from land to the oceans that contributes to sea-level rise. Depletion is directly calculated using calibrated groundwater models, analytical approaches, or volumetric budget analyses for multiple aquifer systems. Estimated global groundwater depletion during 1900–2008 totals ~4,500 km3, equivalent to a sea-level rise of 12.6 mm (>6% of the total). Furthermore, the rate of groundwater depletion has increased markedly since about 1950, with maximum rates occurring during the most recent period (2000–2008), when it averaged ~145 km3/yr (equivalent to 0.40 mm/yr of sea-level rise, or 13% of the reported rate of 3.1 mm/yr during this recent period).

  1. The Land Subsidence and Relative Sea Level Rise in Chinese Delta Areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YeYincan; LiuDujuan

    2004-01-01

    Based on some experts' research effort, the problems of land subsidence and relative sea level rise in three Chinese delta areas(Huanghe, Changjiang and Zhujiang Delta) are analyzed and discussed in this paper. The authors' opinion is that the land subsidence is mainly induced by human activity and has made the greater contributions to the relative sea level rise and become one of the geological hazards in these areas. In Tianjin and Shanghai areas where had ever existed serious land subsidence problem, due to the positive and effective control methods, the ratio of man-induced land subsidence to relative sea level rise decreased from 80% - 90% in 1960s - 1970s to less than 60% at present. But it is estimated that in the next tens of years this ratio will still be considerable. So human being must keep its eyes on this phenomenon and take more positive countermeasures to control the land subsidenee.

  2. Comment [on “Sea level rise shown to drive coastal erosion”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallenger,, Asbury H., Jr.; Morton, Robert; Fletcher, Charles; Thieler, E. Robert; Howd, Peter

    2000-01-01

    In a recent article (Eos, Trans., AGU, February 8, 2000, p.55), Leatherman et al. [2000] state that they have confirmed an association between sea-level rise and coastal erosion. Applying their results to the New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland coasts and using a projected sea-level rise, the authors predict that by 2050 the shoreline will recede 60 m, about two times the average beach width. However, Leatherman et al. [2000] have not convincingly quantified a relationship between sea-level rise and shoreline erosion.We do not agree with their rationale for subsetting their data, and they have not considered other explanations for a background erosion along the U.S. east coast. Furthermore, their future projections are not supported by their analyses.

  3. Analysis of the sea levels in Kiribati A Rising Sea of Misrepresentation Sinks Kiribati

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Albert

    2016-03-01

    The sea levels of Kiribati have been stable over the last few decades, as elsewhere in the world. The Australian government funded Pacific Sea Level Monitoring (PSLM) project has adjusted sea level records to produce an unrealistic rising trend. Some information has been hidden or neglected, especially from sources of different management. The measured monthly average mean sea levels suffer from subsidence or manipulation resulting in a tilting from the about 0 (zero) mm/year of nearby tide gauges to 4 (four) mm/year over the same short time window. Real environmental problems are driven by the increasing local population leading to troubles including scarcity of water, localized sinking and localised erosion.

  4. Economic vulnerability to sea-level rise along the northern U.S. Gulf Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thatcher, Cindy A.; Brock, John C.; Pendleton, Elizabeth A.

    2013-01-01

    The northern Gulf of Mexico coast of the United States has been identified as highly vulnerable to sea-level rise, based on a combination of physical and societal factors. Vulnerability of human populations and infrastructure to projected increases in sea level is a critical area of uncertainty for communities in the extremely low-lying and flat northern gulf coastal zone. A rapidly growing population along some parts of the northern Gulf of Mexico coastline is further increasing the potential societal and economic impacts of projected sea-level rise in the region, where observed relative rise rates range from 0.75 to 9.95 mm per year on the Gulf coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. A 1-m elevation threshold was chosen as an inclusive designation of the coastal zone vulnerable to relative sea-level rise, because of uncertainty associated with sea-level rise projections. This study applies a Coastal Economic Vulnerability Index (CEVI) to the northern Gulf of Mexico region, which includes both physical and economic factors that contribute to societal risk of impacts from rising sea level. The economic variables incorporated in the CEVI include human population, urban land cover, economic value of key types of infrastructure, and residential and commercial building values. The variables are standardized and combined to produce a quantitative index value for each 1-km coastal segment, highlighting areas where human populations and the built environment are most at risk. This information can be used by coastal managers as they allocate limited resources for ecosystem restoration, beach nourishment, and coastal-protection infrastructure. The study indicates a large amount of variability in index values along the northern Gulf of Mexico coastline, and highlights areas where long-term planning to enhance resiliency is particularly needed.

  5. Tipping points for seawater intrusion in coastal aquifers under rising sea level

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study considers different projections of climate-driven sea-level rise and uses a recently developed, generalized analytical model to investigate the responses of sea intrusion in unconfined sloping coastal aquifers to climate-driven sea-level rise. The results show high nonlinearity in these responses, implying important thresholds, or tipping points, beyond which the responses of seawater intrusion to sea-level rise shift abruptly from a stable state of mild change responses to a new stable state of large responses to small changes that can rapidly lead to full seawater intrusion into a coastal aquifer. The identified tipping points are of three types: (a) spatial, for the particular aquifers (sections) along a coastline with depths that imply critical risk of full sea intrusion in response to even small sea-level rise; (b) temporal, for the critical sea-level rise and its timing, beyond which the change responses and the risk of complete sea intrusion in an aquifer shift abruptly from low to very high; and (c) managerial, for the critical minimum values of groundwater discharge and hydraulic head that inland water management must maintain in an aquifer in order to avoid rapid loss of control and complete sea intrusion in response to even small sea-level rise. The existence of a tipping point depends on highly variable aquifer properties and groundwater conditions, in combination with more homogeneous sea conditions. The generalized analytical model used in this study facilitates parsimonious quantification and screening of sea-intrusion risks and tipping points under such spatio-temporally different condition combinations along extended coastlines. (letter)

  6. Sea-level rise risks to coastal cities: what are the limits to adaptation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholls, R. J.; Reeder, T.; Brown, S.; Haigh, I. D.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the consequence of sea-level rise for coastal cities has long lead times and huge political implications. Civilisation has emerged and developed during a period of several thousand years during which in geological terms sea level has been unusually stable. We have now moved out of this period raising important challenges for the future. In 2005 there were 136 coastal cities with a population exceeding one million people and a collective population of 400 million people. All these cities are threatened by flooding from the sea to varying degrees and these risks are increasing due to growing exposure (people and assets), rising sea levels due to climate change, and in some cities, significant coastal subsidence due to human agency (drainage and groundwater withdrawals from susceptible soils). City abandonment due to sea-level rise is widely discussed in the media, but most of the discussion is speculative. The limits to adaptation and abandonment of cities are not predictable in a formal sense - while the rise in mean sea level raises the likelihood of a catastrophic flood, extreme events are what cause damage and trigger a response, be it abandonment or a defence upgrade. Several types of potential adaptation limits can be recognised: (1) physical/engineering limits; (2) economic/financial limits; and (3) socio-political limits. The latter two types of limits are much less understood, and yet issues such as loss of confidence rather than a simple engineering failure may be instrumental in the future of a coastal city. There are few studies which quantify the sea-level rise threshold at which cities will be challenged, especially for large rises exceeding a metre or more. Exceptions include London and the Thames Estuary and the Amsterdam and Rotterdam (the Netherlands) where adaptation to a rise of sea level of up to 4 m or more appears feasible. This lack of knowledge on sea-level rise thresholds for coastal cities is of concern, and similar

  7. Effects of Sea Level Rise on Economy of the United States

    OpenAIRE

    Novackova, Monika; TOL, Richard S.J.

    2016-01-01

    We report the first ex post study of the economic impact of sea level rise. We apply two econometric approaches to estimate the past effects of sea level rise on the economy of the USA, viz. Barro type growth regressions adjusted for spatial patterns and a matching estimator. Unit of analysis is 3063 counties of the USA. We fit growth regressions for 13 time periods and we estimated numerous varieties and robustness tests for both growth regressions and matching estimator. Although there is s...

  8. The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Developing Countries: A Comparative Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dasgupta, S. [World Bank, Washington, DC (United States)

    2008-07-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) due to climate change is a serious global threat: The scientific evidence is now overwhelming. In this paper, Geographic Information System software has been used to overlay the best available, spatially-disaggregated global data on land, population, agriculture, urban extent, wetlands, and GDP, to assess the consequences of continued SLR for 84 coastal developing countries. Estimates suggest that even a one-meter rise in sea level in coastal countries of the developing world would submerge 194,000 square kilometers of land area, and turn at least 56 million people into environmental refugees. At the country level results are extremely skewed.

  9. The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Developing Countries: A Comparative Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dasgupta, Susmita (World Bank, Washington, DC (United States))

    2008-07-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) due to climate change is a serious global threat: The scientific evidence is now overwhelming. In this paper, Geographic Information System software has been used to overlay the best available, spatially-disaggregated global data on land, population, agriculture, urban extent, wetlands, and GDP, to assess the consequences of continued SLR for 84 coastal developing countries. Estimates suggest that even a one-meter rise in sea level in coastal countries of the developing world would submerge 194,000 square kilometers of land area, and turn at least 56 million people into environmental refugees. At the country level results are extremely skewed

  10. Impact of accelerated future global mean sea level rise on hypoxia in the Baltic Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, H. E. M.; Höglund, A.; Eilola, K.; Almroth-Rosell, E.

    2016-08-01

    Expanding hypoxia is today a major threat for many coastal seas around the world and disentangling its drivers is a large challenge for interdisciplinary research. Using a coupled physical-biogeochemical model we estimate the impact of past and accelerated future global mean sea level rise (GSLR) upon water exchange and oxygen conditions in a semi-enclosed, shallow sea. As a study site, the Baltic Sea was chosen that suffers today from eutrophication and from dead bottom zones due to (1) excessive nutrient loads from land, (2) limited water exchange with the world ocean and (3) perhaps other drivers like global warming. We show from model simulations for the period 1850-2008 that the impacts of past GSLR on the marine ecosystem were relatively small. If we assume for the end of the twenty-first century a GSLR of +0.5 m relative to today's mean sea level, the impact on the marine ecosystem may still be small. Such a GSLR corresponds approximately to the projected ensemble-mean value reported by the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, we conclude that GSLR should be considered in future high-end projections (>+1 m) for the Baltic Sea and other coastal seas with similar hydrographical conditions as in the Baltic because GSLR may lead to reinforced saltwater inflows causing higher salinity and increased vertical stratification compared to present-day conditions. Contrary to intuition, reinforced ventilation of the deep water does not lead to overall improved oxygen conditions but causes instead expanded dead bottom areas accompanied with increased internal phosphorus loads from the sediments and increased risk for cyanobacteria blooms.

  11. Sea-level rise: Destruction of threatened and endangered species habitat in South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniels, Richard C.; White, Tammy W.; Chapman, Kimberly K.

    1993-05-01

    Concern for the environment has increased over the past century, and the US Congress has responded to this concern by passing legislation designed to protect the nation’s ecological biodiversity. This legislation, culminating with the Endangered Species Act of 1973, has been instrumental in defining methods for identifying and protecting endangered or threatened species and their habitats. Current legislation, however, assumes that the range of a protected species will stay constant over time. This assumption may no longer be valid, as the unprecedented increase in the number and concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has the potential to cause a global warming of 1.0-4.5°C and a sea-level rise (SLR) of 31-150 cm by the year 2100. Changes in climate of this magnitude are capable of causing shifts in the population structure and range of most animal species. This article examines the effects that SLR may have on the habitats of endangered and threatened species at three scales. At the regional scale 52 endangered or threatened plant and animal species were found to reside within 3 m of mean sea level in the coastal stages of the US Southeast. At the state level, the habitats of nine endangered or threatened animals that may be at risk from future SLR were identified. At the local level, a microscale analysis was conducted in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, USA, on the adverse effects that SLR may have on the habitats of the American alligator, brown pelican, loggerhead sea turtle, and wood stork.

  12. Groundwater extraction, land subsidence, and sea-level rise in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Groundwater exploitation is a major cause of land subsidence, which in coastal areas poses a flood inundation hazard that is compounded by the threat of sea-level rise (SLR). In the lower Mekong Delta, most of which lies <2 m above sea level, over-exploitation is inducing widespread hydraulic head (i.e., groundwater level) declines. The average rate of head decline is ∼0.3 m yr−1, based on time-series data from 79 nested monitoring wells at 18 locations. The consequent compaction of sedimentary layers at these locations is calculated to be causing land subsidence at an average rate of 1.6 cm yr−1. We further measure recent subsidence rates (annual average, 2006–10) throughout the Delta, by analysis of interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR), using 78 ALOS PALSAR interferograms. InSAR-based subsidence rates are 1) consistent with compaction-based rates calculated at monitoring wells, and 2) ∼1–4 cm yr−1 over large (1000s of km2) regions. Ours are the first mapped estimates of Delta-wide land subsidence due to groundwater pumping. If pumping continues at present rates, ∼0.88 m (0.35–1.4 m) of land subsidence is expected by 2050. Anticipated SLR of ∼0.10 m (0.07–0.14 m) by 2050 will compound flood inundation potential. Our results suggest that by mid-century portions of the Mekong Delta will likely experience ∼1 m (0.42–1.54 m) of additional inundation hazard. (letter)

  13. Allowances for evolving coastal flood risk under uncertain local sea-level rise

    CERN Document Server

    Buchanan, Maya K; Oppenheimer, Michael; Tebaldi, Claudia

    2015-01-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) causes estimates of flood risk made under the assumption of stationary mean sea level to be biased low. However, adjustments to flood return levels made assuming fixed increases of sea level are also inaccurate when applied to sea level that is rising over time at an uncertain rate. To accommodate both the temporal dynamics of SLR and their uncertainty, we develop an Average Annual Design Life Level (AADLL) metric and associated Design Life SLR (DL-SLR) allowances. The AADLL is the flood level corresponding to a time-integrated annual expected probability of occurrence (AEP) under uncertainty over the design life of an asset; DL-SLR allowances are the adjustment from 2000 levels that maintain current average probability over the design life. Given non-stationary and uncertain sea-level rise, AADLL flood levels and DL-SLR allowances provide estimates of flood protection heights and offsets for different planning horizons and different levels of confidence in SLR projections in coastal area...

  14. Floods in Mekong Delta Under Sea-Level Rise Projections By IPCC AR5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takagi, H.

    2014-12-01

    One of the mightiest rivers in the planet, the Mekong ranks 10th amongst the world's great rivers on the basis of mean annual flow at the mouth. It flows southwards over a distance of approximately 4,800 km from its source to the sea, through six different countries: China, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. This great basin has been considered to be one of the most sensitive areas in the world to climate change. The present paper investigates fluvial flood hazards in urban areas in the Mekong Delta to inundation due to seasonal flooding, a phenomenon which is likely to be exacerbated by future sea-level rise. Unlike past researches which mainly focus on flooding due to river discharge from upstream or heavy precipitation, the present paper scrutinizes the influence of ocean tides. The research reveals that ocean tides predominantly determine water elevation even in an upstream location such as Can Tho City, 80 km inland from the river mouth, and that the river flow causes tidal damping and effectively reduces the energy of the incoming tides. This tidal damping is especially pronounced during the rainy season. Analysis based on the water levels monitored by the Mekong River Commission reveals that the ground near the riverbank of Can Tho had experienced inundation for a total of 215 hours between July 2009 and June 2010 (2.5% of the time over a one year period). It is also shown that inundation reached up to a maximum height of 47 cm above the roads of Can Tho downtown in this one-year period. Assuming two scenarios of sea-level rise of 25 cm in the middle of the 21st century and 60 cm in the end of the century, all based on the Fifth Assessment Report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5) projections, it was found that the duration of inundation will be prolonged from the present percentage of 2.5% to 7.5% and 24% of the year, respectively. It is important to note that while at present this flooding is seasonal and limited, in the

  15. Forecasting ecological impacts of sea-level rise on coastal conservation areas in India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.Z. Islam

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available In addition to the mounting empirical data on direct implications of climate change for natural and human systems, evidence is increasing for indirect climate change phenomena such as sea-level rise. Rising sea levels and associated marine intrusion into terrestria.htm"l environments are predicted to be among the most serious eventual consequences of climate change. The many complex and interacting factors affecting sea levels create considerable uncertainty in sea-level rise projections: conservative estimates are on the order of 0.5-1.0 m globally, while other estimates are much higher, approaching 6m. Marine intrusion associated with 1-6 m sea-level rise will impact species and habitats in coastal ecosystems severely. Examining areas most vulnerable to such impacts may allow design of appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies. We present an overview of potential effects of 1m and 6m sea level rise for coastal conservation areas in the Indian Subcontinent. In particular, we examine the projected magnitude of areal losses in relevant biogeographic zones, ecoregions, protected areas (PAs and important bird areas (IBAs. In addition, we provide a more detailed and quantitative analysis of likely effects of marine intrusion on 22 coastal PAs and IBAs that provide critical habitat for birds in the form of breeding areas, migratory stopover sites and overwintering habitats. Several coastal PAs and IBAs are predicted to experience higher than 50% areal losses to marine intrusion. We explore consequences of such inundation levels for species and habitats in these areas.

  16. The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Geodetic Vertical Datum of Peninsular Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Din, A. H. M.; Abazu, I. C.; Pa'suya, M. F.; Omar, K. M.; Hamid, A. I. A.

    2016-09-01

    Sea level rise is rapidly turning into major issues among our community and all levels of the government are working to develop responses to ensure these matters are given the uttermost attention in all facets of planning. It is more interesting to understand and investigate the present day sea level variation due its potential impact, particularly on our national geodetic vertical datum. To determine present day sea level variation, it is vital to consider both in-situ tide gauge and remote sensing measurements. This study presents an effort to quantify the sea level rise rate and magnitude over Peninsular Malaysia using tide gauge and multi-mission satellite altimeter. The time periods taken for both techniques are 32 years (from 1984 to 2015) for tidal data and 23 years (from 1993 to 2015) for altimetry data. Subsequently, the impact of sea level rise on Peninsular Malaysia Geodetic Vertical Datum (PMGVD) is evaluated in this study. the difference between MSL computed from 10 years (1984 - 1993) and 32 years (1984 - 2015) tidal data at Port Kelang showed that the increment of sea level is about 27mm. The computed magnitude showed an estimate of the long-term effect a change in MSL has on the geodetic vertical datum of Port Kelang tide gauge station. This will help give a new insight on the establishment of national geodetic vertical datum based on mean sea level data. Besides, this information can be used for a wide variety of climatic applications to study environmental issues related to flood and global warming in Malaysia.

  17. Modelling the impacts of sea level rise on tidal basin ecomorphodynamics and mangrove habitat evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Maanen, Barend; Coco, Giovanni; Bryan, Karin

    2016-04-01

    The evolution of tidal basins and estuaries in tropical and subtropical regions is often influenced by the presence of mangrove forests. These forests are amongst the most productive environments in the world and provide important ecosystem services. However, these intertidal habitats are also extremely vulnerable and are threatened by climate change impacts such as sea level rise. It is therefore of key importance to improve our understanding of how tidal systems occupied by mangrove vegetation respond to rising water levels. An ecomorphodynamic model was developed that simulates morphological change and mangrove forest evolution as a result of mutual feedbacks between physical and biological processes. The model accounts for the effects of mangrove trees on tidal flow patterns and sediment dynamics. Mangrove growth is in turn controlled by hydrodynamic conditions. Under stable water levels, model results indicate that mangrove trees enhance the initiation and branching of tidal channels, partly because the extra flow resistance in mangrove forests favours flow concentration, and thus sediment erosion in between vegetated areas. The landward expansion of the channels, on the other hand, is reduced. Model simulations including sea level rise suggest that mangroves can potentially enhance the ability of the soil surface to maintain an elevation within the upper portion of the intertidal zone. While the sea level is rising, mangroves are migrating landward and the channel network tends to expand landward too. The presence of mangrove trees, however, was found to hinder both the branching and headward erosion of the landward expanding channels. Simulations are performed according to different sea level rise scenarios and with different tidal range conditions to assess which tidal environments are most vulnerable. Changes in the properties of the tidal channel networks are being examined as well. Overall, model results highlight the role of mangroves in driving the

  18. Sea-Level Rise Implications for Coastal Protection from Southern Mediterranean to the U.S.A. Atlantic Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismail, Nabil; Williams, Jeffress

    2013-04-01

    This paper presents an assessment of global sea level rise and the need to incorporate projections of rise into management plans for coastal adaptation. It also discusses the performance of a shoreline revetment; M. Ali Seawall, placed to protect the land against flooding and overtopping at coastal site, within Abu Qir Bay, East of Alexandria, Egypt along the Nile Delta coast. The assessment is conducted to examine the adequacy of the seawall under the current and progressive effects of climate change demonstrated by the anticipated sea level rise during this century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) predicts that the Mediterranean will rise 30 cm to 1 meter this century. Coastal zone management of the bay coastline is of utmost significance to the protection of the low agricultural land and the industrial complex located in the rear side of the seawall. Moreover this joint research work highlights the similarity of the nature of current and anticipated coastal zone problems, at several locations around the world, and required adaptation and protection measures. For example many barrier islands in the world such as that in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the U.S., lowland and deltas such as in Italy and the Nile Delta, and many islands are also experiencing significant levels of erosion and flooding that are exacerbated by sea level rise. Global Climatic Changes: At a global scale, an example of the effects of accelerated climate changes was demonstrated. In recent years, the impacts of natural disasters are more and more severe on coastal lowland areas. With the threats of climate change, sea level rise storm surge, progressive storm and hurricane activities and potential subsidence, the reduction of natural disasters in coastal lowland areas receives increased attention. Yet many of their inhabitants are becoming increasingly vulnerable to flooding, and conversions of land to open ocean. These global changes were recently

  19. Nonlinear responses of coastal salt marshes to nutrient additions and sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increasing nutrients and accelerated sea level rise (SLR) can cause marsh loss in some coastal systems. Responses to nutrients and SLR are complex and vary with soil matrix, marsh elevation, sediment inputs, and hydroperiod. We describe field and greenhouse studies examining sing...

  20. Living with sea-level rise and climate change: a case study of the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koningsveld, van M.; Mulder, J.P.M.; Stive, M.J.F.; Valk, van der L.; Weck, van der A.W.

    2008-01-01

    Based on historical hindsight, this paper shows that sea-level rise has played a fundamental role in the development of the low-lying environment of the Netherlands. It was beneficial in morphological terms during the mid-Holocene, but from Roman times, it has been a threat to the coastal zone evolu

  1. Estimating the glacier contribution to sea-level rise for the period 1800-2005

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leclercq, P.W.; Oerlemans, J.; Cogley, J.G.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, a new estimate of the contribution of glaciers and ice caps to the sea-level rise over the period 1800-2005 is presented. We exploit the available information on changes in glacier length. Length records form the only direct evidence of glacier change that has potential global coverag

  2. Niger's Delta vulnerability to river floods due to sea level rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. N. Musa

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available An evaluation of vulnerability to sea level rise is undertaken for the Niger delta based on 17 physical, social and human influence indicators of exposure, susceptibility and resilience. The assessment used GIS techniques to evaluate and analyse the indicators and the index of coastal vulnerability to floods, if sea level rise conditions are occurring. Each indicator value is based on data extracted from various sources including remote sensing, measured historical data series and literature search. Further indicators are ranked on a scale from 1 to 5 representing "very low" to "very high" vulnerability, based on their values. These ranks are used to determine a similar rank for the defined coastal vulnerability index (CVSLRI. Results indicate that 42.2% of the Niger delta is highly vulnerable to sea level rise; such areas been characterized by low slopes, low topography, high mean wave heights, and unconfined aquifers. Moreover the analysis of social and human influences on the environment indicate high vulnerability to sea level rise due to its ranking for type of aquifer, aquifer hydraulic conductivity, population growth, sediment supply and groundwater consumption. Such results may help decision makers during planning, to take proper adaptive measures for reducing Niger Delta's vulnerability, as well as increasing the resilience to potential future floods.

  3. Vulnerable areas and adapation measures for sea level rise along the coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chauhan, O.S.; Unnikrishnan, A; Menezes, A.A.A; Jagtap, T.G.; Suneethi, J.; Furtado, R.

    India has a coastline of about 7500 km with contrasting geological setting. Based upon the available models, global sea level rise of 10-25 cm per 100 year has been predicted due to emission of green house gases. To separate out the influences due...

  4. Impact of sea-level rise in a Mediteranean delta: The Ebro delta cast

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sánchez-Arcilla, A.; Stive, M.D.F.; Jiménez, J.A.; García, M.A.

    1993-01-01

    In anticipation of a comprehensive, multidisciplinary study on the impact of climatic change on the Ebro Delta preliminary results are here presented of the response of the outer delta coast to present and future relative sea-level rise. Due to the absence of observations and predictions of regional

  5. Modelling Morphological Response of Large Tidal Inlet Systems to Sea Level Rise

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dissanayake, P.K.

    2011-01-01

    This dissertation qualitatively investigates the morphodynamic response of a large inlet system to IPCC projected relative sea level rise (RSLR). Adopted numerical approach (Delft3D) used a highly schematised model domain analogous to the Ameland inlet in the Dutch Wadden Sea. Predicted inlet evolut

  6. The climatic change and the coastal areas. The sea level rise: risks and answers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This colloquium aimed to analyze the ecological, economic and human effects of the earth warming on coastal regions and more particularly the deltas. It also aimed aware the experts, the socio-economic and political actors of these regions on the consequences of the unavoidable sea level rise and on the measures that people can implemented to limit its effects. (A.L.B.)

  7. Reconstructing the glacier contribution to sea-level rise back to 1850

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.; Dyurgerov, M.; van de Wal, R.S.W.

    2007-01-01

    We present a method to estimate the glacier contribution to sea-level rise from glacier length records. These records form the only direct evidence of glacier changes prior to 1946, when the first systematic mass-balance observations began. A globally rep- resentative length signal is calculated fro

  8. Effective media reporting of sea level rise projections: 1989-2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rick, U. K.; Boykoff, M. T.; Pielke, R. A., Jr.

    2011-01-01

    In the mass media, sea level rise is commonly associated with the impacts of climate change due to increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases. As this issue garners ongoing international policy attention, segments of the scientific community have expressed unease about how this has been covered by mass media. Therefore, this study examines how sea level rise projections—in IPCC Assessment Reports and a sample of the scientific literature—have been represented in seven prominent United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) newspapers over the past two decades. The research found that—with few exceptions—journalists have accurately portrayed scientific research on sea level rise projections to 2100. Moreover, while coverage has predictably increased in the past 20 years, journalists have paid particular attention to the issue in years when an IPCC report is released or when major international negotiations take place, rather than when direct research is completed and specific projections are published. We reason that the combination of these factors has contributed to a perceived problem in the sea level rise reporting by the scientific community, although systematic empirical research shows none. In this contemporary high-stakes, high-profile and highly politicized arena of climate science and policy interactions, such results mark a particular bright spot in media representations of climate change. These findings can also contribute to more measured considerations of climate impacts and policy action at a critical juncture of international negotiations and everyday decision-making associated with the causes and consequences of climate change.

  9. Sea defence and flood protection in the Netherlands anticipating increased sea-level rise

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhagen, H.J.

    1990-01-01

    The 1400 km Dutch coastline is affected by sea-level rise. At this moment a legal framework is made to guarantee safety of the dikes also in future. Also a national policy is developed for compensation of all coastal erosion. Both measures should make it possible for the Netherlands to survive an

  10. GIS analysis of effects of future Baltic sea level rise on the island of Gotland, Sweden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebert, Karin; Ekstedt, Karin; Jarsjö, Jerker

    2016-07-01

    Future sea level rise as a consequence of global warming will affect the world's coastal regions. Even though the pace of sea level rise is not clear, the consequences will be severe and global. Commonly the effects of future sea level rise are investigated for relatively vulnerable development countries; however, a whole range of varying regions needs to be considered in order to improve the understanding of global consequences. In this paper we investigate consequences of future sea level rise along the coast of the Baltic Sea island of Gotland, Sweden, with the aim to fill knowledge gaps regarding comparatively well-suited areas in developed countries. We study both the quantity of the loss of features of infrastructure, cultural, and natural value in the case of a 2 m sea level rise of the Baltic Sea and the effects of climate change on seawater intrusion in coastal aquifers, which indirectly cause saltwater intrusion in wells. We conduct a multi-criteria risk analysis by using lidar data on land elevation and GIS-vulnerability mapping, which gives the application of distance and elevation parameters formerly unimaginable precision. We find that in case of a 2 m sea level rise, 3 % of the land area of Gotland, corresponding to 99 km2, will be inundated. The features most strongly affected are items of touristic or nature value, including camping places, shore meadows, sea stack areas, and endangered plants and species habitats. In total, 231 out of 7354 wells will be directly inundated, and the number of wells in the high-risk zone for saltwater intrusion in wells will increase considerably. Some valuable features will be irreversibly lost due to, for example, inundation of sea stacks and the passing of tipping points for seawater intrusion into coastal aquifers; others might simply be moved further inland, but this requires considerable economic means and prioritization. With nature tourism being one of the main income sources of Gotland, monitoring and

  11. Future sea-level rise from tidewater and ice-shelf tributary glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schannwell, Clemens; Barrand, Nicholas E.; Radić, Valentina

    2016-11-01

    Iceberg calving and increased ice discharge from ice-shelf tributary glaciers contribute significant amounts to global sea-level rise (SLR) from the Antarctic Peninsula (AP). Owing to ongoing ice dynamical changes (collapse of buttressing ice shelves), these contributions have accelerated in recent years. As the AP is one of the fastest warming regions on Earth, further ice dynamical adjustment (increased ice discharge) is expected over the next two centuries. In this paper, the first regional SLR projection of the AP from both iceberg calving and increased ice discharge from ice-shelf tributary glaciers in response to ice-shelf collapse is presented. An ice-sheet model forced by temperature output from 13 global climate models (GCMs), in response to the high greenhouse gas emission scenario (RCP8.5), projects AP contribution to SLR of 28 ± 16 to 32 ± 16 mm by 2300, partitioned approximately equally between contributions from tidewater glaciers and ice-shelf tributary glaciers. In the RCP4.5 scenario, sea-level rise projections to 2300 are dominated by tidewater glaciers (∼8-18 mm). In this cooler scenario, 2.4 ± 1 mm is added to global sea levels from ice-shelf tributary drainage basins as fewer ice-shelves are projected to collapse. Sea-level projections from ice-shelf tributary glaciers are dominated by drainage basins feeding George VI Ice Shelf, accounting for ∼70% of simulated SLR. Combined total ice dynamical SLR projections to 2300 from the AP vary between 11 ± 2 and 32 ± 16 mm sea-level equivalent (SLE), depending on the emission scenario used. These simulations suggest that omission of tidewater glaciers could lead to a substantial underestimation of the ice-sheet's contribution to regional SLR.

  12. Effects of sea-level rise on ground water flow in a coastal aquifer system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masterson, J.P.; Garabedian, S.P.

    2007-01-01

    The effects of sea-level rise on the depth to the fresh water/salt water interface were simulated by using a density-dependent, three-dimensional numerical ground water flow model for a simplified hypothetical fresh water lens that is similar to shallow, coastal aquifers found along the Atlantic coast of the United States. Simulations of sea-level rise of 2.65 mm/year from 1929 to 2050 resulted in an increase in water levels relative to a fixed datum, yet a net decrease in water levels relative to the increased sea-level position. The net decrease in water levels was much greater near a gaining stream than farther from the stream. The difference in the change in water levels is attributed to the dampening effect of the stream on water level changes in response to sea-level rise. In response to the decreased water level altitudes relative to local sea level, the depth to the fresh water/salt water interface decreased. This reduction in the thickness of the fresh water lens varied throughout the aquifer and was greatly affected by proximity to a ground water fed stream and whether the stream was tidally influenced. Away from the stream, the thickness of the fresh water lens decreased by about 2% from 1929 to 2050, whereas the fresh water lens thickness decreased by about 22% to 31% for the same period near the stream, depending on whether the stream was tidally influenced. The difference in the change in the fresh water/salt water interface position is controlled by the difference in the net decline in water levels relative to local sea level. ?? 2007 National Ground Water Association.

  13. Caribbean mangroves adjust to rising sea level through biotic controls on change in soil elevation

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, K.L.; Cahoon, D.R.; Feller, Ilka C.

    2007-01-01

    Aim The long-term stability of coastal ecosystems such as mangroves and salt marshes depends upon the maintenance of soil elevations within the intertidal habitat as sea level changes. We examined the rates and processes of peat formation by mangroves of the Caribbean Region to better understand biological controls on habitat stability. Location Mangrove-dominated islands on the Caribbean coasts of Belize, Honduras and Panama were selected as study sites. Methods Biological processes controlling mangrove peat formation were manipulated (in Belize) by the addition of nutrients (nitrogen or phosphorus) to Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove), and the effects on the dynamics of soil elevation were determined over a 3-year period using rod surface elevation tables (RSET) and marker horizons. Peat composition and geological accretion rates were determined at all sites using radiocarbon-dated cores. Results The addition of nutrients to mangroves caused significant changes in rates of mangrove root accumulation, which influenced both the rate and direction of change in elevation. Areas with low root input lost elevation and those with high rates gained elevation. These findings were consistent with peat analyses at multiple Caribbean sites showing that deposits (up to 10 m in depth) were composed primarily of mangrove root matter. Comparison of radiocarbon-dated cores at the study sites with a sea-level curve for the western Atlantic indicated a tight coupling between peat building in Caribbean mangroves and sea-level rise over the Holocene. Main conclusions Mangroves common to the Caribbean region have adjusted to changing sea level mainly through subsurface accumulation of refractory mangrove roots. Without root and other organic inputs, submergence of these tidal forests is inevitable due to peat decomposition, physical compaction and eustatic sea-level rise. These findings have relevance for predicting the effects of sea-level rise and biophysical processes on tropical

  14. Sea Level Rise Decision Support Tools for Adaptation Planning in Vulnerable Coastal Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozum, J. S.; Marcy, D.

    2015-12-01

    NOAA is involved in a myriad of climate related research and projects that help decision makers and the public understand climate science as well as climate change impacts. The NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) provides data, tools, trainings and technical assistance to coastal resource managers. Beginning in 2011, NOAA OCM began developing a sea level rise and coastal flooding impacts viewer which provides nationally consistent data sets and analyses to help communities with coastal management goals such as: understanding and communicating coastal flood hazards, performing vulnerability assessments and increasing coastal resilience, and prioritizing actions for different inundation/flooding scenarios. The Viewer is available on NOAA's Digital Coast platform: (coast.noaa.gov/ditgitalcoast/tools/slr). In this presentation we will share the lessons learned from our work with coastal decision-makers on the role of coastal flood risk data and tools in helping to shape future land use decisions and policies. We will also focus on a recent effort in California to help users understand the similarities and differences of a growing array of sea level rise decision support tools. NOAA staff and other partners convened a workshop entitled, "Lifting the Fog: Bringing Clarity to Sea Level Rise and Shoreline Change Models and Tools," which was attended by tool develops, science translators and coastal managers with the goal to create a collaborative communication framework to help California coastal decision-makers navigate the range of available sea level rise planning tools, and to inform tool developers of future planning needs. A sea level rise tools comparison matrix will be demonstrated. This matrix was developed as part of this effort and has been expanded to many other states via a partnership with NOAA, Climate Central, and The Nature Conservancy.

  15. Tidal Marshes across a Chesapeake Bay Subestuary Are Not Keeping up with Sea-Level Rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckett, Leah H; Baldwin, Andrew H; Kearney, Michael S

    2016-01-01

    Sea-level rise is a major factor in wetland loss worldwide, and in much of Chesapeake Bay (USA) the rate of sea-level rise is higher than the current global rate of 3.2 mm yr-1 due to regional subsidence. Marshes along estuarine salinity gradients differ in vegetation composition, productivity, decomposition pathways, and sediment dynamics, and may exhibit different responses to sea-level rise. Coastal marshes persist by building vertically at rates at or exceeding regional sea-level rise. In one of the first studies to examine elevation dynamics across an estuarine salinity gradient, we installed 15 surface elevation tables (SET) and accretion marker-horizon plots (MH) in tidal freshwater, oligohaline, and brackish marshes across a Chesapeake Bay subestuary. Over the course of four years, wetlands across the subestuary decreased 1.8 ± 2.7 mm yr-1 in elevation on average, at least 5 mm yr-1 below that needed to keep pace with global sea-level rise. Elevation change rates did not significantly differ among the marshes studied, and ranged from -9.8 ± 6.9 to 4.5 ± 4.3 mm yr-1. Surface accretion of deposited mineral and organic matter was uniformly high across the estuary (~9-15 mm yr-1), indicating that elevation loss was not due to lack of accretionary input. Position in the estuary and associated salinity regime were not related to elevation change or surface matter accretion. Previous studies have focused on surface elevation change in marshes of uniform salinity (e.g., salt marshes); however, our findings highlight the need for elevation studies in marshes of all salinity regimes and different geomorphic positions, and warn that brackish, oligohaline, and freshwater tidal wetlands may be at similarly high risk of submergence in some estuaries. PMID:27467784

  16. Simulating reef response to sea-level rise at Lizard Island: A geospatial approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamylton, S. M.; Leon, J. X.; Saunders, M. I.; Woodroffe, C. D.

    2014-10-01

    Sea-level rise will result in changes in water depth over coral reefs, which will influence reef platform growth as a result of carbonate production and accretion. This study simulates the pattern of reef response on the reefs around Lizard Island in the northern Great Barrier Reef. Two sea-level rise scenarios are considered to capture the range of likely projections: 0.5 m and 1.2 m above 1990 levels by 2100. Reef topography has been established through extensive bathymetric profiling, together with available data, including LiDAR, single beam bathymetry, multibeam swath bathymetry, LADS and digitised chart data. The reef benthic cover around Lizard Island has been classified using a high resolution WorldView-2 satellite image, which is calibrated and validated against a ground referencing dataset of 364 underwater video records of the reef benthic character. Accretion rates are parameterised using published hydrochemical measurements taken in-situ and rules are applied using Boolean logic to incorporate geomorphological transitions associated with different depth ranges, such as recolonisation of the reef flat when it becomes inundated as sea level rises. Simulations indicate a variable platform response to the different sea-level rise scenarios. For the 0.5 m rise, the shallower reef flats are gradually colonised by corals, enabling this active geomorphological zone to keep up with the lower rate of rise while the other sand dominated areas get progressively deeper. In the 1.2 m scenario, a similar pattern is evident for the first 30 years of rise, beyond which the whole reef platform begins to slowly drown. To provide insight on reef response to sea-level rise in other areas, simulation results of four different reef settings are discussed and compared at the southeast reef flat (barrier reef), Coconut Beach (fringing reef), Watson's Bay (leeward bay with coral patches) and Mangrove Beach (sheltered lagoonal embayment). The reef sites appear to accrete upwards

  17. Sea-level rise modeling handbook: Resource guide for coastal land managers, engineers, and scientists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Thomas W.; Chivoiu, Bogdan; Enwright, Nicholas M.

    2015-08-24

    Global sea level is rising and may accelerate with continued fossil fuel consumption from industrial and population growth. In 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted more than 30 training and feedback sessions with Federal, State, and nongovernmental organization (NGO) coastal managers and planners across the northern Gulf of Mexico coast to evaluate user needs, potential benefits, current scientific understanding, and utilization of resource aids and modeling tools focused on sea-level rise. In response to the findings from the sessions, this sea-level rise modeling handbook has been designed as a guide to the science and simulation models for understanding the dynamics and impacts of sea-level rise on coastal ecosystems. The review herein of decision-support tools and predictive models was compiled from the training sessions, from online research, and from publications. The purpose of this guide is to describe and categorize the suite of data, methods, and models and their design, structure, and application for hindcasting and forecasting the potential impacts of sea-level rise in coastal ecosystems. The data and models cover a broad spectrum of disciplines involving different designs and scales of spatial and temporal complexity for predicting environmental change and ecosystem response. These data and models have not heretofore been synthesized, nor have appraisals been made of their utility or limitations. Some models are demonstration tools for non-experts, whereas others require more expert capacity to apply for any given park, refuge, or regional application. A simplified tabular context has been developed to list and contrast a host of decision-support tools and models from the ecological, geological, and hydrological perspectives. Criteria were established to distinguish the source, scale, and quality of information input and geographic datasets; physical and biological constraints and relations; datum characteristics of water and land components

  18. The Potential Effect of Sea Level Rise on Coastal Property Values

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, J.

    2015-12-01

    It is well established that one consequence of increasing global sea level is that the frequency of flooding at low-lying coastal sites will increase. We review recent evidence that the effects coastal geometry will create substantial spatial variations in the changes in flooding frequency with scales of order 100km. Using a simple model of the evolution of coastal property values we demonstrate that a consequence of sea level rise is that the appreciation of coastal properties will peak, and then decline relative to higher properties. The time when the value reach a maximum is shown to depend upon the demand for the coastal property, and the local rate of change of flooding frequency due to sea level rise. The simple model is then extended to include, in an elementary manner, the effects on the value of adjacent but higher properties. We show that the effect of increased flooding frequency of the lower properties leads to an accelerated appreciation of the value of upland properties and an accelerated decline in the value of the coastal properties. We then provide some example calculations for selected sites. We conclude with a discussion of comparisons of the prediction of the analyses to recent data, and then comments on the impact of sea level rise on tax base of coastal communities.

  19. Potential for shoreline changes due to sea-level rise along the U.S. mid-Atlantic region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, Benjamin T.; Williams, S. Jeffress; Thieler, E. Robert

    2007-01-01

    Sea-level rise over the next century is expected to contribute significantly to physical changes along open-ocean shorelines. Predicting the form and magnitude of coastal changes is important for understanding the impacts to humans and the environment. Presently, the ability to predict coastal changes is limited by the scientific understanding of the many variables and processes involved in coastal change, and the lack of consensus regarding the validity of existing conceptual, analytical, or numerical models. In order to assess potential future coastal changes in the mid-Atlantic U.S. for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), a workshop was convened by the U.S. Geological Survey. Assessments of future coastal change were made by a committee of coastal scientists with extensive professional experience in the mid-Atlantic region. Thirteen scientists convened for a two-day meeting to exchange information and develop a consensus opinion on potential future coastal changes for the mid-Atlantic coast in response to sea-level rise. Using criteria defined in past work, the mid-Atlantic coast was divided into four geomorphic compartments: spits, headlands, wave-dominated barriers, and mixed-energy barriers. A range of potential coastal responses was identified for each compartment based on four sea-level rise scenarios. The four scenarios were based on the assumptions that: a) the long-term sea-level rise rate observed over the 20th century would persist over the 21st century, b) the 20th century rate would increase by 2 mm/yr, c) the 20th century rate would increase by 7 mm/yr, or d) sea-level would rise by 2 m over the next few hundred years. Potential responses to these sea-level rise scenarios depend on the landforms that occur within a region and include increased likelihood for erosion and shoreline retreat for all coastal types, increased likelihood for erosion, overwash and inlet breaching for barrier islands, as well as the possibility of a threshold

  20. Loss of cultural world heritage and currently inhabited places to sea-level rise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The world population is concentrated near the coasts, as are a large number of Cultural World Heritage sites, defined by the UNESCO. Using spatially explicit sea-level estimates for the next 2000 years and high-resolution topography data, we compute which current cultural heritage sites will be affected by sea-level rise at different levels of sustained future warming. As indicators for the pressure on future cultural heritage we estimate the percentage of each country’s area loss, and the percentage of current population living in regions that will be permanently below sea level, for different temperature levels. If the current global mean temperature was sustained for the next two millennia, about 6% (40 sites) of the UNESCO sites will be affected, and 0.7% of global land area will be below mean sea level. These numbers increase to 19% (136 sites) and 1.1% for a warming of 3 K. At this warming level, 3–12 countries will experience a loss of more than half of their current land surface, 25–36 countries lose at least 10% of their territory, and 7% of the global population currently lives in regions that will be below local sea level. Given the millennial scale lifetime of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, our results indicate that fundamental decisions with regard to mankind’s cultural heritage are required. (paper)

  1. Organic matter content and particle size modifications in mangrove sediments as responses to sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Christian J; Smoak, Joseph M; Waters, Mathew N; Sanders, Luciana M; Brandini, Nilva; Patchineelam, Sambasiva R

    2012-06-01

    Mangroves sediments contain large reservoirs of organic material (OM) as mangrove ecosystems produce large quantities and rapidly burial OM. Sediment accumulation rates of approximately 2.0 mm year(-1), based on (210)Pb(ex) dating, were estimated at the margin of two well-developed mangrove forest in southern Brazil. Regional data point to a relative sea level (RSL) rise of up to ∼4.0 mm year(-1). This RSL rise in turn, may directly influence the origin and quantity of organic matter (OM) deposited along mangrove sediments. Lithostratigraphic changes show that sand deposition is replacing the mud (<63 μm) fraction and OM content is decreasing in successively younger sediments. Sediment accumulation in coastal areas that are not keeping pace with sea level rise is potentially conducive to the observed shifts in particle size and OM content. PMID:22386513

  2. Economy-Wide Estimates of the Implications of Climate Change. Sea Level Rise

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bosello, F.; Lazzarin, M. [Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei FEEM, Milan (Italy); Roson, R. [The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste (Italy); Tol, R.S.J. [Centre for Marine and Climate Research, Hamburg University, Hamburg (Germany)

    2004-06-01

    The economy-wide implications of sea level rise in 2050 are estimated using a static computable general equilibrium model. Overall, general equilibrium effects increase the costs of sea level rise, but not necessarily in every sector or region. In the absence of coastal protection, economies that rely most on agriculture are hit hardest. Although energy is substituted for land, overall energy consumption falls with the shrinking economy, hurting energy exporters. With full coastal protection, GDP increases, particularly in regions that do a lot of dike building, but utility falls, least in regions that build a lot of dikes and export energy. Energy prices rise and energy consumption falls. The costs of full protection exceed the costs of losing land.

  3. Effect of rising sea level on runoff and groundwater discharge to coastal ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuttle, W.K.; Portnoy, J.W.

    1992-01-01

    Rising sea level can cause an increase in surface runoff from coastal areas by raising the watertable and thus increasing the incidence of saturated soil conditions in low-lying areas. As surface runoff increases, less rainfall will infiltrate into the ground and groundwater discharge to the coast will decrease. The link between sea level rise and runoff is critically dependent on the sensitivity of surface runoff to changes in the elevation of the watertable. A significant relation between the two is demonstrated for a coastal watershed on Cape Cod, where it is estimated that a 10 cm rise in the watertable will increase surface runoff by 70% and decrease groundwater discharge by 20%. Effects on near-shore ecosystems include changes in nutrient fluxes and in the salinity of the sediments.

  4. Soil Accretionary Dynamics, Sea-Level Rise and the Survival of Wetlands in Venice Lagoon: A Field and Modelling Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, J. W.; Rybczyk, J.; Scarton, F.; Rismondo, A.; Are, D.; Cecconi, G.

    1999-11-01

    Over the past century, Venice Lagoon (Italy) has experienced a high rate of wetland loss. To gain an understanding of the factors leading to this loss, from March 1993 until May 1996 the soil accretionary dynamics of these wetlands were studied. Vertical accretion, short term sedimentation, soil vertical elevation change and horizontal shoreline change were measured at several sites with varying sediment availability and wave energy. Short term sedimentation averaged 3-7 g dry m -2day -1per site with a maximum of 76 g m -2 day -1. The highest values were measured during strong pulsing events, such as storms and river floods, that mobilized and transported suspended sediments. Accretion ranged from 2-23 mm yr -1and soil elevation change ranged from -32 to 13·8 mm yr -1. The sites with highest accretion were near a river mouth and in an area where strong wave energy resuspended bottom sediments that were deposited on the marsh surface. A marsh created with dredged spoil had a high rate of elevation loss, probably due mainly to compaction. Shoreline retreat and expansion of tidal channels also occurred at several sites due to high wave energy and a greater tidal prism. The current rate of elevation gain at some sites was not sufficient to offset relative sea-level rise. The results suggest that reduction of wave energy and increasing sediment availability are needed to offset wetland loss in different areas of the lagoon. Using the data collected as part of this project, we developed a wetland elevation model designed to predict the effect of increasing rates of eustatic sea-level rise on wetland sustainability. The advantage of this model, in conjunction with measured short-term rates of soil elevation change, to determine sustainability is that the model integrates the effects of long term processes (e.g. compaction and decomposition) and takes into account feedback mechanisms that affect elevation. Specifically, changes in elevation can result in changes in

  5. Building a Community Framework for Adaptation to Sea Level Rise and Inundation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culver, M. E.; Schubel, J.; Davidson, M. A.; Haines, J.

    2010-12-01

    Sea level rise and inundation pose a substantial risk to many coastal communities, and the risk is projected to increase because of continued development, changes in the frequency and intensity of inundation events, and acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise. Calls for action at all levels acknowledge that a viable response must engage federal, state and local expertise, perspectives, and resources in a coordinated and collaborative effort. Representatives from a variety of these agencies and organizations have developed a shared framework to help coastal communities structure and facilitate community-wide adaptation processes and to help agencies determine where investments should be made to enable states and local governments to assess impacts and initiate adaptation strategies over the next decade. For sea level rise planning and implementation, the requirements for high-quality data and information are vast and the availability is limited. Participants stressed the importance of data interoperability to ensure that users are able to apply data from a variety of sources and to improve availability and confidence in the data. Participants were able to prioritize the following six categories of data needed to support future sea level rise planning and implementation: - Data to understand land forms and where and how water will flow - Monitoring data and environmental drivers - Consistent sea level rise scenarios and projections across agencies to support local planning - Data to characterize vulnerabilities and impacts of sea level rise - Community characteristics - Legal frameworks and administrative structure. To develop a meaningful and effective sea level rise adaptation plan, state and local planners must understand how the availability, scale, and uncertainty of these types of data will impact new guidelines or adaptation measures. The tools necessary to carry-out the adaptation planning process need to be understood in terms of data requirements

  6. Allowances for evolving coastal flood risk under uncertain local sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, M. K.; Kopp, R. E.; Oppenheimer, M.; Tebaldi, C.

    2015-12-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) causes estimates of flood risk made under the assumption of stationary mean sea level to be biased low. However, adjustments to flood return levels made assuming fixed increases of sea level are also inaccurate when applied to sea level that is rising over time at an uncertain rate. To accommodate both the temporal dynamics of SLR and their uncertainty, we develop an Average Annual Design Life Level (AADLL) metric and associated SLR allowances [1,2]. The AADLL is the flood level corresponding to a time-integrated annual expected probability of occurrence (AEP) under uncertainty over the lifetime of an asset; AADLL allowances are the adjustment from 2000 levels that maintain current risk. Given non-stationary and uncertain SLR, AADLL flood levels and allowances provide estimates of flood protection heights and offsets for different planning horizons and different levels of confidence in SLR projections in coastal areas. Allowances are a function primarily of local SLR and are nearly independent of AEP. Here we employ probabilistic SLR projections [3] to illustrate the calculation of AADLL flood levels and allowances with a representative set of long-duration tide gauges along U.S. coastlines. [1] Rootzen et al., 2014, Water Resources Research 49: 5964-5972. [2] Hunter, 2013, Ocean Engineering 71: 17-27. [3] Kopp et al., 2014, Earth's Future 2: 383-406.

  7. The rise of global mean sea level as an indication of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etkins, R; Epstein, E S

    1982-01-15

    Rising mean sea level, it is proposed, is a significant indicator of global climate change. The principal factors that can have contributed to the observed increases of global mean sea level in recent decades are thermal expansion of the oceans and the discharge of polar ice sheets. Calculations indicate that thermal expansion cannot be the sole factor responsible for the observed rise in sea level over the last 40 years; significant discharges of polar ice must also be occurring. Global warming, due in some degree presumably to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, has been opposed by the extraction of heat necessary to melt the discharged ice. During the past 40 years more than 50,000 cubic kilometers of ice has been discharged and has melted, reducing the surface warming that might otherwise have occurred by as much as a factor of 2. The transfer of mass from the polar regions to a thin spherical shell covering all the oceans should have increased the earth's moment of inertia and correspondingly reduced the speed of rotation by about 1.5 parts in 10(8). This accounts for about three quarters of the observed fractional reduction in the earth's angular velocity since 1940. Monitoring of global mean sea level, ocean surface temperatures, and the earth's speed of rotation should be complemented by monitoring of the polar ice sheets, as is now possible by satellite altimetry. All parts of the puzzle need to be examined in order that a consistent picture emerge. PMID:17784354

  8. Global and regional factors contributing to the past and future sea level rise in the Northern Adriatic Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scarascia, Luca; Lionello, Piero

    2013-07-01

    This study aims at discussing evolution of Sea Level (SL) in the Northern Adriatic Sea for the 20th and 21st century. A Linear Regression Model (LRM) which aims at describing the effect of regional processes, is built and validated. This LRM computes the North Adriatic mean SL variations using three predictors: the Mean Sea Level Pressure (MSLP) in the Gulf of Venice, the mean Sea Temperature (ST) of the water column in the South Adriatic and the Upper Level Salinity (ULS) in the central part of the basin. SL data are provided by monthly values recorded at 7 tide gauges distributed along the Italian and Croatian coasts (available at the PSMSL, Permanent Service of Mean Sea Level). MSLP data are provided by the EMULATE data set. Mediterranean ST and ULS data are extracted from the MEDATLAS/2002 database. The study shows that annual SL variations at Northern Adriatic stations are very coherent, so that the Northern Adriatic SL can be reconstructed since 1905 on the basis of only two stations: Venice and Trieste. The LRM is found to be robust, very successful at explaining interannual SL variations and consistent with the physical mechanisms responsible for SL evolution. Results show that observed SL in the 20th century has a large trend, which cannot be explained by this LRM, and it is interpreted as the superposition of land movement and a remote cause (such as polar ice melting). When the LRM is used with the MSLP, ST and ULS from climate model projections for the end of the 21st century (A1B scenario), it produces an SL rise in the range from 2.3 to 14.1 cm, with a best estimate of 8.9 cm. However, results show that the behavior of the remotely forced SL rise is the main source of future SL uncertainty and extrapolating its present trend to the future would expand the range of SL uncertainty from 14 to 49 cm.

  9. Vegetation change on a northeast tidal marsh: Interaction of sea-level rise and marsh accretion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Warren, R.S.; Niering, W.A. (Connecticut College, New London (United States))

    1993-01-01

    Increasing rates of relative sea-level rise (RSL) have been linked to coastal wetland losses along the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere. Rapidly rising RSL may be affecting New England tidal marshes. Studies of the Wequetequock-Pawcatuck tidal marshes over four decades have documented dramatic changes in vegetation apparently related primarily to differential rates of marsh accretion and sea-level rise though sediment supply and anthropogenic modifications of the system may also be involved. When initially studied in 1947-1948 the high marsh supported a Juncus gerardi-Spartina patens belting pattern typical of many New England salt marshes. On most of the marsh complex the former Juncus belt has now been replaced by forbs, primarily Triglochin maritima, while the former S. patens high marsh is now a complex of vegetation types-stunted Spartina alterniflora, Distichlis spicata, forbs, and relic stands of S. patens. The mean surface elevation of areas where the vegetation has changed is significantly lower than that of areas still supporting the earlier pattern (4.6 vs. 13.9 cm above mean tide level). The differences in surface elevation reflect differences in accretion of marsh peat. Stable areas have been accreting at the rate of local sea-level rise, 2.0-2.5 mm/yr at least since 1938; changed areas have accreted at about one half that rate. Lower surface elevations result in greater frequency and duration of tidal flooding, and thus in increased peat saturation, salinity, and sulfide concentrations, and in decreased redox potential, as directly measured over the growing season at both changed and stable sites. These edaphic changes may have combined to favor establishment of a wetter, more open vegetation type. Similar changes have been observed on other Long Island Sound marshes and may be a model for the potential effects of sea-level rise on New England tidal salt marshes. 39 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  10. Preliminary investigation of the effects of sea-level rise on groundwater levels in New Haven, Connecticut

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjerklie, David M.; Mullaney, John R.; Stone, Janet R.; Skinner, Brian J.; Ramlow, Matthew A.

    2012-01-01

    Global sea level rose about 0.56 feet (ft) (170 millimeters (mm)) during the 20th century. Since the 1960s, sea level has risen at Bridgeport, Connecticut, about 0.38 ft (115 mm), at a rate of 0.008 ft (2.56 mm + or - 0.58 mm) per year. With regional subsidence, and with predicted global climate change, sea level is expected to continue to rise along the northeast coast of the United States through the 21st century. Increasing sea levels will cause groundwater levels in coastal areas to rise in order to adjust to the new conditions. Some regional climate models predict wetter climate in the northeastern United States under some scenarios. Scenarios for the resulting higher groundwater levels have the potential to inundate underground infrastructure in lowlying coastal cities. New Haven is a coastal city in Connecticut surrounded and bisected by tidally affected waters. Monitoring of water levels in wells in New Haven from August 2009 to July 2010 indicates the complex effects of urban influence on groundwater levels. The response of groundwater levels to recharge and season varied considerably from well to well. Groundwater temperatures varied seasonally, but were warmer than what was typical for Connecticut, and they seem to reflect the influence of the urban setting, including the effects of conduits for underground utilities. Specific conductance was elevated in many of the wells, indicating the influence of urban activities or seawater in Long Island Sound. A preliminary steady-state model of groundwater flow for part of New Haven was constructed using MODFLOW to simulate current groundwater levels (2009-2010) and future groundwater levels based on scenarios with a rise of 3 ft (0.91 meters (m)) in sea level, which is predicted for the end of the 21st century. An additional simulation was run assuming a 3-ft rise in sea level combined with a 12-percent increase in groundwater recharge. The model was constructed from existing hydrogeologic information for the

  11. Tidal Level Response to Sea-Level Rise in the Yangtze Estuary

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GONG Zheng; ZHANG Chang-kuan; WAN Li-ming; ZUO Jun-cheng

    2012-01-01

    The rise of tidal level in tidal reaches induced by sea-level rise has a large impact on flood control and water supply for the regions around the estuary.This paper focuses on the variations of tidal level response along the tidal reaches in the Yangtze Estuary,as well as the impacts of upstream discharge on tidal level response,due to the sea-level rise of the East China Sea.Based on the Topex/Poseidon altimeter data obtained during the period 1993~2005,a stochastic dynamic analysis was performed and a forecast model was run to predict the sea-level rise of the East China Sea.Two-dimensional hydrodynamic numerical models downscaling from the East China Sea to estuarine areas were implemented to analyze the rise of tidal level along the tidal reaches.In response to the sea-level rise,the tidal wave characteristics change slightly in nearshore areas outside the estuaries,involving the tidal range and the duration of flood and ebb tide.The results show that the rise of tidal level in the tidal reaches due to the sea-level rise has upstream decreasing trends.The step between the stations of Zhangjiagang and Shiyiwei divides the tidal reaches into two parts,in which the tidal level response declines slightly.The rise of tidal level is 1~2.5 mm/a in the upper part,and 4~6 mm/a in the lower part.The stations of Jiangyin and Yanglin,as an example of the upper part and the lower part respectively,are extracted to analyze the impacts of upstream discharge on tidal level response to the sea-level rise.The relation between the rise of tidal level and the upstream discharge can be fitted well with a quadratic function in the upper part.However,the relation is too complicated to be fitted in the lower part because of the tide dominance.For comparison purposes,hourly tidal level observations at the stations of Xuliujing and Yanglin during the period 1993~2009 are adopted.In order to uniform the influence of upstream discharge on tidal level for a certain day each year

  12. An eclectic morphostratigraphic model for the sedimentary response to Holocene sea-level rise in northwest Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, J. R. L.

    2003-09-01

    The improved empirical understanding of silt facies in Holocene coastal sequences provided by such as diatom, foraminifera, ostracode and testate amoebae analysis, combined with insights from quantitative stratigraphic and hydraulic simulations, has led to an inclusive, integrated model for the palaeogeomorphology, stratigraphy, lithofacies and biofacies of northwest European Holocene coastal lowlands in relation to sea-level behaviour. The model covers two general circumstances and is empirically supported by a range of field studies in the Holocene deposits of a number of British estuaries, particularly, the Severn. Where deposition was continuous over periods of centuries to millennia, and sea level fluctuated about a rising trend, the succession consists of repeated cycles of silt and peat lithofacies and biofacies in which series of transgressive overlaps (submergence sequences) alternate with series of regressive overlaps (emergence sequences) in association with the waxing and waning of tidal creek networks. Environmental and sea-level change are closely coupled, and equilibrium and secular pattern is of the kind represented ideally by a closed limit cycle. In the second circumstance, characteristic of unstable wetland shores and generally affecting smaller areas, coastal erosion ensures that episodes of deposition in the high intertidal zone last no more than a few centuries. The typical response is a series of regressive overlaps (emergence sequence) in erosively based high mudflat and salt-marsh silts that record, commonly as annual banding, exceptionally high deposition rates and a state of strong disequilibrium. Environmental change, including creek development, and sea-level movement are uncoupled. Only if deposition proceeds for a sufficiently long period, so that marshes mature, are equilibrium and close coupling regained.

  13. Sea level trends in the Southern Ocean over the last century from historical data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Testut, Laurent; Martin-Miguez, Belén.; Watson, Christopher; Wöppelmann, Guy; Coleman, Richard; Creach, Ronan; Brolsma, Henk; Handsworth, Roger; Pouvreau, Nicolas; Legrésy, Benoit

    2010-05-01

    It is well known that the spatial distribution of sea level measurements throughout the Southern Ocean is sparse and mostly consists of datasets with short records. The PSMSL (Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level) has only a few sea level time series below 45° South and most of them are shorter than twenty years. The lack of observations constrains the ability to determine or reconstruct global estimates of mean sea level change over the past century. For this reason, any available historical information becomes invaluable for deriving long-term estimates of sea level change in this part of the world. The aim of this presentation is to describe the way we have recovered and analysed the available historic sea level observations made in few sites of the Southern Ocean and to propose new reliable long term sea level trend estimates in this region. The first site is Saint-Paul, a small island of the Southern Indian Ocean where historical measurements were done in 1874 and connected to the permanent GLOSS tide gauge. The two other historical observations were recorded by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition lead by Sir Douglas Mawson in 1912 at Maquarie Island and Cap Denison (Antarctica). The last site concerned by this presentation is the Dumont d'Urville (Antarctica) where historical information from the beginning of the 1950's were found and analysed.

  14. A reconciled estimate of glacier contributions to sea level rise: 2003 to 2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Alex S; Moholdt, Geir; Cogley, J Graham; Wouters, Bert; Arendt, Anthony A; Wahr, John; Berthier, Etienne; Hock, Regine; Pfeffer, W Tad; Kaser, Georg; Ligtenberg, Stefan R M; Bolch, Tobias; Sharp, Martin J; Hagen, Jon Ove; van den Broeke, Michiel R; Paul, Frank

    2013-05-17

    Glaciers distinct from the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets are losing large amounts of water to the world's oceans. However, estimates of their contribution to sea level rise disagree. We provide a consensus estimate by standardizing existing, and creating new, mass-budget estimates from satellite gravimetry and altimetry and from local glaciological records. In many regions, local measurements are more negative than satellite-based estimates. All regions lost mass during 2003-2009, with the largest losses from Arctic Canada, Alaska, coastal Greenland, the southern Andes, and high-mountain Asia, but there was little loss from glaciers in Antarctica. Over this period, the global mass budget was -259 ± 28 gigatons per year, equivalent to the combined loss from both ice sheets and accounting for 29 ± 13% of the observed sea level rise. PMID:23687045

  15. Adaptation to Sea Level Rise in Coastal Units of the National Park Service (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beavers, R. L.

    2010-12-01

    83 National Park Service (NPS) units contain nearly 12,000 miles of coastal, estuarine and Great Lakes shoreline and their associated resources. Iconic natural features exist along active shorelines in NPS units, including, e.g., Cape Cod, Padre Island, Hawaii Volcanoes, and the Everglades. Iconic cultural resources managed by NPS include the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Fort Sumter, the Golden Gate, and heiaus and fish traps along the coast of Hawaii. Impacts anticipated from sea level rise include inundation and flooding of beaches and low lying marshes, shoreline erosion of coastal areas, and saltwater intrusion into the water table. These impacts and other coastal hazards will threaten park beaches, marshes, and other resources and values; alter the viability of coastal roads; and require the NPS to re-evaluate the financial, safety, and environmental implications of maintaining current projects and implementing future projects in ocean and coastal parks in the context of sea level rise. Coastal erosion will increase as sea levels rise. Barrier islands along the coast of Louisiana and North Carolina may have already passed the threshold for maintaining island integrity in any scenario of sea level rise (U.S. Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Program Report 4.1). Consequently, sea level rise is expected to hasten the disappearance of historic coastal villages, coastal wetlands, forests, and beaches, and threaten coastal roads, homes, and businesses. While sea level is rising in most coastal parks, some parks are experiencing lower water levels due to isostatic rebound and lower lake levels. NPS funded a Coastal Vulnerability Project to evaluate the physical and geologic factors affecting 25 coastal parks. The USGS Open File Reports for each park are available at http://woodshole.er.usgs.gov/project-pages/. These reports were designed to inform park planning efforts. NPS conducted a Storm Vulnerability Project to provide ocean and coastal

  16. A global standard for monitoring coastal wetland vulnerability to accelerated sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Edward L.; Friess, Daniel A.; Krauss, Ken W.; Cahoon, Donald R.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Phelps, Jacob

    2013-01-01

    Sea-level rise threatens coastal salt-marshes and mangrove forests around the world, and a key determinant of coastal wetland vulnerability is whether its surface elevation can keep pace with rising sea level. Globally, a large data gap exists because wetland surface and shallow subsurface processes remain unaccounted for by traditional vulnerability assessments using tide gauges. Moreover, those processes vary substantially across wetlands, so modelling platforms require relevant local data. The low-cost, simple, high-precision rod surface-elevation table–marker horizon (RSET-MH) method fills this critical data gap, can be paired with spatial data sets and modelling and is financially and technically accessible to every country with coastal wetlands. Yet, RSET deployment has been limited to a few regions and purposes. A coordinated expansion of monitoring efforts, including development of regional networks that could support data sharing and collaboration, is crucial to adequately inform coastal climate change adaptation policy at several scales.

  17. Impacts of Sea-Level Rise and Human Activity on a Tropical Continental Shelf, RN State, NE Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vital, H.; Barros Pereira, T. R.; Lira, H. F.; Tabosa, W. F.; Eichler, P.; Stattegger, K.; Sen Gupta, B. K.; Gomes, M. P.; Nogueira, M. L. D. S.; Pierri, G. C. S.

    2014-12-01

    The northeastern Brazilian, tropical coast-shelf system along the Atlantic Ocean is a sediment-starved zone, because of low relief, small drainage basins, and a semiarid climate. This work presents the major results of a study of environmental changes, particularly those related to Holocene sea-level rise, affecting the coast and shallow waters of Rio Grande do Norte (RN) State, NE Brazil. The methods included bottom-sediment characterization, bioindicator tracking, and integrated shallow-water geophysical investigation. This coastline is marked by active sea cliffs carved into tablelands alternating with reef- or dune-barrier sections, beach rocks and lagoons, whereas the shelf is a narrow, very shallow, and highly energetic system. Overall, the area is under the natural influence of tides (with a semidiurnal mesotidal regime) and the anthropogenic influence of salt exploration, oil industry, shrimp farms, tourism, and wind-farms. Sedimentation during the Holocene has been controlled mainly by sea-level variation, longshore currents, and the advance and westward propagation of active dunes along the coast. As in other areas around the world, growing numbers of permanent and seasonal residents choose to live at or near the ocean. Coastal erosion is a cause for concern along many Brazilian beaches, and several erosion hot spots are already recognized in RN State. Curves of Holocene relative sea-level variation were established for RN State, but the absence of long-term oceanographic observations in the last centuries or that of detailed altimetry maps hinders the evaluation of different risk scenarios at the local level. Nevertheless, impacts of the current sea-level rise and human activity can be observed along the RN coastal-shelf system. Particular aspects of the study, such as oil-spill monitoring, coastal-water sewage contamination, and coastal erosion, will be highlighted.

  18. Links between early Holocene ice-sheet decay, sea-level rise and abrupt climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Törnqvist, Torbjörn E.; Hijma, Marc P.

    2012-09-01

    The beginning of the current interglacial period, the Holocene epoch, was a critical part of the transition from glacial to interglacial climate conditions. This period, between about 12,000 and 7,000 years ago, was marked by the continued retreat of the ice sheets that had expanded through polar and temperate regions during the preceding glacial. This meltdown led to a dramatic rise in sea level, punctuated by short-lived jumps associated with catastrophic ice-sheet collapses. Tracking down which ice sheet produced specific sea-level jumps has been challenging, but two events between 8,500 and 8,200 years ago have been linked to the final drainage of glacial Lake Agassiz in north-central North America. The release of the water from this ice-dammed lake into the ocean is recorded by sea-level jumps in the Mississippi and Rhine-Meuse deltas of approximately 0.4 and 2.1 metres, respectively. These sea-level jumps can be related to an abrupt cooling in the Northern Hemisphere known as the 8.2 kyr event, and it has been suggested that the freshwater release from Lake Agassiz into the North Atlantic was sufficient to perturb the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. As sea-level rise on the order of decimetres to metres can now be detected with confidence and linked to climate records, it is becoming apparent that abrupt climate change during the early Holocene associated with perturbations in North Atlantic circulation required sustained freshwater release into the ocean.

  19. Uncertainties in Tidally Adjusted Estimates of Sea Level Rise Flooding (Bathtub Model) for the Greater London

    OpenAIRE

    Ali P. Yunus; Ram Avtar; Steven Kraines; Masumi Yamamuro; Fredrik Lindberg; C. S. B. Grimmond

    2016-01-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) from global warming may have severe consequences for coastal cities, particularly when combined with predicted increases in the strength of tidal surges. Predicting the regional impact of SLR flooding is strongly dependent on the modelling approach and accuracy of topographic data. Here, the areas under risk of sea water flooding for London boroughs were quantified based on the projected SLR scenarios reported in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fifth asse...

  20. Uncertainties in tidally adjusted estimates of sea level rise flooding (bathtub model) for the Greater London

    OpenAIRE

    Ali P. Yunus; Avtar, Ram; Kraines, Steven; Yamamuro, Masumi; Lindberg, Fredrik; C. S. B. Grimmond

    2016-01-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) from global warming may have severe consequences for coastal cities, particularly when combined with predicted increases in the strength of tidal surges. Predicting the regional impact of SLR flooding is strongly dependent on the modelling approach and accuracy of topographic data. Here, the areas under risk of sea water flooding for London boroughs were quantified based on the projected SLR scenarios reported in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC...

  1. A Comparative Study of Passive versus Dynamic Sea-Level Rise Inundation Models for the Island of Kauai

    OpenAIRE

    Bezore, Rhiannon Victoria Ann

    2014-01-01

    Using ArcGIS, a sea-level rise inundation comparison was conducted using four different techniques under five sea-level rise conditions for the Kauai, Hawaii, towns of Hanalei Bay, Kapa'a, and Waimea. Sea-level rise was mapped in 0.5 m increments from 0.0 m of rise to 2.0 m of rise. Datasets used in the analysis include a digital elevation model (DEM) layer, wave height data, tidal elevation data, and land cover data. The four techniques illustrating projected inundation serve as a comparison...

  2. Assessing the impact of sea-level rise on a vulnerable coastal community in Accra, Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwasi Appeaning Addo

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Climate change and its associated sea-level rise are expected to significantly affect vulnerable coastal communities. Although the extent of the impact will be localised, its assessment will adopt a monitoring approach that applies globally. The topography of the beach, the type of geological material and the level of human intervention will determine the extent of the area to be flooded and the rate at which the shoreline will move inland. Gleefe, a coastal community in Ghana, has experienced frequent flooding in recent times due to the increasing occurrence of storm surge and sea-level rise. This study used available geospatial data and field measurements to determine how the beach topography has contributed to the incidence of flooding at Gleefe. The topography is generally low-lying. Sections of the beach have elevations of around 1 m, which allows seawater to move inland during very high tide. Accelerated sea-level rise as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC will destroy homes of the inhabitants and inundate the Densu wetlands behind the beach. Destruction of infrastructure will render the inhabitants homeless, whilst flooding of the wetlands will destroy the habitats of migratory birds and some endangered wildlife species such as marine turtle. Effective adaptation measures should be adopted to protect this very important coastal environment, the ecology of the wetlands and the livelihoods of the community dwellers.

  3. Assessing tidal marsh vulnerability to sea-level rise in the Skagit Delta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, W. Gregory; Grossman, Eric; Curt Veldhuisen,

    2016-01-01

    Historical aerial photographs, from 1937 to the present, show Skagit Delta tidal marshes prograding into Skagit Bay for most of the record, but the progradation rates have been steadily declining and the marshes have begun to erode in recent decades despite the large suspended sediment load provided by the Skagit River. In an area of the delta isolated from direct riverine sediment supply by anthropogenic blockage of historical distributaries, 0.5-m tall marsh cliffs along with concave marsh profiles indicate wave erosion is contributing to marsh retreat. This is further supported by a “natural experiment” provided by rocky outcrops that shelter high marsh in their lee, while being bounded by 0.5-m lower eroded marsh to windward and on either side. Coastal wetlands with high sediment supply are thought to be resilient to sea level rise, but the case of the Skagit Delta shows this is not necessarily true. A combination of sea level rise and wave-generated erosion may overwhelm sediment supply. Additionally, anthropogenic obstruction of historical distributaries and levee construction along the remaining distributaries likely increase the jet momentum of river discharge, forcing much suspended sediment to bypass the tidal marshes and be exported from Skagit Bay. Adaptive response to the threat of climate change related sea level rise and increased wave frequency or intensity should consider the efficacy of restoring historical distributaries and managed retreat of constrictive river levees to maximize sediment delivery to delta marshes.

  4. Estimation of Peak Water Level in Pearl River Estuary under the Background of Sea Level Rise

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    KONG; Lan; CHEN; Xiao-hong; ZHUANG; Cheng-bin; CHEN; Dong-wei

    2012-01-01

    [Objective] The study aimed to predict the peak water level in Pearl River Estuary under the background of sea level rise. [Method] The changing trends of peak water level at Denglongshan station and Hengmen station were analyzed firstly on the basis of regression models, and then sea level rise in Pearl River Estuary in 2050 was predicted to estimate the 1-in-50-year peak water level in the same year. [Result] Regression analyses showed that the increasing rate of peak water level over past years was 6.3 mm/a at Denglongshan station and 5.8 mm/a at Hengmen station. In addition, if sea level will rise by 20, 30 and 60 cm respectively in 2050, it was predicted that the 1-in-50-year peak water level will reach 3.04, 3.14 and 3.44 m at Denglongshan station, and 3.19, 3.29 and 3.59 m at Hengmen station separately. [Conclusion] The estimation of peak water level in Pearl River Estuary could provide theoretical references for water resources planning.

  5. Future climate change driven sea-level rise: secondary consequences from human displacement for island biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetzel, Florian T; Kissling, W Daniel; Beissmann, Helmut; Penn, Dustin J

    2012-09-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) due to global warming will result in the loss of many coastal areas. The direct or primary effects due to inundation and erosion from SLR are currently being assessed; however, the indirect or secondary ecological effects, such as changes caused by the displacement of human populations, have not been previously evaluated. We examined the potential ecological consequences of future SLR on >1,200 islands in the Southeast Asian and the Pacific region. Using three SLR scenarios (1, 3, and 6 m elevation, where 1 m approximates most predictions by the end of this century), we assessed the consequences of primary and secondary SLR effects from human displacement on habitat availability and distributions of selected mammal species. We estimate that between 3-32% of the coastal zone of these islands could be lost from primary effects, and consequently 8-52 million people would become SLR refugees. Assuming that inundated urban and intensive agricultural areas will be relocated with an equal area of habitat loss in the hinterland, we project that secondary SLR effects can lead to an equal or even higher percent range loss than primary effects for at least 10-18% of the sample mammals in a moderate range loss scenario and for 22-46% in a maximum range loss scenario. In addition, we found some species to be more vulnerable to secondary than primary effects. Finally, we found high spatial variation in vulnerability: species on islands in Oceania are more vulnerable to primary SLR effects, whereas species on islands in Indo-Malaysia, with potentially 7-48 million SLR refugees, are more vulnerable to secondary effects. Our findings show that primary and secondary SLR effects can have enormous consequences for human inhabitants and island biodiversity, and that both need to be incorporated into ecological risk assessment, conservation, and regional planning. PMID:24501050

  6. Impacts of Climate Change on Estuarine Habitats in the UK: Critical Evaluation of the Saltmarshes and Sea-Level Rise Model (SLAMM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pylarinou, A.; French, J.; Burningham, H.

    2013-12-01

    Estuarine wetland environments are at risk of significant transformation and loss due to sea-level rise and there is an increasing need to model such impacts. In a UK context, the relatively small size and morphological complexity of many estuaries necessitates a high spatial resolution but models must also be capable of efficient application over time scales of decades to centuries that correspond to widely used IPCC climate change scenarios. Little previous work of this kind has been carried out to date in the UK. An exception is the EU-funded BRANCH project, which simulated the drowning of intertidal topography, due to sea-level rise, and potential mudflat and saltmarsh responses to a change in inundation regime. However, this approach neglects the interplay of sea-level rise and sedimentation. Accordingly, this study investigates the potential of a more dynamic spatial landscape model to represent meso-scale impacts of sea-level rise on UK estuary environments. It takes as a starting point the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM), which has been widely used in the USA. This is built around the US National Wetlands Inventory classification and adapting it to suit the tidal sedimentary environments and habitats typical of the UK requires changes to the source code. This paper presents results obtained from the application of an appropriately modified SLAMM code to contrasting estuarine environments in eastern England. The aim is to evaluate the ability of SLAMM to produce plausible projections of intertidal habitat change. The estuaries studied are covered by high-resolution altimetry data, and an extensive literature on their physical process regime allows the parameterisation of the various sub-models in SLAMM. A Matlab-based shell is used to perform an initial sensitivity analysis to better understand the nature of the modelled sea-level rise effects. This shell also provides a framework for Monte Carlo simulations forced by a set of UKCP09 sea-level rise

  7. Possible impact of rising sea levels on vector-borne infectious diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Surendran Sinnathamby N

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Vector-borne infectious diseases are a significant cause of human and animal mortality and morbidity. Modeling studies predict that changes in climate that accompany global warming will alter the transmission risk of many vector-borne infectious diseases in different parts of the world. Global warming will also raise sea levels, which will lead to an increase in saline and brackish water bodies in coastal areas. The potential impact of rising sea levels, as opposed to climate change, on the prevalence of vector-borne infectious diseases has hitherto been unrecognised. Presentation of the hypothesis Mosquito species possessing salinity-tolerant larvae and pupae, and capable of transmitting arboviruses and parasites are found in many parts of the world. An expansion of brackish and saline water bodies in coastal areas, associated with rising sea levels, can increase densities of salinity-tolerant vector mosquitoes and lead to the adaptation of freshwater vectors to breed in brackish and saline waters. The breeding of non-mosquito vectors may also be influenced by salinity changes in coastal habitats. Higher vector densities can increase transmission of vector-borne infectious diseases in coastal localities, which can then spread to other areas. Testing the hypothesis The demonstration of increases in vector populations and disease prevalence that is related to an expansion of brackish/saline water bodies in coastal areas will provide the necessary supportive evidence. However the implementation of specific vector and disease control measures to counter the threat will confound the expected findings. Implications of the hypothesis Rising sea levels can act synergistically with climate change and then interact in a complex manner with other environmental and socio-economic factors to generate a greater potential for the transmission of vector-borne infectious diseases. The resulting health impacts are likely to be particularly

  8. Climate change scenarios and the effect of sea-level rise for Estonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kont, Are; Jaagus, Jaak; Aunap, Raivo

    2003-03-01

    Climate warming due to the enhanced greenhouse effect is expected to have a significant impact on natural environment and human activity in high latitudes. Mostly, it should have a positive effect on human activity. The main threats in Estonia that could be connected with sea-level rise are the flooding of coastal areas, erosion of sandy beaches and the destruction of harbour constructions. Possible climate change and its negative impacts in the coastal regions of Estonia are estimated in this paper. Climate change scenarios for Estonia were generated using a Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse-gas Induced Climate Change (MAGICC) and a regional climate change database—SCENanario GENerator (SCENGEN). Three alternative emission scenarios were combined with data from 14 general circulation model experiments. Climate change scenarios for the year 2100 indicate a significant increase in air temperature (by 2.3-4.5 °C) and precipitation (by 5-30%) in Estonia. The highest increase is expected to take place during winter and the lowest increase in summer. Due to a long coastline (3794 km) and extensive low-lying coastal areas, global climate change through sea-level rise will strongly affect the territory of Estonia. A number of valuable natural ecosystems will be in danger. These include both marine and terrestrial systems containing rare plant communities and suitable breeding places for birds. Most sandy beaches high in recreational value will disappear. However, isostatic land uplift and the location of coastal settlements at a distance from the present coastline reduce the rate of risk. Seven case study areas characterising all the shore types of Estonia have been selected for sea-level rise vulnerability and adaptation assessment. Results and estimates of vulnerability to 1.0-m sea-level rise by 2100 are presented in this paper. This is the maximum scenario according to which the actually estimated relative sea-level rise would vary from 0.9 m (SW Estonia) to 0

  9. Surface elevation change and susceptibility of coastal wetlands to sea level rise in Liaohe Delta, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guo-dong; Wang, Ming; Lu, Xian-guo; Jiang, Ming

    2016-10-01

    The Liaohe Delta in China is an ecologically and commercially important wetland system under threat from sea level rise and marsh subsidence. Sediments deposited in coastal marshes could offer wetlands a potentially important means for adjusting surface elevation with rising sea level, yet coastal wetland stability in Liaohe Delta is not well understood due to limited data from long-term experiments. In this study, wetland surface elevation and vertical accretion were measured from 2011 to 2015 using a surface elevation table (SET) and feldspar marker horizons in two Phragmites and two Suaeda marshes receiving Liaohe River water. The analysis shows that the Phragmites marshes exhibited higher rates of marsh accretion and elevation change than the Suaeda marshes. The two Phragmites marsh sites had average surface elevation change rates at 8.8 and 9.3 mm yr-1, vertical accretion at 17.4 and 17.6 mm yr-1, and shallow subsidence at 8.6 and 8.3 mm yr-1. The average rates of elevation change, vertical accretion, and shallow subsidence at two Suaeda marsh sites were 5.8 and 6.3 mm yr-1, 13.6 and 14.8 mm yr-1, and 7.8 and 8.5 mm yr-1, respectively. The trends suggest that coastal marshes in Liaohe Delta are experiencing changes in average soil elevation that range from a net increase of 0.3 mm y-1 to 6.9 mm y-1 relative to averaged sea level rise in Bohai Sea reported by the 2016 State Oceanic Administration People's Republic of China projection (2.4-5.5 mm y-1), which indicated that the four wetland sites would adjust to the sea level rise and even continue to gain elevation, especially for the Phragmites sites. Nevertheless, the vulnerability of coastal wetlands in Liaohe Delta need further assessment considering the accelerated sea level rise, the high rate of subsidence, and the declining sediment delivery owing to anthropogenic activities such as dam constructions in the river basin.

  10. Coastal marsh response to rising sea levels in the Grand Bay, MS estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alizad, K.; Hagen, S. C.; Morris, J. T.; Medeiros, S. C.; Bilskie, M. V.; Passeri, D. L.

    2015-12-01

    The Grand Bay estuary, situated along the border of Alabama and Mississippi, is a marine dominant estuary. Juncus roemerianus and Spartina alterniflora cover approximately 49% of the estuary (Eleuterius and Criss, 1991); However, this marsh system is prone to erosion more than other marsh systems in the state (Mississippi Department of Marine Resources 1999). Water level and wind-driven waves are critical factors that cause erosion in the Grand Bay estuary. Sediment transport induced by wave forces from the Gulf of Mexico and sea level rise force salt marshes to migrate landward (Schmid 2000). Understanding projected variations in vegetation can aid in productive restoration planning and coastal management decisions. An integrated hydro-marsh model was developed to incorporate the dynamic interaction between tidal hydrodynamics and salt marsh system. This model projects salt marsh productivity by coupling a two-dimensional, depth-integrated ADvanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) finite element model and a parametric marsh model (Morris et al., 2002). The model calculates marsh productivity as a function of mean low water (MLW), mean high water (MHW), and the elevation of the marsh platform. The coupling exchange process is divided into several time intervals that capture the rate of sea level rise, and update the elevation and bottom friction from the computed marsh productivity. Accurate description of salt marsh platform is necessary for calculating accurate biomass results (Hagen et al. 2013). Lidar-derived digital elevation models (DEM) over-estimate marsh platform elevations, but can be corrected with Real Time Kinematic (RTK) survey data (Medeiros et al., 2015). Using RTK data, the salt marsh platform was updated and included in a high resolution hydrodynamic model. Four projections of sea level rise (Parris et al., 2012) were used to project salt marsh productivity for the year 2100 for the Grand Bay, MS estuary. The results showed a higher productivity under low sea

  11. Probabilistic 21st and 22nd Century Sea-Level Projections at a Global Network of Tide-Gauge Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, Robert E.; Horton, Radley M.; Little, Christopher M.; Mitrovica, Jerry X.; Oppenheimer, Michael; Rasmussen, D. J.; Strauss, Benjamin H.; Tebaldi, Claudia

    2014-01-01

    Sea-level rise due to both climate change and non-climatic factors threatens coastal settlements, infrastructure, and ecosystems. Projections of mean global sea-level (GSL) rise provide insufficient information to plan adaptive responses; local decisions require local projections that accommodate different risk tolerances and time frames and that can be linked to storm surge projections. Here we present a global set of local sea-level (LSL) projections to inform decisions on timescales ranging from the coming decades through the 22nd century. We provide complete probability distributions, informed by a combination of expert community assessment, expert elicitation, and process modeling. Between the years 2000 and 2100, we project a very likely (90% probability) GSL rise of 0.5–1.2?m under representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5, 0.4–0.9?m under RCP 4.5, and 0.3–0.8?m under RCP 2.6. Site-to-site differences in LSL projections are due to varying non-climatic background uplift or subsidence, oceanographic effects, and spatially variable responses of the geoid and the lithosphere to shrinking land ice. The Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) constitutes a growing share of variance in GSL and LSL projections. In the global average and at many locations, it is the dominant source of variance in late 21st century projections, though at some sites oceanographic processes contribute the largest share throughout the century. LSL rise dramatically reshapes flood risk, greatly increasing the expected number of “1-in-10” and “1-in-100” year events.

  12. Predictions of extreme precipitation and sea-level rise under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senior, C A; Jones, R G; Lowe, J A; Durman, C F; Hudson, D

    2002-07-15

    Two aspects of global climate change are particularly relevant to river and coastal flooding: changes in extreme precipitation and changes in sea level. In this paper we summarize the relevant findings of the IPCC Third Assessment Report and illustrate some of the common results found by the current generation of coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs), using the Hadley Centre models. Projections of changes in extreme precipitation, sea-level rise and storm surges affecting the UK will be shown from the Hadley Centre regional models and the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory storm-surge model. A common finding from AOGCMs is that in a warmer climate the intensity of precipitation will increase due to a more intense hydrological cycle. This leads to reduced return periods (i.e. more frequent occurrences) of extreme precipitation in many locations. The Hadley Centre regional model simulates reduced return periods of extreme precipitation in a number of flood-sensitive areas of the UK. In addition, simulated changes in storminess and a rise in average sea level around the UK lead to reduced return periods of extreme high coastal water events. The confidence in all these results is limited by poor spatial resolution in global coupled models and by uncertainties in the physical processes in both global and regional models, and is specific to the climate change scenario used.

  13. Contribution of climate-driven change in continental water storage to recent sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milly, P.C.D.; Cazenave, A.; Gennero, M.C.

    2003-01-01

    Using a global model of continental water balance, forced by interannual variations in precipitation and near-surface atmospheric temperature for the period 1981-1998, we estimate the sea-level changes associated with climate-driven changes in storage of water as snowpack, soil water, and ground water; storage in ice sheets and large lakes is not considered. The 1981-1998 trend is estimated to be 0.12 mm/yr, and substantial interannual fluctuations are inferred; for 1993-1998, the trend is 0.25 mm/yr. At the decadal time scale, the terrestrial contribution to eustatic (i.e., induced by mass exchange) sea-level rise is significantly smaller than the estimated steric (i.e., induced by density changes) trend for the same period, but is not negligibly small. In the model the sea-level rise is driven mainly by a downtrend in continental precipitation during the study period, which we believe was generated by natural variability in the climate system.

  14. Maximizing oyster-reef growth supports green infrastructure with accelerating sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridge, Justin T; Rodriguez, Antonio B; Joel Fodrie, F; Lindquist, Niels L; Brodeur, Michelle C; Coleman, Sara E; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Theuerkauf, Ethan J

    2015-01-01

    Within intertidal communities, aerial exposure (emergence during the tidal cycle) generates strong vertical zonation patterns with distinct growth boundaries regulated by physiological and external stressors. Forecasted accelerations in sea-level rise (SLR) will shift the position of these critical boundaries in ways we cannot yet fully predict, but landward migration will be impaired by coastal development, amplifying the importance of foundation species' ability to maintain their position relative to rising sea levels via vertical growth. Here we show the effects of emergence on vertical oyster-reef growth by determining the conditions at which intertidal reefs thrive and the sharp boundaries where reefs fail, which shift with changes in sea level. We found that oyster reef growth is unimodal relative to emergence, with greatest growth rates occurring between 20-40% exposure, and zero-growth boundaries at 10% and 55% exposures. Notably, along the lower growth boundary (10%), increased rates of SLR would outpace reef accretion, thereby reducing the depth range of substrate suitable for reef maintenance and formation, and exacerbating habitat loss along developed shorelines. Our results identify where, within intertidal areas, constructed or natural oyster reefs will persist and function best as green infrastructure to enhance coastal resiliency under conditions of accelerating SLR. PMID:26442712

  15. The dynamic effects of sea level rise on low-gradient coastal landscapes: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passeri, Davina; Hagen, Scott C.; Medeiros, Stephen C.; Bilskie, Matthew V.; Alizad, Karim; Wang, Dingbao

    2015-01-01

    Coastal responses to sea level rise (SLR) include inundation of wetlands, increased shoreline erosion, and increased flooding during storm events. Hydrodynamic parameters such as tidal ranges, tidal prisms, tidal asymmetries, increased flooding depths and inundation extents during storm events respond nonadditively to SLR. Coastal morphology continually adapts toward equilibrium as sea levels rise, inducing changes in the landscape. Marshes may struggle to keep pace with SLR and rely on sediment accumulation and the availability of suitable uplands for migration. Whether hydrodynamic, morphologic, or ecologic, the impacts of SLR are interrelated. To plan for changes under future sea levels, coastal managers need information and data regarding the potential effects of SLR to make informed decisions for managing human and natural communities. This review examines previous studies that have accounted for the dynamic, nonlinear responses of hydrodynamics, coastal morphology, and marsh ecology to SLR by implementing more complex approaches rather than the simplistic “bathtub” approach. These studies provide an improved understanding of the dynamic effects of SLR on coastal environments and contribute to an overall paradigm shift in how coastal scientists and engineers approach modeling the effects of SLR, transitioning away from implementing the “bathtub” approach. However, it is recommended that future studies implement a synergetic approach that integrates the dynamic interactions between physical and ecological environments to better predict the impacts of SLR on coastal systems.

  16. Coastal sea level changes, observed and projected during the 20th and 21st century

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carson, M.; Köhl, A.; Stammer, D.; A. Slangen, A. B.; Katsman, C. A.; W. van de Wal, R. S.; Church, J.; White, N.

    2015-01-01

    Timeseries of observed and projected sea level changes for the 20th and 21st century are analyzed at various coastal locations around the world that are vulnerable to climate change. Observed time series are from tide gauges and altimetry, as well as from reconstructions over the last 50 years. CMIP

  17. Rising sea levels will reduce extreme temperature variations in tide-dominated reef habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Ryan Joseph; Pivan, Xavier; Falter, James; Symonds, Graham; Gruber, Renee

    2016-08-01

    Temperatures within shallow reefs often differ substantially from those in the surrounding ocean; therefore, predicting future patterns of thermal stresses and bleaching at the scale of reefs depends on accurately predicting reef heat budgets. We present a new framework for quantifying how tidal and solar heating cycles interact with reef morphology to control diurnal temperature extremes within shallow, tidally forced reefs. Using data from northwestern Australia, we construct a heat budget model to investigate how frequency differences between the dominant lunar semidiurnal tide and diurnal solar cycle drive ~15-day modulations in diurnal temperature extremes. The model is extended to show how reefs with tidal amplitudes comparable to their depth, relative to mean sea level, tend to experience the largest temperature extremes globally. As a consequence, we reveal how even a modest sea level rise can substantially reduce temperature extremes within tide-dominated reefs, thereby partially offsetting the local effects of future ocean warming. PMID:27540589

  18. Effects of sea-level rise on barrier island groundwater system dynamics: ecohydrological implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masterson, John P.; Fienen, Michael N.; Thieler, E. Robert; Gesch, Dean B.; Gutierrez, Benjamin T.; Plant, Nathaniel G.

    2014-01-01

    We used a numerical model to investigate how a barrier island groundwater system responds to increases of up to 60 cm in sea level. We found that a sea-level rise of 20 cm leads to substantial changes in the depth of the water table and the extent and depth of saltwater intrusion, which are key determinants in the establishment, distribution and succession of vegetation assemblages and habitat suitability in barrier islands ecosystems. In our simulations, increases in water-table height in areas with a shallow depth to water (or thin vadose zone) resulted in extensive groundwater inundation of land surface and a thinning of the underlying freshwater lens. We demonstrated the interdependence of the groundwater response to island morphology by evaluating changes at three sites. This interdependence can have a profound effect on ecosystem composition in these fragile coastal landscapes under long-term changing climatic conditions.

  19. Rising sea levels will reduce extreme temperature variations in tide-dominated reef habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Ryan Joseph; Pivan, Xavier; Falter, James; Symonds, Graham; Gruber, Renee

    2016-01-01

    Temperatures within shallow reefs often differ substantially from those in the surrounding ocean; therefore, predicting future patterns of thermal stresses and bleaching at the scale of reefs depends on accurately predicting reef heat budgets. We present a new framework for quantifying how tidal and solar heating cycles interact with reef morphology to control diurnal temperature extremes within shallow, tidally forced reefs. Using data from northwestern Australia, we construct a heat budget model to investigate how frequency differences between the dominant lunar semidiurnal tide and diurnal solar cycle drive ~15-day modulations in diurnal temperature extremes. The model is extended to show how reefs with tidal amplitudes comparable to their depth, relative to mean sea level, tend to experience the largest temperature extremes globally. As a consequence, we reveal how even a modest sea level rise can substantially reduce temperature extremes within tide-dominated reefs, thereby partially offsetting the local effects of future ocean warming. PMID:27540589

  20. Vulnerability assessment of southern coastal areas of Iran to sea level rise: evaluation of climate change impact

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Goharnejad

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Recent investigations have demonstrated global sea level rise as being due to climate change impact. Probable changes in sea level rise need to be evaluated so that appropriate adaptive strategies can be implemented. This study evaluates the impact of climate change on sea level rise along the Iranian south coast. Climatic data simulated by a GCM (General Circulation Model named CGCM3 under two-climate change scenarios A1b and A2 are used to investigate the impact of climate change. Among the different variables simulated by this model, those of maximum correlation with sea level changes in the study region and least redundancy among themselves are selected for predicting sea level rise by using stepwise regression. Two Discrete Wavelet artificial Neural Network (DWNN models and a Discrete Wavelet Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference system (DWANFIS are developed to explore the relationship between selected climatic variables and sea level changes. In these models, wavelets are used to disaggregate the time series of input and output data into different components. ANFIS/ANN are then used to relate the disaggregated components of predictors and predictand (sea level to each other. The results show a significant rise in sea level in the study region under climate change impact, which should be incorporated into coastal area management.

  1. Consequences of 21st century policy for multi-millennial climate and sea-level change

    OpenAIRE

    Clark, PU; Shakun, JD; Marcott, SA; Mix, AC; Eby, M.; Kulp, S.; Levermann, A.; Milne, GA; Pfister, PL; Santer, BD; Schrag, Dp; Solomon, S.; Stocker, TF; Strauss, BH; Weaver, AJ

    2016-01-01

    Most of the policy debate surrounding the actions needed to mitigate and adapt to anthropogenic climate change has been framed by observations of the past 150 years and climate and sea-level projections for the twenty-first century. The focus on this 250-year window, however, obscures some of the most profound problems associated with climate change. Here, we argue that the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, a period during which the overwhelming majority of human-caused carbon ...

  2. Predicting sea-level rise vulnerability of terrestrial habitat and wildlife of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Berkowitz, Paul; Courtot, Karen N.; Krause, Crystal M.; Reynolds, Michelle H.; Berkowitz, Paul; Courtot, Karen N.; Krause, Crystal M.

    2012-01-01

    If current climate change trends continue, rising sea levels may inundate low-lying islands across the globe, placing island biodiversity at risk. Recent models predict a rise of approximately one meter (1 m) in global sea level by 2100, with larger increases possible in areas of the Pacific Ocean. Pacific Islands are unique ecosystems home to many endangered endemic plant and animal species. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), which extend 1,930 kilometers (km) beyond the main Hawaiian Islands, are a World Heritage Site and part of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. These NWHI support the largest tropical seabird rookery in the world, providing breeding habitat for 21 species of seabirds, 4 endemic land bird species and essential foraging, breeding, or haul-out habitat for other resident and migratory wildlife. In recent years, concern has grown about the increasing vulnerability of the NWHI and their wildlife populations to changing climatic patterns, particularly the uncertainty associated with potential impacts from global sea-level rise (SLR) and storms. In response to the need by managers to adapt future resource protection strategies to climate change variability and dynamic island ecosystems, we have synthesized and down scaled analyses for this important region. This report describes a 2-year study of a remote northwestern Pacific atoll ecosystem and identifies wildlife and habitat vulnerable to rising sea levels and changing climate conditions. A lack of high-resolution topographic data for low-lying islands of the NWHI had previously precluded an extensive quantitative model of the potential impacts of SLR on wildlife habitat. The first chapter (chapter 1) describes the vegetation and topography of 20 islands of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the distribution and status of wildlife populations, and the predicted impacts for a range of SLR scenarios. Furthermore, this chapter explores the potential effects of SLR on

  3. On the significance of incorporating shoreline changes for evaluating coastal hydrodynamics under sea level rise scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passeri, D.; Hagen, S. C.; Medeiros, S. C.

    2013-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) threatens coastal environments with loss of land, inundation of coastal wetlands, and increased flooding during extreme storm events. Research has shown that SLR is a major factor in the long-term, gradual retreat of shorelines (Fitzgerald et al., 2008). Along sandy shorelines, retreat has a more dynamic effect than just inundation due to rising water levels, including the physical process of erosion in which sand is removed from the shoreface and deposited offshore. This has the potential to affect ecological habitats as well as coastal communities. Although SLR induces seaward retreat of shorelines, many shorelines especially within the vicinity of inlets may experience accretion due to sediment trapping or beach replenishment (Aubrey and Giese, 1993, Browder and R.G., 1999). This study examines the influence of including projected shoreline changes under future sea states into hydrodynamic modeling within the Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM). The NGOM coastline is an economically and ecologically significant area, comprised of various bays, barrier islands and mainland beaches. Projected shorelines and nearshore morphology for the year 2050 are derived from the Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) shoreline change rates (Thieler and Hammer-Klose, 1999) and used in conjunction with the 'Bruun Rule effect'(Bruun, 1962). A large scale hydrodynamic model forced by astronomic tides and hurricane winds and pressures is used to simulate present conditions, a high projection of the 2050 sea state (18 in of SLR in accordance with Parris et al. (2012)) and the 2050 high sea state with 2050 shorelines to test the sensitivity of the system to the projected shoreline changes. Results show that shoreline changes coupled with sea level rise increases tidal inundation along shorelines, amplifies overtopping of barrier islands during storm surge events, and heightens inland storm surge inundation. It is critical to include estimates of shoreline and barrier

  4. A prediction of sea level rising amplitude in 2030 and defen-sive countermeasures in the Zhujiang delta

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    By analysing comprehensively the factors such as theoretical sealevel, abnormal fluctuation of sea level, rising amplitude of floodtide water level and land deformation, a rising amplitude of 22-33 cm of relative sea level by the year of 2030 is forecasted in the Zhujiang Delta. From the forecasted amplitude of 30 cm, using hydraulic and hydrometric models the scope influenced by sea level rise is delimited and the reappearing periods of floodtide water level, protecting ability of embankments, design parameters of water conservancy project, drain waterlogging, saline intrusion, resource of mud beach and comprehensive prevention measures are discussed.

  5. Coastal Hazards Maps: Actionable Information for Communities Facing Sea-Level Rise (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibeaut, J. C.; Barraza, E.

    2010-12-01

    Barrier islands along the U.S. Gulf coast remain under increasing pressure from development. This development and redevelopment is occurring despite recent hurricanes, ongoing erosion, and sea-level rise. To lessen the impacts of these hazards, local governments need information in a form that is useful for informing the public, making policy, and enforcing development rules. We recently completed the Galveston Island Geohazards Map for the city of Galveston, Texas and are currently developing maps for the Mustang and South Padre Island communities. The maps show areas that vary in their susceptibility to, and function for, mitigating the effects of geological processes, including sea-level rise, land subsidence, erosion and storm-surge flooding and washover. The current wetlands, beaches and dunes are mapped as having the highest geohazard potential both in terms of their exposure to hazardous conditions and their mitigating effects of those hazards for the rest of the island. These existing “critical environments” are generally protected under existing regulations. Importantly, however, the mapping recognizes that sea-level rise and shoreline retreat are changing the island; therefore, 60-year model projections of the effects of these changes are incorporated into the map. The areas that we project will become wetlands, beaches and dunes in the next 60 years are not protected. These areas are the most difficult to deal with from a policy point of view, yet we must address what happens there if real progress is to be made in how we live with sea-level rise. The geohazards maps draw on decades of geological knowledge of how barrier islands behave and put it in a form that is intuitive to the public and directly useful to planners. Some of the “messages” in the map include: leave salt marshes alone and give them room to migrate inland as sea level rises; set back and move development away from the shoreline to provide space for beaches and protective dunes

  6. Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeConto, Robert M; Pollard, David

    2016-03-31

    Polar temperatures over the last several million years have, at times, been slightly warmer than today, yet global mean sea level has been 6-9 metres higher as recently as the Last Interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) and possibly higher during the Pliocene epoch (about three million years ago). In both cases the Antarctic ice sheet has been implicated as the primary contributor, hinting at its future vulnerability. Here we use a model coupling ice sheet and climate dynamics-including previously underappreciated processes linking atmospheric warming with hydrofracturing of buttressing ice shelves and structural collapse of marine-terminating ice cliffs-that is calibrated against Pliocene and Last Interglacial sea-level estimates and applied to future greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Antarctica has the potential to contribute more than a metre of sea-level rise by 2100 and more than 15 metres by 2500, if emissions continue unabated. In this case atmospheric warming will soon become the dominant driver of ice loss, but prolonged ocean warming will delay its recovery for thousands of years. PMID:27029274

  7. Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeConto, Robert M; Pollard, David

    2016-03-31

    Polar temperatures over the last several million years have, at times, been slightly warmer than today, yet global mean sea level has been 6-9 metres higher as recently as the Last Interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) and possibly higher during the Pliocene epoch (about three million years ago). In both cases the Antarctic ice sheet has been implicated as the primary contributor, hinting at its future vulnerability. Here we use a model coupling ice sheet and climate dynamics-including previously underappreciated processes linking atmospheric warming with hydrofracturing of buttressing ice shelves and structural collapse of marine-terminating ice cliffs-that is calibrated against Pliocene and Last Interglacial sea-level estimates and applied to future greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Antarctica has the potential to contribute more than a metre of sea-level rise by 2100 and more than 15 metres by 2500, if emissions continue unabated. In this case atmospheric warming will soon become the dominant driver of ice loss, but prolonged ocean warming will delay its recovery for thousands of years.

  8. Sea level rise along Malaysian coasts due to the climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luu, Quang-Hung; Tkalich, Pavel; Tay, Tzewei

    2015-04-01

    Malaysia consists of two major parts, a mainland on the Peninsular Malaysia and the East Malaysia on the Borneo Island. Their surrounding waters connect the Andaman Sea located northeast of the Indian Ocean to the Celebes Sea in the western tropical Pacific Ocean through the southern East Sea of Vietnam/South China Sea. As a result, inter-annual sea level in the Malaysian waters is governed by various regional phenomena associated with the adjacent parts of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. We estimated sea level rise (SLR) rate in the domain using tide gauge records often being gappy. To reconstruct the missing data, two methods are used: (i) correlating sea level with climate indices El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), and (ii) filling the gap using records of neighboring tide gauges. Latest vertical land movements have been acquired to derive geocentric SLR rates. Around the Peninsular Malaysia, geocentric SLR rates in waters of Malacca Strait and eastern Peninsular Malaysia during 1986-2011 are found to be 3.9±3.3 mm/year and 4.2 ± 2.5 mm/year, respectively; while in the East Malaysia waters the rate during 1988-2011 is 6.3 ± 4.0 mm/year. These rates are arguably higher than global tendency for the same periods. For the overlapping period 1993-2011, the rates are consistent with those obtained using satellite altimetry.

  9. Impact of sea-level rise on earthquake and landslide triggering offshore the Alentejo margin (SW Iberia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neves, M. C.; Roque, C.; Luttrell, K. M.; Vázquez, J. T.; Alonso, B.

    2016-07-01

    Earthquakes and submarine landslides are recurrent and widespread manifestations of fault activity offshore SW Iberia. The present work tests the effects of sea-level rise on offshore fault systems using Coulomb stress change calculations across the Alentejo margin. Large-scale faults capable of generating large earthquakes and tsunamis in the region, especially NE-SW trending thrusts and WNW-ESE trending dextral strike-slip faults imaged at basement depths, are either blocked or unaffected by flexural effects related to sea-level changes. Large-magnitude earthquakes occurring along these structures may, therefore, be less frequent during periods of sea-level rise. In contrast, sea-level rise promotes shallow fault ruptures within the sedimentary sequence along the continental slope and upper rise within distances of level rise. Moreover, observations of slope failures affecting the area of the Sines contourite drift highlight the role of sediment properties as preconditioning factors in this region.

  10. Monitoring Coastal Embankment Subsidence and Relative Sea Level Rise in Coastal Bangladesh Using Satellite Geodetic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Q.; Shum, C. K.; Jia, Y.; Yi, Y.; Zhu, K.; Kuo, C. Y.; Liibusk, A.

    2015-12-01

    The Bangladesh Delta is located at the confluence of the mega Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghan Rivers in the Bay of Bengal. It is home to over 160 million people and is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is prone to seasonal transboundary monsoonal flooding, potentially aggravated by more frequent and intensified cyclones resulting from anthropogenic climate change. Sea level rise, along with tectonic, sediment compaction/load and groundwater extraction induced land uplift/subsidence, have significantly exacerbated these risks and Bangladesh's coastal vulnerability. Bangladesh has built 123 coastal embankments or polders since the 1960's, to protect the coastal regions from cyclone/tidal flooding and to reduce salinity incursions. Since then, many coastal polders have suffered severe erosion and anthropogenic damage, and require repairs or rebuilding. However, the physical and anthropogenic processes governing the historic relative sea level rise and its future projection towards its quantification remain poorly understood or known, and at present not accurate enough or with an adequately fine local spatial scale for practical mitigation of coastal vulnerability or coastal resilience studies. This study reports on our work in progress to use satellite geodetic and remote sensing observations, including satellite radar altimetry/backscatter measurements over land and in coastal oceans, optical/infrared imageries, and SAR backscatter/InSAR data, to study the feasibility of coastal embankment/polder erosion monitoring, quantify seasonal polder water intrusions, observing polder subsidence, and finally, towards the goal of improving the relative sea level rise hazards assessment at the local scale in coastal Bangladesh.

  11. Assessment of Hammocks (Petenes) Resilience to Sea Level Rise Due to Climate Change in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Montilla, Mariana C; Martínez-Morales, Miguel Angel; Posada Vanegas, Gregorio; de Jong, Bernardus H J

    2016-01-01

    There is a pressing need to assess resilience of coastal ecosystems against sea level rise. To develop appropriate response strategies against future climate disturbances, it is important to estimate the magnitude of disturbances that these ecosystems can absorb and to better understand their underlying processes. Hammocks (petenes) coastal ecosystems are highly vulnerable to sea level rise linked to climate change; their vulnerability is mainly due to its close relation with the sea through underground drainage in predominantly karstic soils. Hammocks are biologically important because of their high diversity and restricted distribution. This study proposes a strategy to assess resilience of this coastal ecosystem when high-precision data are scarce. Approaches and methods used to derive ecological resilience maps of hammocks are described and assessed. Resilience models were built by incorporating and weighting appropriate indicators of persistence to assess hammocks resilience against flooding due to climate change at "Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve", in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. According to the analysis, 25% of the study area is highly resilient (hot spots), whereas 51% has low resilience (cold spots). The most significant hot spot clusters of resilience were located in areas distant to the coastal zone, with indirect tidal influence, and consisted mostly of hammocks surrounded by basin mangrove and floodplain forest. This study revealed that multi-criteria analysis and the use of GIS for qualitative, semi-quantitative and statistical spatial analyses constitute a powerful tool to develop ecological resilience maps of coastal ecosystems that are highly vulnerable to sea level rise, even when high-precision data are not available. This method can be applied in other sites to help develop resilience analyses and decision-making processes for management and conservation of coastal areas worldwide. PMID:27611802

  12. Assessment of Hammocks (Petenes) Resilience to Sea Level Rise Due to Climate Change in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Montilla, Mariana C; Martínez-Morales, Miguel Angel; Posada Vanegas, Gregorio; de Jong, Bernardus H J

    2016-01-01

    There is a pressing need to assess resilience of coastal ecosystems against sea level rise. To develop appropriate response strategies against future climate disturbances, it is important to estimate the magnitude of disturbances that these ecosystems can absorb and to better understand their underlying processes. Hammocks (petenes) coastal ecosystems are highly vulnerable to sea level rise linked to climate change; their vulnerability is mainly due to its close relation with the sea through underground drainage in predominantly karstic soils. Hammocks are biologically important because of their high diversity and restricted distribution. This study proposes a strategy to assess resilience of this coastal ecosystem when high-precision data are scarce. Approaches and methods used to derive ecological resilience maps of hammocks are described and assessed. Resilience models were built by incorporating and weighting appropriate indicators of persistence to assess hammocks resilience against flooding due to climate change at "Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve", in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. According to the analysis, 25% of the study area is highly resilient (hot spots), whereas 51% has low resilience (cold spots). The most significant hot spot clusters of resilience were located in areas distant to the coastal zone, with indirect tidal influence, and consisted mostly of hammocks surrounded by basin mangrove and floodplain forest. This study revealed that multi-criteria analysis and the use of GIS for qualitative, semi-quantitative and statistical spatial analyses constitute a powerful tool to develop ecological resilience maps of coastal ecosystems that are highly vulnerable to sea level rise, even when high-precision data are not available. This method can be applied in other sites to help develop resilience analyses and decision-making processes for management and conservation of coastal areas worldwide.

  13. Mangroves facing climate change: landward migration potential in response to projected scenarios of sea level rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Di Nitto

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Mangrove forests prominently occupy an intertidal boundary position where the effects of sea level rise will be fast and well visible. This study in East Africa (Gazi Bay, Kenya addresses the question whether mangroves can be resilient to a rise in sea level by focusing on their potential to migrate towards landwards areas. The combinatory analysis between remote sensing, DGPS-based ground truth and digital terrain models (DTM unveils how real vegetation assemblages can shift under different projected (minimum (+9 cm, relative (+20 cm, average (+48 cm and maximum (+88 cm scenarios of sea level rise (SLR. Under SLR scenarios up to 48 cm by the year 2100, the landward extension remarkably implies an area increase for each of the dominant mangrove assemblages, except for Avicennia marina and Ceriops tagal, both on the landward side. On one hand, the increase of most species in the first 3 scenarios, including the socio-economically most important species in this area, Rhizophora mucronata and C. tagal on the seaward side, strongly depends on the colonisation rate of these species. On the other hand, a SLR scenario of +88 cm by the year 2100 indicates that the area flooded only by equinoctial tides strongly decreases due to the topographical settings at the edge of the inhabited area. Consequently, the landward Avicennia-dominated assemblages will further decrease as a formation if they fail to adapt to a more frequent inundation. The topography is site-specific; however non-invadable areas can be typical for many mangrove settings.

  14. Assessment of Hammocks (Petenes) Resilience to Sea Level Rise Due to Climate Change in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posada Vanegas, Gregorio; de Jong, Bernardus H. J.

    2016-01-01

    There is a pressing need to assess resilience of coastal ecosystems against sea level rise. To develop appropriate response strategies against future climate disturbances, it is important to estimate the magnitude of disturbances that these ecosystems can absorb and to better understand their underlying processes. Hammocks (petenes) coastal ecosystems are highly vulnerable to sea level rise linked to climate change; their vulnerability is mainly due to its close relation with the sea through underground drainage in predominantly karstic soils. Hammocks are biologically important because of their high diversity and restricted distribution. This study proposes a strategy to assess resilience of this coastal ecosystem when high-precision data are scarce. Approaches and methods used to derive ecological resilience maps of hammocks are described and assessed. Resilience models were built by incorporating and weighting appropriate indicators of persistence to assess hammocks resilience against flooding due to climate change at “Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve”, in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. According to the analysis, 25% of the study area is highly resilient (hot spots), whereas 51% has low resilience (cold spots). The most significant hot spot clusters of resilience were located in areas distant to the coastal zone, with indirect tidal influence, and consisted mostly of hammocks surrounded by basin mangrove and floodplain forest. This study revealed that multi-criteria analysis and the use of GIS for qualitative, semi-quantitative and statistical spatial analyses constitute a powerful tool to develop ecological resilience maps of coastal ecosystems that are highly vulnerable to sea level rise, even when high-precision data are not available. This method can be applied in other sites to help develop resilience analyses and decision-making processes for management and conservation of coastal areas worldwide. PMID:27611802

  15. Simulating the Effects of Sea Level Rise on the Resilience and Migration of Tidal Wetlands along the Hudson River.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nava M Tabak

    Full Text Available Sea Level Rise (SLR caused by climate change is impacting coastal wetlands around the globe. Due to their distinctive biophysical characteristics and unique plant communities, freshwater tidal wetlands are expected to exhibit a different response to SLR as compared with the better studied salt marshes. In this study we employed the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM, which simulates regional- or local-scale changes in tidal wetland habitats in response to SLR, and adapted it for application in a freshwater-dominated tidal river system, the Hudson River Estuary. Using regionally-specific estimated ranges of SLR and accretion rates, we produced simulations for a spectrum of possible future wetland distributions and quantified the projected wetland resilience, migration or loss in the HRE through the end of the 21st century. Projections of total wetland extent and migration were more strongly determined by the rate of SLR than the rate of accretion. Surprisingly, an increase in net tidal wetland area was projected under all scenarios, with newly-formed tidal wetlands expected to comprise at least 33% of the HRE's wetland area by year 2100. Model simulations with high rates of SLR and/or low rates of accretion resulted in broad shifts in wetland composition with widespread conversion of high marsh habitat to low marsh, tidal flat or permanent inundation. Wetland expansion and resilience were not equally distributed through the estuary, with just three of 48 primary wetland areas encompassing >50% of projected new wetland by the year 2100. Our results open an avenue for improving predictive models of the response of freshwater tidal wetlands to sea level rise, and broadly inform the planning of conservation measures of this critical resource in the Hudson River Estuary.

  16. Simulating the Effects of Sea Level Rise on the Resilience and Migration of Tidal Wetlands along the Hudson River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabak, Nava M; Laba, Magdeline; Spector, Sacha

    2016-01-01

    Sea Level Rise (SLR) caused by climate change is impacting coastal wetlands around the globe. Due to their distinctive biophysical characteristics and unique plant communities, freshwater tidal wetlands are expected to exhibit a different response to SLR as compared with the better studied salt marshes. In this study we employed the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM), which simulates regional- or local-scale changes in tidal wetland habitats in response to SLR, and adapted it for application in a freshwater-dominated tidal river system, the Hudson River Estuary. Using regionally-specific estimated ranges of SLR and accretion rates, we produced simulations for a spectrum of possible future wetland distributions and quantified the projected wetland resilience, migration or loss in the HRE through the end of the 21st century. Projections of total wetland extent and migration were more strongly determined by the rate of SLR than the rate of accretion. Surprisingly, an increase in net tidal wetland area was projected under all scenarios, with newly-formed tidal wetlands expected to comprise at least 33% of the HRE's wetland area by year 2100. Model simulations with high rates of SLR and/or low rates of accretion resulted in broad shifts in wetland composition with widespread conversion of high marsh habitat to low marsh, tidal flat or permanent inundation. Wetland expansion and resilience were not equally distributed through the estuary, with just three of 48 primary wetland areas encompassing >50% of projected new wetland by the year 2100. Our results open an avenue for improving predictive models of the response of freshwater tidal wetlands to sea level rise, and broadly inform the planning of conservation measures of this critical resource in the Hudson River Estuary.

  17. Simulating the Effects of Sea Level Rise on the Resilience and Migration of Tidal Wetlands along the Hudson River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabak, Nava M; Laba, Magdeline; Spector, Sacha

    2016-01-01

    Sea Level Rise (SLR) caused by climate change is impacting coastal wetlands around the globe. Due to their distinctive biophysical characteristics and unique plant communities, freshwater tidal wetlands are expected to exhibit a different response to SLR as compared with the better studied salt marshes. In this study we employed the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM), which simulates regional- or local-scale changes in tidal wetland habitats in response to SLR, and adapted it for application in a freshwater-dominated tidal river system, the Hudson River Estuary. Using regionally-specific estimated ranges of SLR and accretion rates, we produced simulations for a spectrum of possible future wetland distributions and quantified the projected wetland resilience, migration or loss in the HRE through the end of the 21st century. Projections of total wetland extent and migration were more strongly determined by the rate of SLR than the rate of accretion. Surprisingly, an increase in net tidal wetland area was projected under all scenarios, with newly-formed tidal wetlands expected to comprise at least 33% of the HRE's wetland area by year 2100. Model simulations with high rates of SLR and/or low rates of accretion resulted in broad shifts in wetland composition with widespread conversion of high marsh habitat to low marsh, tidal flat or permanent inundation. Wetland expansion and resilience were not equally distributed through the estuary, with just three of 48 primary wetland areas encompassing >50% of projected new wetland by the year 2100. Our results open an avenue for improving predictive models of the response of freshwater tidal wetlands to sea level rise, and broadly inform the planning of conservation measures of this critical resource in the Hudson River Estuary. PMID:27043136

  18. Elevated CO2, nitrogen availability and marsh tolerance for sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langley, J. A.; Cahoon, D. R.; Megonigal, J. P.

    2008-12-01

    Tidal wetlands experiencing increased rates of sea-level rise must increase rates of soil elevation gain to avoid permanent conversion to open water. The maximal rate of sea-level rise that these ecosystems can tolerate depends partly on mineral sediment deposition, but the accumulation of organic matter is equally important for many wetlands. Plant productivity drives organic matter dynamics and is sensitive to global change factors such as elevated atmospheric CO2 and nitrogen eutrophication. It remains unknown how global change will influence organic mechanisms that determine future tidal wetland viability. We manipulated atmospheric CO2 concentration and nitrogen availability (2 x 2 factorial) in a highly organic tidal marsh. Elevated CO2 (ambient + 340 ppm) accelerated soil elevation gain by 3.9 mm yr-1, an effect caused primarily by stimulating belowground plant productivity. Nitrogen additions, despite increasing aboveground productivity, tended to reverse elevation gains, perhaps by reducing root productivity and stimulating soil decomposition. Therefore, increases in the greenhouse gas, CO2, may paradoxically aid some coastal wetlands in counterbalancing rising seas, but nitrogen pollution may negate this effect regionally. These effects on the organic mechanisms of marsh elevation gain may help explain patterns marsh formation and disappearance worldwide.

  19. A modeling study of coastal inundation induced by storm surge, sea-level rise, and subsidence in the Gulf of Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Zhaoqing; Wang, Taiping; Leung, Lai-Yung R.; Hibbard, Kathleen A.; Janetos, Anthony C.; Kraucunas, Ian P.; Rice, Jennie S.; Preston, Benjamin; Wilbanks, Thomas

    2013-12-10

    The northern coasts of the Gulf of Mexico are highly vulnerable to the direct threats of climate change, such as hurricane-induced storm surge, and such risks can be potentially exacerbated by land subsidence and global sea level rise. This paper presents an application of a coastal storm surge model to study the coastal inundation process induced by tide and storm surge, and its response to the effects of land subsidence and sea level rise in the northern Gulf coast. An unstructured-grid Finite Volume Coastal Ocean Model was used to simulate tides and hurricane-induced storm surges in the Gulf of Mexico. Simulated distributions of co-amplitude and co-phase of semi-diurnal and diurnal tides are in good agreement with previous modeling studies. The storm surges induced by four historical hurricanes (Rita, Katrina, Ivan and Dolly) were simulated and compared to observed water levels at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tide stations. Effects of coastal subsidence and future global sea level rise on coastal inundation in the Louisiana coast were evaluated using a parameter “change of inundation depth” through sensitivity simulations that were based on a projected future subsidence scenario and 1-m global sea level rise by the end of the century. Model results suggested that hurricane-induced storm surge height and coastal inundation could be exacerbated by future global sea level rise and subsidence, and that responses of storm surge and coastal inundation to the effects of sea level rise and subsidence are highly nonlinear and vary on temporal and spatial scales.

  20. The Global Impacts of Extreme Sea-level Rise: A Comprehensive Economic Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    PYCROFT JONATHAN; Abrell, Jan; CISCAR MARTINEZ Juan Carlos

    2013-01-01

    This paper investigates the world-wide economic cost of rapid sea-level rise of the kind that could be caused by accelerated ice flow from the West Antarctic and/or the Greenland ice sheets. Such an event would have direct impacts on economic activities located near the coastline and indirect impacts further inland. Using data from the DIVA model on sea floods, river floods, land loss, salinisation and forced migration, we analyse the effects of these damages in a computable general equilibri...

  1. Effects of ocean acidification and sea-level rise on coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, K.K.; Moyer, R.P.

    2010-01-01

    U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are developing comprehensive records of historical and modern coral reef growth and calcification rates relative to changing seawater chemistry resulting from increasing atmospheric CO2 from the pre-industrial period to the present. These records will provide the scientific foundation for predicting future impacts of ocean acidification and sea-level rise on coral reef growth. Changes in coral growth rates in response to past changes in seawater pH are being examined by using cores from coral colonies.

  2. Will the Effects of Sea-Level Rise Create Ecological Traps for Pacific Island Seabirds?

    OpenAIRE

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Courtot, Karen N.; Paul Berkowitz; Storlazzi, Curt D.; Janet Moore; Elizabeth Flint

    2015-01-01

    More than 18 million seabirds nest on 58 Pacific islands protected within vast U.S. Marine National Monuments (1.9 million km2). However, most of these seabird colonies are on low-elevation islands and sea-level rise (SLR) and accompanying high-water perturbations are predicted to escalate with climate change. To understand how SLR may impact protected islands and insular biodiversity, we modeled inundation and wave-driven flooding of a globally important seabird rookery in the subtropical Pa...

  3. Estimating the glacier contribution to sea-level rise for the period 1800-2005

    OpenAIRE

    P. W. Leclercq; Oerlemans, J.; Cogley, J. G.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, a new estimate of the contribution of glaciers and ice caps to the sea-level rise over the period 1800-2005 is presented. We exploit the available information on changes in glacier length. Length records form the only direct evidence of glacier change that has potential global coverage before 1950. We calculate a globally representative signal from 349 glacier length records. By means of scaling, we deduce a global glacier volume signal, that is calibrated on the mass-balance a...

  4. Cities and Sea Level Rise: A Roadmap for Flood Hazard Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn, D. P.; Cousins, A.

    2015-12-01

    Coastal cities will face a range of increasingly severe challenges as sea level rises, and adaptation to future flood risk will require more than structural defences. Many cities will not be able to rely solely on engineering structures for protection and will need to develop a suite of policy responses to increase their resilience to impacts of rising sea level. Local governments generally maintain day-to-day responsibility and control over the use of the vast majority of property at risk of flooding, and the tools to promote flood risk adaptation are already within the capacity of most cities. Policy tools available to address other land-use problems can be refashioned and used to adapt to sea level rise. This study reviews approaches for urban adaptation through case studies of cities which have developed flood adaptation strategies that combine structural defences with innovative approaches to living with flood risk. The aim of the overall project is to produce a 'roadmap' to guide practitioners through the process of analysing coastal flood risk in urban areas. Technical knowledge of flood risk reduction measures is complemented with a consideration of the essential impact that local policy has on the treatment of coastal flooding and the constraints and opportunities that result from the specific country or locality characteristics in relation to economic, political, social and environmental priorities, which are likely to dictate the approach to coastal flooding and the actions proposed. Detailed analyses of the adaptation strategies used by Rotterdam (Netherlands), Bristol (UK), and Norfolk (Virginia) are used to draw out a range of good practice elements that promote effective adaptation to sea level rise. These can be grouped into risk reduction, governance issues, and insurance, and can be used to provide examples of how other cities could adopt and implement flood adaptation strategies from a relatively limited starting position. Most cities will

  5. The effects of sea-level rise on water quality in coastal floodplain sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Vanessa; Johnston, Scott; Burton, Edward; Bush, Richard; Sullivan, Leigh; Slavich, Peter

    2013-04-01

    Sea level has risen approximately 1.2 mm/year over the last 100 years (Hennessy et al. 2004) and is predicted to rise up to 80 cm by 2100 relative to 1990 sea levels (IPCC 2007). The number of extreme events related to sea level such as higher sea levels and increased inter-annual variability have also increased in frequency in the same time period (Hennessy et al. 2004). Globally, large areas of coastal and estuarine floodplains are underlain by sulfidic sediments and acid sulfate soils (ASS). These sediments frequently contain high concentrations of acidity and trace metals. A significant portion of the stored acidity occurs in the form of exchangeable and hydrolysable acidic metal cations such as Al and Fe. Watertables in these environments are often close to the surface and intercepted by relatively shallow drains. Due to their low elevation and locations, these floodplains are highly susceptible to pulses of saline water caused by saltwater intrusion, storm surge and rising sea levels. Construction of extensive drainage systems has further increased the susceptibility of the floodplain to seawater inundation by increasing connectivity to the estuarine channel. This risk is likely to increase in the future with predicted increases in sea level and extreme events due to climate change. This study uses both batch experiments to determine the effects of increasing ionic strength on exchange processes and trace metal desorption in oxidised floodplain sediments and sulfidic drain sediments, and intact soil cores to determine the surface water-porewater interactions over the short term following seawater inundation in coastal floodplain sediments. We found that that saline inundation of oxidised ASS floodplain sediments, even by relatively brackish water may cause rapid, shorter-term water quality changes and a pulse release of acidity due to desorption of acidic metal cations (Wong et al. 2010). We also found that trace metals can be mobilised from sulfidic

  6. Changes induced by sea level rise on network properties of restoration areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, Mirian; Castanedo, Sonia; Zhou, Zeng; Coco, Giovanni; Medina, Raúl

    2015-04-01

    are quantified with the new approach (Jiménez et al.,2014), which allows to highlight the changes that induce deep behavioral changes in the system. The importance of sea level rise in these behavioral changes is also assessed in the study. References: Jiménez, M., S. Castanedo, Z. Zhou, G.Coco, R. Medina, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2014). Scaling properties of tidal networks, Water Resources Research., 50, doi:10.1002/2013WR015006.

  7. Investigation of potential sea level rise impact on the Nile Delta, Egypt using digital elevation models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasan, Emad; Khan, Sadiq Ibrahim; Hong, Yang

    2015-10-01

    In this study, the future impact of Sea Level Rise (SLR) on the Nile Delta region in Egypt is assessed by evaluating the elevations of two freely available Digital Elevation Models (DEMs): the SRTM and the ASTER-GDEM-V2. The SLR is a significant worldwide dilemma that has been triggered by recent climatic changes. In Egypt, the Nile Delta is projected to face SLR of 1 m by the end of the 21th century. In order to provide a more accurate assessment of the future SLR impact on Nile Delta's land and population, this study corrected the DEM's elevations by using linear regression model with ground elevations from GPS survey. The information for the land cover types and future population numbers were derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) land cover and the Gridded Population of the Worlds (GPWv3) datasets respectively. The DEM's vertical accuracies were assessed using GPS measurements and the uncertainty analysis revealed that the SRTM-DEM has positive bias of 2.5 m, while the ASTER-GDEM-V2 showed a positive bias of 0.8 m. The future inundated land cover areas and the affected population were illustrated based on two SLR scenarios of 0.5 m and 1 m. The SRTM DEM data indicated that 1 m SLR will affect about 3900 km(2) of cropland, 1280 km(2) of vegetation, 205 km(2) of wetland, 146 km(2) of urban areas and cause more than 6 million people to lose their houses. The overall vulnerability assessment using ASTER-GDEM-V2 indicated that the influence of SLR will be intense and confined along the coastal areas. For instance, the data indicated that 1 m SLR will inundate about 580 Km(2) (6%) of the total land cover areas and approximately 887 thousand people will be relocated. Accordingly, the uncertainty analysis of the DEM's elevations revealed that the ASTER-GDEM-V2 dataset product was considered the best to determine the future impact of SLR on the Nile Delta region. PMID:26410824

  8. Decadal-scale sea level rise acceleration along the Florida Atlantic coast and its relations to sea level variability along the Florida Current

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wdowinski, S.; Thompson, P. R.; Mitchum, G. T.; Park, J.

    2015-12-01

    The US Atlantic coast is one of the most vulnerable areas to sea level rise (SLR) due to its low elevation, large population concentrations, and economic importance. Further vulnerability arises from accelerating rates of SLR, which began in the early 2000's and caused a significant increase in flooding frequency in several coastal communities. Several studies have suggested that the accelerating SLR rates are due to the slowing down of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, in particular, a weakening of the Gulf Stream (GS). However, there are no direct observations that link the GS conditions and high sea levels along the coast. In this study we use satellite altimetry, tide gauge, and Florida Current (FC) cable data to explore possible relations between the recent SLR rate increase along the Florida Atlantic coast and various dynamical processes in the GS/FC system. Preliminary calculations indicate a good agreement between coastal sea level and nearshore altimetry series (R = 0.76-0.8) suggesting that SSH gradients from altimetry may be useful for assessing the dynamics associated with the coastal sea level change. Here we focus on spatio-temporal SSH changes along the two satellite passes located closest to the Florida Atlantic coast. Our results indicate an intriguing transition in SSH behavior around 2004-5. Prior to 2004, anomalous low coastal SSH events (strong FC) occurred every 3-5 years in correlation with warm ENSO events. After 2004, the strong relationship between ENSO and the gradient across the FC vanishes, while the mean sea level across the current increases. The observed SSH anomaly transition around 2004-5 correlates well with the initiation of accelerated rates of coastal SLR, suggesting that the decadal scale SLR acceleration has occurred during weak FC conditions. However, the forcing of this transition and the role of mean sea level variability, which is of comparable magnitude to variability in the gradient, remain unexplained.

  9. Assessing impacts of climate change, sea level rise, and drainage canals on saltwater intrusion to coastal aquifer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Rasmussen

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Groundwater abstraction from coastal aquifers is vulnerable to climate change and sea level rise because both may potentially impact saltwater intrusion and hence groundwater quality depending on the hydrogeological setting. In the present study the impacts of sea level rise and changes in groundwater recharge are quantified for an island located in the Western Baltic Sea. Agricultural land dominates the western and central parts of the island, which geologically are developed as push moraine hills and a former lagoon (later wetland area behind barrier islands to the east. The low-lying central area of the island was extensively drained and reclaimed during the second half of the 19th century. Summer cottages along the beach on the former barrier islands dominate the eastern part of the island. The main water abstraction is for holiday cottages during the summer period (June–August. The water is abstracted from 11 wells drilled to a depth of around 20 m in the upper 5–10 m of a confined chalk aquifer. Increasing chloride concentrations have been observed in several abstraction wells and in some cases the WHO drinking water standard has been exceeded. Using the modeling package MODFLOW/MT3D/SEAWAT the historical, present and future freshwater–sea water distribution is simulated. The model is calibrated against hydraulic head observations and validated against geochemical and geophysical data from new investigation wells, including borehole logs, and from an airborne transient electromagnetic survey. The impact of climate changes on saltwater intrusion is found to be sensitive to the boundary conditions of the investigated system. For the flux-controlled aquifer to the west of the drained area only changes in groundwater recharge impacts the freshwater–sea water interface whereas sea level rise do not result in increasing sea water intrusion. However, on the barrier islands to the east of the reclaimed area below which the sea is

  10. Assessing impacts of climate change, sea level rise, and drainage canals on saltwater intrusion to coastal aquifer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Rasmussen

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Groundwater abstraction from coastal aquifers is vulnerable to climate change and sea level rise because both may potentially impact saltwater intrusion and hence groundwater quality depending on the hydrogeological setting. In the present study the impacts of sea level rise and changes in groundwater recharge are quantified for an island located in the Western Baltic Sea. The low-lying central area of the investigated part of the island was extensively drained and reclaimed during the second half of the 19th century by a system of artificial drainage canals that significantly affects the flow dynamics of the area. The drinking water, mainly for summer cottages, is abstracted from 11 wells drilled to a depth of around 20 m into the upper 5–10 m of a confined chalk aquifer, and the total pumping is only 5–6% of the drainage pumping. Increasing chloride concentrations have been observed in several abstraction wells and in some cases the WHO drinking water standard has been exceeded. Using the modeling package MODFLOW/MT3D/SEAWAT the historical, present and future freshwater-sea water distribution is simulated. The model is calibrated against hydraulic head observations and validated against geochemical and geophysical data from new investigation wells, including borehole logs, and from an airborne transient electromagnetic survey. The impact of climate changes on saltwater intrusion is found to be sensitive to the boundary conditions of the investigated system. For the flux-controlled aquifer to the west of the drained area only changes in groundwater recharge impacts the freshwater–sea water interface whereas sea level rise does not result in increasing sea water intrusion. However, on the barrier islands to the east of the reclaimed area, below which the sea is hydraulically connected to the drainage canals, and the boundary of the flow system therefore controlled, the projected changes in sea level, groundwater recharge and stage of the

  11. Tagus estuary and Ria de Aveiro salt marsh dynamics and the impact of sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentim, J. M.; Vaz, N.; Silva, H.; Duarte, B.; Caçador, I.; Dias, J. M.

    2013-09-01

    Different characteristics of Spartina maritima found in two distinct salt marshes located in different estuaries were analysed through interpretation of their local hydrodynamic patterns, as well as the impact of sea level rise on physical processes and consequently on plant dynamics and salt marshes stability. These salt marshes are situated in two of the most important Portuguese coastal systems, Tagus estuary (Rosário salt marsh) and Ria de Aveiro lagoon (Barra salt marsh), which are dominated by physical processes that induce strong tidal currents. They were monitored during one year and plant and sediment samples of S. maritima were collected quarterly in order to determine the vegetation coverage, above and belowground biomass, organic matter and sediment moisture. Residual circulation, tidal asymmetry and tidal dissipation were determined from numerical modelling results of the MOHID 2D model that was applied to each coastal system, considering the actual sea level and a sea level rise (SLR) scenario. Results suggest that the different characteristics found for Spartina maritima in the Rosário and the Barra salt marshes may be related with the diverse hydrodynamic conditions identified for each salt marsh. Consequently, the exploration of SLR scenario predictions indicates how these salt marshes could evolve in the future, showing that the important changes in these hydrodynamic parameters under climate change context might induce significant modifications in the salt marshes dynamics and stability. SLR scenario could lead to changes in nutrients and sediments patterns around the salt marshes and thus vegetation coverage percentage would be affected. Additionally, as a consequence of flood duration increase, sediment moisture will increase causing a stress condition to plants. Hence, the ratio below/aboveground biomass might increase, becoming critical to plants survival under conditions of accelerated sea level rise. Accordingly, both SLR and expected

  12. ATLANTIC - Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise: A Preliminary Database for the U.S. Atlantic Coast

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The goal of this project is to provide a preliminary overview, at a National scale, the relative susceptibility of the Nation's coast to sea-level rise through the...

  13. Risks of Coastal Storm Surge and the Effect of Sea Level Rise in the Red River Delta, Vietnam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James E. Neumann

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper considers the impact of sea level rise and storm surge on the Red River delta region of Vietnam. Permanently inundated lands and temporary flood zones are analyzed by combining sea level rise scenarios for 2050 with simulated storm surge levels for the 100-year event. Our analysis finds that sea level rise through 2050 could increase the effective frequency of the current 100-year storm surge, which is associated with a storm surge of roughly five meters, to once every 49 years. Approximately 10% of the Hanoi region’s GDP is vulnerable to permanent inundation due to sea level rise, and more than 40% is vulnerable to periodic storm surge damage consistent with the current 100-year storm. We conclude that coastal adaptation measures, such as a planned retreat from the sea, and construction of a more substantial seawall and dike system, are needed to respond to these threats.

  14. Interactive Sea Level Rise App & Online Viewer Offers Deep Dive Into Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turrin, M.; Porter, D. F.; Ryan, W. B. F.; Pfirman, S. L.

    2015-12-01

    Climate has captured the attention of the public but its complexity can cause interested individuals to turn to opinion pieces, news articles or blogs for information. These platforms often oversimplify or present heavily interpreted or personalized perspectives. Data interactives are an extremely effective way to explore complex geoscience topics like climate, opening windows of understanding for the user that have previously been closed. Layering data onto maps through programs like GeoMapApp and the Earth Observer App has allowed users to dig directly into science data, but with only limited scaffolding. The interactive 'Polar Explorer: Sea Level Explorer App' provides a richly layered introduction to a range of topics connected to sea level rise. Each map is supported with a pop up and a short audio file of supplementary material, and an information page that includes the data source and links for further reading. This type of learning platform works well for both the formal and informal learning environment. Through science data displayed as map visualizations the user is invited into topics through an introductory question, such as "Why does sea level change?" After clicking on that question the user moves to a second layer of questions exploring the role of the ocean, the atmosphere, the contribution from the world's glaciers, world's ice sheets and other less obvious considerations such as the role of post-glacial rebound, or the mining of groundwater. Each question ends in a data map, or series of maps, that offer opportunities to interact with the topic. Under the role of the ocean 'Internal Ocean Temperature' offers the user a chance to touch to see temperature values spatially over the world's ocean, or to click through a data series starting at the ocean surface and diving to 5000 meters of depth showing how temperature changes with depth. Other sections, like the role of deglaciation of North America, allow the user to click and see change through

  15. Saltmarsh boundary modulates dispersal of mangrove propagules: implications for mangrove migration with sea-level rise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M Peterson

    Full Text Available Few studies have empirically examined the suite of mechanisms that underlie the distributional shifts displayed by organisms in response to changing climatic condition. Mangrove forests are expected to move inland as sea-level rises, encroaching on saltmarsh plants inhabiting higher elevations. Mangrove propagules are transported by tidal waters and propagule dispersal is likely modified upon encountering the mangrove-saltmarsh ecotone, the implications of which are poorly known. Here, using an experimental approach, we record landward and seaward dispersal and subsequent establishment of mangrove propagules that encounter biotic boundaries composed of two types of saltmarsh taxa: succulents and grasses. Our findings revealed that propagules emplaced within saltmarsh vegetation immediately landward of the extant mangrove fringe boundary frequently dispersed in the seaward direction. However, propagules moved seaward less frequently and over shorter distances upon encountering boundaries composed of saltmarsh grasses versus succulents. We uniquely confirmed that the small subset of propagules dispersing landward displayed proportionately higher establishment success than those transported seaward. Although impacts of ecotones on plant dispersal have rarely been investigated in situ, our experimental results indicate that the interplay between tidal transport and physical attributes of saltmarsh vegetation influence boundary permeability to propagules, thereby directing the initial phase of shifting mangrove distributions. The incorporation of tidal inundation information and detailed data on landscape features, such as the structure of saltmarsh vegetation at mangrove boundaries, should improve the accuracy of models that are being developed to forecast mangrove distributional shifts in response to sea-level rise.

  16. Hotspot of accelerated sea-level rise on the Atlantic coast of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallenger,, Asbury H., Jr.; Doran, Kara S.; Howd, Peter A.

    2012-01-01

    Climate warming does not force sea-level rise (SLR) at the same rate everywhere. Rather, there are spatial variations of SLR superimposed on a global average rise. These variations are forced by dynamic processes, arising from circulation and variations in temperature and/or salinity, and by static equilibrium processes, arising from mass redistributions changing gravity and the Earth's rotation and shape. These sea-level variations form unique spatial patterns, yet there are very few observations verifying predicted patterns or fingerprints. Here, we present evidence of recently accelerated SLR in a unique 1,000-km-long hotspot on the highly populated North American Atlantic coast north of Cape Hatteras and show that it is consistent with a modelled fingerprint of dynamic SLR. Between 1950–1979 and 1980–2009, SLR rate increases in this northeast hotspot were ~ 3–4 times higher than the global average. Modelled dynamic plus steric SLR by 2100 at New York City ranges with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenario from 36 to 51 cm (ref. 3); lower emission scenarios project 24–36 cm (ref. 7). Extrapolations from data herein range from 20 to 29 cm. SLR superimposed on storm surge, wave run-up and set-up will increase the vulnerability of coastal cities to flooding, and beaches and wetlands to deterioration.

  17. Scale dependent behavior the foredune: Implications for barrier island response to storms and sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houser, C.; Wernette, P. A.; Weymer, B. A.

    2015-12-01

    The impact of elevated storm surge on a barrier island tends to be considered from a single cross-shore dimension and dependent only on the relative elevations of the storm surge and dune. However, the foredune line is rarely uniform and can exhibit considerable variation in height and width alongshore at a range of length scales ranging from tens of meters to several kilometers. LiDAR data from Santa Rosa Island in northwest Florida, Padre Island, Texas and Assateague Island, Maryland are used to explore how the dune morphology varies alongshore and how this variability is altered by storms and post-storm recovery. While the alongshore variation in dune height can be approximated by a power law, there are scale-dependent variations in the dune that exhibit different responses to storm erosion and post-storm recovery. This suggests that the alongshore variation in dune morphology reflects the history of storm impact and recovery, and that changes in the variance magnitude through time may provide insight into whether the island will be resilient as it transgresses with rising sea level. The difference in variance magnitude at large spatial scales is associated with the framework geology unique to each island and a dominant control on island response to sea level rise.

  18. Sea level rise and coastal installations: impacts from the changing frequency of nuisance flooding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blohm, A.

    2015-12-01

    How might climate change and the resulting sea level rise (SLR) affect coastal facilities? The changing frequency of nuisance flooding events will likely lead to increases in costs and may require changes to the management of assets. While a significant literature exists for climate change and extreme event impacts, there is a gap in the literature for impacts from nuisance events. This presentation explores methods for analyzing the changing frequency and spatial distribution of flooding events through a case study at the United States Naval Academy located in Annapolis, Maryland. We show that `nuisance events' -- not infrequent but low impact events, will become more frequent as a result of climate change and the resultant sea level rise. An increase in nuisance flooding events could lead to negative effects on day-to-day operations. For example, a vulnerable building on the campus currently averages 0.25 flood events per year at a cost of between 2,500 - 3,700 USD (deployment of flood protection measures). By 2055 the same building in an average year would need to deploy flood protection measures 33 times at a cost of between 300,000 - 500,000 USD (assuming constant costs). The costs for the entire installation could be much higher given the number of buildings located in vulnerable areas, in addition to the risk adverse nature of operations managers. This case study identifies a need to better understand the local relationship between operations costs, thresholds, and changes in locally important climate variables.

  19. Current & future vulnerability of sarasota county Florida to hurricane storm surge & sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frazier, T.; Woocf, N.; Yarnal, B.

    2008-01-01

    Coastal communities in portions of the United States are vulnerable to storm-surge inundation from hurricanes and this vulnerability will likely increase, given predicted rises in sea level from climate change and growing coastal development. In this paper, we provide an overview of research to determine current and future societal vulnerability to hurricane storm-surge inundation and to help public officials and planners integrate these scenarios into their long-range land use plans. Our case study is Sarasota County, Florida, where planners face the challenge of balancing increasing population growth and development with the desire to lower vulnerability to storm surge. Initial results indicate that a large proportion of Sarasota County's residential and employee populations are in areas prone to storm-surge inundation from a Category 5 hurricane. This hazard zone increases when accounting for potential sea-level-rise scenarios, thereby putting additional populations at risk. Subsequent project phases involve the development of future land use and vulnerability scenarios in collaboration with local officials. Copyright ASCE 2008.

  20. Comparing the role of absolute sea-level rise and vertical tectonic motions in coastal flooding, Torres Islands (Vanuatu)

    OpenAIRE

    Ballu, Valérie; Bouin, Marie-Noëlle; Siméoni, Patricia; Crawford, Wayne C.; Calmant, Stephane; Boré, Jean-Michel; Kanas, Tony; Pelletier, Bernard

    2011-01-01

    Since the late 1990s, rising sea levels around the Torres Islands (north Vanuatu, southwest Pacific) have caused strong local and international concern. In 2002-2004, a village was displaced due to increasing sea incursions, and in 2005 a United Nations Environment Programme press release referred to the displaced village as perhaps the world's first climate change "refugees." We show here that vertical motions of the Torres Islands themselves dominate the apparent sea-level rise observed on ...

  1. The Implications of Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in the East African Coastal Region: a Study of Kenya.

    OpenAIRE

    Okemwa, E.

    1992-01-01

    Kenya has 630 Km coastline. The coastal zone not only sustains, but also contributes significantly to the economic development of the country. The second largest town in Kenya, major port, fisheries projects are located within the Kenyan coastal zone. Thus, any significant sea level rise could have serious and profound effects on the livelihood as well as the well-being of a large proportion of the coastal population. A rise in sea level can cause tidal inundation, initiate or ...

  2. International law relating to the outer limits of maritime zones in the context of sea level rise

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Lei

    2011-01-01

    This thesis will procure to examine the potential effects of sea level rise for coastal States’ baselines and the outer limits of maritime zones, and thus specifically discuss the following research questions: a) What is the current international legal regime for the establishment of maritime zones? b) What are the potential legal implications of sea level rise for baselines and the outer limits of maritime zones that are determined pursuant to such baselines? c) Is the current int...

  3. Numerical Simulation of the Influence of Mean Sea Level Rise on Typhoon Storm Surge in the East China Sea.

    OpenAIRE

    Gao, Zhigang; Han, Shuzong; Liu, Kexiu; Zhrng, Yunxia; Yu, Huaming

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, ECOMSED (Estuarine Coastal Ocean Model with sediment transport) model is employed to simulate storm surge process caused by typhoon passing across East China Sea in nearly years. Capability of ECOMSED to simulate storm surge is validated by comparing model result with observed data. Sensitivity experiments are designed to study the influence of sea level rise on typhoon storm surge. Numerical experiment shows that influence of mean sea level rise on typhoon storm surge is non-u...

  4. Cities and Sea Level Rise: A Roadmap for Flood Hazard Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn, Diane; Cousins, Ann

    2016-04-01

    Coastal cities will face a range of increasingly severe challenges as sea level rises, and adaptation to future flood risk will require more than structural defences. Many cities will not be able to rely solely on engineering structures for protection and will need to develop a suite of policy responses to increase their resilience to impacts of rising sea level. The tools to promote flood risk adaptation are already within the capacity of most cities, with an assortment of policy tools available to address other land-use problems which can be refashioned and used to adapt to sea level rise. This study reviews approaches for urban adaptation through detailed analyses of case studies of cities which have developed flood adaptation strategies that combine structural defences with innovative approaches to living with flood risk. The aim of the overall project is to produce a 'roadmap' to guide practitioners through the process of analysing coastal flood risk in urban areas. Methodologies and tools to estimate vulnerability to coastal flooding, damages suffered, and the assessment of flood defences and adaptation measures are complemented with a discussion on the essential impact that local policy has on the treatment of coastal flooding and the constraints and opportunities that result from the specific country or locality characteristics in relation to economic, political, social and environmental priorities, which are likely to dictate the approach to coastal flooding and the actions proposed. Case studies of adaptation strategies used by Rotterdam, Bristol, Ho Chi Minh City and Norfolk, Virginia, are used to draw out a range of good practice elements that promote effective adaptation to sea level rise. These can be grouped into risk reduction, governance issues, and insurance, and can be used to provide examples of how other cities could adopt and implement flood adaptation strategies from a relatively limited starting position. Most cities will neither be able to

  5. Danish attitudes and reactions to the threat of sea-level rise

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fenger, Jes; Buch, Erik; Jakobsen, Per Roed;

    2008-01-01

    The Danish coastline has continually changed since the last ice age with relative subsidence in the south and uplift in the north. The result is a low-lying country with raised beaches and wide marine forelands in the north and an archipelago in the south. The coastline is relatively long (7400 km......) for an area of 42,000 km(2). Eighty percent of the population of 5.33 million (1 January 2000) live in municipalities with a coastline. Vulnerable low-lying areas contain 60,000 to 70,000 properties. These areas are mainly raised sea floor, marshes, and reclaimed areas. On the basis of present vertical...... km of the coastline and hard structures about 700 km. Soft solutions, especially beach nourishment, are increasingly used. So far direct planning for sea-level rise above the current secular rise has been modest and purely qualitative. The same applies to most new and upgraded coastal infrastructure...

  6. Coastal vulnerability assessment of the Northern Gulf of Mexico to sea-level rise and coastal change

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    A coastal vulnerability index (CVI) was used to map the relative vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise along the Northern Gulf of Mexico from Galveston, TX, to Panama City, FL. The CVI ranks the following in terms of their physical contribution to sea-level rise-related coastal change: geomorphology, regional coastal slope, rate of relative sea-level rise, historical shoreline change rate, mean tidal range, and mean significant wave height. The rankings for each variable are combined and an index value is calculated for 1-kilometer grid cells along the coast. The CVI highlights those regions where the physical effects of sea-level rise might be the greatest. The CVI assessment presented here builds on an earlier assessment conducted for the Gulf of Mexico. Recent higher resolution shoreline change, land loss, elevation, and subsidence data provide the foundation for a better assessment for the Northern Gulf of Mexico. The areas along the Northern Gulf of Mexico that are likely to be most vulnerable to sea-level rise are parts of the Louisiana Chenier Plain, Teche-Vermillion Basin, and the Mississippi barrier islands, as well as most of the Terrebonne and Barataria Bay region and the Chandeleur Islands. These very high vulnerability areas have the highest rates of relative sea-level rise and the highest rates of shoreline change or land area loss. The information provided by coastal vulnerability assessments can be used in long-term coastal management and policy decision making.

  7. Impacts of past climate and sea level change on Everglades wetlands: placing a century of anthropogenic change into a late-Holocene context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willard, D.A.; Bernhardt, C.E.

    2011-01-01

    We synthesize existing evidence on the ecological history of the Florida Everglades since its inception ~7 ka (calibrated kiloannum) and evaluate the relative impacts of sea level rise, climate variability, and human alteration of Everglades hydrology on wetland plant communities. Initial freshwater peat accumulation began between 6 and 7 ka on the platform underlying modern Florida Bay when sea level was ~6.2 m below its current position. By 5 ka, sawgrass and waterlily peats covered the area bounded by Lake Okeechobee to the north and the Florida Keys to the south. Slower rates of relative sea level rise ~3 ka stabilized the south Florida coastline and initiated transitions from freshwater to mangrove peats near the coast. Hydrologic changes in freshwater marshes also are indicated ~3 ka. During the last ~2 ka, the Everglades wetland was affected by a series of hydrologic fluctuations related to regional to global-scale fluctuations in climate and sea level. Pollen evidence indicates that regional-scale droughts lasting two to four centuries occurred ~1 ka and ~0.4 ka, altering wetland community composition and triggering development of characteristic Everglades habitats such as sawgrass ridges and tree islands. Intercalation of mangrove peats with estuarine muds ~1 ka indicates a temporary slowing or stillstand of sea level. Although sustained droughts and Holocene sea level rise played large roles in structuring the greater Everglades ecosystem, twentieth century reductions in freshwater flow, compartmentalization of the wetland, and accelerated rates of sea level rise had unprecedented impacts on oxidation and subsidence of organic soils, changes/loss of key Everglades habitats, and altered distribution of coastal vegetation.

  8. A global analysis of erosion of sandy beaches and sea-level rise: An application of DIVA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinkel, Jochen; Nicholls, Robert J.; Tol, Richard S. J.; Wang, Zheng B.; Hamilton, Jacqueline M.; Boot, Gerben; Vafeidis, Athanasios T.; McFadden, Loraine; Ganopolski, Andrey; Klein, Richard J. T.

    2013-12-01

    This paper presents a first assessment of the global effects of climate-induced sea-level rise on the erosion of sandy beaches, and its consequent impacts in the form of land loss and forced migration of people. We consider direct erosion on open sandy coasts and indirect erosion near selected tidal inlets and estuaries, using six global mean sea-level scenarios (in the range of 0.2-0.8 m) and six SRES socio-economic development scenarios for the 21st century. Impacts are assessed both without and with adaptation in the form of shore and beach nourishment, based on cost-benefit analysis that includes the benefits of maintaining sandy beaches for tourism. Without nourishment, global land loss would amount to about 6000-17,000 km2 during the 21st century, leading to 1.6-5.3 million people being forced to migrate and migration costs of US 300-1000 billion (not discounted). Optimal beach and shore nourishment would cost about US 65-220 billion (not discounted) during the 21st century and would reduce land loss by 8-14%, forced migration by 56-68% and the cost of forced migration by 77-84% (not discounted). The global share of erodible coast that is nourished increases from about 4% in 2000 to 18-33% in 2100, with beach nourishment being 3-4 times more frequent than shore nourishment, reflecting the importance of tourism benefits. In absolute terms, with or without nourishment, large countries with long shorelines appear to have the largest costs, but in relative terms, small island states appear most impacted by erosion. Considerable uncertainty remains due to the limited availability of basic coastal geomorphological data and models on a global scale. Future work should also further explore the effects of beach tourism, including considering sub-national distributions of beach tourists.

  9. Increased nuisance flooding along the coasts of the United States due to sea level rise: Past and future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moftakhari, Hamed R.; AghaKouchak, Amir; Sanders, Brett F.; Feldman, David L.; Sweet, William; Matthew, Richard A.; Luke, Adam

    2015-11-01

    Mean sea level has risen tenfold in recent decades compared to the most recent millennia, posing a serious threat for population and assets in flood-prone coastal zones over the next century. An increase in the frequency of nuisance (minor) flooding has also been reported due to the reduced gap between high tidal datums and flood stage, and the rate of sea level rise (SLR) is expected to increase based on current trajectories of anthropogenic activities and greenhouse gases emissions. Nuisance flooding (NF), however nondestructive, causes public inconvenience, business interruption, and substantial economic losses due to impacts such as road closures and degradation of infrastructure. It also portends an increased risk in severe floods. Here we report substantial increases in NF along the coasts of United States due to SLR over the past decades. We then take projected near-term (2030) and midterm (2050) SLR under two representative concentration pathways (RCPs), 2.6 and 8.5, to estimate the increase in NF. The results suggest that on average, - 80 ± 10% local SLR causes the median of the NF distribution to increase by 55 ± 35% in 2050 under RCP8.5. The projected increase in NF will have significant socio-economic impacts and pose public health risks in coastal regions.

  10. Simulated Sea-Level Rise Effects on the Above and Below-Ground Growth of Two Tidal Marsh Plant Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schile, L. M.; Callaway, J. C.; Kelly, M.

    2011-12-01

    Sea-level is expected to rise between 55 and 140 cm in the next century and is likely to have significant effects on the distribution and maintenance of tidal wetlands; however, little is known about the effects of increased sea level on Pacific coast tidal marsh vegetation. We initiated a field experiment in March 2011 to examine how increased depth and duration of inundation affect above and below-ground growth of two tidal wetland plant species: Schoenoplectus acutus and S. americanus. PVC planters, referred to as marsh organs, were installed at fixed elevations in channels at two ancient marshes in the San Francisco Bay Estuary: Browns Island and Rush Ranch. Each marsh organ structure is comprised of five rows of three six-inch PVC pipes, with each row 15cm lower than the row above, and was filled with surrounding mudflat sediment. Elevations span 60 cm and were chosen to be lower than the average current elevations of both species at each marsh to reflect projected increases in sea level. Rhizomes were collected from Browns Island, the less-saline site, and were cut to uniform sizes before planting. In every row, each species was grown individually and together. On a monthly basis, plant heights were recorded and pore-water sulfide concentration, salinity, and soil oxidation-reduction potential were measured. Schoenoplectus americanus growth and density significantly decreased with increased inundation at both sites. Schoenoplectus acutus growth was impacted more significantly at lower elevations at Rush Ranch but had little variation in density and growth across elevations at Browns Island. Salinity and sulfide concentrations varied little across elevations within a site but differed between sites. Above and belowground biomass will be collected in September 2011 to measure total annual productivity. The experiment provides basic yet crucial information on the impacts of increased inundation on tidal wetland vegetation and insight into potential changes in

  11. Hydroclimatic modelling of local sea level rise and its projection in future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naren, A.; Maity, Rajib

    2016-09-01

    Studies on sea level rise (SLR) in the context of climate change are gaining importance in the recent past. Whereas there is some clear evidence of SLR at global scale, its trend varies significantly from location to location. The role of different meteorological variables on sea level change (SLC) is explored. We hypothesise that the role of such variables varies from location to location and modelling of local SLC requires a proper identification of specific role of individual factors. After identifying a group of various local meteorological variables, Supervised Principal Component Analysis (SPCA) is used to develop a location specific Combined Index (CI). The SPCA ensures that the developed CI possesses highest possible association with the historical SLC at that location. Further, using the developed CI, an attempt is made to model the local sea level (LSL) variation in synchronous with the changing climate. The developed approach, termed as hydroclimatic semi-empirical approach, is found to be potential for local SLC at different coastal locations. The validated hydroclimatic approach is used for future projection of SLC at those coastal locations till 2100 for different climate change scenarios, i.e. different Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). Future hydrometeorological variables are obtained from Global Climate Models (GCMs) for different such scenarios, i.e. RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Effect of glacial isostatic readjustment (GIA) is not included in this study. However, if the reliable information on GIA is available for a location, the same can be arithmetically added to the final outcome of the proposed hydrometeorological approach.

  12. Potential sea-level rise from Antarctic ice-sheet instability constrained by observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritz, Catherine; Edwards, Tamsin L; Durand, Gaël; Payne, Antony J; Peyaud, Vincent; Hindmarsh, Richard C A

    2015-12-01

    Large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet lying on bedrock below sea level may be vulnerable to marine-ice-sheet instability (MISI), a self-sustaining retreat of the grounding line triggered by oceanic or atmospheric changes. There is growing evidence that MISI may be underway throughout the Amundsen Sea embayment (ASE), which contains ice equivalent to more than a metre of global sea-level rise. If triggered in other regions, the centennial to millennial contribution could be several metres. Physically plausible projections are challenging: numerical models with sufficient spatial resolution to simulate grounding-line processes have been too computationally expensive to generate large ensembles for uncertainty assessment, and lower-resolution model projections rely on parameterizations that are only loosely constrained by present day changes. Here we project that the Antarctic ice sheet will contribute up to 30 cm sea-level equivalent by 2100 and 72 cm by 2200 (95% quantiles) where the ASE dominates. Our process-based, statistical approach gives skewed and complex probability distributions (single mode, 10 cm, at 2100; two modes, 49 cm and 6 cm, at 2200). The dependence of sliding on basal friction is a key unknown: nonlinear relationships favour higher contributions. Results are conditional on assessments of MISI risk on the basis of projected triggers under the climate scenario A1B (ref. 9), although sensitivity to these is limited by theoretical and topographical constraints on the rate and extent of ice loss. We find that contributions are restricted by a combination of these constraints, calibration with success in simulating observed ASE losses, and low assessed risk in some basins. Our assessment suggests that upper-bound estimates from low-resolution models and physical arguments (up to a metre by 2100 and around one and a half by 2200) are implausible under current understanding of physical mechanisms and potential triggers. PMID:26580020

  13. A preliminary vulnerability assessment for Ísafjörður, Iceland : coastal management options to reduce impacts of sea-level rise and storm surges

    OpenAIRE

    Manuel Meidinger

    2011-01-01

    Climate change science argues that by the end of the 21st century, the global mean sea-level rise may easily exceed 1 metre, possibly accompanied by an increase in storm intensity. Although climate change is a global phenomenon, its impacts vary greatly according to scale and geographic region. This study took into account the United Nations’ recommendations and the research objectives stated by the Icelandic Ministry of the Environment, and conducted a preliminary coastal vulnerability asses...

  14. Evidence for a substantial West Antarctic ice sheet contribution to meltwater pulses and abrupt global sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogwill, C. J.; Turney, C. S.; Golledge, N. R.; Etheridge, D. M.; Rubino, M.; Thornton, D.; Woodward, J.; Winter, K.; van Ommen, T. D.; Moy, A. D.; Curran, M. A.; Rootes, C.; Rivera, A.; Millman, H.

    2015-12-01

    During the last deglaciation (21,000 to 7,000years ago) global sea level rise was punctuated by several abrupt meltwater spikes triggered by the retreat of ice sheets and glaciers world-wide. However, the debate regarding the relative timing, geographical source and the physical mechanisms driving these rapid increases in sea level has catalyzed debate critical to predicting future sea level rise and climate. Here we present a unique record of West Antarctic Ice Sheet elevation change derived from the Patriot Hills blue ice area, located close to the modern day grounding line of the Institute Ice Stream in the Weddell Sea Embayment. Combined isotopic signatures and gas volume analysis from the ice allows us to develop a record of local ice sheet palaeo-altitude that is assessed against independent regional high-resolution ice sheet modeling studies, allowing us to demonstrate that past ice sheet elevations across this sector of the WSE were considerably higher than those suggested by current terrestrial reconstructions. We argue that ice in the WSE had a significant influence on both pre and post LGM sea level rise including MWP-1A (~14.6 ka) and during MWP-1B (11.7-11.6 ka), reconciling past sea level rise and demonstrating for the first time that this sector of the WAIS made a significant and direct contribution to post LGM sea level rise.

  15. Effects of sea-level rise on salt water intrusion near a coastal well field in southeastern Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langevin, Christian D.; Zygnerski, Michael

    2013-01-01

    A variable-density groundwater flow and dispersive solute transport model was developed for the shallow coastal aquifer system near a municipal supply well field in southeastern Florida. The model was calibrated for a 105-year period (1900 to 2005). An analysis with the model suggests that well-field withdrawals were the dominant cause of salt water intrusion near the well field, and that historical sea-level rise, which is similar to lower-bound projections of future sea-level rise, exacerbated the extent of salt water intrusion. Average 2005 hydrologic conditions were used for 100-year sensitivity simulations aimed at quantifying the effect of projected rises in sea level on fresh coastal groundwater resources near the well field. Use of average 2005 hydrologic conditions and a constant sea level result in total dissolved solids (TDS) concentration of the well field exceeding drinking water standards after 70 years. When sea-level rise is included in the simulations, drinking water standards are exceeded 10 to 21 years earlier, depending on the specified rate of sea-level rise.

  16. Projecting future sea level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cayan, Daniel R.; Bromirski, Peter; Hayhoe, Katharine; Tyree, Mary; Dettinger, Mike; Flick, Reinhard

    2006-01-01

    California’s coastal observations and global model projections indicate that California’s open coast and estuaries will experience increasing sea levels over the next century. Sea level rise has affected much of the coast of California, including the Southern California coast, the Central California open coast, and the San Francisco Bay and upper estuary. These trends, quantified from a small set of California tide gages, have ranged from 10–20 centimeters (cm) (3.9–7.9 inches) per century, quite similar to that estimated for global mean sea level. So far, there is little evidence that the rate of rise has accelerated, and the rate of rise at California tide gages has actually flattened since 1980, but projections suggest substantial sea level rise may occur over the next century. Climate change simulations project a substantial rate of global sea level rise over the next century due to thermal expansion as the oceans warm and runoff from melting land-based snow and ice accelerates. Sea level rise projected from the models increases with the amount of warming. Relative to sea levels in 2000, by the 2070–2099 period, sea level rise projections range from 11–54 cm (4.3–21 in) for simulations following the lower (B1) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions scenario, from 14–61 cm (5.5–24 in) for the middle-upper (A2) emission scenario, and from 17–72 cm (6.7–28 in) for the highest (A1fi) scenario. In addition to relatively steady secular trends, sea levels along the California coast undergo shorter period variability above or below predicted tide levels and changes associated with long-term trends. These variations are caused by weather events and by seasonal to decadal climate fluctuations over the Pacific Ocean that in turn affect the Pacific coast. Highest coastal sea levels have occurred when winter storms and Pacific climate disturbances, such as El Niño, have coincided with high astronomical tides. This study considers a range of projected future

  17. Adaptation to the impact of sea level rise in the Northeastern Nile Delta, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabrouk, Badr; Farhat Abd-Elhamid, Hany; Badr, Marmar; Ludwig, Ralf

    2013-04-01

    Northeastern Delta is one of the most promising developmental areas in Egypt. This area is characterized by a prominent watershed having abundant water resources (especially groundwater). Currently, this area undergoes a rapid environmental degradation, such as land subsidence, water and soil salinaization. It accommodates about 60% of the total arable lands of the Delta, and inhabited by about 45 % of its total population. In addition, the northern part of this area comprises about 25% of the total Mediterranean wetlands. In this area a number of desalination plants were installed to desalinate brackish water and inject the brine to the aquifer using deep wells. This work aims to evaluate the environmental impact of injecting brine water on groundwater quality. Also, the impact of climate change and sea level rise are considered. The work is a combination of field work and simulation processes of groundwater flow and seawater intrusion using numerical models. The field work was used to collect and analyze data, information pertaining to the groundwater resources, interpretation of aerial photos and satellite images and preparation of ground water potential maps has. This was followed by detailed test boring wells as chemical analysis of seawater intrusion detection and pollution flow mapping were done. Numerical models (MODFLOW and MT3D) were used to evaluate both current and future situation of the groundwater flow and seawater intrusion in the Nile Delta aquifer in the studied area. The aquifer in the studied area is divided into five barrier beds according to its hydrological characteristics. The increase in extraction rates of brackish water and increasing the salinity of groundwater were experienced in details. Different scenarios to mitigate the severe salinity effect of injected brine water of high salinity rejected from desalination process. The brine water is assumed to be injected into deep wells to different depths and observation of changes in salinity

  18. The coastal area of Togo: A space vulnerable to sea level rise hotly disputed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adjoussi, P. D.

    2015-12-01

    Abstract Erosion caused in the coastal area of Togo especially in the cell to the east of the harbor of Lomé some reorganization of space and a reallocation of tasks functions of the importance of existing issues. This reorganization is an important race against time between the various stakeholders which paradoxically make this area a very dynamic environment. In spite of the disaster situation in the area, it is changing. This mutation has been observed for a decade in many ways. Fishing is a traditional activity disappears causing the emergence of new activities such as the extraction of gravel, the gardening, the informal trade of any kind, installing hotels, etc.. At the socio-economic transformation is associated with a beach in state of deficit causing the decline of the coastline that reaches approximately 500 m over a few kilometers according to the old marks missing. The decline of the coastline is by undermining the beach by the waves at high tide. These issues are reshaping the land use map that passes a distribution of fishing villages on the coast in 1980 to a suburban area exposed to sea level rise corollary to anticipated climate change. Keywords: Space, Reorganization, Vulnerability, Stakeholders, Sea Level, Fishing

  19. Coastal Vertebrate Exposure to Predicted Habitat Changes Due to Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Elizabeth A.; Nibbelink, Nathan P.; Alexander, Clark R.; Barrett, Kyle; Mengak, Lara F.; Guy, Rachel K.; Moore, Clinton T.; Cooper, Robert J.

    2015-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) may degrade habitat for coastal vertebrates in the Southeastern United States, but it is unclear which groups or species will be most exposed to habitat changes. We assessed 28 coastal Georgia vertebrate species for their exposure to potential habitat changes due to SLR using output from the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model and information on the species' fundamental niches. We assessed forecasted habitat change up to the year 2100 using three structural habitat metrics: total area, patch size, and habitat permanence. Almost all of the species ( n = 24) experienced negative habitat changes due to SLR as measured by at least one of the metrics. Salt marsh and ocean beach habitats experienced the most change (out of 16 categorical land cover types) across the three metrics and species that used salt marsh extensively (rails and marsh sparrows) were ranked highest for exposure to habitat changes. Species that nested on ocean beaches (Diamondback Terrapins, shorebirds, and terns) were also ranked highly, but their use of other foraging habitats reduced their overall exposure. Future studies on potential effects of SLR on vertebrates in southeastern coastal ecosystems should focus on the relative importance of different habitat types to these species' foraging and nesting requirements. Our straightforward prioritization approach is applicable to other coastal systems and can provide insight to managers on which species to focus resources, what components of their habitats need to be protected, and which locations in the study area will provide habitat refuges in the face of SLR.

  20. Effects of future sea-level rise on tidal processes on the Patagonian Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carless, Stacey J.; Green, J. A. Mattias; Pelling, Holly E.; Wilmes, Sophie-Berenice

    2016-11-01

    The response of tidally driven processes on the Patagonian Shelf to sea-level rise (SLR) is revisited using large but realistic levels of change in a numerical tidal model. The results relate to previous studies through significant differences in the impact, depending on how SLR is implemented. This is true for how the boundary at the coastline is treated, i.e., if we allow for inundation of land or assume flood defences along the coast, but also for how the sea-level change itself is implemented. Simulations with uniform SLR provide a different, and slightly larger, response than do runs where SLR is based on observed trends. In all cases, the effect on the tidal amplitudes is patchy, with alternating increases and decreases in amplitude along the shelf. Furthermore, simulations with a realistic future change in vertical stratification, thus affecting tidal conversion rates, imply that there may be a small but significant decrease in the amplitudes along the coast. Associated processes, e.g., the location of mixing fronts and potential impacts on biogeochemical cycles on the shelf are also discussed.

  1. Vulnerability of the peatland carbon sink to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittle, Alex; Gallego-Sala, Angela V.

    2016-06-01

    Freshwater peatlands are carbon accumulating ecosystems where primary production exceeds organic matter decomposition rates in the soil, and therefore perform an important sink function in global carbon cycling. Typical peatland plant and microbial communities are adapted to the waterlogged, often acidic and low nutrient conditions that characterise them. Peatlands in coastal locations receive inputs of oceanic base cations that shift conditions from the environmental optimum of these communities altering the carbon balance. Blanket bogs are one such type of peatlands occurring in hyperoceanic regions. Using a blanket bog to coastal marsh transect in Northwest Scotland we assess the impacts of salt intrusion on carbon accumulation rates. A threshold concentration of salt input, caused by inundation, exists corresponding to rapid acidophilic to halophilic plant community change and a carbon accumulation decline. For the first time, we map areas of blanket bog vulnerable to sea-level rise, estimating that this equates to ~7.4% of the total extent and a 0.22 Tg yr‑1 carbon sink. Globally, tropical peatlands face the proportionally greatest risk with ~61,000 km2 (~16.6% of total) lying ≤5 m elevation. In total an estimated 20.2 ± 2.5 GtC is stored in peatlands ≤5 m above sea level, which are potentially vulnerable to inundation.

  2. Coastal vertebrate exposure to predicted habitat changes due to sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Elizabeth A.; Nibbelink, Nathan P.; Alexander, Clark R.; Barrett, Kyle; Mengak, Lara F.; Guy, Rachel; Moore, Clinton; Cooper, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) may degrade habitat for coastal vertebrates in the Southeastern United States, but it is unclear which groups or species will be most exposed to habitat changes. We assessed 28 coastal Georgia vertebrate species for their exposure to potential habitat changes due to SLR using output from the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model and information on the species’ fundamental niches. We assessed forecasted habitat change up to the year 2100 using three structural habitat metrics: total area, patch size, and habitat permanence. Almost all of the species (n = 24) experienced negative habitat changes due to SLR as measured by at least one of the metrics. Salt marsh and ocean beach habitats experienced the most change (out of 16 categorical land cover types) across the three metrics and species that used salt marsh extensively (rails and marsh sparrows) were ranked highest for exposure to habitat changes. Species that nested on ocean beaches (Diamondback Terrapins, shorebirds, and terns) were also ranked highly, but their use of other foraging habitats reduced their overall exposure. Future studies on potential effects of SLR on vertebrates in southeastern coastal ecosystems should focus on the relative importance of different habitat types to these species’ foraging and nesting requirements. Our straightforward prioritization approach is applicable to other coastal systems and can provide insight to managers on which species to focus resources, what components of their habitats need to be protected, and which locations in the study area will provide habitat refuges in the face of SLR.

  3. Steric Sea Level Change in Twentieth Century Historical Climate Simulation and IPCC-RCP8.5 Scenario Projection: A Comparison of Two Versions of FGOALS Model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DONG Lu; ZHOU Tianjun

    2013-01-01

    To reveal the steric sea level change in 20th century historical climate simulations and future climate change projections under the IPCC's Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5) scenario,the results of two versions of LASG/IAP's Flexible Global Ocean-Atmosphere-Land System model (FGOALS) are analyzed.Both models reasonably reproduce the mean dynamic sea level features,with a spatial pattern correlation coefficient of 0.97 with the observation.Characteristics of steric sea level changes in the 20th century historical climate simulations and RCP8.5 scenario projections are investigated.The results show that,in the 20th century,negative trends covered most parts of the global ocean.Under the RCP8.5 scenario,global-averaged steric sea level exhibits a pronounced rising trend throughout the 21st century and the general rising trend appears in most parts of the global ocean.The magnitude of the changes in the 21st century is much larger than that in the 20th century.By the year 2100,the global-averaged steric sea level anomaly is 18 cm and 10 cm relative to the year 1850 in the second spectral version of FGOALS (FGOALS-s2) and the second grid-point version of FGOALS (FGOALS-g2),respectively.The separate contribution of the thermosteric and halosteric components from various ocean layers is further evaluated.In the 20th century,the steric sea level changes in FGOALS-s2 (FGOALS-g2) are largely attributed to the thermosteric (halosteric) component relative to the pre-industrial control run.In contrast,in the 21st century,the thermosteric component,mainly from the upper 1000 m,dominates the steric sea level change in both models under the RCP8.5 scenario.In addition,the steric sea level change in the marginal sea of China is attributed to the thermosteric component.

  4. Trends of sea level rise in the South China Sea during the 1990s: An altimetry result

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Using 7 years of TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite altimetry data, we have identified a general trend of sea level rising in the South China Sea between January 1993 and December 1999. The estimated bulk rising rate of the entire basin is ~1 cm/a. The rise of sea level appears to be spatially non-homogeneous, which shows a highest rate of 2.7 cm/a in the deep basin west of Luzon and generally Iow (even negafive) rates over the shallow continental shelves. It is believed that the observed rapid rising of sea level is a regional phenomenon and is mainly caused by warming of the upper layer of the South China Sea, which showed a bulk warming rate of 0.15℃/a in the same period. It is also suggested that the observed rising trend is mainly a decadal signal, which is possibly associated with decadal variation of the Pacific warm pool region.

  5. Diving In To Sea Level Rise Using The Polar Explorer ';App'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turrin, M.; Ryan, W. B.; Bell, R. E.; Pfirman, S. L.; Bell, B.; Porter, D. F.

    2013-12-01

    The vast majority of our lifetime is spent learning outside the classroom, yet the major emphasis in developing climate change instructional materials has been the traditional K16 school environment. The Polar Learning and Responding (PoLAR) project of the National Science Foundation supported Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) program chose to move beyond the classroom to focus on lifelong learners, in order to engage the adult population in building public understanding about climate change. Yet reaching individuals who make their own decisions about what and how they choose to learn requires a very different approach to developing educational materials. With an adult audience how we deliver content can be as critical as what we deliver. Using materials and platforms that are readily available and familiar to the user is important. With a significant segment of our time spent connected to smart phones and tablets, employing these platforms to deliver content makes sense. Whether at work, home or in transit, portable devices are critical companions and trusted tools in providing information on everything from the latest news to the daily weather. The world of Apps is equally as familiar to the adult user, so developing an engaging climate App for a portable device offers a successful strategy. The 'Polar Explorer - Sea Level Rise (SLR) App', is one of the new interactive products developed as part of the PoLAR project. Modeled after Columbia's Earth Observer App, a data exploration and data visualization tool, the Polar Explorer SLR App includes a wide range of real Earth data from ocean and atmospheric temperatures to depth of ice layers, underlying topography and human impacts. The Polar Explorer SLR App is grounded in the concept that scientists gain insights into climate change and climate processes through directly examining data. With some scaffolding, the public can gain similar insights using the same data. Structured to be 'question driven' the

  6. The Sea Level Enigmatic Rising -- New Perspectives from an Expanding Globe

    OpenAIRE

    Scalera, G.; INGV Roma1 (retired)

    2015-01-01

    In the expanding Earth framework it is possible to find additional phenomena that could contribute in a proper way to the water balance and general tectonic eustatism involved in the sea lever rising. Recent compilations seems to leave unexplained up to 12 cm/century of sea rising, and possible solutions invoking a polar ice shells melting near to the upper limit of the error bars reveal in confict with the consequent expected decreasing of the Earth angular velocity. It is sho...

  7. Investigating sea level rise due to global warming in the teaching laboratory using Archimedes’ principle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Stephen; Pearce, Darren

    2015-11-01

    A teaching laboratory experiment is described that uses Archimedes’ principle to precisely investigate the effect of global warming on the oceans. A large component of sea level rise is due to the increase in the volume of water due to the decrease in water density with increasing temperature. Water close to 0 °C is placed in a beaker and a glass marble hung from an electronic balance immersed in the water. As the water warms, the weight of the marble increases as the water is less buoyant due to the decrease in density. In the experiment performed in this paper a balance with a precision of 0.1 mg was used with a marble 40.0 cm3 and mass of 99.3 g, yielding water density measurements with an average error of -0.008 ± 0.011%.

  8. The future sea-level rise contribution of Greenland’s glaciers and ice caps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Machguth, H.; Rastner, P.; Bolch, T.;

    2013-01-01

    We calculate the future sea-level rise contribution from the surface mass balance of all of Greenland's glaciers and ice caps (GICs, ~90 000 km2) using a simplified energy balance model which is driven by three future climate scenarios from the regional climate models HIRHAM5, RACMO2 and MAR....... Glacier extent and surface elevation are modified during the mass balance model runs according to a glacier retreat parameterization. Mass balance and glacier surface change are both calculated on a 250 m resolution digital elevation model yielding a high level of detail and ensuring that important...... of Greenland is dominated by steadily decreasing summer mass balances. In addition we observe glaciers in the north-eastern part of Greenland changing their characteristics towards greater activity and mass turnover....

  9. Practical Tips and Techniques on the Process of Transdisciplinary Sea Level Rise Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLorme, D.; Hagen, S. C.; Kidwell, D.; Stephens, S. H.

    2015-12-01

    There is increasing awareness of the need for transdisciplinary science to address complex climate change issues, yet practical guidance is lacking. This presentation describes the iterative planning, implementation, and evaluation process of an ongoing transdisciplinary sea level rise (SLR) research project. Observations, reflections, and recommendations from firsthand experience are shared, illustrated with examples, and placed within a transdisciplinary research framework. The NOAA-sponsored project, Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (EESLR-NGOM) is a six-year regional study involving a team of biology, ecology, civil/coastal engineering, and communication scholars working with government agency personnel and industry professionals; supervising students and post-doctoral researchers; and engaging a group of non-academic stakeholders (i.e., coastal resource managers). EESLR-NGOM's focus is on detailed assessment and process-based modeling to project SLR impacts on northern Gulf of Mexico coastal wetland habitats and flood plains. This presentation highlights collaboration, communication, and project management considerations, and explains knowledge co-production from a dynamic combination of natural and social scientific methods (secondary data analysis, computer modeling, field observations, field and laboratory experiments, focus group interviews, surveys) and interrelated stakeholder engagement mechanisms (advisory committee, project flow chart, workshops, focus groups, webinars) infused throughout the EESLR-NGOM project to improve accessibility and utility of the scientific results and products. Attention is also given to project evaluation including monitoring, multiple quantitative and qualitative measures, and recognition of challenges and limitations. This presentation should generate productive dialogue and direction for similar endeavors to find transformative solutions to pressing problems of climate change.

  10. Impact of climate change and sea level rise on a coastal aquifer, Central Vietnam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyen, Ine; Batelaan, Okke; Thanh Tam, Vu

    2014-05-01

    The Gio Linh district in the Quang Tri province, Central Vietnam has, like many other coastal areas in the world, to deal with negative impacts of Global Climate Change (GCC) and sea level rise (SLR). This research aims at investigating the impact of GCC/SLR and designing an adaptive water use plan till the year 2030 for the 150,000 local residents of the Gio Linh district and the city of Dong Ha. The coastal plain covers an area of about 450 km2 between the rivers Ben Hai in the North and Thach Han in the South. The area has a tropical monsoon climate which is characterized by an average precipitation of 1500 to 2700 mm in nearly 180 days from August to April. GCC/SLR scenarios are built and assessed for estimating the changes in hydrometeorological conditions of the study area. Depending on the level of gas emission the sea level is expected to rise 7-9 cm by 2020 and around 11-14 cm by 2030 for low to high gas emission respectively. The salt-freshwater interface is expected to experience an inland shift due to SLR, affecting the amount of exploitable groundwater for drinking and irrigation water production. Water production mainly comes from shallow aquifers in unconsolidated Quarternary coastal formations. These geological formations have a highly heterogeneous lithology. A 3D groundwater model is built to study possible seawater intrusion under the changing conditions. Data from meteorological stations over a period of about 30 years and some data from 63 boreholes in and around the Gio Linh district are available. Geophysical measurements have been carried out recently and in the past and are used to support the model.

  11. Coastal Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise and Erosion in Northwest Alaska (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorokhovich, Y.; Leiserowitz, A.

    2009-12-01

    Northwest Alaska is experiencing significant climate change and human impacts. The study area includes the coastal zone of Kotzebue Sound and the Chukchi Sea and provides the local population (predominantly Inupiaq Eskimo) with critical subsistence resources of meat, fish, berries, herbs, and wood. The geomorphology of the coast includes barrier islands, inlets, estuaries, deltas, cliffs, bluffs, and beaches that host modern settlements and infrastructure. Coastal dynamics and sea-level rise are contributing to erosion, intermittent erosion/accretion patterns, landslides, slumps and coastal retreat. These factors are causing the sedimentation of deltas and lagoons, and changing local bathymetry, morphological parameters of beaches and underwater slopes, rates of coastal dynamics, and turbidity and nutrient cycling in coastal waters. This study is constructing vulnerability maps to help local people and federal officials understand the potential consequences of sea-level rise and coastal erosion on local infrastructure, subsistence resources, and culturally important sites. A lack of complete and uniform data (in terms of methods of collection, geographic scale and spatial resolution) creates an additional level of uncertainty that complicates geographic analysis. These difficulties were overcome by spatial modeling with selected spatial resolution using extrapolation methods. Data include subsistence resource maps obtained using Participatory GIS with local hunters and elders, geological and geographic data on coastal dynamics from satellite imagery, aerial photos, bathymetry and topographic maps, and digital elevation models. These data were classified and ranked according to the level of coastal vulnerability (Figure 1). The resulting qualitative multicriteria model helps to identify the coastal areas with the greatest vulnerability to coastal erosion and of the potential loss of subsistence resources. Acknowldgements: Dr. Ron Abileah (private consultant, j

  12. Consideration of vertical uncertainty in elevation-based sea-level rise assessments: Mobile Bay, Alabama case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gesch, Dean B.

    2013-01-01

    The accuracy with which coastal topography has been mapped directly affects the reliability and usefulness of elevationbased sea-level rise vulnerability assessments. Recent research has shown that the qualities of the elevation data must be well understood to properly model potential impacts. The cumulative vertical uncertainty has contributions from elevation data error, water level data uncertainties, and vertical datum and transformation uncertainties. The concepts of minimum sealevel rise increment and minimum planning timeline, important parameters for an elevation-based sea-level rise assessment, are used in recognition of the inherent vertical uncertainty of the underlying data. These concepts were applied to conduct a sea-level rise vulnerability assessment of the Mobile Bay, Alabama, region based on high-quality lidar-derived elevation data. The results that detail the area and associated resources (land cover, population, and infrastructure) vulnerable to a 1.18-m sea-level rise by the year 2100 are reported as a range of values (at the 95% confidence level) to account for the vertical uncertainty in the base data. Examination of the tabulated statistics about land cover, population, and infrastructure in the minimum and maximum vulnerable areas shows that these resources are not uniformly distributed throughout the overall vulnerable zone. The methods demonstrated in the Mobile Bay analysis provide an example of how to consider and properly account for vertical uncertainty in elevation-based sea-level rise vulnerability assessments, and the advantages of doing so.

  13. Sea-level rise impacts on transport infrastructure: The notorious case of the coastal railway line at Dawlish, England

    OpenAIRE

    Dawson, DA; Shaw, J; Gehrels, WR

    2016-01-01

    Future climate change is likely to increase the frequency of coastal storms and floods, with major consequences for coastal transport infrastructure. This paper assesses the extent to which projected sea-level rise is likely to impact upon the functioning of the Dawlish to Teignmouth stretch of the London to Penzance railway line, in England. Using a semi-empirical modelling approach, we identify a relationship between sea-level change and rail incidents over the last 150 years and then use m...

  14. Interdisciplinary assessment of sea-level rise and climate change impacts on the lower Nile delta, Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sušnik, Janez; Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia, Lydia S; Baumert, Niklas; Kloos, Julia; Renaud, Fabrice G; La Jeunesse, Isabelle; Mabrouk, Badr; Savić, Dragan A; Kapelan, Zoran; Ludwig, Ralf; Fischer, Georg; Roson, Roberto; Zografos, Christos

    2015-01-15

    CLImate-induced changes on WAter and SECurity (CLIWASEC) was a cluster of three complementary EC-FP7 projects assessing climate-change impacts throughout the Mediterranean on: hydrological cycles (CLIMB - CLimate-Induced changes on the hydrology of Mediterranean Basins); water security (WASSERMed - Water Availability and Security in Southern EuRope and the Mediterranean) and human security connected with possible hydro-climatic conflicts (CLICO - CLImate change hydro-COnflicts and human security). The Nile delta case study was common between the projects. CLIWASEC created an integrated forum for modelling and monitoring to understand potential impacts across sectors. This paper summarises key results from an integrated assessment of potential challenges to water-related security issues, focusing on expected sea-level rise impacts by the middle of the century. We use this common focus to illustrate the added value of project clustering. CLIWASEC pursued multidisciplinary research by adopting a single research objective: sea-level rise related water security threats, resulting in a more holistic view of problems and potential solutions. In fragmenting research, policy-makers can fail to understand how multiple issues can materialize from one driver. By combining efforts, an integrated assessment of water security threats in the lower Nile is formulated, offering policy-makers a clearer picture of inter-related issues to society and environment. The main issues identified by each project (land subsidence, saline intrusion - CLIMB; water supply overexploitation, land loss - WASSERMed; employment and housing security - CLICO), are in fact related. Water overexploitation is exacerbating land subsidence and saline intrusion, impacting on employment and placing additional pressure on remaining agricultural land and the underdeveloped housing market. All these have wider implications for regional development. This richer understanding could be critical in making better

  15. Interdisciplinary assessment of sea-level rise and climate change impacts on the lower Nile delta, Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sušnik, Janez; Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia, Lydia S; Baumert, Niklas; Kloos, Julia; Renaud, Fabrice G; La Jeunesse, Isabelle; Mabrouk, Badr; Savić, Dragan A; Kapelan, Zoran; Ludwig, Ralf; Fischer, Georg; Roson, Roberto; Zografos, Christos

    2015-01-15

    CLImate-induced changes on WAter and SECurity (CLIWASEC) was a cluster of three complementary EC-FP7 projects assessing climate-change impacts throughout the Mediterranean on: hydrological cycles (CLIMB - CLimate-Induced changes on the hydrology of Mediterranean Basins); water security (WASSERMed - Water Availability and Security in Southern EuRope and the Mediterranean) and human security connected with possible hydro-climatic conflicts (CLICO - CLImate change hydro-COnflicts and human security). The Nile delta case study was common between the projects. CLIWASEC created an integrated forum for modelling and monitoring to understand potential impacts across sectors. This paper summarises key results from an integrated assessment of potential challenges to water-related security issues, focusing on expected sea-level rise impacts by the middle of the century. We use this common focus to illustrate the added value of project clustering. CLIWASEC pursued multidisciplinary research by adopting a single research objective: sea-level rise related water security threats, resulting in a more holistic view of problems and potential solutions. In fragmenting research, policy-makers can fail to understand how multiple issues can materialize from one driver. By combining efforts, an integrated assessment of water security threats in the lower Nile is formulated, offering policy-makers a clearer picture of inter-related issues to society and environment. The main issues identified by each project (land subsidence, saline intrusion - CLIMB; water supply overexploitation, land loss - WASSERMed; employment and housing security - CLICO), are in fact related. Water overexploitation is exacerbating land subsidence and saline intrusion, impacting on employment and placing additional pressure on remaining agricultural land and the underdeveloped housing market. All these have wider implications for regional development. This richer understanding could be critical in making better

  16. Elevated CO2 stimulates marsh elevation gain, counterbalancing sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langley, J.A.; McKee, K.L.; Cahoon, D.R.; Cherry, J.A.; Megonigala, J.P.

    2009-01-01

    Tidal wetlands experiencing increased rates of sea-level rise (SLR) must increase rates of soil elevation gain to avoid permanent conversion to open water. The maximal rate of SLR that these ecosystems can tolerate depends partly on mineral sediment deposition, but the accumulation of organic matter is equally important for many wetlands. Plant productivity drives organic matter dynamics and is sensitive to global change factors, such as rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. It remains unknown how global change will influence organic mechanisms that determine future tidal wetland viability. Here, we present experimental evidence that plant response to elevated atmospheric [CO2] stimulates biogenic mechanisms of elevation gain in a brackish marsh. Elevated CO2 (ambient 340 ppm) accelerated soil elevation gain by 3.9 mm yr1 in this 2-year field study, an effect mediated by stimulation of below-ground plant productivity. Further, a companion greenhouse experiment revealed that the CO2 effect was enhanced under salinity and flooding conditions likely to accompany future SLR. Our results indicate that by stimulating biogenic contributions to marsh elevation, increases in the greenhouse gas, CO2, may paradoxically aid some coastal wetlands in counterbalancing rising seas.

  17. Global coastal wetland change under sea-level rise and related stresses: The DIVA Wetland Change Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Thomas; Schuerch, Mark; Nicholls, Robert J.; Hinkel, Jochen; Lincke, Daniel; Vafeidis, A. T.; Reef, Ruth; McFadden, Loraine; Brown, Sally

    2016-04-01

    The Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment Wetland Change Model (DIVA_WCM) comprises a dataset of contemporary global coastal wetland stocks (estimated at 756 × 103 km2 (in 2011)), mapped to a one-dimensional global database, and a model of the macro-scale controls on wetland response to sea-level rise. Three key drivers of wetland response to sea-level rise are considered: 1) rate of sea-level rise relative to tidal range; 2) lateral accommodation space; and 3) sediment supply. The model is tuned by expert knowledge, parameterised with quantitative data where possible, and validated against mapping associated with two large-scale mangrove and saltmarsh vulnerability studies. It is applied across 12,148 coastal segments (mean length 85 km) to the year 2100. The model provides better-informed macro-scale projections of likely patterns of future coastal wetland losses across a range of sea-level rise scenarios and varying assumptions about the construction of coastal dikes to prevent sea flooding (as dikes limit lateral accommodation space and cause coastal squeeze). With 50 cm of sea-level rise by 2100, the model predicts a loss of 46-59% of global coastal wetland stocks. A global coastal wetland loss of 78% is estimated under high sea-level rise (110 cm by 2100) accompanied by maximum dike construction. The primary driver for high vulnerability of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise is coastal squeeze, a consequence of long-term coastal protection strategies. Under low sea-level rise (29 cm by 2100) losses do not exceed ca. 50% of the total stock, even for the same adverse dike construction assumptions. The model results confirm that the widespread paradigm that wetlands subject to a micro-tidal regime are likely to be more vulnerable to loss than macro-tidal environments. Countering these potential losses will require both climate mitigation (a global response) to minimise sea-level rise and maximisation of accommodation space and sediment supply (a regional

  18. Interactions between sea-level rise and wave exposure on reef island dynamics in the Solomon Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, Simon; Leon, Javier X.; Grinham, Alistair R.; Church, John A.; Gibbes, Badin R.; Woodroffe, Colin D.

    2016-05-01

    Low-lying reef islands in the Solomon Islands provide a valuable window into the future impacts of global sea-level rise. Sea-level rise has been predicted to cause widespread erosion and inundation of low-lying atolls in the central Pacific. However, the limited research on reef islands in the western Pacific indicates the majority of shoreline changes and inundation to date result from extreme events, seawalls and inappropriate development rather than sea-level rise alone. Here, we present the first analysis of coastal dynamics from a sea-level rise hotspot in the Solomon Islands. Using time series aerial and satellite imagery from 1947 to 2014 of 33 islands, along with historical insight from local knowledge, we have identified five vegetated reef islands that have vanished over this time period and a further six islands experiencing severe shoreline recession. Shoreline recession at two sites has destroyed villages that have existed since at least 1935, leading to community relocations. Rates of shoreline recession are substantially higher in areas exposed to high wave energy, indicating a synergistic interaction between sea-level rise and waves. Understanding these local factors that increase the susceptibility of islands to coastal erosion is critical to guide adaptation responses for these remote Pacific communities.

  19. Quantifying the effect of sea level rise and flood defence - a point process perspective on coastal flood damage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boettle, M.; Rybski, D.; Kropp, J. P.

    2016-02-01

    In contrast to recent advances in projecting sea levels, estimations about the economic impact of sea level rise are vague. Nonetheless, they are of great importance for policy making with regard to adaptation and greenhouse-gas mitigation. Since the damage is mainly caused by extreme events, we propose a stochastic framework to estimate the monetary losses from coastal floods in a confined region. For this purpose, we follow a Peak-over-Threshold approach employing a Poisson point process and the Generalised Pareto Distribution. By considering the effect of sea level rise as well as potential adaptation scenarios on the involved parameters, we are able to study the development of the annual damage. An application to the city of Copenhagen shows that a doubling of losses can be expected from a mean sea level increase of only 11 cm. In general, we find that for varying parameters the expected losses can be well approximated by one of three analytical expressions depending on the extreme value parameters. These findings reveal the complex interplay of the involved parameters and allow conclusions of fundamental relevance. For instance, we show that the damage typically increases faster than the sea level rise itself. This in turn can be of great importance for the assessment of sea level rise impacts on the global scale. Our results are accompanied by an assessment of uncertainty, which reflects the stochastic nature of extreme events. While the absolute value of uncertainty about the flood damage increases with rising mean sea levels, we find that it decreases in relation to the expected damage.

  20. Sea Level Rise, Rainfall and Coastal Flooding in Northeastern U.S. Cities Vivien Gornitz, Radley Horton, Philip Orton, Nickitas Georgas, Alan Blumberg, and Cynthia Rosenzweig

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gornitz, V.; Horton, R. M.; Orton, P. M.; Georgas, N.; Blumberg, A. F.; Rosenzweig, C.

    2012-12-01

    Populations and infrastructure along much of the northeastern coast of the United States will become increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of rising sea level and storm surges over the coming century. This vulnerability is amplified by regional land subsidence and likely also by shifts in ocean circulation. Building upon recent studies for the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), New York State ClimAid assessment, and the latest U.S. National Climate Assessment, we report new regional sea level rise projections based on the latest CMIP-5 global climate models (GCMs) and RCP emission scenarios, adjusted for revised glacial ice melt contributions, and other factors such as gravitational effects, land water storage, and changes in the Atlantic Meriodional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). Over the coming two years, GCM-derived sea level outputs for future decades will be utilized in risk assessments for coastal flooding in New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia, as part of the Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast-RISA project. The Stevens Institute Estuarine and Coastal Ocean Model (sECOM) will be used to produce best estimates (including uncertainty ranges) of sea level rise impacts for a wide range of tropical and extra-tropical cyclones for the 2010s, 2050s, and 2080s. Major improvements over prior studies include (a) the use of a detailed, extensively validated ocean model, and (b) inclusion of rainfall and river flow influences on coastal flooding, which affect flood levels in enclosed tidal waterways (e.g., the Hudson and Delaware Rivers), and which are also likely important in coastal confluence zones of impermeable urbanized watersheds. In addition to the sea level rise results, we present initial model validation results for historical storms.

  1. Global DEM Errors Underpredict Coastal Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise and Flooding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulp, Scott; Strauss, Benjamin

    2016-04-01

    Elevation data based on NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) have been widely used to evaluate threats from global sea level rise, storm surge, and coastal floods. However, SRTM data are known to include large vertical errors in densely urban or densely vegetated areas. The errors may propagate to derived land and population exposure assessments. We compare assessments based on SRTM data against references employing high-accuracy bare-earth elevation data generated from lidar data available for coastal areas of the United States. We find that both 1-arcsecond and 3-arcsecond horizontal resolution SRTM data systemically underestimate exposure across all assessed spatial scales and up to at least 10m above the high tide line. At 3m, 1-arcsecond SRTM underestimates U.S. population exposure by more than 60%, and under-predicts population exposure in 90% of coastal states, 87% of counties, and 83% of municipalities. These fractions increase with elevation, but error medians and variability fall to lower levels, with national exposure underestimated by just 24% at 10m. Results using 3-arcsecond SRTM are extremely similar. Coastal analyses based on SRTM data thus appear to greatly underestimate sea level and flood threats, especially at lower elevations. However, SRTM-based estimates may usefully be regarded as providing lower bounds to actual threats. We additionally assess the performance of NOAA's Global Land One-km Base Elevation Project (GLOBE), another publicly-available global DEM, but do not reach any definitive conclusion because of the spatial heterogeneity in its quality.

  2. Will the Effects of Sea-Level Rise Create Ecological Traps for Pacific Island Seabirds?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle H Reynolds

    Full Text Available More than 18 million seabirds nest on 58 Pacific islands protected within vast U.S. Marine National Monuments (1.9 million km2. However, most of these seabird colonies are on low-elevation islands and sea-level rise (SLR and accompanying high-water perturbations are predicted to escalate with climate change. To understand how SLR may impact protected islands and insular biodiversity, we modeled inundation and wave-driven flooding of a globally important seabird rookery in the subtropical Pacific. We acquired new high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs and used the Delft3D wave model and ArcGIS to model wave heights and inundation for a range of SLR scenarios (+0.5, +1.0, +1.5, and +2.0 m at Midway Atoll. Next, we classified vegetation to delineate habitat exposure to inundation and identified how breeding phenology, colony synchrony, and life history traits affect species-specific sensitivity. We identified 3 of 13 species as highly vulnerable to SLR in the Hawaiian Islands and quantified their atoll-wide distribution (Laysan albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis; black-footed albatross, P. nigripes; and Bonin petrel, Pterodroma hypoleuca. Our models of wave-driven flooding forecast nest losses up to 10% greater than passive inundation models at +1.0 m SLR. At projections of + 2.0 m SLR, approximately 60% of albatross and 44% of Bonin petrel nests were overwashed displacing more than 616,400 breeding albatrosses and petrels. Habitat loss due to passive SLR may decrease the carrying capacity of some islands to support seabird colonies, while sudden high-water events directly reduce survival and reproduction. This is the first study to simulate wave-driven flooding and the combined impacts of SLR, groundwater rise, and storm waves on seabird colonies. Our results highlight the need for early climate change planning and restoration of higher elevation seabird refugia to prevent low-lying protected islands from becoming ecological traps in the

  3. Will the Effects of Sea-Level Rise Create Ecological Traps for Pacific Island Seabirds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Michelle H; Courtot, Karen N; Berkowitz, Paul; Storlazzi, Curt D; Moore, Janet; Flint, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    More than 18 million seabirds nest on 58 Pacific islands protected within vast U.S. Marine National Monuments (1.9 million km2). However, most of these seabird colonies are on low-elevation islands and sea-level rise (SLR) and accompanying high-water perturbations are predicted to escalate with climate change. To understand how SLR may impact protected islands and insular biodiversity, we modeled inundation and wave-driven flooding of a globally important seabird rookery in the subtropical Pacific. We acquired new high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and used the Delft3D wave model and ArcGIS to model wave heights and inundation for a range of SLR scenarios (+0.5, +1.0, +1.5, and +2.0 m) at Midway Atoll. Next, we classified vegetation to delineate habitat exposure to inundation and identified how breeding phenology, colony synchrony, and life history traits affect species-specific sensitivity. We identified 3 of 13 species as highly vulnerable to SLR in the Hawaiian Islands and quantified their atoll-wide distribution (Laysan albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis; black-footed albatross, P. nigripes; and Bonin petrel, Pterodroma hypoleuca). Our models of wave-driven flooding forecast nest losses up to 10% greater than passive inundation models at +1.0 m SLR. At projections of + 2.0 m SLR, approximately 60% of albatross and 44% of Bonin petrel nests were overwashed displacing more than 616,400 breeding albatrosses and petrels. Habitat loss due to passive SLR may decrease the carrying capacity of some islands to support seabird colonies, while sudden high-water events directly reduce survival and reproduction. This is the first study to simulate wave-driven flooding and the combined impacts of SLR, groundwater rise, and storm waves on seabird colonies. Our results highlight the need for early climate change planning and restoration of higher elevation seabird refugia to prevent low-lying protected islands from becoming ecological traps in the face of rising

  4. Influence of potential sea level rise on societal vulnerability to hurricane storm-surge hazards, Sarasota County, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frazier, Tim G.; Wood, Nathan; Yarnal, Brent; Bauer, Denise H.

    2010-01-01

    Although the potential for hurricanes under current climatic conditions continue to threaten coastal communities, there is concern that climate change, specifically potential increases in sea level, could influence the impacts of future hurricanes. To examine the potential effect of sea level rise on community vulnerability to future hurricanes, we assess variations in socioeconomic exposure in Sarasota County, FL, to contemporary hurricane storm-surge hazards and to storm-surge hazards enhanced by sea level rise scenarios. Analysis indicates that significant portions of the population, economic activity, and critical facilities are in contemporary and future hurricane storm-surge hazard zones. The addition of sea level rise to contemporary storm-surge hazard zones effectively causes population and asset (infrastructure, natural resources, etc) exposure to be equal to or greater than what is in the hazard zone of the next higher contemporary Saffir–Simpson hurricane category. There is variability among communities for this increased exposure, with greater increases in socioeconomic exposure due to the addition of sea level rise to storm-surge hazard zones as one progresses south along the shoreline. Analysis of the 2050 comprehensive land use plan suggests efforts to manage future growth in residential, economic and infrastructure development in Sarasota County may increase societal exposure to hurricane storm-surge hazards.

  5. Extreme floods in the Mekong River Delta under climate change: combined impacts of upstream hydrological changes and sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoang, Long; Nguyen Viet, Dung; Kummu, Matti; Lauri, Hannu; Koponen, Jorma; van Vliet, Michelle T. H.; Supit, Iwan; Leemans, Rik; Kabat, Pavel; Ludwig, Fulco

    2016-04-01

    Extreme floods cause huge damages to human lives and infrastructure, and hamper socio-economic development in the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam. Induced by climate change, upstream hydrological changes and sea level rise are expected to further exacerbate future flood hazard and thereby posing critical challenges for securing safety and sustainability. This paper provides a probabilistic quantification of future flood hazard for the Mekong Delta, focusing on extreme events under climate change. We developed a model chain to simulate separate and combined impacts of two drivers, namely upstream hydrological changes and sea level rise on flood magnitude and frequency. Simulation results show that upstream changes and sea level rise substantially increase flood hazard throughout the whole Mekong Delta. Due to differences in their nature, two drivers show different features in their impacts on floods. Impacts of upstream changes are more dominant in floodplains in the upper delta, causing an increase of up to +0.80 m in flood depth. Sea level rise introduces flood hazard to currently safe areas in the middle and coastal delta zones. A 0.6 m rise in relative sea level causes an increase in flood depth between 0.10 and 0.70 m, depending on location by 2050s. Upstream hydrological changes and sea level rise tend to intensify each other's impacts on floods, resulting in stronger combined impacts than linearly summed impacts of each individual driver. Substantial increase of future flood hazard strongly requires better flood protection and more flood resilient development for the Mekong Delta. Findings from this study can be used as quantified physical boundary conditions to develop flood management strategies and strategic delta management plans.

  6. Postglacial sea-level rise and its impact on the circum-arctic Holocene climate evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauch, Henning; Abramova, Ekaterina; Alenius, Teija; Saarnisto, Matti

    2016-04-01

    The global sea-level rise after the last glaciation not only affected the surface properties (circulation, T-S, sea ice seasonality) of the Arctic Ocean and nearby seas it also had a strong impact on the Holocene development of the shallow North Siberian shelf systems and the environmental evolution of the adjacent hinterland areas. In this region sea level reconstructions indicate the postglacial highstand occurred some time in the middle Holocene, between 6 to 5 ka (Klemann et al., 2015). After that time the sedimentary regime of the shelf seas stabilized as noted in a drastic decrease in sedimentation rates observed in all sediment cores taken from middle to outer shelf water depths of the Laptev Sea (Bauch et al. 2001). But, at water depths lower than 30 meters - i.e., in the inner shelf and nearer to the coasts - sedimentation continued at relatively higher rates, presumably due to input of terrigenous material from river runoff as well as coastal erosion. In relation to the latter process, the huge Lena Delta should comprise a region of sediment catchment where aggradation wins over erosion. However, little is known about the detailed history of this delta during the second half of the Holocene. We therefore have investigated three islands within the Lena Delta. All of these are comprised of massive peat of several meters in thickness. Picking discrete specimens of water mosses (Sphagnum) only, we have carefully dated these peat sections. The depth/age relation of the sampled profiles reflect the growth rate of peat, and thus, the islands. It shows that the islands' history above the present-day delta sea level is about 4000 yrs. old. Moreover, a significant change in peat growth is noted after 2500 yrs BP in both, accumulation and composition, and allows the conclusion of a major shift in Arctic environmental conditions since then. Thus, our results add further information also for other coastal studies, as the ongoing degradation of the rather vulnerable

  7. Effect of sea-level rise on future coastal groundwater resources in southern Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langevin, Christian D.; Zygnerski, Michael R.; White, Jeremy T.; Hughes, Joseph D.

    2010-01-01

    An existing variable‐density groundwater flow and solute transport model, developed for the northern part of Broward County, Florida, was used to predict the effect of sealevel rise on future coastal groundwater resources. Using average annual conditions from 2005, simulations were performed for 100 years into the future using four different rates of sea‐level rise: 0, 24, 48, and 88 centimeters per century. Results from these predictive analyses suggest that the average concentration of groundwater withdrawn at the municipal well field will exceed the potable limit after 70, 60, 55, and 49 years, respectively, for the four simulations.

  8. Integrated Modeling for the Assessment of Ecological Impacts of Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, S. C.; Lewis, G.; Bartel, R.; Batten, B.; Huang, W.; Morris, J.; Slinn, D. N.; Sparks, J.; Walters, L.; Wang, D.; Weishampel, J.; Yeh, G.

    2010-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) has the potential to affect a variety of coastal habitats with a myriad of deleterious ecological effects and to overwhelm human settlements along the coast. SLR should be given serious consideration when more than half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of the coast. SLR effects will be felt along coastal beaches and in estuarine waters, with consequences to barrier islands, submerged aquatic vegetation beds, sand and mud flats, oyster reefs, and tidal and freshwater wetlands. Managers of these coastal resources must be aware of potential consequences of SLR and adjust their plans accordingly to protect and preserve the resources under their care. The Gulf Coast provides critical habitats for a majority of the commercially important species in the Gulf of Mexico, which depend on inshore waters for either permanent residence or nursery area. The ecosystem services provided by these coastal habitats are at risk from rising sea level. Our team will assess the risk to coasts and coastal habitats from SLR in a 5-year project. We will apply existing models of circulation and transport from the watershed to the sea. The ultimate prediction will be of sediment loadings to the estuary as a result of overland flow, shoreline and barrier island erosion, and salinity transport, all of which will be used to model the evolution of intertidal marshes (MEM II). Over the five-year course of our research we will be simulating hydrodynamics and transport for all three NERRS reserves, including: Apalachicola, Weeks Bay and Grand Bay. The project will result in products whereby managers will be able to assess marshes, oyster reefs, submerged aquatic vegetation, predict wetland stability and indentify restoration locations for marsh and oyster habitats. In addition, we will produce Decision Support tools that will enable managers to predict future coastal erosion rates for management-specified shorelines. Project outcomes will enable the management

  9. Influence of sea level rise on iron diagenesis in an east Florida subterranean estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, M.; Martin, J.B.; Cherrier, J.; Cable, J.E.; Smith, C.G.

    2010-01-01

    Subterranean estuary occupies the transition zone between hypoxic fresh groundwater and oxic seawater, and between terrestrial and marine sediment deposits. Consequently, we hypothesize, in a subterranean estuary, biogeochemical reactions of Fe respond to submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) and sea level rise. Porewater and sediment samples were collected across a 30-m wide freshwater discharge zone of the Indian River Lagoon (Florida, USA) subterranean estuary, and at a site 250. m offshore. Porewater Fe concentrations range from 0.5 ??M at the shoreline and 250. m offshore to about 286 ??M at the freshwater-saltwater boundary. Sediment sulfur and porewater sulfide maxima occur in near-surface OC-rich black sediments of marine origin, and dissolved Fe maxima occur in underlying OC-poor orange sediments of terrestrial origin. Freshwater SGD flow rates decrease offshore from around 1 to 0.1. cm/day, while bioirrigation exchange deepens with distance from about 10. cm at the shoreline to about 40. cm at the freshwater-saltwater boundary. DOC concentrations increase from around 75 ??M at the shoreline to as much as 700 ??M at the freshwater-saltwater boundary as a result of labile marine carbon inputs from marine SGD. This labile DOC reduces Fe-oxides, which in conjunction with slow discharge of SGD at the boundary, allows dissolved Fe to accumulate. Upward advection of fresh SGD carries dissolved Fe from the Fe-oxide reduction zone to the sulfate reduction zone, where dissolved Fe precipitates as Fe-sulfides. Saturation models of Fe-sulfides indicate some fractions of these Fe-sulfides get dissolved near the sediment-water interface, where bioirrigation exchanges oxic surface water. The estimated dissolved Fe flux is approximately 0.84 ??M Fe/day per meter of shoreline to lagoon surface waters. Accelerated sea level rise predictions are thus likely to increase the Fe flux to surface waters and local primary productivity, particularly along coastlines where

  10. Supporting Coastal Management Decisions in the Face of Sea-Level Rise: Case Study for the Chesapeake Bay Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staudt, A. C.; Glick, P.; Clough, J. S.; Nunley, B.

    2008-12-01

    Sea-level rise needs to be a major consideration in regional coastal management and ecological restoration plans. The National Wildlife Federation has initiated a multi-pronged strategy for assisting decision makers at government agencies that manage near-shore ecosystems in several vulnerable coastal regions. Results from our work in the Chesapeake Bay region will be presented. This strategy involves: (1) Detailed modeling of how coastal habitats will migrate in response to a range of sea-level rise scenarios. For this work, we used the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM), which simulates the dominant processes involved in wetland conversions and shoreline modifications during long-term sea-level rise and takes into consideration localized changes in land elevation due to geological and ecological factors. These model results provide specific information about the locations that are likely to experience shifts in coastal marshes, swamps, beaches, and other habitats due to sea-level rise at a scale that is relevant to regional decision making. (2) Extensive literature review and analysis of habitat, fish, and wildlife impacts potentially resulting from expected sea-level rise and other local climate changes. Synthesizing the available research is an important service for natural resource agencies that are only beginning to consider climate impacts on ecosystems and natural resources. (3) Analysis of government programs and policies relevant to coastal management and identification of opportunities to revise these policies in light of projected climate changes. An important aspect of this analysis is meeting with key decision makers at relevant state fish and wildlife agencies to better understand the factors that affect their abilities to effect policy changes. (4) Proactive campaign to share our results with diverse audiences. We have developed different research products, ranging from a technical report of the modeling results to short report briefs, to

  11. Apparent Sea Level Rise due to Loading of the Atlantic City Pier by Spectators Viewing (1929-1978) Diving Horses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galvin, C.

    2012-12-01

    Cyril Galvin, Coastal Engineer Springfield, Virginia 22150 USA Since 1911, the Steel Pier at Atlantic City, New Jersey, has been the site of the Atlantic City tide gauge, except for two intervals: 1911-1921 when the gauge was at the Million Dollar Pier in Atlantic City, and 1985-1991 when the gauge was at the Ventnor Fishing Pier (see Table 2, Zervos, 2009). By design, the Steel Pier was an amusement pier, and its most famous amusement was the Diving Horses: they dove bareback with a woman rider from a platform about 40 feet above sea level. They did that between 1929 and 1978, except for seven years - a post-war period, 1945 to 1953, when diving was suspended. The popularity of the diving horses is recorded on photos of crowds which occupied the bleachers at the seaward end of the pier to view the diving horses. By my count, the crowd pictured in the end papers of the book by Steve Liebowitz (2009) was about 4000 people. Typically, there were multiple shows daily. The weight of the crowd, estimated from the count of the crowd, was about 150 tons. This weight was loaded down on the piles by the crowd of spectators, and unloaded between shows of the diving horses. Most of the piles supporting the pier deck were imbedded in sand newly deposited since 1850. Using Atlantic City sea levels from the PSMSL data base and historical facts from Liebowitz (2009), and beginning with a 1912 start of the tide gauge, the apparent sea level rose at a rate of 3.1mm/yr until 1929 when the horses began diving. With the 1929 start of diving, the apparent sea level rise tripled, averaging 9.4 mm/yr until the act was suspended in 1945. In the 1945-1953 interval, when the horses did not dive (no crowds on the pier), apparent sea level fell (sea level FELL) at a rate of -1.6 mm/yr. The horses resumed diving in 1953, when the apparent sea level resumed at a rate of 4.0mm/yr. This 4.0 mm/yr is identical to the longtime sea level trend (1911-2006) from Zervos (2009) of 3.99mm/yr The history

  12. Evaluation of Dynamic Coastal Response to Sea-level Rise Modifies Inundation Likelihood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lentz, Erika E.; Thieler, E. Robert; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Stippa, Sawyer R.; Horton, Radley M.; Gesch, Dean B.

    2016-01-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) poses a range of threats to natural and built environments, making assessments of SLR-induced hazards essential for informed decision making. We develop a probabilistic model that evaluates the likelihood that an area will inundate (flood) or dynamically respond (adapt) to SLR. The broad-area applicability of the approach is demonstrated by producing 30x30m resolution predictions for more than 38,000 sq km of diverse coastal landscape in the northeastern United States. Probabilistic SLR projections, coastal elevation and vertical land movement are used to estimate likely future inundation levels. Then, conditioned on future inundation levels and the current land-cover type, we evaluate the likelihood of dynamic response versus inundation. We find that nearly 70% of this coastal landscape has some capacity to respond dynamically to SLR, and we show that inundation models over-predict land likely to submerge. This approach is well suited to guiding coastal resource management decisions that weigh future SLR impacts and uncertainty against ecological targets and economic constraints.

  13. Migratory connectivity magnifies the consequences of habitat loss from sea-level rise for shorebird populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwamura, Takuya; Possingham, Hugh P; Chadès, Iadine; Minton, Clive; Murray, Nicholas J; Rogers, Danny I; Treml, Eric A; Fuller, Richard A

    2013-06-22

    Sea-level rise (SLR) will greatly alter littoral ecosystems, causing habitat change and loss for coastal species. Habitat loss is widely used as a measurement of the risk of extinction, but because many coastal species are migratory, the impact of habitat loss will depend not only on its extent, but also on where it occurs. Here, we develop a novel graph-theoretic approach to measure the vulnerability of a migratory network to the impact of habitat loss from SLR based on population flow through the network. We show that reductions in population flow far exceed the proportion of habitat lost for 10 long-distance migrant shorebirds using the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. We estimate that SLR will inundate 23-40% of intertidal habitat area along their migration routes, but cause a reduction in population flow of up to 72 per cent across the taxa. This magnifying effect was particularly strong for taxa whose migration routes contain bottlenecks-sites through which a large fraction of the population travels. We develop the bottleneck index, a new network metric that positively correlates with the predicted impacts of habitat loss on overall population flow. Our results indicate that migratory species are at greater risk than previously realized.

  14. Glacier changes in southeast Alaska and northwest British Columbia and contribution to sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, C.F.; Motyka, R.J.; Arendt, A.A.; Echelmeyer, K.A.; Geissler, P.E.

    2007-01-01

    The digital elevation model (DEM) from the 2000 Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) was differenced from a composite DEM based on air photos dating from 1948 to 1987 to detennine glacier volume changes in southeast Alaska and adjoining Canada. SRTM accuracy was assessed at ??5 in through comparison with airborne laser altimetry and control locations measured with GPS. Glacier surface elevations lowered over 95% of the 14,580 km2 glacier-covered area analyzed, with some glaciers thinning as much as 640 in. A combination of factors have contributed to this wastage, including calving retreats of tidewater and lacustrine glaciers and climate change. Many glaciers in this region are particularly sensitive to climate change, as they have large areas at low elevations. However, several tidewater glaciers that had historically undergone calving retreats are now expanding and appear to be in the advancing stage of the tidewater glacier cycle. The net average rate of ice loss is estimated at 16.7 ?? 4.4 km3/yr, equivalent to a global sea level rise contribution of 0.04 ?? 0.01 mm/yr. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.

  15. A Climate Change Adaptation Planning Process for Low-Lying, Communities Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristi Tatebe

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available While the province of British Columbia (BC, Canada, provides guidelines for flood risk management, it is local governments’ responsibility to delineate their own flood vulnerability, assess their risk, and integrate these with planning policies to implement adaptive action. However, barriers such as the lack of locally specific data and public perceptions about adaptation options mean that local governments must address the need for adaptation planning within a context of scientific uncertainty, while building public support for difficult choices on flood-related climate policy and action. This research demonstrates a process to model, visualize and evaluate potential flood impacts and adaptation options for the community of Delta, in Metro Vancouver, across economic, social and environmental perspectives. Visualizations in 2D and 3D, based on hydrological modeling of breach events for existing dike infrastructure, future sea level rise and storm surges, are generated collaboratively, together with future adaptation scenarios assessed against quantitative and qualitative indicators. This ‘visioning package’ is being used with staff and a citizens’ Working Group to assess the performance, policy implications and social acceptability of the adaptation strategies. Recommendations based on the experience of the initiative are provided that can facilitate sustainable future adaptation actions and decision-making in Delta and other jurisdictions.

  16. Effects of elevated temperatures and rising sea level on Arctic Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Peter W.

    1990-01-01

    Ice is a major agent on the inner shelf, gouging the bottom, increasing hydraulic scour, transporting sediment, and influencing river flood patterns. Rapid coastal retreat is common and low barrier islands and beaches are constantly changing due to the influence of permafrost, ice-push, waves, and currents. Coastal processes are presently a balance between the influence of ice and the action of waves and currents. Quantitative values for processes are poorly known, however our qualitative understanding is nearly complete. Climatic warming and rising sea levels would decrease the temporal and aerial extent of coastal ice thereby expanding the role of waves and currents. As a result, shoreline retreat rates would increase, producing a transgressive erosional surface on the low coastal plain. With increased wave activity, beaches and barrier islands presently nourished by ice push processes would decay and disappear. Increased sediment supply from a deeply thawed, active layer would release more sediments to rivers and coasts. Additional research should be focused on permafrost and sea ice processes active during freeze up and breakup; the two seasons of most vigorous activity and change.

  17. How Much Are Floridians Willing to Pay for Protecting Sea Turtles from Sea Level Rise?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamed, Ahmed; Madani, Kaveh; Von Holle, Betsy; Wright, James; Milon, J. Walter; Bossick, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) is posing a great inundation risk to coastal areas. Some coastal nesting species, including sea turtle species, have experienced diminished habitat from SLR. Contingent valuation method (CVM) was used in an effort to assess the economic loss impacts of SLR on sea turtle nesting habitats for Florida coasts; and to elicit values of willingness to pay (WTP) of Central Florida residents to implement certain mitigation strategies, which would protect Florida's east coast sea turtle nesting areas. Using the open-ended and dichotomous choice CVM, we sampled residents of two Florida communities: Cocoa Beach and Oviedo. We estimated the WTP of households from these two cities to protect sea turtle habitat to be between 42 and 57 per year for 5 years. Additionally, we attempted to assess the impact of the both the respondents' demographics and their perception toward various situations on their WTP value. Findings include a negative correlation between the age of a respondent and the probability of an individual willing to pay the hypothetical WTP amount. We found that WTP of an individual was not dependent on prior knowledge of the effects of SLR on sea turtle habitat. The greatest indicators of whether or not an individual was willing to pay to protect sea turtle habitat were the respondents' perception regarding the trustworthiness and efficiency of the party which will implement the conservation measures and their confidence in the conservation methods used. Respondents who perceive sea turtles having an effect on their life were also more likely to pay.

  18. Evaluation of dynamic coastal response to sea-level rise modifies inundation likelihood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lentz, Erika E.; Thieler, E. Robert; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Stippa, Sawyer R.; Horton, Radley M.; Gesch, Dean B.

    2016-01-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) poses a range of threats to natural and built environments1, 2, making assessments of SLR-induced hazards essential for informed decision making3. We develop a probabilistic model that evaluates the likelihood that an area will inundate (flood) or dynamically respond (adapt) to SLR. The broad-area applicability of the approach is demonstrated by producing 30 × 30 m resolution predictions for more than 38,000 km2 of diverse coastal landscape in the northeastern United States. Probabilistic SLR projections, coastal elevation and vertical land movement are used to estimate likely future inundation levels. Then, conditioned on future inundation levels and the current land-cover type, we evaluate the likelihood of dynamic response versus inundation. We find that nearly 70% of this coastal landscape has some capacity to respond dynamically to SLR, and we show that inundation models over-predict land likely to submerge. This approach is well suited to guiding coastal resource management decisions that weigh future SLR impacts and uncertainty against ecological targets and economic constraints.

  19. Evaluating coastal landscape response to sea-level rise in the northeastern United States: approach and methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lentz, Erika E.; Stippa, Sawyer R.; Thieler, E. Robert; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Gesch, Dean B.; Horton, Radley M.

    2014-02-13

    The U.S. Geological Survey is examining effects of future sea-level rise on the coastal landscape from Maine to Virginia by producing spatially explicit, probabilistic predictions using sea-level projections, vertical land movement rates (due to isostacy), elevation data, and land-cover data. Sea-level-rise scenarios used as model inputs are generated by using multiple sources of information, including Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 models following representative concentration pathways 4.5 and 8.5 in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report. A Bayesian network is used to develop a predictive coastal response model that integrates the sea-level, elevation, and land-cover data with assigned probabilities that account for interactions with coastal geomorphology as well as the corresponding ecological and societal systems it supports. The effects of sea-level rise are presented as (1) level of landscape submergence and (2) coastal response type characterized as either static (that is, inundation) or dynamic (that is, landform or landscape change). Results are produced at a spatial scale of 30 meters for four decades (the 2020s, 2030s, 2050s, and 2080s). The probabilistic predictions can be applied to landscape management decisions based on sea-level-rise effects as well as on assessments of the prediction uncertainty and need for improved data or fundamental understanding. This report describes the methods used to produce predictions, including information on input datasets; the modeling approach; model outputs; data-quality-control procedures; and information on how to access the data and metadata online.

  20. Evaluating coastal landscape response to sea-level rise in the northeastern United States: approach and methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lentz, Erika E.; Stippa, Sawyer R.; Thieler, E. Robert; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Gesch, Dean B.; Horton, Radley M.

    2015-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey is examining effects of future sea-level rise on the coastal landscape from Maine to Virginia by producing spatially explicit, probabilistic predictions using sea-level projections, vertical land movement rates (due to isostacy), elevation data, and land-cover data. Sea-level-rise scenarios used as model inputs are generated by using multiple sources of information, including Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 models following representative concentration pathways 4.5 and 8.5 in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report. A Bayesian network is used to develop a predictive coastal response model that integrates the sea-level, elevation, and land-cover data with assigned probabilities that account for interactions with coastal geomorphology as well as the corresponding ecological and societal systems it supports. The effects of sea-level rise are presented as (1) level of landscape submergence and (2) coastal response type characterized as either static (that is, inundation) or dynamic (that is, landform or landscape change). Results are produced at a spatial scale of 30 meters for four decades (the 2020s, 2030s, 2050s, and 2080s). The probabilistic predictions can be applied to landscape management decisions based on sea-level-rise effects as well as on assessments of the prediction uncertainty and need for improved data or fundamental understanding. This report describes the methods used to produce predictions, including information on input datasets; the modeling approach; model outputs; data-quality-control procedures; and information on how to access the data and metadata online.

  1. Deviation of Baltic, Adriatic and Black Sea level from the global mean during the 20th century: analysis of the main factors involved and a high-end projection to the end of 21st century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scarascia, Luca; Lionello, Piero

    2016-04-01

    . Although a non-negligible fraction of past interannual variability of sea level remains to be explained in this study, a statistical model of basin sea level has been built. On the basis of an estimation obtained by forcing it with the outputs of ten CIMP5 models, it seems unlikely that local factors will be responsible for future large deviations of the regional sea level from the global mean until end of the 21st century. This study is part of the activities of RISES-AM project (FP7-EU-603396).

  2. What Causes the North Sea Level to Rise Faster over the Last Decade ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpytchev, Mikhail; Letetrel, Camille

    2013-04-01

    We combined tide gauge records (PSMSL) and satellite altimetry data (TOPEX/POSEIDON-JASON 1-2) to reconstruct the mean level of the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea Shelf (NS-NSS) over 1950-2012. The reconstructed NS-NSS mean sea level fluctuations reveal a pronounced interannual variability and a strong sea level acceleration since the mid-1990's. In order to understand the causes of this acceleration, the NS-NSS mean sea level was cross-correlated with the North Atlantic Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation indices. While the interannual variability of the mean sea level correlates well with the NAO/AO indices, the observed acceleration in the NS-NSS mean level is not linked linearly to the NAO/AO fluctuations. On the other hand, the Empirical Orthogonal Functions (EOF) analysis of steric sea level variations in the eastern North Atlantic gives a dominant EOF pattern (55% of variance explained) that varies on a decadal scale very closely to the NS-NSS mean level flcutuations. Also, the amplification in the temporal amplitude of the dominant steric sea level EOF corresponds to the acceleration observed in the NS-NSS mean sea level signal. This suggests that decadal variations in the mean level of the North Sea - the Norwegian Sea Shelf reflect changes in the Subpolar Front currents (Rossby, 1996).

  3. Reconsidering Melt-water Pulses 1A and 1B:Global Impacts of Rapid Sea-level Rise

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    J.Paul Liu; John D.Milliman

    2004-01-01

    Re-evaluation of the post-glacial sea level derived from the Barbados coral-reef borings suggests slightly revised depth ranges and timing of melt-water pulses MWP-1A(96-76 m, 14.3-14.0 ka cal BP)and 1B(58-45 m, 11.5-11.2 ka cal BP), respectively. Ages of non-reef sea-level indicators from the Sunda Shelf, the East China Sea and Yellow Sea for these two intervals are unreliable because of the well-documented radiocarbon(14C)plateau, but their vertical clustering corresponds closely with MWP-1A and 1B depth ranges. Close correlation of the revised sea-level curve with Greenland ice-core data suggests that the 14C plateau may be related to oceanographic-atmospheric changes due to rapid sea-level rise, fresh-water input, and impaired ocean circulation. MWP-1A appears to have occurred at the end of Blling Warm Transition, suggesting that the rapid sea-level rise may have resulted from lateral heat transport from low to high-latitude regions and subsequent abrupt ice-sheet collapses in both North America-Europe and Antarctica. An around 70 mm a-1 transgression during MWP-1A may have increased freshwater discharge to the North Atlantic by as much as an order of magnitude, thereby disturbing thermohaline circulation and initiating the Older Dryas global cooling.

  4. Sediment and vegetation spatial dynamics facing sea-level rise in microtidal salt marshes: Insights from an ecogeomorphic model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belliard, J.-P.; Di Marco, N.; Carniello, L.; Toffolon, M.

    2016-07-01

    Modeling efforts have considerably improved our understanding on the chief processes that govern the evolution of salt marshes under climate change. Yet the spatial dynamic response of salt marshes to sea-level rise that results from the interactions between the tidal landforms of interest and the presence of bio-geomorphic features has not been addressed explicitly. Accordingly, we use a modeling framework that integrates the co-evolution of the marsh platform and the embedded tidal networks to study sea-level rise effects on spatial sediment and vegetation dynamics in microtidal salt marshes considering different ecological scenarios. The analysis unveils mechanisms that drive spatial variations in sedimentation rates in ways that increase marsh resilience to rising sea-levels. In particular, marsh survival is related to the effectiveness of transport of sediments toward the interior marshland. This study hints at additional dynamics related to the modulation of channel cross-sections affecting sediment advection in the channels and subsequent delivery in the inner marsh, which should be definitely considered in the study of marsh adaptability to sea-level rise and posterior management.

  5. Non-linear interactions determine the impact of sea-level rise on estuarine benthic biodiversity and ecosystem processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsuyuko Yamanaka

    Full Text Available Sea-level rise induced by climate change may have significant impacts on the ecosystem functions and ecosystem services provided by intertidal sediment ecosystems. Accelerated sea-level rise is expected to lead to steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure, with consequent impacts on intertidal ecosystems. We examined the relationships between abundance, biomass, and community metabolism of benthic fauna with beach slope, particle size and exposure, using samples across a range of conditions from three different locations in the UK, to determine the significance of sediment particle size beach slope and wave exposure in affecting benthic fauna and ecosystem function in different ecological contexts. Our results show that abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption of intertidal macrofauna and meiofauna are affected significantly by interactions among sediment particle size, beach slope and wave exposure. For macrofauna on less sloping beaches, the effect of these physical constraints is mediated by the local context, although for meiofauna and for macrofauna on intermediate and steeper beaches, the effects of physical constraints dominate. Steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure generally result in decreases in abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption, but these relationships are complex and non-linear. Sea-level rise is likely to lead to changes in ecosystem structure with generally negative impacts on ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. However, the impacts of sea-level rise will also be affected by local ecological context, especially for less sloping beaches.

  6. Plant growth under salinity and inundation stress: implications for sea-level rise on tidal wetland function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Climate change and sea-level rise (SLR) may increase salinity or inundation duration for tidal wetland organisms. To test the effects of these stressors on wetland productivity, we transplanted seedlings of seven common plant species to polyhaline, mesohaline and oligohaline tida...

  7. Using adaptation tipping points to prepare for climate change and sea level rise: a case study in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kwadijk, J.C.J.; Haasnoot, M.; Mulder, J.P.M.; Hoogvliet, M.; Jeuken, A.; Krogt, R. van de; Oostrom, N. van; Schelfhout, H.; Velzen, H. van; Waveren, H. van; Wit, M.J.M. de

    2010-01-01

    Studies on the impact of climate change and sea level rise usually take climate scenarios as their starting point. To support long-termwater management planning in the Netherlands, we carried out a study that started at the opposite end of the effect chain. In the study we refer to three aspects of

  8. Final project memorandum: sea-level rise modeling handbook: resource guide for resource managers, engineers, and scientists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Thomas W.

    2015-01-01

    Coastal wetlands of the Southeastern United States are undergoing retreat and migration from increasing tidal inundation and saltwater intrusion attributed to climate variability and sea-level rise. Much of the literature describing potential sea-level rise projections and modeling predictions are found in peer-reviewed academic journals or government technical reports largely suited to reading by other Ph.D. scientists who are more familiar or engaged in the climate change debate. Various sea-level rise and coastal wetland models have been developed and applied of different designs and scales of spatial and temporal complexity for predicting habitat and environmental change that have not heretofore been synthesized to aid natural resource managers of their utility and limitations. Training sessions were conducted with Federal land managers with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserves as well as state partners and nongovernmental organizations across the northern Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas to educate and to evaluate user needs and understanding of concepts, data, and modeling tools for projecting sea-level rise and its impact on coastal habitats and wildlife. As a result, this handbook was constructed from these training and feedback sessions with coastal managers and biologists of published decision-support tools and simulation models for sea-level rise and climate change assessments. A simplified tabular context was developed listing the various kinds of decision-support tools and ecological models along with criteria to distinguish the source, scale, and quality of information input and geographic data sets, physical and biological constraints and relationships, datum characteristics of water and land elevation components, utility options for setting sea-level rise and climate change scenarios, and ease or difficulty of storing, displaying, or interpreting model output. The handbook is designed

  9. Strategies for Sharing Scientific Research on Sea Level Rise: Suggestions from Stakeholder Focus Groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLorme, D.; Hagen, S. C.; Stephens, S. H.

    2013-12-01

    This presentation reports results of focus groups with coastal resource managers on suggestions for effectively sharing sea level rise (SLR) scientific research with the public and other target audiences. The focus groups were conducted during three annual stakeholder workshops as an important and innovative component of an ongoing five-year multi-disciplinary NOAA-funded project, Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (EESLR-NGOM). The EESLR-NGOM project is assessing SLR risks to the natural and built environment along the Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida Panhandle coasts. The purpose was to engage stakeholders (e.g., coastal resource managers) in helping target, translate, and tailor the EESLR-NGOM project's scientific findings and emerging products so they are readily accessible, understandable, and useful. The focus groups provided insight into stakeholders' SLR informational and operational needs, solicited input on the project's products, and gathered suggestions for public communication and outreach. A total of three ninety-minute focus groups of between eight and thirteen participants each were conducted at annual workshops in Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. The moderator asked a series of open-ended questions about SLR-related topics using an interview guide and encouraged participant interaction. All focus group audio-recordings were transcribed, and analyzed by carefully reading the 102 total pages of transcript data and identifying patterns and themes. Participants thought outreach about SLR impact and the EESLR-NGOM project scientific research/products was vital and acknowledged various communication challenges and opportunities. They identified three target audiences (local officials, general public, coastal resource managers themselves) that likely require different educational efforts and tools. Participants felt confident the EESLR-NGOM project products will benefit their resource planning and decision making and

  10. Potential vulnerability implications of sea level rise for the coastal zones of Cochin, southwest coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    DineshKumar, P.K.

    of Working Group I to the Third assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. 639–693. Cubasch, U., Meehl, G. A., Boer, G. J., Stouffer, R. J., Dix, M., Noda, A., Senior, C. A., Raper, S...., Trehan, M., Yohe, G.: 1991, ‘Greenhouse effect and sea level rise: Potential loss of land and the cost of holding back the sea’, Coast. Management. 19, 171–204. Warrick, R. A.: 1994, ‘Climate and sea level change’, in: R. A. Warrick, E. M. Barrow, and T...

  11. Sea-level rise and coastal groundwater inundation and shoaling at select sites in California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Daniel J.; Odigie, Kingsley; Swarzenski, Peter W.; Barnard, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Study regionThe study region spans coastal California, USA, and focuses on three primary sites: Arcata, Stinson Beach, and Malibu Lagoon.Study focus1 m and 2 m sea-level rise (SLR) projections were used to assess vulnerability to SLR-driven groundwater emergence and shoaling at select low-lying, coastal sites in California. Separate and combined inundation scenarios for SLR and groundwater emergence were developed using digital elevation models of study site topography and groundwater surfaces constructed from well data or published groundwater level contours.New hydrological insights for the regionSLR impacts are a serious concern in coastal California which has a long (∼1800 km) and populous coastline. Information on the possible importance of SLR-driven groundwater inundation in California is limited. In this study, the potential for SLR-driven groundwater inundation at three sites (Arcata, Stinson Beach, and Malibu Lagoon) was investigated under 1 m and 2 m SLR scenarios. These sites provide insight into the vulnerability of Northern California coastal plains, coastal developments built on beach sand or sand spits, and developed areas around coastal lagoons associated with seasonal streams and berms. Northern California coastal plains with abundant shallow groundwater likely will see significant and widespread groundwater emergence, while impacts along the much drier central and southern California coast may be less severe due to the absence of shallow groundwater in many areas. Vulnerability analysis is hampered by the lack of data on shallow coastal aquifers, which commonly are not studied because they are not suitable for domestic or agricultural use. Shallow saline aquifers may be present in many areas along coastal California, which would dramatically increase vulnerability to SLR-driven groundwater emergence and shoaling. Improved understanding of the extent and response of California coastal aquifers to SLR will help in preparing for mitigation

  12. Optimal management of a multispecies shorebird flyway under sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwamura, Takuya; Fuller, Richard A; Possingham, Hugh P

    2014-12-01

    Every year, millions of migratory shorebirds fly through the East Asian-Australasian Flyway between their arctic breeding grounds and Australasia. This flyway includes numerous coastal wetlands in Asia and the Pacific that are used as stopover sites where birds rest and feed. Loss of a few important stopover sites through sea-level rise (SLR) could cause sudden population declines. We formulated and solved mathematically the problem of how to identify the most important stopover sites to minimize losses of bird populations across flyways by conserving land that facilitates upshore shifts of tidal flats in response to SLR. To guide conservation investment that minimizes losses of migratory bird populations during migration, we developed a spatially explicit flyway model coupled with a maximum flow algorithm. Migratory routes of 10 shorebird taxa were modeled in a graph theoretic framework by representing clusters of important wetlands as nodes and the number of birds flying between 2 nodes as edges. We also evaluated several resource allocation algorithms that required only partial information on flyway connectivity (node strategy, based on the impacts of SLR at nodes; habitat strategy, based on habitat change at sites; population strategy, based on population change at sites; and random investment). The resource allocation algorithms based on flyway information performed on average 15% better than simpler allocations based on patterns of habitat loss or local bird counts. The Yellow Sea region stood out as the most important priority for effective conservation of migratory shorebirds, but investment in this area alone will not ensure the persistence of species across the flyway. The spatial distribution of conservation investments differed enormously according to the severity of SLR and whether information about flyway connectivity was used to guide the prioritizations. With the rapid ongoing loss of coastal wetlands globally, our method provides insight into

  13. Tidal hydrodynamics under future sea level rise and coastal morphology in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passeri, Davina L.; Hagen, Scott C.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Bilskie, Matthew V.; Medeiros, Stephen C.; Alizad, Karim

    2016-05-01

    This study examines the integrated influence of sea level rise (SLR) and future morphology on tidal hydrodynamics along the Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) coast including seven embayments and three ecologically and economically significant estuaries. A large-domain hydrodynamic model was used to simulate astronomic tides for present and future conditions (circa 2050 and 2100). Future conditions were simulated by imposing four SLR scenarios to alter hydrodynamic boundary conditions and updating shoreline position and dune heights using a probabilistic model that is coupled to SLR. Under the highest SLR scenario, tidal amplitudes within the bays increased as much as 67% (10.0 cm) because of increases in the inlet cross-sectional area. Changes in harmonic constituent phases indicated that tidal propagation was faster in the future scenarios within most of the bays. Maximum tidal velocities increased in all of the bays, especially in Grand Bay where velocities doubled under the highest SLR scenario. In addition, the ratio of the maximum flood to maximum ebb velocity decreased in the future scenarios (i.e., currents became more ebb dominant) by as much as 26% and 39% in Weeks Bay and Apalachicola, respectively. In Grand Bay, the flood-ebb ratio increased (i.e., currents became more flood dominant) by 25% under the lower SLR scenarios, but decreased by 16% under the higher SLR as a result of the offshore barrier islands being overtopped, which altered the tidal prism. Results from this study can inform future storm surge and ecological assessments of SLR, and improve monitoring and management decisions within the NGOM.

  14. Antarctic contribution to sea level rise observed by GRACE with improved GIA correction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivins, Erik R.; James, Thomas S.; Wahr, John; Schrama, Ernst J. O.; Landerer, Felix W.; Simon, Karen M.

    2013-06-01

    Antarctic volume changes during the past 21 thousand years are smaller than previously thought, and here we construct an ice sheet history that drives a forward model prediction of the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) gravity signal. The new model, in turn, should give predictions that are constrained with recent uplift data. The impact of the GIA signal on a Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) Antarctic mass balance estimate depends on the specific GRACE analysis method used. For the method described in this paper, the GIA contribution to the apparent surface mass change is re-evaluated to be +55±13 Gt/yr by considering a revised ice history model and a parameter search for vertical motion predictions that best fit the GPS observations at 18 high-quality stations. Although the GIA model spans a range of possible Earth rheological structure values, the data are not yet sufficient for solving for a preferred value of upper and lower mantle viscosity nor for a preferred lithospheric thickness. GRACE monthly solutions from the Center for Space Research Release 04 (CSR-RL04) release time series from January 2003 to the beginning of January 2012, uncorrected for GIA, yield an ice mass rate of +2.9± 29 Gt/yr. The new GIA correction increases the solved-for ice mass imbalance of Antarctica to -57±34 Gt/yr. The revised GIA correction is smaller than past GRACE estimates by about 50 to 90 Gt/yr. The new upper bound to the sea level rise from the Antarctic ice sheet, averaged over the time span 2003.0-2012.0, is about 0.16±0.09 mm/yr.

  15. Uncertainties in measuring populations potentially impacted by sea level rise and coastal flooding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondal, Pinki; Tatem, Andrew J

    2012-01-01

    A better understanding of the impact of global climate change requires information on the locations and characteristics of populations affected. For instance, with global sea level predicted to rise and coastal flooding set to become more frequent and intense, high-resolution spatial population datasets are increasingly being used to estimate the size of vulnerable coastal populations. Many previous studies have undertaken this by quantifying the size of populations residing in low elevation coastal zones using one of two global spatial population datasets available - LandScan and the Global Rural Urban Mapping Project (GRUMP). This has been undertaken without consideration of the effects of this choice, which are a function of the quality of input datasets and differences in methods used to construct each spatial population dataset. Here we calculate estimated low elevation coastal zone resident population sizes from LandScan and GRUMP using previously adopted approaches, and quantify the absolute and relative differences achieved through switching datasets. Our findings suggest that the choice of one particular dataset over another can translate to a difference of more than 7.5 million vulnerable people for countries with extensive coastal populations, such as Indonesia and Japan. Our findings also show variations in estimates of proportions of national populations at risk range from <0.1% to 45% differences when switching between datasets, with large differences predominantly for countries where coarse and outdated input data were used in the construction of the spatial population datasets. The results highlight the need for the construction of spatial population datasets built on accurate, contemporary and detailed census data for use in climate change impact studies and the importance of acknowledging uncertainties inherent in existing spatial population datasets when estimating the demographic impacts of climate change. PMID:23110208

  16. Uncertainties in measuring populations potentially impacted by sea level rise and coastal flooding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinki Mondal

    Full Text Available A better understanding of the impact of global climate change requires information on the locations and characteristics of populations affected. For instance, with global sea level predicted to rise and coastal flooding set to become more frequent and intense, high-resolution spatial population datasets are increasingly being used to estimate the size of vulnerable coastal populations. Many previous studies have undertaken this by quantifying the size of populations residing in low elevation coastal zones using one of two global spatial population datasets available - LandScan and the Global Rural Urban Mapping Project (GRUMP. This has been undertaken without consideration of the effects of this choice, which are a function of the quality of input datasets and differences in methods used to construct each spatial population dataset. Here we calculate estimated low elevation coastal zone resident population sizes from LandScan and GRUMP using previously adopted approaches, and quantify the absolute and relative differences achieved through switching datasets. Our findings suggest that the choice of one particular dataset over another can translate to a difference of more than 7.5 million vulnerable people for countries with extensive coastal populations, such as Indonesia and Japan. Our findings also show variations in estimates of proportions of national populations at risk range from <0.1% to 45% differences when switching between datasets, with large differences predominantly for countries where coarse and outdated input data were used in the construction of the spatial population datasets. The results highlight the need for the construction of spatial population datasets built on accurate, contemporary and detailed census data for use in climate change impact studies and the importance of acknowledging uncertainties inherent in existing spatial population datasets when estimating the demographic impacts of climate change.

  17. Predicting Impacts of tropical cyclones and sea-Level rise on beach mouse habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Qin; Wang, Hongqing; Wang, Lixia; Tawes, Robert; Rollman, Drew

    2014-01-01

    Alabama beach mouse (ABM) (Peromyscus polionotus ammobates) is an important component of the coastal dune ecosystem along the Gulf of Mexico. Due to habitat loss and degradation, ABM is federally listed as an endangered species. In this study, we examined the impacts of storm surge and wind waves, which are induced by hurricanes and sea-level rise (SLR), on the ABM habitat on Fort Morgan Peninsula, Alabama, using advanced storm surge and wind wave models and spatial analysis tools in geographic information systems (GIS). Statistical analyses of the long-term historical data enabled us to predict the extreme values of winds, wind waves, and water levels in the study area at different return periods. We developed a series of nested domains for both wave and surge modeling and validated the models using field observations of surge hydrographs and high watermarks of Hurricane Ivan (2004). We then developed wave atlases and flood maps corresponding to the extreme wind, surge and waves without SLR and with a 0.5 m of SLR by coupling the wave and surge prediction models. The flood maps were then merged with a map of ABM habitat to determine the extent and location of habitat impacted by the 100-year storm with and without SLR. Simulation results indicate that more than 82% of ABM habitat would be inundated in such an extreme storm event, especially under SLR, making ABM populations more vulnerable to future storm damage. These results have aided biologists, community planners, and other stakeholders in the identification, restoration and protection of key beach mouse habitat in Alabama. Methods outlined in this paper could also be used to assist in the conservation and recovery of imperiled coastal species elsewhere.

  18. Sea level rise impacts on rice production: The Ebro Delta as an example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genua-Olmedo, Ana; Alcaraz, Carles; Caiola, Nuno; Ibáñez, Carles

    2016-11-15

    Climate change and sea level rise (SLR) are global impacts threatening the sustainability of coastal territories and valuable ecosystems such as deltas. The Ebro Delta is representative of the vulnerability of coastal areas to SLR. Rice cultivation is the main economic activity in the region. Rice fields occupy most of the delta (ca. 65%) and are vulnerable to accelerated SLR and consequent increase in soil salinity, the most important physical factor affecting rice production. We developed a model to predict the impacts of SLR on soil salinity and rice production under different scenarios predicted by the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by coupling data from Geographic Information Systems with Generalized Linear Models. Soil salinity data were measured in agricultural parcels and rice production from surveys among farmers. The correlation between observed and soil salinity predicted values was high and significant (Pearson's r=0.72, P<0.0001), thus supporting the predictive ability of the model. Soil salinity was directly related to distances to the river, to the delta inner border, and to the river old mouth, while clay presence, winter river flow and surface elevation were inversely related to it. Surface elevation was the most important variable in explaining soil salinity. Rice production was negatively influenced by soil salinity, thus the models predict a decrease from higher elevation zones close to the river to the shoreline. The model predicts a maximum reduction in normalized rice production index from 61.2% in 2010 to 33.8% by 2100 in the worst considered scenario (SLR=1.8m), with a decrease of profit up to 300 € per hectare. The model can be applied to other deltaic areas worldwide, and help rice farmers and stakeholders to identify the most vulnerable areas to SLR impacts. PMID:27481453

  19. Salt marsh equilibrium states and transient dynamics in response to changing rates of sea level rise and sediment supply

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alpaos, A.; Mudd, S. M.; Carniello, L.

    2012-12-01

    Understanding and predicting the response of salt-marsh bio-geomorphic systems to changes in the rate of sea level rise and sediment supply is an issue of paramount importance due to the crucial role exerted by salt marshes within the tidal landscape. Salt-marsh platforms, in fact, buffer coastlines against storms, filter nutrients and pollutants from tidal waters, provide nursery areas for coastal biota, and serve as a sink for organic carbon. Observations of marsh degradation worldwide and the acceleration in the rate of global sea level rise highlight the importance of improving our understanding of the chief processes which control salt-marsh response to current natural climate changes and to the effects of variations in sediment supply. The results of our analytical model of salt-marsh bio-morphodynamic evolution in the vertical plane, accounting for two-way interactions between ecological and geomorphological processes, show that marshes are more resilient to a step decrease in the rate of relative sea level rise rather than to a step increase of the same magnitude. Interestingly, marshes respond more rapidly to an increase in sediment load or vegetation productivity, rather than to a decrease (of the same amount) in sediment load or vegetation productivity. Model results also suggest that marsh stability is positively correlated with tidal range: marshes with high tidal ranges respond more slowly to changes in the environmental forcings and therefore are less likely to be affected by perturbations than their counterparts in low tidal ranges. Finally, the model suggests that, in the case of a oscillating rate of sea level rise, marsh stratigraphy will be unable to fully record short term fluctuations in relative mean sea level, whereas it will be able to capture long term fluctuations particularly in sediment rich, microtidal settings.

  20. Sea-level Rise Increases the Frequency of Nuisance Flooding in Coastal Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moftakhari Rostamkhani, H.; Aghakouchak, A.; Sanders, B. F.; Feldman, D.; Sweet, W.; Matthew, R.; Luke, A.

    2015-12-01

    The global warming-drivensea-level rise (SLR) posesa serious threat for population and assets in flood-prone coastal zones over the next century. The rate of SLR is accelerated in recent decades and is expected to increase based on current trajectories of anthropogenic activities and greenhouse gas emissions. Over the 20th century, an increase in the frequency of nuisance (minor) flooding has been reported due to the reduced gap between tidal datum and flood stage. Nuisance flooding (NF), however non-destructive, causes public inconvenience, business interruption, and substantial economic losses due to impacts such as road closures and degradation of infrastructure. It also portends an increased risk in severe floods. Here we report substantial increases in NF along the coasts of United States due to SLR over the past decades. We then take the projected SLR under the least and the most extreme representative concentration pathways (e.gRCP2.6 and RCP 8.5) to estimate the increase in NF in the near- (2030) and mid-term (2050) future. The results suggest that projected SLR will cause up to two-fold more frequent NF by 2050, compared with the 20th century. The projected increase in NF will have significant socio-economic impacts and pose public health risks especially in rapidly urbanized coastal regions.

  1. Impacts of climate-change-driven sea level rise on intertidal rocky reef habitats will be variable and site specific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaqueline Thorner

    Full Text Available Intertidal rocky reefs are complex and rich ecosystems that are vulnerable to even the smallest fluctuations in sea level. We modelled habitat loss associated with sea level rise for intertidal rocky reefs using GIS, high-resolution digital imagery, and LIDAR technology at fine-scale resolution (0.1 m per pixel. We used projected sea levels of +0.3 m, +0.5 m and +1.0 m above current Mean Low Tide Level (0.4 m. Habitat loss and changes were analysed for each scenario for five headlands in the Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP, Australia. The results indicate that changes to habitat extent will be variable across different shores and will not necessarily result in net loss of area for some habitats. In addition, habitat modification will not follow a regular pattern over the projected sea levels. Two of the headlands included in the study currently have the maximum level of protection within the SIMP. However, these headlands are likely to lose much of the habitat known to support biodiverse assemblages and may not continue to be suitable sanctuaries into the future. The fine-scale approach taken in this study thus provides a protocol not only for modelling habitat modification but also for future proofing conservation measures under a scenario of changing sea levels.

  2. Impacts of climate-change-driven sea level rise on intertidal rocky reef habitats will be variable and site specific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorner, Jaqueline; Kumar, Lalit; Smith, Stephen D A

    2014-01-01

    Intertidal rocky reefs are complex and rich ecosystems that are vulnerable to even the smallest fluctuations in sea level. We modelled habitat loss associated with sea level rise for intertidal rocky reefs using GIS, high-resolution digital imagery, and LIDAR technology at fine-scale resolution (0.1 m per pixel). We used projected sea levels of +0.3 m, +0.5 m and +1.0 m above current Mean Low Tide Level (0.4 m). Habitat loss and changes were analysed for each scenario for five headlands in the Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP), Australia. The results indicate that changes to habitat extent will be variable across different shores and will not necessarily result in net loss of area for some habitats. In addition, habitat modification will not follow a regular pattern over the projected sea levels. Two of the headlands included in the study currently have the maximum level of protection within the SIMP. However, these headlands are likely to lose much of the habitat known to support biodiverse assemblages and may not continue to be suitable sanctuaries into the future. The fine-scale approach taken in this study thus provides a protocol not only for modelling habitat modification but also for future proofing conservation measures under a scenario of changing sea levels. PMID:24465915

  3. Inventory and protection of salt marshes from risks of sea-level rise at Acadia National Park, Maine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudley, Robert W.; Nielsen, Martha G.

    2011-01-01

    Recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) climate studies in the northeastern United States have shown substantial evidence of climate-related changes during the last 100 years, including earlier snowmelt runoff, decreasing occurrence of river ice, and decreasing winter snowpack. These studies related to climate change are being expanded to include investigation of coastal wetlands that might be at risk from sealevel rise. Coastal wetlands, particularly salt marshes, are important ecosystems that provide wildlife nursery and breeding habitat, migratory bird habitat, water quality enhancement, and shoreline erosion control. The USGS is investigating salt marshes in Acadia National Park with the goal of determining which salt marshes may be threatened by sea-level rise and which salt marshes may be able to adapt to sea-level rise by migrating into adjacent low-lying lands.

  4. Sea-level rise impacts on seawater intrusion in coastal aquifers: Review and integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ketabchi, Hamed; Mahmoodzadeh, Davood; Ataie-Ashtiani, Behzad; Simmons, Craig T.

    2016-04-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) influences groundwater hydraulics and in particular seawater intrusion (SWI) in many coastal aquifers. The quantification of the combined and relative impacts of influential factors on SWI has not previously been considered in coastal aquifers. In the present study, a systematic review of the available literature on this topic is first provided. Then, the potential remaining challenges are scrutinized. Open questions on the effects of more realistic complexities such as gradual SLR, parameter uncertainties, and the associated influences in decision-making models are issues requiring further investigation. We assess and quantify the seawater toe location under the impacts of SLR in combination with recharge rate variations, land-surface inundation (LSI) due to SLR, aquifer bed slope variation, and changing landward boundary conditions (LWBCs). This is the first study to include all of these factors in a single analysis framework. Both analytical and numerical models are used for these sensitivity assessments. It is demonstrated that (1) LSI caused by SLR has a significant incremental impact on the seawater toe location, especially in the flatter coasts and the flux-controlled (FC) LWBCs, however this impact is less than the reported orders of magnitude differences which were estimated using only analytical solutions; (2) LWBCs significantly influence the SLR impacts under almost all conditions considered in this study; (3) The main controlling factors of seawater toe location are the magnitudes of fresh groundwater discharge to sea and recharge rate. Regional freshwater flux entering from the landward boundary and the groundwater hydraulic gradient are the major contributors of fresh groundwater discharge to sea for both FC and head-controlled (HC) systems, respectively; (4) A larger response of the aquifer and larger seawater toe location changes are demonstrable for a larger ratio of the aquifer thickness to the aquifer length particularly in

  5. Modeling Tidal Marsh Distribution with Sea-Level Rise: Evaluating the Role of Vegetation, Sediment, and Upland Habitat in Marsh Resiliency

    OpenAIRE

    Lisa M Schile; Callaway, John C.; Morris, James T; Diana Stralberg; V Thomas Parker; Maggi Kelly

    2014-01-01

    Tidal marshes maintain elevation relative to sea level through accumulation of mineral and organic matter, yet this dynamic accumulation feedback mechanism has not been modeled widely in the context of accelerated sea-level rise. Uncertainties exist about tidal marsh resiliency to accelerated sea-level rise, reduced sediment supply, reduced plant productivity under increased inundation, and limited upland habitat for marsh migration. We examined marsh resiliency under these uncertainties usin...

  6. Sea-level rise and other influences on decadal-scale salinity variability in a coastal plain estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Andrew C.; Najjar, Raymond G.; Li, Ming; Mann, Michael E.; Ford, Susan E.; Katz, Brandon

    2015-05-01

    The response of salinity in the Delaware Estuary to climatic variations is determined using statistical models and long-term (1950-present) records of salinity from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory. The statistical models include non-parametric terms and are robust against autocorrelated and heteroscedastic errors. After using the models to adjust for the influence of streamflow and seasonal effects on salinity, several locations in the estuary show significant upward trends in salinity. Insignificant trends are found at locations that are normally upstream of the salt front. The models indicate a positive correlation between rising sea levels and increasing residual salinity, with salinity rising from 2.5 to 4.4 per meter of sea-level rise. These results are consistent with results from 1D and dynamical models. Wind stress also appears to play some role in driving salinity variations, consistent with its effect on vertical mixing and Ekman transport between the estuary and the ocean. The results suggest that continued sea-level rise in the future will cause salinity to increase regardless of any change in streamflow.

  7. North Indian Ocean warming and sea level rise in an OGCM

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Bijoy Thompson; C Gnanaseelan; Anant Parekh; P S Salvekar

    2008-04-01

    The variability in the long-term temperature and sea level over the north Indian Ocean during the period 1958–2000 has been investigated using an Ocean General Circulation Model, Modular Ocean Model version 4. The model simulated fields are compared with the sea level observations from tide-gauges, Topex/Poseidon (T/P) satellite, in situ temperature profile observations from WHOI moored buoy and sea surface temperature (SST) observations from DS1, DS3 and DS4 moored buoys. It is seen that the long (6–8 years) warming episodes in the SST over the north Indian Ocean are followed by short episodes (2–3 years) of cooling. The model temperature and sea level anomaly over the north Indian Ocean show an increasing trend in the study period. The model thermocline heat content per unit area shows a linear increasing trend (from 1958–2000) at the rate of 0.0018 × 1011J/m2 per year for north Indian Ocean. North Indian Ocean sea level anomaly (thermosteric component) also shows a linear increasing trend of 0.31mm/year during 1958–2000.

  8. Relative sea-level rise around East Antarctica during Oligocene glaciation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stocchi, P.; Escutia, C.; Houben, A.J.P.; Vermeersen, B.L.A.; Bijl, P.K.; Brinkhuis, H.; DeConto , R.M.; Galeotti, S.; Passchier, S.; Pollard, D.; IODP Expedition 318 Scientists; Houben, A.J.P.

    2013-01-01

    During the middle and late Eocene (similar to 48-34 Myr ago), the Earth's climate cooled(1,2) and an ice sheet built up on Antarctica. The stepwise expansion of ice on Antarctica(3,4) induced crustal deformation and gravitational perturbations around the continent. Close to the ice sheet, sea level

  9. Relative sea-level rise around East Antarctica during Oligocene glaciation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stocchi, P.; Escutia, C.; Houben, A.J.P.; Vermeersen, B.L.A.; Bijl, P.K.; Brinkhuis, H.; Deconto, R.M.; Galeotti, S.; Passchier, S.; Pollard, D.

    2013-01-01

    During the middle and late Eocene (∼ 48-34 Myr ago), the Earth's climate cooled and an ice sheet built up on Antarctica. The stepwise expansion of ice on Antarctica induced crustal deformation and gravitational perturbations around the continent. Close to the ice sheet, sea level rose despite an ove

  10. Dynamics of seabird colonies vulnerable to sea-level rise at French Frigate Shoals, Hawai`i

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Courtot, Karen N.; Krause, Crystal M.; Seavy, Nathaniel E.; Hartzell, Paula; Hatfield, Jeff S.

    2013-01-01

    Globally, seabirds are vulnerable to anthropogenic threats both at sea and on land. Seabirds typically nest colonially and show strong site fidelity; therefore, conservation strategies could benefit from an understanding of the population dynamics and vulnerability of breeding colonies to climate change. More than 350 atolls exist across the Pacific Ocean; while they provide nesting habitat for many seabirds, they are also vulnerable to sea-level rise. We used French Frigate Shoals, the largest atoll in the Hawaiian Archipelago, as a case study to explore seabird colony dynamics and the potential consequences of sea-level rise. We compiled a unique combination of data sets: historical observations of islands and seabirds, a 30-year time series of population abundance, LiDAR- (light detection and ranging) derived elevations, and satellite

  11. Effect of sea-level rise and climate change on groundwater salinity and agro-hydrology in a low coastal region of the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stuyt, L.C.P.M.; Kabat, P.; Postma, J.; Pomper, A.B.

    1995-01-01

    Scenario studies were carried out to predict the effects of doubled carbon dioxide levels, a 1 °C temperature increase and a 1.2 m sea level rise on seepage, groundwater and crop production. Climatic change was simulated, showing increased precipitation. Simulation of effects of sea level rise on gr

  12. Relative sea-level rise and the conterminous United States : Consequences of potential land inundation in terms of population at risk and GDP loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haer, Toon; Kalnay, Eugenia; Kearney, Michael; Moll, Henk

    2013-01-01

    Global sea-level rise poses a significant threat not only for coastal communities as development continues but also for national economies. This paper presents estimates of how future changes in relative sea-level rise puts coastal populations at risk, as well as affect overall GDP in the contermino

  13. Combined effects of projected sea level rise, storm surge, and peak river flows on water levels in the Skagit Floodplain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamman, Josheph J; Hamlet, Alan F.; Fuller, Roger; Grossman, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Current understanding of the combined effects of sea level rise (SLR), storm surge, and changes in river flooding on near-coastal environments is very limited. This project uses a suite of numerical models to examine the combined effects of projected future climate change on flooding in the Skagit floodplain and estuary. Statistically and dynamically downscaled global climate model scenarios from the ECHAM-5 GCM were used as the climate forcings. Unregulated daily river flows were simulated using the VIC hydrology model, and regulated river flows were simulated using the SkagitSim reservoir operations model. Daily tidal anomalies (TA) were calculated using a regression approach based on ENSO and atmospheric pressure forcing simulated by the WRF regional climate model. A 2-D hydrodynamic model was used to estimate water surface elevations in the Skagit floodplain using resampled hourly hydrographs keyed to regulated daily flood flows produced by the reservoir simulation model, and tide predictions adjusted for SLR and TA. Combining peak annual TA with projected sea level rise, the historical (1970–1999) 100-yr peak high water level is exceeded essentially every year by the 2050s. The combination of projected sea level rise and larger floods by the 2080s yields both increased flood inundation area (+ 74%), and increased average water depth (+ 25 cm) in the Skagit floodplain during a 100-year flood. Adding sea level rise to the historical FEMA 100-year flood resulted in a 35% increase in inundation area by the 2040's, compared to a 57% increase when both SLR and projected changes in river flow were combined.

  14. Analysis of lidar elevation data for improved identification and delineation of lands vulnerable to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gesch, D.B.

    2009-01-01

    The importance of sea-level rise in shaping coastal landscapes is well recognized within the earth science community, but as with many natural hazards, communicating the risks associated with sea-level rise remains a challenge. Topography is a key parameter that influences many of the processes involved in coastal change, and thus, up-to-date, high-resolution, high-accuracy elevation data are required to model the coastal environment. Maps of areas subject to potential inundation have great utility to planners and managers concerned with the effects of sea-level rise. However, most of the maps produced to date are simplistic representations derived from older, coarse elevation data. In the last several years, vast amounts of high quality elevation data derived from lidar have become available. Because of their high vertical accuracy and spatial resolution, these lidar data are an excellent source of up-to-date information from which to improve identification and delineation of vulnerable lands. Four elevation datasets of varying resolution and accuracy were processed to demonstrate that the improved quality of lidar data leads to more precise delineation of coastal lands vulnerable to inundation. A key component of the comparison was to calculate and account for the vertical uncertainty of the elevation datasets. This comparison shows that lidar allows for a much more detailed delineation of the potential inundation zone when compared to other types of elevation models. It also shows how the certainty of the delineation of lands vulnerable to a given sea-level rise scenario is much improved when derived from higher resolution lidar data. ?? 2009 Coastal Education and Research Foundation.

  15. Applications of network analysis for adaptive management of artificial drainage systems in landscapes vulnerable to sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulter, Benjamin; Goodall, Jonathan L.; Halpin, Patrick N.

    2008-08-01

    SummaryThe vulnerability of coastal landscapes to sea level rise is compounded by the existence of extensive artificial drainage networks initially built to lower water tables for agriculture, forestry, and human settlements. These drainage networks are found in landscapes with little topographic relief where channel flow is characterized by bi-directional movement across multiple time-scales and related to precipitation, wind, and tidal patterns. The current configuration of many artificial drainage networks exacerbates impacts associated with sea level rise such as salt-intrusion and increased flooding. This suggests that in the short-term, drainage networks might be managed to mitigate sea level rise related impacts. The challenge, however, is that hydrologic processes in regions where channel flow direction is weakly related to slope and topography require extensive parameterization for numerical models which is limited where network size is on the order of a hundred or more kilometers in total length. Here we present an application of graph theoretic algorithms to efficiently investigate network properties relevant to the management of a large artificial drainage system in coastal North Carolina, USA. We created a digital network model representing the observation network topology and four types of drainage features (canal, collector and field ditches, and streams). We applied betweenness-centrality concepts (using Dijkstra's shortest path algorithm) to determine major hydrologic flowpaths based off of hydraulic resistance. Following this, we identified sub-networks that could be managed independently using a community structure and modularity approach. Lastly, a betweenness-centrality algorithm was applied to identify major shoreline entry points to the network that disproportionately control water movement in and out of the network. We demonstrate that graph theory can be applied to solving management and monitoring problems associated with sea level rise

  16. Impacts of sea-level rise on the Moroccan coastal zone: Quantifying coastal erosion and flooding in the Tangier Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snoussi, Maria; Ouchani, Tachfine; Khouakhi, Abdou; Niang-Diop, Isabelle

    2009-06-01

    As part of a broad assessment of climate change impacts in Morocco, an assessment of vulnerability and adaptation of coastal zones to sea-level rise was conducted. Tangier Bay which is the most important socio-economic pole in Northern Morocco represents one of the cases studies. Using a GIS-based inundation analysis and an erosion modelling approach, the potential physical vulnerability to accelerated sea-level rise was investigated, and the most vulnerable socio-economic sectors were assessed. Results indicate that 10% and 24% of the area will be at risk of flooding respectively for minimum (4 m) and maximum (11 m) inundation levels. The most severely impacted sectors are expected to be the coastal defences and the port, the urban area, tourist coastal infrastructures, the railway, and the industrial area. Shoreline erosion would affect nearly 20% and 45% of the total beach areas respectively in 2050 and 2100. Potential response strategies and adaptation options identified include: sand dune fixation, beach nourishment and building of seawalls to protect the urban and industrial areas of high value. It was also recommended that an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan for the region, including upgrading awareness, building regulation and urban growth planning should be the most appropriate tool to ensure a long-term sustainable development, while addressing the vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise.

  17. Accelerated relative sea-level rise and rapid coastal erosion: Testing a causal relationship for the Louisiana barrier islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    List, J.H.; Sallenger, A.H., Jr.; Hansen, M.E.; Jaffe, B.E.

    1997-01-01

    The role of relative sea-level rise as a cause for the rapid erosion of Louisiana's barrier island coast is investigated through a numerical implementation of a modified Bruun rule that accounts for the low percentage of sand-sized sediment in the eroding Louisiana shoreface. Shore-normal profiles from 150 km of coastline west of the Mississippi delta are derived from bathymetric surveys conducted during the 1880s. 1930s and 1980s. An RMS difference criterion is employed to test whether an equilibrium profile form is maintained between survey years. Only about half the studied profiles meet the equilibrium Criterion this represents a significant limitation on the potential applicability of the Bruun rule. The profiles meeting the equilibrium criterion, along with measured rates of relative sea-level rise, are used to hindcast shoreline retreat rates at 37 locations within the study area. Modeled and observed shoreline retreat rates show no significant correlation. Thus in terms of the Bruun approach relative sea-level rise has no power for hindcasting (and presumably forecasting) rates of coastal erosion for the Louisiana barrier islands.

  18. Adapting to rates versus amounts of climate change: a case of adaptation to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shayegh, Soheil; Moreno-Cruz, Juan; Caldeira, Ken

    2016-10-01

    Adaptation is the process of adjusting to climate change in order to moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities associated with it. Most adaptation strategies are designed to adjust to a new climate state. However, despite our best efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, climate is likely to continue changing far into the future. Here, we show how considering rates of change affects the projected optimal adaptation strategy. We ground our discussion with an example of optimal investment in the face of continued sea-level rise, presenting a quantitative model that illustrates the interplay among physical and economic factors governing coastal development decisions such as rate of sea-level rise, land slope, discount rate, and depreciation rate. This model shows that the determination of optimal investment strategies depends on taking into account future rates of sea-level rise, as well as social and political constraints. This general approach also applies to the development of improved strategies to adapt to ongoing trends in temperature, precipitation, and other climate variables. Adaptation to some amount of change instead of adaptation to ongoing rates of change may produce inaccurate estimates of damages to the social systems and their ability to respond to external pressures.

  19. Adapting to climate change despite scientific uncertainty: A case study of coastal protection from sea-level rise in Kiribati

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donner, S. D.

    2013-12-01

    Climate change adaptation is an increasing focus of international aid. At recent meetings of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the developed world agreed to rapidly increase international assistance to help developing countries, like the low-lying island nation of Kiribati, respond to the impacts of climate change. These emerging adaptation efforts must proceed despite the large and partially irreducible scientific uncertainty about the magnitude of those future climate impacts. In this study, we use the example of efforts to adapt to sea-level rise in Kiribati to document the challenges facing such internationally-funded climate change adaptation projects given the scientific uncertainty about climate impacts. Drawing on field and document research, we describe the scientific uncertainty about projected sea-level rise in Tarawa, the capital of Kiribati, how that uncertainty can create trade-offs between adaptation measures, and the social, political and economic context in which adaptation decisions must be made. The analysis shows there is no 'silver bullet' adaptation strategy in countries like Kiribati, given the long-term scientific uncertainty about sea-level rise and the environment of climate change aid. The existence of irreducible scientific uncertainty does not preclude effective climate change adaptation, but instead requires adaptation programs that embrace multiple strategies and planning horizons, and continually build on and re-adjust previous investments. This work highlights the importance of sustained international climate change financing, as proposed in UNFCCC negotiations.

  20. Closed-form analytical solutions for assessing the consequences of sea-level rise on unconfined sloping island aquifers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chesnaux, R.

    2016-04-01

    Closed-form analytical solutions for assessing the consequences of sea-level rise on fresh groundwater oceanic island lenses are provided for the cases of both strip and circular islands. Solutions are proposed for directly calculating the change in the thickness of the lens, the changes in volume and the changes in travel time of fresh groundwater within island aquifers. The solutions apply for homogenous aquifers recharged by surface infiltration and discharged by a down-gradient, fixed-head boundary. They also take into account the inland shift of the ocean due to land surface inundation, this shift being determined by the coastal slope of inland aquifers. The solutions are given for two simple island geometries: circular islands and strip islands. Base case examples are presented to illustrate, on one hand, the amplitude of the change of the fresh groundwater lens thickness and the volume depletion of the lens in oceanic island with sea-level rise, and on the other hand, the shortening of time required for groundwater to discharge into the ocean. These consequences can now be quantified and may help decision-makers to anticipate the effects of sea-level rise on fresh groundwater availability in oceanic island aquifers.

  1. Tidal changes in the Yellow/East China Sea caused by the rapid sea-level rise during the Holocene

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    KatsutoUehara

    2001-01-01

    Two-dimensional numerical simulations of M2 and K1 tides were performed in order to assess the effect of the rapid sea level change occurring during the last 20000 years in the Yellow/East China Sea (YECS). Results were interpreted by utilizing the difference of the dynamical nature inherited in diurnal and semi-diurnal tides. M2 tides at the coastal region south of Korea exceeded 2 m in amplitude when the sea-level was low, and decreased as the water depth become larger. In the Yellow Sea, on the other hand, tidal amplitudes were small at the low sea-level stages and increased along with the sea-level rise. The way of the increase was not monotonic but with fluctuations, which was due to the movement of the standing wave nodes. An additional experiment with closing the Taiwan Strait revealed that changing the sill depth of the strait not only affects the M2 tides around the southeastern Chinese coast, but also modifies the tides around the southwestern coast of Korea. This result recall us the significa

  2. Messinian evaporite deposition during sea level rise in the Gulf of Lions (Western Mediterranean)

    OpenAIRE

    Bache, François; Gargani, Julien; Suc, Jean-Pierre; Gorini, Christian; Rabineau, Marina; Popescu, Speranta-Maria; Leroux, Estelle; Do Couto, Damien; Rubino, Jean-Loup; Olivet, Jean-Louis; Clauzon, Georges; Dos Reis, Antonio Tadeu; Aslanian, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    International audience The Messinian Salinity Crisis resulted from desiccation of the Mediterranean Sea after its isolation from the Atlantic Ocean at the end of the Miocene. Stratal geometry tied to borehole data in the Gulf of Lions show that the pre-crisis continental shelf has been eroded during a major sea-level fall and that sedi-ments from this erosion have been deposited in the basin. This detrital package is onlapped by high amplitude seismic reflectors overlain by the "Messinian ...

  3. Effects of runoff changes and sea level rise on salinity in the Delaware River estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walters, Roy A.

    1989-01-01

    The objective of this study is to investigate changes in the spatial distribution of salt in the Delaware Estuary resulting from climate induced changes in freshwater inflows and in the position of mean sea level. The approach adopted for this study is composed of two parts: An analysis of existing physical data in order to derive a basic understanding of the salt dynamics, and numerical simulation of future conditions based upon this analysis.

  4. Assessing the Effects of Sea Level Rise on Plum Island Estuary Marshes Using a Hydrodynamic-marsh Modeling Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demissie, H. K.; Bilskie, M. V.; Hagen, S. C.; Morris, J. T.; Alizad, K.

    2015-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) can significantly impact both human and ecological habitats in coastal and inland regions. Studies show that coastal estuaries and marsh systems are at the risk of losing their productivity under increasing rates of SLR (Donnelly and Bertness, 2001; Warren and Niering, 1993). The integrated hydrodynamic-marsh model (Hagen et al., 2013 & Alizad et al., 2015) uses a set of parameters and conditions to simulate tidal flow through the salt marsh of Plum Island Estuary, Massachusetts. The hydrodynamic model computes mean high water (MHW) and mean low water (MLW) and is coupled to the zero-dimensional Marsh Equilibrium Model (Morris et al. 2002) to estimate changes in biomass productivity and accretion. The coupled hydrodynamic-marsh model was used to examine the effects of different scenarios of SLR (Parris et al., 2012) on salt marsh productivity for the year 2100 in the Plum Island Estuary. In this particular study, responses of salt marsh production for different scenarios of SLR were compared. The study shows higher productivity of salt marsh under a low SLR scenario and lower productivity under the higher SLR. The study also demonstrates the migration of salt marshes under higher SLR scenarios. References: Alizad, K., S. C. Hagen, Morris, J.T., Bacopoulos, P., Bilskie, M.V., and John, F.W. 2015. A coupled, two-dimensional hydrodynamic-marsh model with biological feedback. Limnology and Oceanography, In review. Donnelly, J.P., and M.D. Bertness. 2001. Rapid shoreward encroachment of salt marsh cordgrass in response to accelerated sea-level rise. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98: 14218-14223.Hagen, S.C., J.T. Morris, P. Bacopoulos, and J. Weishampel. 2013. Sea-Level Rise Impact on a Salt Marsh System of the Lower St. Johns River. ASCE Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering, Vol. 139, No. 2, March/April 2013, pp. 118-125.Morris, J.T., P.V. Sundareshwar, C.T. Nietch, B. Kjerfve, and D.R. Cahoon. 2002. Responses

  5. Shoreline Response to Rapid 20th Century Sea-Level Change along the Iranian Caspian Coast

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kakroodi, A.A.; Kroonenberg, S.B.; Goorabi, A.; Yamani, M.

    2013-01-01

    The Caspian Sea, the largest lake in the world, is characterized by rapid sea-level changes. This provides a real physical model of coastal response to rapid sea-level change in a period of just a few years, which might take a millennium along oceanic coasts. Between 1929 and 1995, the Caspian sea l

  6. Rising sea level, temperature, and precipitation impact plant and ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 on a Chesapeake Bay wetland: review of a 28-year study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Bert G

    2014-11-01

    An ongoing field study of the effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on a brackish wetland on Chesapeake Bay, started in 1987, is unique as the longest continually running investigation of the effects of elevated CO2 on an ecosystem. Since the beginning of the study, atmospheric CO2 increased 18%, sea level rose 20 cm, and growing season temperature varied with approximately the same range as predicted for global warming in the 21st century. This review looks back at this study for clues about how the effects of rising sea level, temperature, and precipitation interact with high atmospheric CO2 to alter the physiology of C3 and C4 photosynthetic species, carbon assimilation, evapotranspiration, plant and ecosystem nitrogen, and distribution of plant communities in this brackish wetland. Rising sea level caused a shift to higher elevations in the Scirpus olneyi C3 populations on the wetland, displacing the Spartina patens C4 populations. Elevated CO2 stimulated carbon assimilation in the Scirpus C3 species measured by increased shoot and root density and biomass, net ecosystem production, dissolved organic and inorganic carbon, and methane production. But elevated CO2 also decreased biomass of the grass, S. patens C4. The elevated CO2 treatment reduced tissue nitrogen concentration in shoots, roots, and total canopy nitrogen, which was associated with reduced ecosystem respiration. Net ecosystem production was mediated by precipitation through soil salinity: high salinity reduced the CO2 effect on net ecosystem production, which was zero in years of severe drought. The elevated CO2 stimulation of shoot density in the Scirpus C3 species was sustained throughout the 28 years of the study. Results from this study suggest that rising CO2 can add substantial amounts of carbon to ecosystems through stimulation of carbon assimilation, increased root exudates to supply nitrogen fixation, reduced dark respiration, and improved water and nitrogen use efficiency.

  7. Application of geo-spatial technologies in coastal vulnerability studies due to Sea Level Rise (SLR) along the Central Orissa Coast, India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    ManiMurali, R.

    of the population, and the loss of the agricultural production. There are two types of sea level changes that is LMSL (Local mean sea level) and Eustatic changes. In this, LMSL is affected by atmospheric pressure, ocean currents and local ocean temperature... the agricultural lands adjoining the coast. Agricultural production of the study region is almost twofold than the average production of India. Rise in sea level and subsequent coastal erosion will affect the entire shoreline destroying agricultural lands...

  8. The role of local and external factors in determining the interannual sea level variability of the Adriatic and Black Seas during the 20th century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scarascia, Luca; Lionello, Piero

    2016-04-01

    The Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea are two semienclosed basins connected to the Mediterranean Sea by the Otranto and the Bosporus straits, respectively. This work aims to reconstruction the sea level for both basins in the 20th century and to investigate main sources of interannual variability. Using 7 tide gauge timeseries located along the Adriatic coast and 5 along the Black Sea coast, provided by the PSMSL (Permanent service of mean sea level), a seamless sea level timeseries (1900-2009) has been obtained for each basin on the basis of statistical procedure involving PCA and Least Square Method. The comparison with satellite data in the period 1993 - 2009 confirms that these are reliable representations of the observed sea level for the whole basin, showing a great agreement with a correlation value of 0.87 and 0.72 for Adriatic and Black Sea respectively. The sea level has been decomposed in various contributions in order to analyze the role of the factors responsible for its interannual variability. The annual cycles of the local effect of pressure (inverse barometer effect IB), of the steric effect due to temperature and salinity variation and of the wind effect have been computed. The largest contribute for the Adriatic Sea is due to the wind, whilst inverse barometer effect plays a minor role and the steric effect seems to be almost negligible. For the Black Sea, on the contrary, wind effect is negligible, and the largest source of variability is due to the Danube river, which is estimated from the available discharge data of Sulina (one of the exits of the Danube delta. Steric and IB effects play both a minor role in this basin. A linear regression model, built considering as predictor the SLP gradient identified at large scale after having carried out the correlation analysis, is capable to explain a further percentage of variability (about 20-25%) of the sea level after subtracting all the factors considered above. Finally, residual sea levels show a

  9. Shoreline Response to Rapid 20th Century Sea-Level Change along the Iranian Caspian Coast

    OpenAIRE

    Kakroodi, A.A.; Kroonenberg, S.B.; Goorabi, A.; M. Yamani

    2013-01-01

    The Caspian Sea, the largest lake in the world, is characterized by rapid sea-level changes. This provides a real physical model of coastal response to rapid sea-level change in a period of just a few years, which might take a millennium along oceanic coasts. Between 1929 and 1995, the Caspian sea level experienced the last cycle, with a range of 63 m. This caused disastrous effects along the coast and destroyed many buildings, roads, farms, and other human property. During the preceding 48 y...

  10. Adaptation Planning to Minimize Damage to Road Infrastructure from Rising Groundwater Associated with Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Coastal New Hampshire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knott, J. F.; Jacobs, J. M.; Daniel, J.; Kirshen, P. H.

    2015-12-01

    Coastal communities with high population density and infrastructure close to the shoreline are vulnerable to the effects of climate change and sea level rise (SLR). In the northeast, annual precipitation has increased by more than 10-percent in the last 100 years and is projected to increase further in the future. In addition, sea level in coastal New Hampshire is projected to rise 1.2 to 2.0 meters by the year 2100 (New Hampshire Coastal Risks and Hazards Commission). Climate change vulnerability and adaptation studies have primarily focused on surface water flooding from SLR; however, little attention has been given to rising waters from beneath the ground surface. Groundwater in many coastal communities will rise with rising sea level which will likely have important consequences for water quality, the structural integrity of foundations and infrastructure, and the health of natural ecosystems in the coastal zone. In this study, we have constructed a regional groundwater flow model of coastal New Hampshire to investigate the effect of various climate change and SLR scenarios on groundwater levels, focusing on impacts to road infrastructure. Using LiDAR datasets and downscaled global climate predictions, we determined that the interaction of several hydrogeological factors resulted in distinct spatial patterns of groundwater rise that were not evident from simple models linking SLR and terrain. Furthermore, by loosely coupling the groundwater model to a hydraulic model for pavement systems, we were able to identify sections of roadways that will have compromised pavement performance due to rising groundwater intersecting the sublayers of these roadways. Our findings broadly suggest that adaptation strategies designed to counter the effects of climate change and SLR in coastal communities must consider potential damage from rising groundwater in addition to surface water impacts not only immediately along the coast but also at significant distances inland.

  11. Agricultural fingerprints in salt-marsh sediments and adaptation to sea-level rise in the eastern Cantabrian coast (N. Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Artola, Ane; Cearreta, Alejandro; Irabien, María Jesús; Leorri, Eduardo; Sanchez-Cabeza, Joan-Albert; Corbett, D. Reide

    2016-03-01

    A multi-proxy approach based on benthic foraminifera, sand content, short-lived radioisotope activities, heavy metal concentrations and aerial photography was developed to characterise the process of human disturbance on the intensely impacted eastern Cantabrian coast (N. Spain) over the last two centuries. Analysis of two 50 cm long sediment cores from different saltmarshes in the Santoña estuary and their comparison with previous results in nearby coastal areas defines criteria to identify records of agricultural activities in salt-marsh sediments. Agricultural occupation of saltmarshes and the later regeneration was recognised based on foraminifera and sand content. Saltmarshes in the eastern Cantabrian coast are expected to adapt to ongoing sea-level rise based on the high sedimentation rates (14-18 mm yr-1) observed during the regeneration process of previously reclaimed areas. These findings can potentially be useful in other temperate saltmarshes with abundant sediment input, as a cost-effective adaptation measure to counteract the effects of sea-level rise.

  12. Threatened and endangered subspecies with vulnerable ecological traits also have high susceptibility to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison M Benscoter

    Full Text Available The presence of multiple interacting threats to biodiversity and the increasing rate of species extinction make it critical to prioritize management efforts on species and communities that maximize conservation success. We implemented a multi-step approach that coupled vulnerability assessments evaluating threats to Florida taxa such as climate change, sea-level rise, and habitat fragmentation with in-depth literature surveys of taxon-specific ecological traits. The vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and ecological traits of 12 threatened and endangered subspecies were compared to non-listed subspecies of the same parent species. Overall, the threatened and endangered subspecies showed high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity, in particular to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation. They also exhibited larger home ranges and greater dispersal limitation compared to non-endangered subspecies, which may inhibit their ability to track changing climate in fragmented landscapes. There was evidence for lower reproductive capacity in some of the threatened or endangered taxa, but not for most. Taxa located in the Florida Keys or in other low coastal areas were most vulnerable to sea level rise, and also showed low levels of adaptive capacity, indicating they may have a lower probability of conservation success. Our analysis of at-risk subspecies and closely related non-endangered subspecies demonstrates that ecological traits help to explain observed differences in vulnerability and adaptive capacity. This study points to the importance of assessing the relative contributions of multiple threats and evaluating conservation value at the species (or subspecies level when resources are limited and several factors affect conservation success.

  13. Sea-level rise and refuge habitats for tidal marsh species: can artificial islands save the California Ridgway's rail?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overton, Cory T.; Takekawa, John Y.; Casazza, Michael L.; Bui, Thuy-Vy D.; Holyoak, Marcel; Strong, Donald R.

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial species living in intertidal habitats experience refuge limitation during periods of tidal inundation, which may be exacerbated by seasonal variation in vegetation structure, tidal cycles, and land-use change. Sea-level rise projections indicate the severity of refuge limitation may increase. Artificial habitats that provide escape cover during tidal inundation have been proposed as a temporary solution to alleviate these limitations. We tested for evidence of refuge habitat limitation in a population of endangered California Ridgway's rail (Rallus obsoletus obsoletus; hereafter California rail) through use of artificial floating island habitats provided during two winters. Previous studies demonstrated that California rail mortality was especially high during the winter and periods of increased tidal inundation, suggesting that tidal refuge habitat is critical to survival. In our study, California rail regularly used artificial islands during higher tides and daylight hours. When tide levels inundated the marsh plain, use of artificial islands was at least 300 times more frequent than would be expected if California rails used artificial habitats proportional to their availability (0.016%). Probability of use varied among islands, and low levels of use were observed at night. These patterns may result from anti-predator behaviors and heterogeneity in either rail density or availability of natural refuges. Endemic saltmarsh species are increasingly at risk from habitat change resulting from sea-level rise and development of adjacent uplands. Escape cover during tidal inundation may need to be supplemented if species are to survive. Artificial habitats may provide effective short-term mitigation for habitat change and sea-level rise in tidal marsh environments, particularly for conservation-reliant species such as California rails.

  14. Climate change under a scenario near 1.5 °C of global warming: monsoon intensification, ocean warming and steric sea level rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Meinshausen

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available We present climatic consequences of the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs using the coupled climate model CLIMBER-3α, which contains a statistical-dynamical atmosphere and a three-dimensional ocean model. We compare those with emulations of 19 state-of-the-art atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCM using MAGICC6. The RCPs are designed as standard scenarios for the forthcoming IPCC Fifth Assessment Report to span the full range of possible future greenhouse gas (GHG concentrations pathways. The lowest of the RCP scenarios, RCP3-PD, is projected in CLIMBER-3α to imply a maximal warming by the middle of the 21st century slightly above 1.5 °C and a slow decline of temperatures thereafter, approaching today's level by 2500. We identify two mechanisms that slow down global cooling after GHG concentrations peak: The known inertia induced by mixing-related oceanic heat uptake; and a change in oceanic convection that enhances ocean heat loss in high latitudes, reducing the surface cooling rate by almost 50%. Steric sea level rise under the RCP3-PD scenario continues for 200 years after the peak in surface air temperatures, stabilizing around 2250 at 30 cm. This contrasts with around 2 m of steric sea level rise by 2500 under the highest scenario, RCP8.5. Maximum oceanic warming at intermediate depth (300–800 m is found to exceed that of the sea surface by the second half of the 21st century under RCP3-PD. This intermediate-depth warming persists for centuries even after surface temperatures have returned to present-day values, with potential consequences for marine ecosystems, oceanic methane hydrates, and ice-shelf stability. Due to an enhanced land-ocean temperature contrast, all scenarios yield an intensification of monsoon rainfall under global warming.

  15. Climate change under a scenario near 1.5 °C of global warming: monsoon intensification, ocean warming and steric sea level rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Schewe

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available We present climatic consequences of the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs using the coupled climate model CLIMBER-3α, which contains a statistical-dynamical atmosphere and a three-dimensional ocean model. We compare those with emulations of 19 state-of-the-art atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCM using MAGICC6. The RCPs are designed as standard scenarios for the forthcoming IPCC Fifth Assessment Report to span the full range of future greenhouse gas (GHG concentrations pathways currently discussed. The lowest of the RCP scenarios, RCP3-PD, is projected in CLIMBER-3α to imply a maximal warming by the middle of the 21st century slightly above 1.5 °C and a slow decline of temperatures thereafter, approaching today's level by 2500. We identify two mechanisms that slow down global cooling after GHG concentrations peak: The known inertia induced by mixing-related oceanic heat uptake; and a change in oceanic convection that enhances ocean heat loss in high latitudes, reducing the surface cooling rate by almost 50%. Steric sea level rise under the RCP3-PD scenario continues for 200 years after the peak in surface air temperatures, stabilizing around 2250 at 30 cm. This contrasts with around 1.3 m of steric sea level rise by 2250, and 2 m by 2500, under the highest scenario, RCP8.5. Maximum oceanic warming at intermediate depth (300–800 m is found to exceed that of the sea surface by the second half of the 21st century under RCP3-PD. This intermediate-depth warming persists for centuries even after surface temperatures have returned to present-day values, with potential consequences for marine ecosystems, oceanic methane hydrates, and ice-shelf stability. Due to an enhanced land-ocean temperature contrast, all scenarios yield an intensification of monsoon rainfall under global warming.

  16. Surface elevation change and susceptibility of different mangrove zones to sea-level rise on Pacific high islands of Micronesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauss, K.W.; Cahoon, D.R.; Allen, J.A.; Ewel, K.C.; Lynch, J.C.; Cormier, N.

    2010-01-01

    Mangroves on Pacific high islands offer a number of important ecosystem services to both natural ecological communities and human societies. High islands are subjected to constant erosion over geologic time, which establishes an important source of terrigeneous sediment for nearby marine communities. Many of these sediments are deposited in mangrove forests and offer mangroves a potentially important means for adjusting surface elevation with rising sea level. In this study, we investigated sedimentation and elevation dynamics of mangrove forests in three hydrogeomorphic settings on the islands of Kosrae and Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Surface accretion rates ranged from 2.9 to 20.8 mm y-1, and are high for naturally occurring mangroves. Although mangrove forests in Micronesian high islands appear to have a strong capacity to offset elevation losses by way of sedimentation, elevation change over 61/2 years ranged from -3.2 to 4.1 mm y-1, depending on the location. Mangrove surface elevation change also varied by hydrogeomorphic setting and river, and suggested differential, and not uniformly bleak, susceptibilities among Pacific high island mangroves to sea-level rise. Fringe, riverine, and interior settings registered elevation changes of -1.30, 0.46, and 1.56 mm y-1, respectively, with the greatest elevation deficit (-3.2 mm y-1) from a fringe zone on Pohnpei and the highest rate of elevation gain (4.1 mm y-1) from an interior zone on Kosrae. Relative to sea-level rise estimates for FSM (0.8-1.8 mm y-1) and assuming a consistent linear trend in these estimates, soil elevations in mangroves on Kosrae and Pohnpei are experiencing between an annual deficit of 4.95 mm and an annual surplus of 3.28 mm. Although natural disturbances are important in mediating elevation gain in some situations, constant allochthonous sediment deposition probably matters most on these Pacific high islands, and is especially helpful in certain hydrogeomorphic zones

  17. Adaptation To Sea Level Rise In The Vietnamese Mekong River Delta: Should A Sea Dike Be Built?

    OpenAIRE

    Vo Thanh Danh

    2011-01-01

    Vietnam is one of the five countries in the world that will be the most seriously affected by sea level rises as a result of global climate change. This study has looked at how the country should protect itself from this steadily developing challenge. To do this, the study assessed five different concrete dyke options for the development of Vietnam's sea dyke protection system. This study finds that, although a concrete sea dyke system would be more expensive than the existing sea dyke progra...

  18. Coastal Flood Risks in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region, Thailand: Combined Impacts of Land Subsidence, Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duangyiwa, C.; Yu, D.; Wilby, R.; Aobpaet, A.

    2015-12-01

    Due to the fast-changing climatic and anthropogenic conditions at coastal regions, many coastal mega-cities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to internal and external risks. The risk is particularly high for low-lying coastal cities in developing nations, with Southeast Asia recognized as a hotspot of vulnerability due to the increasing population density, rapid change of natural landscape associated with urbanization and intensified hydrological and atmospheric conditions at the coastal front in an uncertain climate future. The Bangkok Metropolitan Region is one of the largest coastal megacities in Southeast Asia that are challenged by the potential impacts due to climate change and anthropological variability in the coming decades. Climate-related risks in this region are associated with its relatively low-lying nature of the terrain and adjacency to the coast. Coastal inundation due to high tides from the sea occurs annually in the area close to the seashore. This is set to increase given a projected rising sea level and the sinking landscape due to groundwater extraction and urbanization. The aim of this research is, therefore, to evaluate the vulnerability of the city to sea level rise, land subsidence and storm surge. Distributed land subsidence rate, projected sea level rise and existing structural features such as flood defences are taken into account. The 2011 flood in Thailand is used as a baseline event. Scenarios were designed with projections of land subsidence and sea level rise to 2050s, 2080s, and 2100s. A two-dimensional flood inundation model (FloodMap, Yu and Lane 2006) is used to derive inundation depth and velocity associated with each scenario. The impacts of coastal flood risk on critical infrastructures (e.g. power supply, transportation network, rescue centers, hospitals, schools and key government buildings) are evaluated (e.g. Figure 1). Results suggest progressively increase but non-linear risks of coastal flooding to key coastal

  19. Developing and managing transdisciplinary and transformative research on the coastal dynamics of sea level rise: Experiences and lessons learned

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLorme, Denise E.; Kidwell, David; Hagen, Scott C.; Stephens, Sonia H.

    2016-05-01

    There is increasing emphasis from funding agencies on transdisciplinary approaches to integrate science and end-users. However, transdisciplinary research can be laborious and costly and knowledge of effective collaborative processes in these endeavors is incomplete. More guidance grounded in actual project experiences is needed. Thus, this article describes and examines the collaborative process of the Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico transdisciplinary research project, including its development, implementation, and evaluation. Reflections, considerations, and lessons learned from firsthand experience are shared, supported with examples, and connected to relevant scholarly literature.

  20. The hazard of Sea Level Rise (SLR) in Greece: from scientific knowledge towards risk awareness of main actors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dandoulaki, Miranda; Karymbalis, Efthimios; Yorgos, Melissourgos; Skordili, Sophia; Valkanou, Kanella

    2014-05-01

    A natural hazard that is expected to affect coastal areas in the near future is Sea-Level Rise (SLR) due to climate change. According to recent reports the eustatic sea-level rise caused by global warming will reach approximately 18-59 cm by the year 2100. Potential impacts of future sea-level rise include coastal erosion, frequent and intensified cyclonic activity and associated storm surge flooding that may affect the coastal zones, saltwater intrusion into groundwater aquifers, the inundation of ecologically significant wetlands, and threats to cultural and historical resources, as well as to infrastructure. The identification of sensitive sections of coasts and the assessment of potential impacts of SLR on these is therefore a fundamental, yet initial, step towards their protection. Greece has the most extensive coastline among all Mediterranean countries with most of the socio-economic activities concentrated along the coastal zone. Almost all big urban centres are coastal ones and the same stands for a great part of infrastructure (ports, airports, roads, electricity and telecommunications network etc). As a result, the impacts of a potential rise of the sea level are expected to seriously affect the entire country. The paper examines the vulnerability to SLR of coastal zones in Greece; however its main focus is how knowledge can lead to policy making and the protection of coastal areas. The main actors in respect to protection from SLR in Greece are identified and there is an attempt to pin point how the knowledge is communicated and shared between them. Barriers, bridges and gaps are detected as regards how information and knowledge lead to risk awareness and finally to the implementation of protection policies. A main finding of the paper is that SLR risk is far from becoming a policy priority in Greece, although steps are taken for addressing impacts attributed to SLR such as coastal erosion. In order to address this risk, there are many potential

  1. Grazing management can counteract the impacts of climate change-induced sea level rise on salt marsh-dependent waterbirds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann; Stjernholm, Michael; Clausen, Preben

    2013-01-01

    1) Climate change–induced rises in sea level threaten to drastically reduce the areal extent of important salt marsh habitats for large numbers of waterfowl and waders. Furthermore, recent changes in management practice have rendered existent salt marshes unfavourable to many birds, as lack of gr....... However, this may only be a temporary solution that will have to be supplemented by increased reintegration with the sea and managed retreat of seawalls or near-coastal agricultural areas to effectively safeguard the future salt marsh biome....

  2. Mangrove expansion in the Gulf of Mexico with climate change: Implications for wetland health and resistance to rising sea levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comeaux, Rebecca S.; Allison, Mead A.; Bianchi, Thomas S.

    2012-01-01

    Black mangroves ( Avicennia spp.) are hypothesized to expand their latitudinal range with global climate change in the 21st century, induced by a reduction in the frequency and severity of coastal freezes, which are known to limit mangrove colony extent and individual tree size. The Gulf of Mexico is a prime candidate for population expansion to occur because it is located at the northward limit of black mangrove habitat. This may come at the expense of existing coastal saline wetlands that are dominantly Spartina spp. marsh grasses. The present study was conducted to focus on the implications of a marsh to mangrove transition in Gulf wetlands, specifically: (1) wetland resistance to accelerating eustatic sea level rise (ESLR) rates; (2) resistance to wave attack in large storms (increased cyclonic storm frequency/intensity is predicted with future climate warming); and (3) organic carbon sequestration and wetland soil geochemistry. Field sites of adjacent and inter-grown Avicennia germinans mangrove and Spartina marsh populations in similar geomorphological setting were selected in back-barrier areas near Port Aransas and Galveston, TX. Elevation surveys in the more mature Port Aransas site indicate mangrove vegetated areas are 4 cm higher in elevation than surrounding marsh on an average regional scale, and 1-2 cm higher at the individual mangrove scale. 210Pb and 137Cs accumulation rates and loss on ignition data indicate that mineral trapping is 4.1 times higher and sediment organics are 1.7 times lower in mangroves at Port Aransas. This additional mineral trapping does not differ in grain size character from marsh accumulation. Elevation change may also be effected by soil displacement of higher root volumes in mangrove cores. Port Aransas porosities are lower in mangrove rooted horizons, with a corresponding increase in sediment strength, suggesting mangrove intervals are more resistant to wave-induced erosion during storm events. Port Aransas mangroves

  3. Consequences of climatic change, sea level rise and society evolution on the Kerkennah archipelago coast and sabkha

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucile, Etienne; Gérard, Beltrando; Abdelkarim, Daoud

    2015-04-01

    Interaction between human activities, climate evolution and sea level can be summarised in a system where every element impacts the others. In the Kerkennah archipelago (Tunisia), recent observations have shown that the climate has become more arid, that the sea level is rising and that the society is modernizing at least since 1970. In our work we tried to understand the relations between the elements of the socio-ecosystem of Kerkennah to identify potential causes of the coastline movements and sabkhas extension (low and salty areas). Using photointerpretation (topographic map, Spot 5 image, aerial photographs) and remote sensing (2 landsat TM5 images), we detected and evaluated the movements of the coastline and of the sabkhas limits. Field data have also been added and all information has been used together in a GIS showing a significant retreat of the coastline (maximum of 41.2±6m in 47years) and an increase in the surface of sabkhas (+18%) between 1963 and 2010. The same dataset has been reanalysed at a much finer spatial scale to correlate observed changes to human pressure. This showed that coast erosion rates are more important where the coastline is partially artificialized or just after the end of a dam or a rockfill. Advances to the sea observed on some portions of the coast are always linked to human infrastructures. We conclude that the climatic change and the sea level rise increased the physical vulnerability of the archipelago and that the human installations near the coast amplify this vulnerability. Similarly, the extension of sabkha surfaces is global and most likely due to a natural perturbation of the seasonal cycle in the sabkhas by the sea level rise and by the stronger aridity in summer. However, discrepancies exist between individual areas and can be explained by the presence of active fault and/or by the evolution of agricultural practices. Indeed, frequent periods of drought and the political will for development of the Kerkennah

  4. Forecast effects of accelerating sea-level rise on the habitat of Atlantic Coast piping plovers and identify responsive conservation strategies

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This collaborative project will provide biologists and managers along the Atlantic coast with tools to predict effects of accelerating sea-level rise on the...

  5. Predicting the Impact of Storm Waves and Sea-Level Rise within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Recent storms and a tsunami (11 March 2011) have underscored the intrinsic potential for sea-level rise to damage wildlife populations and ecosystems of the...

  6. The Resilience and Recovery of Salt Marshes to Landfalling Storms and Sea-Level Rise, New Jersey, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, B.; Nikitina, D.; Kemp, A.; Vane, C. H.; Engelhart, S. E.; Khan, N. S.

    2014-12-01

    Instrumental and observational records are too short to adequately describe the history of land-falling storms or sea-level rise, especially for extreme and rare events such as Hurricane Sandy. However, the sediment preserved beneath coastal wetlands is an archive of when storms impacted the coast and past changes in sea level, and how long it takes for wetlands recovery from such events. Here, we describe late Holocene sediments beneath the Sea Breeze salt marsh on the New Jersey side of Delaware Bay from more than 200 gouge cores positioned along seven transects. The stratigraphic record documents at least seven depositional sequences consisting of salt-marsh peat and mud couplets that represent dramatic changes in sedimentation regime. There are number of processes that could cause this salt-marsh erosion including lateral migration of tidal creeks, rapid relative sea-level rise, tsunamis, formation and expansion of salt pans, and storms. The abrupt contacts between the salt-marsh peat and overlying intertidal mud suggest that erosion of the peat was followed by rapid infilling of accommodation space. Correlation of erosional surfaces across 2.5 km suggests a common mechanism and we propose that the erosion was caused by hurricanes and/or large winter storms. Further, the changes in salt-marsh sedimentation documented at several sites on the north shore of Delaware Bay were synchronous and broadly correlate with storm over-wash deposits and historical record of hurricane landfalls in New Jersey. We estimated wetland recovery time from hurricane-induced erosion using radiocarbon dates that bracket the erosive event in the sedimentary record. Following erosion and lowering of the marsh surface into the tidal frame a low-marsh ecosystem recolonizes the site, followed by recovery to a high salt-marsh environment. We estimate that this ecological and sedimentary succession can take up to 200 years.

  7. Biogeochemical analysis of ancient Pacific Cod bone suggests Hg bioaccumulation was linked to paleo sea level rise and climate change

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    Maribeth S. Murray

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Deglaciation at the end of the Pleistocene initiated major changes in ocean circulation and distribution. Within a brief geological time, large areas of land were inundated by sea-level rise and today global sea level is 120 m above its minimum stand during the last glacial maximum. This was the era of modern sea shelf formation; climate change caused coastal plain flooding and created broad continental shelves with innumerable consequences to marine and terrestrial ecosystems and human populations. In Alaska, the Bering Sea nearly doubled in size and stretches of coastline to the south were flooded, with regional variability in the timing and extent of submergence. Here we suggest how past climate change and coastal flooding are linked to mercury bioaccumulation that could have had profound impacts on past human populations and that, under conditions of continued climate warming, may have future impacts. Biogeochemical analysis of total mercury (tHg and 13C/15N ratios in the bone collagen of archaeologically recovered Pacific Cod (Gadus macrocephalus bone shows high levels of tHg during early/mid-Holocene. This pattern cannot be linked to anthropogenic activity or to food web trophic changes, but may result from natural phenomena such as increases in productivity, carbon supply and coastal flooding driven by glacial melting and sea-level rise. The coastal flooding could have led to increased methylation of Hg in newly submerged terrestrial land and vegetation. Methylmercury is bioaccumulated through aquatic food webs with attendant consequences for the health of fish and their consumers, including people. This is the first study of tHg levels in a marine species from the Gulf of Alaska to provide a time series spanning nearly the entire Holocene and we propose that past coastal flooding resulting from climate change had the potential to input significant quantities of Hg into marine food webs and subsequently to human consumers.

  8. Using modelling to predict impacts of sea level rise and increased turbidity on seagrass distributions in estuarine embayments

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    Davis, Tom R.; Harasti, David; Smith, Stephen D. A.; Kelaher, Brendan P.

    2016-11-01

    Climate change induced sea level rise will affect shallow estuarine habitats, which are already under threat from multiple anthropogenic stressors. Here, we present the results of modelling to predict potential impacts of climate change associated processes on seagrass distributions. We use a novel application of relative environmental suitability (RES) modelling to examine relationships between variables of physiological importance to seagrasses (light availability, wave exposure, and current flow) and seagrass distributions within 5 estuarine embayments. Models were constructed separately for Posidonia australis and Zostera muelleri subsp. capricorni using seagrass data from Port Stephens estuary, New South Wales, Australia. Subsequent testing of models used independent datasets from four other estuarine embayments (Wallis Lake, Lake Illawarra, Merimbula Lake, and Pambula Lake) distributed along 570 km of the east Australian coast. Relative environmental suitability models provided adequate predictions for seagrass distributions within Port Stephens and the other estuarine embayments, indicating that they may have broad regional application. Under the predictions of RES models, both sea level rise and increased turbidity are predicted to cause substantial seagrass losses in deeper estuarine areas, resulting in a net shoreward movement of seagrass beds. Seagrass species distribution models developed in this study provide a valuable tool to predict future shifts in estuarine seagrass distributions, allowing identification of areas for protection, monitoring and rehabilitation.

  9. Abrupt Bølling warming and ice saddle collapse contributions to the Meltwater Pulse 1a rapid sea level rise

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    Gregoire, Lauren J.; Otto-Bliesner, Bette; Valdes, Paul J.; Ivanovic, Ruza

    2016-09-01

    Elucidating the source(s) of Meltwater Pulse 1a, the largest rapid sea level rise caused by ice melt (14-18 m in less than 340 years, 14,600 years ago), is important for understanding mechanisms of rapid ice melt and the links with abrupt climate change. Here we quantify how much and by what mechanisms the North American ice sheet could have contributed to Meltwater Pulse 1a, by driving an ice sheet model with two transient climate simulations of the last 21,000 years. Ice sheet perturbed physics ensembles were run to account for model uncertainties, constraining ice extent and volume with reconstructions of 21,000 years ago to present. We determine that the North American ice sheet produced 3-4 m global mean sea level rise in 340 years due to the abrupt Bølling warming, but this response is amplified to 5-6 m when it triggers the ice sheet saddle collapse.

  10. Interactions between barrier islands and backbarrier marshes affect island system response to sea level rise: Insights from a coupled model

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    Walters, David; Moore, Laura J.; Duran Vinent, Orencio; Fagherazzi, Sergio; Mariotti, Giulio

    2014-09-01

    Interactions between backbarrier marshes and barrier islands will likely play an important role in determining how low-lying coastal systems respond to sea level rise and changes in storminess in the future. To assess the role of couplings between marshes and barrier islands under changing conditions, we develop and apply a coupled barrier island-marsh model (GEOMBEST+) to assess the impact of overwash deposition on backbarrier marsh morphology and of marsh morphology on rates of island migration. Our model results suggest that backbarrier marsh width is in a constant state of change until either the backbarrier basin becomes completely filled or backbarrier marsh deposits have completely eroded away. Results also suggest that overwash deposition is an important source of sediment, which allows existing narrow marshes to be maintained in a long-lasting alternate state (~500 m wide in the Virginia Barrier Islands) within a range of conditions under which they would otherwise disappear. The existence of a narrow marsh state is supported by observations of backbarrier marshes along the eastern shore of Virginia. Additional results suggest that marshes reduce accommodation in the backbarrier bay, which, in turn, decreases island migration rate. As climate change results in sea level rise, and the increased potential for intense hurricanes resulting in overwash, it is likely that these couplings will become increasingly important in determining future system behavior.

  11. Global sea-level rise is recognised, but flooding from anthropogenic land subsidence is ignored around northern Manila Bay, Philippines.

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    Rodolfo, Kelvin S; Siringan, Fernando P

    2006-03-01

    Land subsidence resulting from excessive extraction of groundwater is particularly acute in East Asian countries. Some Philippine government sectors have begun to recognise that the sea-level rise of one to three millimetres per year due to global warming is a cause of worsening floods around Manila Bay, but are oblivious to, or ignore, the principal reason: excessive groundwater extraction is lowering the land surface by several centimetres to more than a decimetre per year. Such ignorance allows the government to treat flooding as a lesser problem that can be mitigated through large infrastructural projects that are both ineffective and vulnerable to corruption. Money would be better spent on preventing the subsidence by reducing groundwater pumping and moderating population growth and land use, but these approaches are politically and psychologically unacceptable. Even if groundwater use is greatly reduced and enlightened land-use practices are initiated, natural deltaic subsidence and global sea-level rise will continue to aggravate flooding, although at substantially lower rates.

  12. How Shall We Tell Our People? The Art and Science of Communicating Sea-Level Rise to Coastal Audiences (Invited)

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    Moser, S. C.

    2010-12-01

    Improved sea-level rise projections and translation into decision-relevant information (e.g., changed flood frequencies and elevations, increased rates in coastal erosion, salinity changes in coastal aquifers) are critical for coastal managers, planners, and local elected officials to feel more confident in bringing climate change and its related coastal impacts to the attention of their communities. Those who have done so or are considering doing so, however, are not just concerned with “getting the science right” or getting the most credible and relevant information. They immediately, and sometimes primarily, are concerned with the reactions of coastal residents, developers, and business interests to the prospects of potentially difficult and substantial changes in coastal land use, their property rights, and the potential loss of their homes and establishments. How to engage the public constructively in developing adaptation strategies is a largely unmet challenge for most coastal managers. Similarly, they have not been trained in how to effectively communicate an issue that is ripe with the potential for loss, danger, and social and legal conflict - more so than they already face. Better physical science on sea-level rise alone will not meet these needs. Meanwhile, the social sciences have only begun to study public attitudes toward local impacts and adaptation responses. This paper will summarize key insights available at this time and point to important research and education/training needs to better assist practitioners faced with developing and implementing coastal adaptation strategies.

  13. Climate change adaptation under uncertainty in the developing world: A case study of sea level rise in Kiribati

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    Donner, S. D.; Webber, S.

    2011-12-01

    Climate change is expected to have the greatest impact in parts of the developing world. At the 2010 meeting of U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun, industrialized countries agreed in principle to provide US$100 billion per year by 2020 to assist the developing world respond to climate change. This "Green Climate Fund" is a critical step towards addressing the challenge of climate change. However, the policy and discourse on supporting adaptation in the developing world remains highly idealized. For example, the efficacy of "no regrets" adaptation efforts or "mainstreaming" adaptation into decision-making are rarely evaluated in the real world. In this presentation, I will discuss the gap between adaptation theory and practice using a multi-year case study of the cultural, social and scientific obstacles to adapting to sea level rise in the Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati. Our field research reveals how scientific and institutional uncertainty can limit international efforts to fund adaptation and lead to spiraling costs. Scientific uncertainty about hyper-local impacts of sea level rise, though irreducible, can at times limit decision-making about adaptation measures, contrary to the notion that "good" decision-making practices can incorporate scientific uncertainty. Efforts to improve institutional capacity must be done carefully, or they risk inadvertently slowing the implementation of adaptation measures and increasing the likelihood of "mal"-adaptation.

  14. A vulnerability assessment of 300 species in Florida: threats from sea level rise, land use, and climate change.

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    Joshua Steven Reece

    Full Text Available Species face many threats, including accelerated climate change, sea level rise, and conversion and degradation of habitat from human land uses. Vulnerability assessments and prioritization protocols have been proposed to assess these threats, often in combination with information such as species rarity; ecological, evolutionary or economic value; and likelihood of success. Nevertheless, few vulnerability assessments or prioritization protocols simultaneously account for multiple threats or conservation values. We applied a novel vulnerability assessment tool, the Standardized Index of Vulnerability and Value, to assess the conservation priority of 300 species of plants and animals in Florida given projections of climate change, human land-use patterns, and sea level rise by the year 2100. We account for multiple sources of uncertainty and prioritize species under five different systems of value, ranging from a primary emphasis on vulnerability to threats to an emphasis on metrics of conservation value such as phylogenetic distinctiveness. Our results reveal remarkable consistency in the prioritization of species across different conservation value systems. Species of high priority include the Miami blue butterfly (Cyclargus thomasi bethunebakeri, Key tree cactus (Pilosocereus robinii, Florida duskywing butterfly (Ephyriades brunnea floridensis, and Key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium. We also identify sources of uncertainty and the types of life history information consistently missing across taxonomic groups. This study characterizes the vulnerabilities to major threats of a broad swath of Florida's biodiversity and provides a system for prioritizing conservation efforts that is quantitative, flexible, and free from hidden value judgments.

  15. Coastal Flooding in Florida's Big Bend Region with Application to Sea Level Rise Based on Synthetic Storms Analysis

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    Scott C. Hagen and Peter Bacopoulos

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Flooding is examined by comparing maximum envelopes of water against the 0.2% (= 1-in-500-year return-period flooding surface generated as part of revising the Federal Emergency Management _ flood insurance rate maps for Franklin, Wakulla, and Jefferson counties in _ Big Bend Region. The analysis condenses the number of storms to a small fraction of the original 159 used in production. The analysis is performed by assessing which synthetic storms contributed to inundation extent (the extent of inundation into the floodplain, coverage (the overall surface area of the inundated floodplain and the spatially variable 0.2% flooding surface. The results are interpreted in terms of storm attributes (pressure deficit, radius to maximum winds, translation speed, storm heading, and landfall location and the physical processes occurring within the natural system (storms surge and waves; both are contextualized against existing and new hurricane scales. The approach identifies what types of storms and storm attributes lead to what types of inundation, as measured in terms of extent and coverage, in _ Big Bend Region and provides a basis in the identification of a select subset of synthetic storms for studying the impact of sea level rise. The sea level rise application provides a clear contrast between a dynamic approach versus that of a static approach.

  16. Beyond just sea-level rise: considering macroclimatic drivers within coastal wetland vulnerability assessments to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osland, Michael J; Enwright, Nicholas M; Day, Richard H; Gabler, Christopher A; Stagg, Camille L; Grace, James B

    2016-01-01

    Due to their position at the land-sea interface, coastal wetlands are vulnerable to many aspects of climate change. However, climate change vulnerability assessments for coastal wetlands generally focus solely on sea-level rise without considering the effects of other facets of climate change. Across the globe and in all ecosystems, macroclimatic drivers (e.g., temperature and rainfall regimes) greatly influence ecosystem structure and function. Macroclimatic drivers have been the focus of climate change-related threat evaluations for terrestrial ecosystems, but largely ignored for coastal wetlands. In some coastal wetlands, changing macroclimatic conditions are expected to result in foundation plant species replacement, which would affect the supply of certain ecosystem goods and services and could affect ecosystem resilience. As examples, we highlight several ecological transition zones where small changes in macroclimatic conditions would result in comparatively large changes in coastal wetland ecosystem structure and function. Our intent in this communication is not to minimize the importance of sea-level rise. Rather, our overarching aim is to illustrate the need to also consider macroclimatic drivers within vulnerability assessments for coastal wetlands. PMID:26342186

  17. Beyond just sea-level rise: Considering macroclimatic drivers within coastal wetland vulnerability assessments to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osland, Michael J.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; Day, Richard H.; Gabler, Christopher A.; Stagg, Camille L.; Grace, James B.

    2016-01-01

    Due to their position at the land-sea interface, coastal wetlands are vulnerable to many aspects of climate change. However, climate change vulnerability assessments for coastal wetlands generally focus solely on sea-level rise without considering the effects of other facets of climate change. Across the globe and in all ecosystems, macroclimatic drivers (e.g., temperature and rainfall regimes) greatly influence ecosystem structure and function. Macroclimatic drivers have been the focus of climate-change related threat evaluations for terrestrial ecosystems, but la