WorldWideScience

Sample records for relative sea-level rise

  1. 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.

  2. Mangrove sedimentation and response to relative sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodroffe, CD; Rogers, K.; Mckee, Karen L.; Lovelock, CE; Mendelssohn, IA; Saintilan, N.

    2016-01-01

    Mangroves occur on upper intertidal shorelines in the tropics and subtropics. Complex hydrodynamic and salinity conditions influence mangrove distributions, primarily related to elevation and hydroperiod; this review considers how these adjust through 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; 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 Surface Elevation Table-Marker Horizon measurements (SET-MH) 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 continuing decline in their extent throughout the tropics.

  3. Contemporary sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazenave, Anny; Llovel, William

    2010-01-01

    Measuring sea level change and understanding its causes has considerably improved in the recent years, essentially because new in situ and remote sensing observations have become available. Here we report on most recent results on contemporary sea level rise. We first present sea level observations from tide gauges over the twentieth century and from satellite altimetry since the early 1990s. We next discuss the most recent progress made in quantifying the processes causing sea level change on timescales ranging from years to decades, i.e., thermal expansion of the oceans, land ice mass loss, and land water-storage change. We show that for the 1993-2007 time span, the sum of climate-related contributions (2.85 +/- 0.35 mm year(-1)) is only slightly less than altimetry-based sea level rise (3.3 +/- 0.4 mm year(-1)): approximately 30% of the observed rate of rise is due to ocean thermal expansion and approximately 55% results from land ice melt. Recent acceleration in glacier melting and ice mass loss from the ice sheets increases the latter contribution up to 80% for the past five years. We also review the main causes of regional variability in sea level trends: The dominant contribution results from nonuniform changes in ocean thermal expansion.

  4. Sea Level Rise Data Discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quach, N.; Huang, T.; Boening, C.; Gill, K. M.

    2016-12-01

    Research related to sea level rise crosses multiple disciplines from sea ice to land hydrology. The NASA Sea Level Change Portal (SLCP) is a one-stop source for current sea level change information and data, including interactive tools for accessing and viewing regional data, a virtual dashboard of sea level indicators, and ongoing updates through a suite of editorial products that include content articles, graphics, videos, and animations. The architecture behind the SLCP makes it possible to integrate web content and data relevant to sea level change that are archived across various data centers as well as new data generated by sea level change principal investigators. The Extensible Data Gateway Environment (EDGE) is incorporated into the SLCP architecture to provide a unified platform for web content and science data discovery. EDGE is a data integration platform designed to facilitate high-performance geospatial data discovery and access with the ability to support multi-metadata standard specifications. EDGE has the capability to retrieve data from one or more sources and package the resulting sets into a single response to the requestor. With this unified endpoint, the Data Analysis Tool that is available on the SLCP can retrieve dataset and granule level metadata as well as perform geospatial search on the data. This talk focuses on the architecture that makes it possible to seamlessly integrate and enable discovery of disparate data relevant to sea level rise.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bartholdy, Jesper; Bartholdy, Anders; Kroon, Aart

    2010-01-01

    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...

  6. Nuisance Flooding and Relative Sea-Level Rise: the Importance of Present-Day Land Motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karegar, Makan A; Dixon, Timothy H; Malservisi, Rocco; Kusche, Jürgen; Engelhart, Simon E

    2017-09-11

    Sea-level rise is beginning to cause increased inundation of many low-lying coastal areas. While most of Earth's coastal areas are at risk, areas that will be affected first are characterized by several additional factors. These include regional oceanographic and meteorological effects and/or land subsidence that cause relative sea level to rise faster than the global average. For catastrophic coastal flooding, when wind-driven storm surge inundates large areas, the relative contribution of sea-level rise to the frequency of these events is difficult to evaluate. For small scale "nuisance flooding," often associated with high tides, recent increases in frequency are more clearly linked to sea-level rise and global warming. While both types of flooding are likely to increase in the future, only nuisance flooding is an early indicator of areas that will eventually experience increased catastrophic flooding and land loss. Here we assess the frequency and location of nuisance flooding along the eastern seaboard of North America. We show that vertical land motion induced by recent anthropogenic activity and glacial isostatic adjustment are contributing factors for increased nuisance flooding. Our results have implications for flood susceptibility, forecasting and mitigation, including management of groundwater extraction from coastal aquifers.

  7. The global coastline dataset: the observed relation between erosion and sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donchyts, G.; Baart, F.; Luijendijk, A.; Hagenaars, G.

    2017-12-01

    Erosion of sandy coasts is considered one of the key risks of sea-level rise. Because sandy coastlines of the world are often highly populated, erosive coastline trends result in risk to populations and infrastructure. Most of our understanding of the relation between sea-level rise and coastal erosion is based on local or regional observations and generalizations of numerical and physical experiments. Until recently there was no reliable global scale assessment of the location of sandy coasts and their rate of erosion and accretion. Here we present the global coastline dataset that covers erosion indicators on a local scale with global coverage. The dataset uses our global coastline transects grid defined with an alongshore spacing of 250 m and a cross shore length extending 1 km seaward and 1 km landward. This grid matches up with pre-existing local grids where available. We present the latest results on validation of coastal-erosion trends (based on optical satellites) and classification of sandy versus non-sandy coasts. We show the relation between sea-level rise (based both on tide-gauges and multi-mission satellite altimetry) and observed erosion trends over the last decades, taking into account broken-coastline trends (for example due to nourishments).An interactive web application presents the publicly-accessible results using a backend based on Google Earth Engine. It allows both researchers and stakeholders to use objective estimates of coastline trends, particularly when authoritative sources are not available.

  8. Is sea-level rising?

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Unnikrishnan, A.S.

    correction in the estimation of trends obtained for tide gauge records. The altimeter data permits to prepare spatial maps of sea-level rise trends. We present a map prepared for the Indian Ocean (Figure 4) north of 10oS , which shows a fairly uniform... drawn information from research papers published by the author and report of the IPCC AR5 WG1 Chapter 13: Sea Level Changes, in which the author has served as a ‘Lead Author’. Figure1 is prepared using data from the University of Colorado. Nerem, R...

  9. 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.)

  10. A model of water and sediment balance as determinants of relative sea level rise in contemporary and future deltas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tessler, Zachary D.; Vörösmarty, Charles J.; Overeem, Irina; Syvitski, James P. M.

    2018-03-01

    Modern deltas are dependent on human-mediated freshwater and sediment fluxes. Changes to these fluxes impact delta biogeophysical functioning and affect the long-term sustainability of these landscapes for human and for natural systems. Here we present contemporary estimates of long-term mean sediment balance and relative sea level rise across 46 global deltas. We model scenarios of contemporary and future water resource management schemes and hydropower infrastructure in upstream river basins to explore how changing sediment fluxes impact relative sea level rise in delta systems. Model results show that contemporary sediment fluxes, anthropogenic drivers of land subsidence, and sea level rise result in delta relative sea level rise rates that average 6.8 mm/y. Assessment of impacts of planned and under-construction dams on relative sea level rise rates suggests increases on the order of 1 mm/y in deltas with new upstream construction. Sediment fluxes are estimated to decrease by up to 60% in the Danube and 21% in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna if all currently planned dams are constructed. Reduced sediment retention on deltas caused by increased river channelization and management has a larger impact, increasing relative sea level rise on average by nearly 2 mm/y. Long-term delta sustainability requires a more complete understanding of how geophysical and anthropogenic change impact delta geomorphology. Local and regional strategies for sustainable delta management that focus on local and regional drivers of change, especially groundwater and hydrocarbon extraction and upstream dam construction, can be highly impactful even in the context of global climate-induced sea level rise.

  11. Sea level rise and the geoid: factor analysis approach

    OpenAIRE

    Song, Hongzhi; Sadovski, Alexey; Jeffress, Gary

    2013-01-01

    Sea levels are rising around the world, and this is a particular concern along most of the coasts of the United States. A 1989 EPA report shows that sea levels rose 5-6 inches more than the global average along the Mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in the last century. The main reason for this is coastal land subsidence. This sea level rise is considered more as relative sea level rise than global sea level rise. Thus, instead of studying sea level rise globally, this paper describes a statistical...

  12. Sea level rise and the geoid: factor analysis approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexey Sadovski

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Sea levels are rising around the world, and this is a particular concern along most of the coasts of the United States. A 1989 EPA report shows that sea levels rose 5-6 inches more than the global average along the Mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in the last century. The main reason for this is coastal land subsidence. This sea level rise is considered more as relative sea level rise than global sea level rise. Thus, instead of studying sea level rise globally, this paper describes a statistical approach by using factor analysis of regional sea level rates of change. Unlike physical models and semi-empirical models that attempt to approach how much and how fast sea levels are changing, this methodology allows for a discussion of the factor(s that statistically affects sea level rates of change, and seeks patterns to explain spatial correlations.

  13. Modeling Anthropogenic Impact on Sediment Balance and Relative Sea-Level Rise in Contemporary and Future Deltas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tessler, Z. D.; Vorosmarty, C. J.; Overeem, I.; Syvitski, J. P.

    2017-12-01

    Modern deltas are dependent on human-mediated freshwater and sediment fluxes. Changes to these fluxes impact delta biogeophysical functioning, and affect the long-term sustainability of these landscapes for both human and natural systems. Here we present contemporary estimates of long-term mean sediment balance and relative sea-level rise across 46 global deltas. We model ongoing development and scenarios of future water resource management and hydropower infrastructure in upstream river basins to explore how changing sediment fluxes impact relative sea-level in coastal delta systems. Model results show that contemporary sediment fluxes, anthropogenic drivers of land subsidence, and sea-level rise result in relative sea-level rise rates in deltas that average 6.8 mm/year. Currently planned or under-construction dams can be expected to increase rates of relative sea-level rise on the order of 1 mm/year. Some deltas systems, including the Magdalena, Orinoco, and Indus, are highly sensitive to future impoundment of river basins, with RSLR rates increasing up to 4 mm/year in a high-hydropower-utilization scenario. Sediment fluxes may be reduced by up to 60% in the Danube and 21% in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Megnha if all currently planned dams are constructed. Reduced sediment retention on deltas due to increased river channelization and local flood controls increases RSLR on average by nearly 2 mm/year. Long-term delta sustainability requires a more complete understanding of how geophysical and anthropogenic change impact delta geomorphology. Strategies for sustainable delta management that focus on local and regional drivers of change, especially groundwater and hydrocarbon extraction and upstream dam construction, can be highly impactful even in the context of global climate-induced sea-level rise.

  14. Perceptions of Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, and Possible Consequences Relate Mainly to Self-Valuation of Science Knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Pittfield, Taryn; Jeitner, Christian

    2016-05-01

    This study examines perceptions of climate change and sea level rise in New Jersey residents in 2012 and 2014. Different surveys have shown declines in interest and concern about climate change and sea level rise. Climate change and increasing temperatures have an anthropogenic cause, which relates to energy use, making it important to examine whether people believe that it is occurring. In late 2012 New Jersey experienced Super storm Sandy, one of the worst hurricanes in its history, followed by public discussion and media coverage of stronger more frequent storms due to climate change. Using structured interviews, we tested the null hypotheses that there were no differences in perceptions of 1260 interviewees as a function of year of the survey, age, gender, years of education, and self-evaluation of science knowledge (on a scale of 1 to 5). In 2012 460 of 639 (72%) rated "global warming occurring" as "certain" (#4) or "very certain" (#5) compared with 453 of 621 (73%) in 2014. For "due to human activities" the numbers of "certain" or "very certain" were 71% in 2012, and 67% in 2014 and for sea level rise the numbers were 64% and 70%. There were some inconsistent between-year differences with higher ratings in 2012 for 3 outcomes and higher ratings in 2014 for 5 outcomes. However, for 25 questions relative to climate change, sea level rise, and the personal and ecological effects of sea level rise, self-evaluation of science knowledge, independent of years of education, was the factor that entered 23 of the models, accounting for the most variability in ratings. People who believed they had a "high knowledge" (#4) or "very high knowledge" (#5) of science rated all issues as more important than did those people who rated their own scientific knowledge as average or below average.

  15. Modeling of Coastal Inundation, Storm Surge, and Relative Sea-Level Rise at Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Storm Surge, and Relative Sea-Level Rise at Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia, USA 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT...tive comments on the manuscript. Permission was granted by the Chief, USACE, to publish this information. LITERATURE CITED Blanton, B.; Stillwell, L...Geospatial Center. http://www.agc.army.mil/ (accessed February 29, 2012). Vickery, P.; Wadhera, D.; Cox, A.; Cardone , V.; Hanson, J., and Blanton, B

  16. 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.; 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graham, Sonia; Barnett, Jon; Fincher, Ruth; Hurlimann, Anna; Mortreux, Colette; Waters, Elissa

    2013-01-01

    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

  18. 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.

  19. Climate Adaptation and Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    EPA supports the development and maintenance of water utility infrastructure across the country. Included in this effort is helping the nation’s water utilities anticipate, plan for, and adapt to risks from flooding, sea level rise, and storm surge.

  20. 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

  1. Updating Maryland's sea-level rise projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boesch, Donald F.; Atkinson, Larry P.; Boicourt, William C.; Boon, John D.; Cahoon, Donald R.; Dalrymple, Robert A.; Ezer, Tal; Horton, Benjamin P.; Johnson, Zoe P.; Kopp, Robert E.; Li, Ming; Moss, Richard H.; Parris, Adam; Sommerfield, Christopher K.

    2013-01-01

    With its 3,100 miles of tidal shoreline and low-lying rural and urban lands, “The Free State” is one of the most vulnerable to sea-level rise. Historically, Marylanders have long had to contend with rising water levels along its Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean and coastal bay shores. Shorelines eroded and low-relief lands and islands, some previously inhabited, were inundated. Prior to the 20th century, this was largely due to the slow sinking of the land since Earth’s crust is still adjusting to the melting of large masses of ice following the last glacial period. Over the 20th century, however, the rate of rise of the average level of tidal waters with respect to land, or relative sea-level rise, has increased, at least partially as a result of global warming. Moreover, the scientific evidence is compelling that Earth’s climate will continue to warm and its oceans will rise even more rapidly. Recognizing the scientific consensus around global climate change, the contribution of human activities to it, and the vulnerability of Maryland’s people, property, public investments, and natural resources, Governor Martin O’Malley established the Maryland Commission on Climate Change on April 20, 2007. The Commission produced a Plan of Action that included a comprehensive climate change impact assessment, a greenhouse gas reduction strategy, and strategies for reducing Maryland’s vulnerability to climate change. The Plan has led to landmark legislation to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and a variety of state policies designed to reduce energy consumption and promote adaptation to climate change.

  2. The rise of sea level. To understand and to anticipate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2013-03-01

    By proposing and briefly commenting graphs and drawings, this publication propose brief presentations of the main issues related to sea level rise: global warming and climate disturbance, description of the phenomenon of sea level rise (difference between sea ice and ground ice, melting of glaciers), increase of sea level rise during the twentieth century, territories at risk (examples of Greenland, Tuvalu, Shanghai), acceleration of ice melting during the twenty first century with many coastal areas at risk, already noticed and possible future impacts in France (glaciers runoff, threatened coasts, example of the Xynthia tempest), how to be united and to anticipate (a threat for millions of people, adaptation to sea level rise, limitation of global warming to limit sea level rise)

  3. Long-Term Design of Mangrove Landfills as an Effective Tide Attenuator under Relative Sea-Level Rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroshi Takagi

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available A mangrove ecosystem is an important option in Ecosystem based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR. The effectiveness of an artificial mangrove landfill in reducing tidal amplitudes was studied by performing a coupled numerical model that simulated wave propagation and soil consolidation. The constructed model simulated the propagation of tide over an artificial landfill that was subjected to land subsidence, sea-level rise, vegetation growth, and sediment deposition. A case study analysis confirmed that the tidal amplitudes are reduced if the initial elevation of the landfill is appropriately considered to achieve an equilibrium state of the landfill over its lifetime. Sediment deposition may be the only dependable source to sustain the surface elevation of a mangrove with relative sea-level rise. Sediment deposition is important to promote vegetation growth, which in turn contributes to sedimentation by enhancing a tranquil hydrodynamic environment. An insufficient initial elevation of the landfill will result in less effective protection against tidal propagation after it substantially subsides.

  4. Rising sea levels and small island states

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leatherman, S.P.

    1994-01-01

    A review is given of the problems small island nations face with respect to sea level rise caused by global warming. Many small island nations are very vulnerable to sea level rise. Particularly at risk are coral reef atolls, which are generally quite small, lie within three metres of current sea levels, and have no land at higher elevations to relocate populations and economic activity. Volcanic islands in the Pacific have high ground, but it is largely rugged, high relief and soil-poor. The most vulnerable islands are those that consist entirely of atolls and reef islands, such as Kirabai, Maldives, Tokelau and Tuvalu. Small island states, which by themselves have little power or influence in world affairs, have banded together to form the Strategic Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). This alliance had grown to include 42 states by the time of the 1992 U.N. Earth Summit. Although the greenhouse effect is mainly caused by industrial nations, developing countries will suffer the most from it. Choices of response strategy will depend on environmental, economic and social factors. Most small island nations do not have the resources to fight sea level rise in the way that the Dutch have. Retreat can occur as a gradual process or as catastrophic abandonment. Prohibiting construction close to the water's edge is a good approach. Sea level histories for each island state should be compiled and updated, island geomorphology and settlement patterns should be surveyed to determine risk areas, storm regimes should be determined, and information on coastal impacts of sea level rise should be disseminated to the public

  5. 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

  6. Sea level rise in the Arctic Ocean

    OpenAIRE

    Proshutinsky, Andrey; Pavlov, Vladimir; Bourke, Robert H.

    2001-01-01

    The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2000GL012760 About 60 tide-gauge stations in the Kara, Laptev, East-Siberian and Chukchi Seas have recorded the sea level change from the 1950s through 1990s. Over this 40-year period, most of these stations show a significant sea level rise (SLR). In light of global change, this SLR could be a manifestation of warming in the Artic coupled with a decrease of sea ice extent, warming of Atlantic waters, changes in...

  7. 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....... 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...... 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....

  8. Analysis of Sea Level Rise in Action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, K. M.; Huang, T.; Quach, N. T.; Boening, C.

    2016-12-01

    NASA's Sea Level Change Portal provides scientists and the general public with "one-stop" source for current sea level change information and data. Sea Level Rise research is a multidisciplinary research and in order to understand its causes, scientists must be able to access different measurements and to be able to compare them. The portal includes an interactive tool, called the Data Analysis Tool (DAT), for accessing, visualizing, and analyzing observations and models relevant to the study of Sea Level Rise. Using NEXUS, an open source, big data analytic technology developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the DAT is able provide user on-the-fly data analysis on all relevant parameters. DAT is composed of three major components: A dedicated instance of OnEarth (a WMTS service), NEXUS deep data analytic platform, and the JPL Common Mapping Client (CMC) for web browser based user interface (UI). Utilizing the global imagery, a user is capable of browsing the data in a visual manner and isolate areas of interest for further study. The interfaces "Analysis" tool provides tools for area or point selection, single and/or comparative dataset selection, and a range of options, algorithms, and plotting. This analysis component utilizes the Nexus cloud computing platform to provide on-demand processing of the data within the user-selected parameters and immediate display of the results. A RESTful web API is exposed for users comfortable with other interfaces and who may want to take advantage of the cloud computing capabilities. This talk discuss how DAT enables on-the-fly sea level research. The talk will introduce the DAT with an end-to-end tour of the tool with exploration and animating of available imagery, a demonstration of comparative analysis and plotting, and how to share and export data along with images for use in publications/presentations. The session will cover what kind of data is available, what kind of analysis is possible, and what are the outputs.

  9. Mean relative sea level rise along the coasts of the China Seas from mid-20th to 21st centuries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Nan; Han, Guoqi; Yang, Jingsong

    2018-01-01

    Mean relative sea level (MRSL) rise has caused more frequent flooding in many parts of the world. The MRSL rise varies substantially from place to place. Here we use tide-gauge data and satellite measurements to examine past MRSL trends for the coasts of the China Seas. We then combine climate model output and satellite observations to provide MRSL projections in the 21st century. The MRSL trend based on tide-gauge data shows substantial regional variations, from 1 to 5 mm/yr. The vertical land motion (VLM) based on altimetry and tide-gauge (ATG) data indicates large land subsidence at some tide-gauge locations, consistent with the Global Positioning Systems (GPS)-based VLM but different significantly from small uplift estimated by a Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) model, which suggests other important factors causing the VLM instead of the GIA process. When GPS- or ATG-based VLM estimates are used, the projected MRSL rise between 1986-2005 and 2081-2100 at tide-gauge sites varies from 60 to 130 cm under the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5) scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Our projections are significantly larger than those of IPCC and other literature, as a result of accounting for the land subsidence derived from observations. Steric and dynamic ocean effects and land-ice melt effects are comparable (about 30 cm each) and do not vary much over the tide-gauge locations. The VLM effect varies from -10 to 60 cm. The projections between 1986-2005 and 2081-2100 under RCP4.5 show a similar spatial distribution to that under RCP8.5, with a smaller amount of rise by 18 cm on average for this region.

  10. Sea level hazards: Altimetric monitoring of tsunamis and sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamlington, Benjamin Dillon

    Whether on the short timescale of an impending tsunami or the much longer timescale of climate change-driven sea level rise, the threat stemming from rising and inundating ocean waters is a great concern to coastal populations. Timely and accurate observations of potentially dangerous changes in sea level are vital in determining the precautionary steps that need to be taken in order to protect coastal communities. While instruments from the past have provided in situ measurements of sea level at specific locations across the globe, satellites can be used to provide improved spatial and temporal sampling of the ocean in addition to producing more accurate measurements. Since 1993, satellite altimetry has provided accurate measurements of sea surface height (SSH) with near-global coverage. Not only have these measurements led to the first definitive estimates of global mean sea level rise, satellite altimetry observations have also been used to detect tsunami waves in the open ocean where wave amplitudes are relatively small, a vital step in providing early warning to those potentially affected by the impending tsunami. The use of satellite altimetry to monitor two specific sea level hazards is examined in this thesis. The first section will focus on the detection of tsunamis in the open ocean for the purpose of providing early warning to coastal inhabitants. The second section will focus on estimating secular trends using satellite altimetry data with the hope of improving our understanding of future sea level change. Results presented here will show the utility of satellite altimetry for sea level monitoring and will lay the foundation for further advancement in the detection of the two sea level hazards considered.

  11. Present-day sea level rise: a synthesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cazenave, A.; Llovel, W.; Lombard, A.

    2008-01-01

    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)

  12. Analysis of Sea Level Rise in Singapore Strait

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkalich, Pavel; Luu, Quang-Hung

    2013-04-01

    Sea level in Singapore Strait is governed by various scale phenomena, from global to local. Global signals are dominated by the climate change and multi-decadal variability and associated sea level rise; at regional scale seasonal sea level variability is caused by ENSO-modulated monsoons; locally, astronomic tides are the strongest force. Tide gauge records in Singapore Strait are analyzed to derive local sea level trend, and attempts are made to attribute observed sea level variability to phenomena at various scales, from global to local. It is found that at annual scale, sea level anomalies in Singapore Strait are quasi-periodic, of the order of ±15 cm, the highest during northeast monsoon and the lowest during southwest monsoon. Interannual regional sea level falls are associated with El Niño events, while the rises are related to La Niña episodes; both variations are in the range of ±9 cm. At multi-decadal scale, sea level in Singapore Strait has been rising at the rate 1.2-1.9 mm/year for the period 1975-2009, 2.0±0.3 mm/year for 1984-2009, and 1.3-4.7 mm/year for 1993-2009. When compared with the respective global trends of 2.0±0.3, 2.4, and 2.8±0.8 mm/year, Singapore Strait sea level rise trend was weaker at the earlier period and stronger at the recent decade.

  13. Anthropogenic sea level rise and adaptation in the Yangtze estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, H.; Chen, J.; Chen, Z.; Ruan, R.; Xu, G.; Zeng, G.; Zhu, J.; Dai, Z.; Gu, S.; Zhang, X.; Wang, H.

    2016-02-01

    Sea level rise is a major projected threat of climate change. There are regional variations in sea level changes, depending on both naturally the tectonic subsidence, geomorphology, naturally changing river inputs and anthropogenic driven forces as artificial reservoir water impoundment within the watershed and urban land subsidence driven by ground water depletion in the river delta. Little is known on regional sea level fall in response to the channel erosion due to the sediment discharge decline by reservoir interception in the upstream watershed, and water level rise driven by anthropogenic measures as the land reclamation, deep waterway regulation and fresh water reservoir construction to the sea level change in estuaries. Changing coastal cities are situated in the delta regions expected to be threatened in various degrees. Shanghai belongs to those cities. Here we show that the anthropogenic driven sea level rise in the Yangtze estuary from the point of view of the continuous hydrodynamic system consisted of river catchment, estuary and coastal sea. Land subsidence is cited as 4 mm/a (2011-2030). Scour depth of the estuarine channel by upstream engineering as Three Gauge Dam is estimated at 2-10 cm (2011-2030). The rise of water level by deep waterway and land reclamation is estimated at 8-10 cm (2011-2030). The relative sea level rise will be speculated about 10 -16 cm (2011-2030), which these anthropogenic sea level changes will be imposed into the absolute sea level rise 2 mm/a and tectonic subsidence 1 mm/a measured in 1990s. The action guideline to the sea level rise strategy in the Shanghai city have been proposed to the Shanghai government as (1) recent actions (2012-2015) to upgrade the city water supply and drainage engineering and protective engineering; (2) interim actions (2016-2020) to improve sea level monitoring and early warning system, and then the special, city, regional planning considering sea level rise; (3) long term actions (2021

  14. Monitoring Rates of Subsidence and Relative Sea-Level Rise in Low-Elevation Coastal Zones: A New Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tornqvist, T. E.; Jankowski, K. L.; Fernandes, A. M.; Keogh, M.; Nienhuis, J.

    2017-12-01

    Low-elevation coastal zones (LECZs) that often host large population centers are particularly vulnerable to accelerating rates of relative sea-level rise (RSLR). Traditionally, tide-gauge records are used to obtain quantitative data on rates of RSLR, given that they are perceived to capture the rise of the sea surface, as well as land subsidence which is often substantial in such settings. We argue here that tide gauges in LECZs often provide ambiguous data because they ultimately measure RSLR with respect to a benchmark that is typically anchored tens of meters deep. This is problematic because the prime target of interest is usually the rate of RSLR with respect to the land surface. We illustrate this problem with newly obtained rod surface elevation table - marker horizon (RSET-MH) data from coastal Louisiana (n = 274) that show that shallow subsidence in the uppermost 5-10 m accounts for 60-85% of total subsidence. Since benchmarks in this region are anchored at 23 m depth on average, tide-gauge records by definition do not capture this important process and thus underestimate RSLR by a considerable amount. We show how RSET-MH data, combined with GPS and satellite altimetry data, enable us to bypass this problem. Rates of RSLR in coastal Louisiana over the past 6-10 years are 12 ± 8 mm/yr, considerably higher than numbers reported in recent studies based on tide-gauge analysis. Subsidence rates, averaged across this region, total about 9 mm/yr. It is likely that the problems with tide-gauge data are not unique to coastal Louisiana, so we suggest that our new approach to RSLR measurements may be useful in LECZs worldwide, with considerable implications for metropolitan areas like New Orleans that are located within such settings.

  15. 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

  16. Can salt marshes survive sea level rise ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tambroni, N.; Seminara, G.

    2008-12-01

    Stability of salt marshes is a very delicate issue depending on the subtle interplay among hydrodynamics, morphodynamics and ecology. In fact, the elevation of the marsh platform depends essentially on three effects: i) the production of soil associated with sediments resuspended by tidal currents and wind waves in the adjacent tidal flats, advected to the marsh and settling therein; ii) production of organic sediments by the salt marsh vegetation; iii) soil 'loss' driven by sea level rise and subsidence. In order to gain insight into the mechanics of the process, we consider a schematic configuration consisting of a salt marsh located at the landward end of a tidal channel connected at the upstream end with a tidal sea, under different scenarios of sea level rise. We extend the simple 1D model for the morphodynamic evolution of a tidal channel formulated by Lanzoni and Seminara (2002, Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 107, C1) allowing for sediment resuspension in the channel and vegetation growth in the marsh using the depth dependent model of biomass productivity of Spartina proposed by Morris et al. (2002, Ecology, 83, pp. 2869 - 2877). We first focus on the case of a tide dominated salt marsh neglecting wind driven sediment resuspension in the shoal. Results show that the production of biomass plays a crucial role on salt marsh stability and, provided productivity is high enough, it may turn out to be sufficient to counteract the effects of sea level rise even in the absence of significant supply of mineral sediments. The additional effect of wind resuspension is then introduced. Note that the wind action is twofold: on one hand, it generates wind waves the amplitude of which is strongly dependent on shoal depth and wind fetch; on the other hand, it generates currents driven by the surface setup induced by the shear stress acting on the free surface. Here, each contribution is analysed separately. Results show that the values of bottom stress induced by

  17. Anthropogenic forcing dominates sea level rise since 1850

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jevrejeva, Svetlana; Grinsted, Aslak; Moore, John

    2009-01-01

    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...... 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...

  18. Sea-level rise: towards understanding local vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahmstorf, Stefan

    2012-06-01

    , experts are increasingly looking at its potential impacts on coasts to facilitate local adaptation planning. This is a more complex issue than one might think, because different stretches of coast can be affected in very different ways. First of all, the sea-level response to global warming will not be globally uniform, since factors like changes in ocean currents (Levermann et al 2005) and the changing gravitational pull of continental ice (Mitrovica et al 2001) affect the local rise. Secondly, superimposed on the climatic trend is natural variability in sea level, which regionally can be as large as the climatic signal on multi-decadal timescales. Over the past decades, sea level has dropped in sizable parts of the world ocean, although it has of course risen in global mean (IPCC 2007). Thirdly, local land uplift or subsidence affects the local sea-level change relative to the coast, both for natural reasons (post-glacial isostatic adjustment centred on regions that were covered by ice sheets during the last ice age) and artificial ones (e.g., extraction of water or oil as in the Gulf of Mexico). Finally, local vulnerability to sea-level rise depends on many factors. Two interesting new studies in this journal (Tebaldi et al 2012, Strauss et al 2012) make important steps towards understanding sea-level vulnerability along the coasts of the United States, with methods that could also be applied elsewhere. The first, by Strauss and colleagues, merges high-resolution topographic data and a newly available tidal model together with population and housing data in order to estimate what land area and population would be at risk given certain increments in sea level. The results are mapped and tabulated at county and city level. They reveal the 'hot spots' along the US coast where sea-level rise is of the highest concern because of large populations living near the high-tide line: New York City and Long Island; the New Jersey shore; the Norfolk, Virginia, area; near Charleston

  19. Probabilistic reanalysis of twentieth-century sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hay, Carling C; Morrow, Eric; Kopp, Robert E; Mitrovica, Jerry X

    2015-01-22

    Estimating and accounting for twentieth-century global mean sea level (GMSL) rise is critical to characterizing current and future human-induced sea-level change. Several previous analyses of tide gauge records--employing different methods to accommodate the spatial sparsity and temporal incompleteness of the data and to constrain the geometry of long-term sea-level change--have concluded that GMSL rose over the twentieth century at a mean rate of 1.6 to 1.9 millimetres per year. Efforts to account for this rate by summing estimates of individual contributions from glacier and ice-sheet mass loss, ocean thermal expansion, and changes in land water storage fall significantly short in the period before 1990. The failure to close the budget of GMSL during this period has led to suggestions that several contributions may have been systematically underestimated. However, the extent to which the limitations of tide gauge analyses have affected estimates of the GMSL rate of change is unclear. Here we revisit estimates of twentieth-century GMSL rise using probabilistic techniques and find a rate of GMSL rise from 1901 to 1990 of 1.2 ± 0.2 millimetres per year (90% confidence interval). Based on individual contributions tabulated in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this estimate closes the twentieth-century sea-level budget. Our analysis, which combines tide gauge records with physics-based and model-derived geometries of the various contributing signals, also indicates that GMSL rose at a rate of 3.0 ± 0.7 millimetres per year between 1993 and 2010, consistent with prior estimates from tide gauge records.The increase in rate relative to the 1901-90 trend is accordingly larger than previously thought; this revision may affect some projections of future sea-level rise.

  20. Estimates of the Economic Effects of Sea Level Rise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Darwin, R.F.; Tol, R.S.J.

    2001-01-01

    Regional estimates of direct cost (DC) are commonly used to measure the economic damages of sea level rise. Such estimates suffer from three limitations: (1) values of threatened endowments are not well known, (2) loss of endowments does not affect consumer prices, and (3) international trade is disregarded. Results in this paper indicate that these limitations can significantly affect economic assessments of sea level rise. Current uncertainty regarding endowment values (as reflected in two alternative data sets), for example, leads to a 17 percent difference in coastal protection, a 36 percent difference in the amount of land protected, and a 36 percent difference in DC globally. Also, global losses in equivalent variation (EV), a welfare measure that accounts for price changes, are 13 percent higher than DC estimates. Regional EV losses may be up to 10 percent lower than regional DC, however, because international trade tends to redistribute losses from regions with relatively high damages to regions with relatively low damages. 43 refs

  1. 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

    2014-04-14

    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.

  2. PERSPECTIVE: The tripping points of sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecht, Alan D.

    2009-12-01

    , according to Titus et al, is for communities to develop a common vision about which lands will be protected and which lands will yield to the rising sea, similar to the way land use plans identify commercial, residential, agricultural, and conservation lands. The supplementary material in their paper (as well as a related web site suggested by the peer review process of this journal) provides maps that depict the likelihood of shore protection based on existing land use data and the assessment of the local governments. Such maps, they suggest, might be used as a starting point to promote dialogue within communities about which lands should be protected and which lands are allowed to become submerged. A second tripping point relates to conflict between existing environmental laws and their collective ability to respond to the impacts of global warming. For example, property owners are automatically issued permits for construction of hard shore-protection structures (e.g. bulkheads and revetments) without an assessment of their environmental impact. Normally, under the Clean Water Act, the impact of each permit is assessed separately, but there is a special expedited process for activities with no cumulative impact. The Corps of Engineers concluded that shore protection does not have a cumulative impact, and that might be true if shore erosion was rare and stable shores the general rule. But once we recognize that the sea level is rising, then shore erosion becomes the general rule and a cumulative impact is likely. Under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), cumulative impacts have been defined as `the impacts of an activity ``added to other past present and reasonably future actions'' regardless of who takes the other actions'. If the NEPA were actually evoked, it would considerably delay permit approvals and substantially impact the Corps of Engineers' process for issuing permits. The potential impact of sea level rise clearly requires a holistic approach to

  3. Deep Ocean Contribution to Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, L.; Sun, W.; Tang, H.; Wang, Q.

    2017-12-01

    The ocean temperature and salinity change in the upper 2000m can be detected by Argo floats, so we can know the steric height change of the ocean. But the ocean layers above 2000m represent only 50% of the total ocean volume. Although the temperature and salinity change are small compared to the upper ocean, the deep ocean contribution to sea level might be significant because of its large volume. There has been some research on the deep ocean rely on the very sparse situ observation and are limited to decadal and longer-term rates of change. The available observational data in the deep ocean are too spares to determine the temporal variability, and the long-term changes may have a bias. We will use the Argo date and combine the situ data and topographic data to estimate the temperature and salinity of the sea water below 2000m, so we can obtain a monthly data. We will analyze the seasonal and annual change of the steric height change due to the deep ocean between 2005 and 2016. And we will evaluate the result combination the present-day satellite and in situ observing systems. The deep ocean contribution can be inferred indirectly as the difference between the altimetry minus GRACE and Argo-based steric sea level.

  4. 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.

    Content-Type text/plain; charset=UTF-8 91 Observed sea-level rise in the north Indian Ocean coasts during the past century A. S. Unnikrishnan National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa-403004 unni@nio.org Introduction Sea-level... rise is one of the good indicators of global warming. Rise in sea level occurs mainly through melting of glaciers, thermal expansion due to ocean warming and some other processes of relatively smaller magnitudes. Sea level rise is a global...

  5. The coupling of bay hydrodynamics with sediment supply and micro-tidal wetland stability under high rates of relative sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J.; Xu, K.; Restreppo, G. A.; Bentley, S. J.; Meng, X.; Zhang, X.

    2017-12-01

    Due to global sea level rise, local subsidence and sediment deficit, the Mississippi River (MR) deltaic plain has lost a total of 25% of coastal Louisiana's wetlands during the last century, leading to huge losses of ecological services, economic and social crises. Ecosystem-based restoration strategies which rely on coastal system processes and feedbacks are urgently needed. Understanding linkages between estuarine and coastal systems and the adjacent marshlands will help the designing strategies. To investigate bay hydrodynamics and its impacts on the adjacent micro-tidal wetland stability, hourly measurements of wave, tidal current, and benthic sediment concentration in summer, winter, and spring of 2015-2016 were conducted in Fourleague Bay, Louisiana, USA. The bay-marsh system has been stable for almost 80 years under high relative sea level rising rate, which is 11 km southeast of the Atchafalaya River mouth, with a water depth of 1-3 m. High-temporal resolution data indicate that benthic sediment resuspension is mainly caused by wind-driven waves with a dominant periodicity of 4.8 d. The sediment flux reaches 28 g·m-1·s-1 per unit depth in cm during the events. Net sediment transport is northwestward in summer, and southeastward in winter and spring. Sediment flux available for surrounding marsh varies from 0-500 g·m-1·s-1. An optimal inundation depth of 50 cm is estimated by the equilibrium wetland elevation change model under high relative sea level rising rate of 1.57 cm·yr-1. Seasonal variations of river discharge and wind direction (particularly speeds >3 m·s-1) greatly impact potential sediment contribution from bay to the surrounding wetlands. Three sediment transport regimes are concluded based on the seasonal variations of river discharge and wind direction: the `bypassing' season, the resuspension-accumulation season, and the combined `bypassing' and resuspension-accumulation season. The bay hydrodynamic processes and their impacts on the

  6. Separating decadal global water cycle variability from sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamlington, B D; Reager, J T; Lo, M-H; Karnauskas, K B; Leben, R R

    2017-04-20

    Under a warming climate, amplification of the water cycle and changes in precipitation patterns over land are expected to occur, subsequently impacting the terrestrial water balance. On global scales, such changes in terrestrial water storage (TWS) will be reflected in the water contained in the ocean and can manifest as global sea level variations. Naturally occurring climate-driven TWS variability can temporarily obscure the long-term trend in sea level rise, in addition to modulating the impacts of sea level rise through natural periodic undulation in regional and global sea level. The internal variability of the global water cycle, therefore, confounds both the detection and attribution of sea level rise. Here, we use a suite of observations to quantify and map the contribution of TWS variability to sea level variability on decadal timescales. In particular, we find that decadal sea level variability centered in the Pacific Ocean is closely tied to low frequency variability of TWS in key areas across the globe. The unambiguous identification and clean separation of this component of variability is the missing step in uncovering the anthropogenic trend in sea level and understanding the potential for low-frequency modulation of future TWS impacts including flooding and drought.

  7. Adapting to Rising Sea Level: A Florida Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Randall W.

    2009-07-01

    Global climate change and concomitant rising sea level will have a profound impact on Florida's coastal and marine systems. Sea-level rise will increase erosion of beaches, cause saltwater intrusion into water supplies, inundate coastal marshes and other important habitats, and make coastal property more vulnerable to erosion and flooding. Yet most coastal areas are currently managed under the premise that sea-level rise is not significant and the shorelines are static or can be fixed in place by engineering structures. The new reality of sea-level rise and extreme weather due to climate change requires a new style of planning and management to protect resources and reduce risk to humans. Scientists must: (1) assess existing coastal vulnerability to address short term management issues and (2) model future landscape change and develop sustainable plans to address long term planning and management issues. Furthermore, this information must be effectively transferred to planners, managers, and elected officials to ensure their decisions are based upon the best available information. While there is still some uncertainty regarding the details of rising sea level and climate change, development decisions are being made today which commit public and private investment in real estate and associated infrastructure. With a design life of 30 yrs to 75 yrs or more, many of these investments are on a collision course with rising sea level and the resulting impacts will be significant. In the near term, the utilization of engineering structures may be required, but these are not sustainable and must ultimately yield to "managed withdrawal" programs if higher sea-level elevations or rates of rise are forthcoming. As an initial step towards successful adaptation, coastal management and planning documents (i.e., comprehensive plans) must be revised to include reference to climate change and rising sea-level.

  8. Estimating sea-level allowances for Atlantic Canada under conditions of uncertain sea-level rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Greenan

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper documents the methodology of computing sea-level rise allowances for Atlantic Canada in the 21st century under conditions of uncertain sea-level rise. The sea-level rise allowances are defined as the amount by which an asset needs to be raised in order to maintain the same likelihood of future flooding events as that site has experienced in the recent past. The allowances are determined by combination of the statistics of present tides and storm surges (storm tides and the regional projections of sea-level rise and associated uncertainty. Tide-gauge data for nine sites from the Canadian Atlantic coast are used to derive the scale parameters of present sea-level extremes using the Gumbel distribution function. The allowances in the 21st century, with respect to the year 1990, were computed for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC A1FI emission scenario. For Atlantic Canada, the allowances are regionally variable and, for the period 1990–2050, range between –13 and 38 cm while, for the period 1990–2100, they range between 7 and 108 cm. The negative allowances in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence region are caused by land uplift due to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA.

  9. Building more effective sea level rise models for coastal management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidwell, D.; Buckel, C.; Collini, R.; Meckley, T.

    2017-12-01

    For over a decade, increased attention on coastal resilience and adaptation to sea level rise has resulted in a proliferation of predictive models and tools. This proliferation has enhanced our understanding of our vulnerability to sea level rise, but has also led to stakeholder fatigue in trying to realize the value of each advancement. These models vary in type and complexity ranging from GIS-based bathtub viewers to modeling systems that dynamically couple complex biophysical and geomorphic processes. These approaches and capabilities typically have the common purpose using scenarios of global and regional sea level change to inform adaptation and mitigation. In addition, stakeholders are often presented a plethora of options to address sea level rise issues from a variety of agencies, academics, and consulting firms. All of this can result in confusion, misapplication of a specific model/tool, and stakeholder feedback of "no more new science or tools, just help me understand which one to use". Concerns from stakeholders have led to the question; how do we move forward with sea level rise modeling? This presentation will provide a synthesis of the experiences and feedback derived from NOAA's Ecological Effects of Sea level Rise (EESLR) program to discuss the future of predictive sea level rise impact modeling. EESLR is an applied research program focused on the advancement of dynamic modeling capabilities in collaboration with local and regional stakeholders. Key concerns from stakeholder engagement include questions about model uncertainty, approaches for model validation, and a lack of cross-model comparisons. Effective communication of model/tool products, capabilities, and results is paramount to address these concerns. Looking forward, the most effective predictions of sea level rise impacts on our coast will be attained through a focus on coupled modeling systems, particularly those that connect natural processes and human response.

  10. Assessing Flood Risk Under Sea Level Rise and Extreme Sea Levels Scenarios: Application to the Ebro Delta (Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayol, J. M.; Marcos, M.

    2018-02-01

    This study presents a novel methodology to estimate the impact of local sea level rise and extreme surges and waves in coastal areas under climate change scenarios. The methodology is applied to the Ebro Delta, a valuable and vulnerable low-lying wetland located in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Projections of local sea level accounting for all contributions to mean sea level changes, including thermal expansion, dynamic changes, fresh water addition and glacial isostatic adjustment, have been obtained from regionalized sea level projections during the 21st century. Particular attention has been paid to the uncertainties, which have been derived from the spread of the multi-model ensemble combined with seasonal/inter-annual sea level variability from local tide gauge observations. Besides vertical land movements have also been integrated to estimate local relative sea level rise. On the other hand, regional projections over the Mediterranean basin of storm surges and wind-waves have been used to evaluate changes in extreme events. The compound effects of surges and extreme waves have been quantified using their joint probability distributions. Finally, offshore sea level projections from extreme events superimposed to mean sea level have been propagated onto a high resolution digital elevation model of the study region in order to construct flood hazards maps for mid and end of the 21st century and under two different climate change scenarios. The effect of each contribution has been evaluated in terms of percentage of the area exposed to coastal hazards, which will help to design more efficient protection and adaptation measures.

  11. Vulnerability of marginal seas to sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomis, Damia; Jordà, Gabriel

    2017-04-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) is a serious thread for coastal areas and has a potential negative impact on society and economy. SLR can lead for instance to land loss, beach reduction, increase of the damage of marine storms on coastal infrastructures and to the salinization of underground water streams. It is well acknowledged that future SLR will be inhomogeneous across the globe, with regional differences of up to 100% with respect to global mean sea level (GMSL). Several studies have addressed the projections of SLR at regional scale, but most of them are based on global climate models (GCMs) that have a relatively coarse spatial resolution (>1°). In marginal seas this has proven to be a strong limitation, as their particular configurations require spatial resolutions that are not reachable by present GCMs. A paradigmatic case is the Mediterranean Sea, connected to the global ocean through the Strait of Gibraltar, a narrow passage of 14 km width. The functioning of the Mediterranean Sea involves a variety of processes including an overturning circulation, small-scale convection and a rich mesoscale field. Moreover, the long-term evolution of Mediterranean sea level has been significantly different from the global mean during the last decades. The observations of present climate and the projections for the next decades have lead some authors to hypothesize that the particular characteristics of the basin could allow Mediterranean mean sea level to evolve differently from the global mean. Assessing this point is essential to undertake proper adaptation strategies for the largely populated Mediterranean coastal areas. In this work we apply a new approach that combines regional and global projections to analyse future SLR. In a first step we focus on the quantification of the expected departures of future Mediterranean sea level from GMSL evolution and on the contribution of different processes to these departures. As a result we find that, in spite of its particularities

  12. Impact of sea level rise on tide gate function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Sean; Miskewitz, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Sea level rise resulting from climate change and land subsidence is expected to severely impact the duration and associated damage resulting from flooding events in tidal communities. These communities must continuously invest resources for the maintenance of existing structures and installation of new flood prevention infrastructure. Tide gates are a common flood prevention structure for low-lying communities in the tidal zone. Tide gates close during incoming tides to prevent inundation from downstream water propagating inland and open during outgoing tides to drain upland areas. Higher downstream mean sea level elevations reduce the effectiveness of tide gates by impacting the hydraulics of the system. This project developed a HEC-RAS and HEC-HMS model of an existing tide gate structure and its upland drainage area in the New Jersey Meadowlands to simulate the impact of rising mean sea level elevations on the tide gate's ability to prevent upstream flooding. Model predictions indicate that sea level rise will reduce the tide gate effectiveness resulting in longer lasting and deeper flood events. The results indicate that there is a critical point in the sea level elevation for this local area, beyond which flooding scenarios become dramatically worse and would have a significantly negative impact on the standard of living and ability to do business in one of the most densely populated areas of America.

  13. 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.

  14. Sea-level rise risks to coastal cities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholls, Robert J.

    2017-04-01

    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 and the challenge will be to develop a long-term proactive assessment approach to manage this challenge. In 2005 there were 136 coastal cities with a population exceeding one million people and a collective population of 400 million people. All these coastal 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). In these cities we wish to avoid major flood events, with associated damage and potentially deaths and ultimately decline of the cities. Flood risks grow with sea-level rise as it raises extreme sea levels. As sea levels continue to rise, protection will have to be progressively upgraded. Even with this, the magnitude of losses when flood events do occur would increase as coastal cities expand, and water depths and hence unit damage increase with sea-level rise/subsidence. This makes it critical to also prepare for larger coastal flood disasters than we experience today and raises questions on the limits to adaptation. There is not an extensive literature or significant empirical information on the limits to adaptation in coastal cities. These limits 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, a defence upgrade or something else. There are several types of potential limits that could be categorised into three broad types: • Physical

  15. SEA-LEVEL RISE. Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutton, A; Carlson, A E; Long, A J; Milne, G A; Clark, P U; DeConto, R; Horton, B P; Rahmstorf, S; Raymo, M E

    2015-07-10

    Interdisciplinary studies of geologic archives have ushered in a new era of deciphering magnitudes, rates, and sources of sea-level rise from polar ice-sheet loss during past warm periods. Accounting for glacial isostatic processes helps to reconcile spatial variability in peak sea level during marine isotope stages 5e and 11, when the global mean reached 6 to 9 meters and 6 to 13 meters higher than present, respectively. Dynamic topography introduces large uncertainties on longer time scales, precluding robust sea-level estimates for intervals such as the Pliocene. Present climate is warming to a level associated with significant polar ice-sheet loss in the past. Here, we outline advances and challenges involved in constraining ice-sheet sensitivity to climate change with use of paleo-sea level records. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  16. 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

  17. Greenhouse effect, sea level rise, and coastal drainage systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Titus, J G; Kuo, C Y; Gibbs, M J; LaRoche, T B; Webb, M K; Waddell, J O

    1987-01-01

    Increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other gases are expected to warm the earth several degrees in the next century, which would raise sea level a few feet and alter precipitation patterns. Both of these changes would have major impacts on the operation of coastal drainage systems. However, because sea level rise and climate change resulting from the greenhouse effect are still uncertain, most planners and engineers are ignoring the potential implications. Case studies of the potential impact on watersheds in Charleston, South Carolina, and Fort Walton Beach, Florida, suggest that the cost of designing a new system to accommodate a rise in sea level will sometimes be small compared with the retrofit cost that may ultimately be necessary if new systems are not designed for a rise. Rather than ignore the greenhouse effect until its consequences are firmly established, engineers and planners should evaluate whether it would be worthwhile to insure that new systems are not vulnerable to the risks of climate change and sea level rise.

  18. Integrating conservation costs into sea level rise adaptive conservation prioritization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingjian Zhu

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity conservation requires strategic investment as resources for conservation are often limited. As sea level rises, it is important and necessary to consider both sea level rise and costs in conservation decision making. In this study, we consider costs of conservation in an integrated modeling process that incorporates a geomorphological model (SLAMM, species habitat models, and conservation prioritization (Zonation to identify conservation priorities in the face of landscape dynamics due to sea level rise in the Matanzas River basin of northeast Florida. Compared to conservation priorities that do not consider land costs in the analysis process, conservation priorities that consider costs in the planning process change significantly. The comparison demonstrates that some areas with high conservation values might be identified as lower priorities when integrating economic costs in the planning process and some areas with low conservation values might be identified as high priorities when considering costs in the planning process. This research could help coastal resources managers make informed decisions about where and how to allocate conservation resources more wisely to facilitate biodiversity adaptation to sea level rise.

  19. 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

  20. Projecting Future Sea Level Rise for Water Resources Planning in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, J.; Kao, K.; Chung, F.

    2008-12-01

    Sea level rise is one of the major concerns for the management of California's water resources. Higher water levels and salinity intrusion into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta could affect water supplies, water quality, levee stability, and aquatic and terrestrial flora and fauna species and their habitat. Over the 20th century, sea levels near San Francisco Bay increased by over 0.6ft. Some tidal gauge and satellite data indicate that rates of sea level rise are accelerating. Sea levels are expected to continue to rise due to increasing air temperatures causing thermal expansion of the ocean and melting of land-based ice such as ice on Greenland and in southeastern Alaska. For water planners, two related questions are raised on the uncertainty of future sea levels. First, what is the expected sea level at a specific point in time in the future, e.g., what is the expected sea level in 2050? Second, what is the expected point of time in the future when sea levels will exceed a certain height, e.g., what is the expected range of time when the sea level rises by one foot? To address these two types of questions, two factors are considered: (1) long term sea level rise trend, and (2) local extreme sea level fluctuations. A two-step approach will be used to develop sea level rise projection guidelines for decision making that takes both of these factors into account. The first step is developing global sea level rise probability distributions for the long term trends. The second step will extend the approach to take into account the effects of local astronomical tides, changes in atmospheric pressure, wind stress, floods, and the El Niño/Southern Oscillation. In this paper, the development of the first step approach is presented. To project the long term sea level rise trend, one option is to extend the current rate of sea level rise into the future. However, since recent data indicate rates of sea level rise are accelerating, methods for estimating sea level rise

  1. Enhanced land subsidence in Galveston Bay, Texas: Interaction between sediment accumulation rates and relative sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Mukaimi, Mohammad E.; Dellapenna, Timothy M.; Williams, Joshua R.

    2018-07-01

    Galveston Bay is the second largest estuary along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast, with a watershed containing one of largest concentrations of petroleum and chemical industries globally, as well as Houston, the fifth largest metropolitan area in the USA. Throughout the last century, extensive groundwater extraction to support these industries and an expanding population has resulted in significantly enhanced land subsidence (0.6-3.0 cm yr-1). The highest subsidence rates observed in the bay are within the lower 15 km of the San Jacinto River/Houston Ship Channel region (SJR/HSC), with distal areas in East and West Galveston Bays having subsidence rates on the order of 0.2 cm yr-1. In order to investigate the impacts of subsidence on sedimentation, a series of 22 vibracores were collected throughout the bay, and 210Pb and 137Cs radioisotope geochronologies and grain size distributions were determined. Sediment accumulation rates are highest (1.9 ± 0.5 cm yr-1) in the SJR/HSC, and decrease (sedimentation rates are significantly (p sedimentation rates are lower (as much as 50%) than estimated RSLR, indicating a sediment accretionary deficit. In areas (e.g., Scott Bay) within the SJR/HSC, the bay has deepened by more than 1.5 m, suggesting that sediment accumulation cannot keep pace with RSLR. Ultimately, this has resulted in a loss of coastal wetlands and a conversion of marine habitats from relatively shallow to deeper water settings.

  2. Adaptation to the Impacts of Sea Level Rise in Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Raey, M.; Dewidar, K.R.; El-Hattab, M.

    1999-01-01

    Assessment of the vulnerability and expected socioeconomic losses over the Nile delta coast due to the impact of sea level rise is carried out in details. Impacts of sea level rise over the Governorates of Alexandria and Port Said in particular, are evaluated quantitatively. Analysis of the results at Alexandria Governorate indicate that, if no action is taken, an area of about 30% of the city will be lost due to inundation. Almost 2 million people will have to abandon their homeland; 195,000 jobs will be lost and an economic loss of over $3.5 Billion is expected over the next century. At Port Said Governorate results indicate that beach areas are most severely affected (hence tourism), followed by urban areas. The agriculture sector is the least affected sector. It is estimated that the economic loss is over $ 2.0 Billion for 0.50 m SLR and may exceed $ 4.4 Billion for 1.25 m SLR. Options and costs of adaptation are analyzed and presented. Multi-criteria and decision matrix approaches, based on questionnaire surveys are carried out to identify priorities for the two cases. Analysis of these techniques of two options; the current policy (hard protection measures on some vulnerable areas) and no action (stopping these activities) have the lowest scores. Beach nourishment and integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) have the highest scores, however ICZM has high cost measures. The most cost effective option is the land-use change, however with relatively very high cost measure. It is recommended that an ICZM approach be adopted since it provides a reasonable trade off between costs and cost effectiveness. 14 refs

  3. Committed sea-level rise under the Paris Agreement and the legacy of delayed mitigation action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mengel, Matthias; Nauels, Alexander; Rogelj, Joeri; Schleussner, Carl-Friedrich

    2018-02-20

    Sea-level rise is a major consequence of climate change that will continue long after emissions of greenhouse gases have stopped. The 2015 Paris Agreement aims at reducing climate-related risks by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero and limiting global-mean temperature increase. Here we quantify the effect of these constraints on global sea-level rise until 2300, including Antarctic ice-sheet instabilities. We estimate median sea-level rise between 0.7 and 1.2 m, if net-zero greenhouse gas emissions are sustained until 2300, varying with the pathway of emissions during this century. Temperature stabilization below 2 °C is insufficient to hold median sea-level rise until 2300 below 1.5 m. We find that each 5-year delay in near-term peaking of CO 2 emissions increases median year 2300 sea-level rise estimates by ca. 0.2 m, and extreme sea-level rise estimates at the 95th percentile by up to 1 m. Our results underline the importance of near-term mitigation action for limiting long-term sea-level rise risks.

  4. Age of overwash and rate of relative sea-level rise inferred from detrital heads and microatolls of medieval corals at Anegada, British Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennifer, W.; Feuillet, N.; Robert, H.; Brian, A.; Ten Brink, U. S.; Deschamps, P.; Tuttle, M. P.; Wei, Y.; Fuentes, Z.

    2012-12-01

    , four form an older group with ages between 1150±35 and 1240±20 14C yr BP, and one is an outlier at 1960±40 14C yr BP. In three of the areas, including those farthest from the reef, all the dated heads are in the young group. The other two areas show a mix of young and older ages. The outlier age was measured on an eroded fragment of the small brain coral Manicina areolata. The ages of the young group correspond to AD 1200-1450 if the local shift in marine-reservoir age (ΔR) was between 0 and -200 14C yr. The mix of ages and degrees of preservation can thus be explained by a single overwash event in AD 1200-1450 that dislodged and brought ashore both live and dead corals. Of the fifty coral boulders observed, at least five have a microatoll shape indicative of outward and upward growth limited by lowest tide level. All five are D. strigosa. Their cup-shaped morphology suggests that relative sea level (RSL) was rising before they died. X-radiography of one of them shows a growth rate of 8 mm/yr and a RSL rise averaging 3-4 mm/yr during the last 70 years before death. This submergence was interrupted by a few centimeter-scale steps of emergence. [Companion abstracts: Atwater, Wei

  5. 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

  6. Sea level rise under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleussner, C. F.; Nauels, A.; Rogelj, J.; Mengel, M.; Meinshausen, M.

    2017-12-01

    In order to assess future sea level rise and its impacts, we need to study climate change pathways combined with different scenarios of socioeconomic development. Here, we present Sea Level Rise (SLR) projections for the Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) storylines and different year-2100 radiative Forcing Targets (FTs). Future SLR is estimated with a comprehensive SLR emulator that accounts for latest research on additional Antarctic rapid discharge dynamics from hydrofracturing and ice cliff instability. Across all baseline scenario realizations (no dedicated climate mitigation), we find 2100 median SLR relative to 1986-2005 of 102 cm (likely range: 77 to 135 cm) for SSP1, 118 cm (90 to 151 cm) for SSP2, 118 cm (91 to 149 cm) for SSP3, 107 cm (81 to 137 cm) for SSP4, and 144 cm (112 to 184 cm) for SSP5. The 2100 sea level responses for combined SSP-FT scenarios is dominated by the mitigation targets and yield median estimates of 68 cm (56 to 87 cm) for FT 2.6 Wm-2, 76 cm (61 to 107 cm) for FT 3.4 Wm-2, 90 cm (68 to 120 cm) for FT 4.5 Wm-2, and 105 cm (79 to 136 cm) for FT 6.0 Wm-2. Average 2081-2100 annual rates of SLR are 6 mm/yr and 19 mm/yr for the FT 2.6 Wm-2 and the baseline scenarios, respectively. Our model setup allows linking scenario-specific emission and socioeconomic indicators to projected SLR. For limiting median 2100 SSP SLR projections to below 80 cm, we find that 2050 cumulative CO2 emissions since pre-industrial should not exceed around 860 GtC, with the global coal phase-out nearly completed. For SSP mitigation scenarios, the median 2050 carbon price of 90 US$2005 tCO2-1 would correspond to a median 2100 SLR of around 80 cm. Our results confirm that rapid and early emission reductions are essential for limiting 2100 SLR.

  7. Sensitivity analysis of hydrogeological parameters affecting groundwater storage change caused by sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, J.; Kim, K.-H.; Lee, K.-K.

    2012-04-01

    Sea level rise, which is one of the representative phenomena of climate changes caused by global warming, can affect groundwater system. The rising trend of the sea level caused by the global warming is reported to be about 3 mm/year for the most recent 10 year average (IPCC, 2007). The rate of sea level rise around the Korean peninsula is reported to be 2.30±2.22 mm/yr during the 1960-1999 period (Cho, 2002) and 2.16±1.77 mm/yr (Kim et al., 2009) during the 1968-2007 period. Both of these rates are faster than the 1.8±0.5 mm/yr global average for the similar 1961-2003 period (IPCC, 2007). In this study, we analyzed changes in the groundwater environment affected by the sea level rise by using an analytical methodology. We tried to find the most effective parameters of groundwater amount change in order to estimate the change in fresh water amount in coastal groundwater. A hypothetical island model of a cylindrical shape in considered. The groundwater storage change is bi-directional as the sea level rises according to the natural and hydrogeological conditions. Analysis of the computation results shows that topographic slope and hydraulic conductivity are the most sensitive factors. The contributions of the groundwater recharge rate and the thickness of aquifer below sea level are relatively less effective. In the island with steep seashore slopes larger than 1~2 degrees or so, the storage amount of fresh water in a coastal area increases as sea level rises. On the other hand, when sea level drops, the storage amount decreases. This is because the groundwater level also rises with the rising sea level in steep seashores. For relatively flat seashores, where the slope is smaller than around 1-2 degrees, the storage amount of coastal fresh water decreases when the sea level rises because the area flooded by the rising sea water is increased. The volume of aquifer fresh water in this circumstance is greatly reduced in proportion to the flooded area with the sea

  8. Should We Leave? Attitudes towards Relocation in Response to Sea Level Rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Song

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The participation of individuals contributes significantly to the success of sea level rise adaptation. This study therefore addresses what influences people’s likelihood of relocating away from low-lying areas in response to rising sea levels. The analysis was based on a survey conducted in the City of Panama Beach in Florida (USA. Survey items relate to people’s risk perception, hazard experience, threat appraisal, and coping appraisal, whose theoretical background is Protection Motivation Theory. Descriptive and correlation analysis was first performed to highlight critical factors which were then examined by a multinomial Logit model. Results show that sea level rise awareness is the major explanatory variable. Coping appraisal is qualitatively viewed as a strong predictor for action, while threat appraisal is statistically significant in driving relocation intention. These factors should be integrated in current risk communication regarding sea level rise.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhan, Q; Fan, X; Du, X; Zhu, J

    2014-01-01

    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. Reconciling projections of the Antarctic contribution to sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Tamsin; Holden, Philip; Edwards, Neil; Wernecke, Andreas

    2017-04-01

    Two recent studies of the Antarctic contribution to sea level rise this century had best estimates that differed by an order of magnitude (around 10 cm and 1 m by 2100). The first, Ritz et al. (2015), used a model calibrated with satellite data, giving a 5% probability of exceeding 30cm by 2100 for sea level rise due to Antarctic instability. The second, DeConto and Pollard (2016), used a model evaluated with reconstructions of palaeo-sea level. They did not estimate probabilities, but using a simple assumption here about the distribution shape gives up to a 5% chance of Antarctic contribution exceeding 2.3 m this century with total sea level rise approaching 3 m. If robust, this would have very substantial implications for global adaptation to climate change. How are we to make sense of this apparent inconsistency? How much is down to the data - does the past tell us we will face widespread and rapid Antarctic ice losses in the future? How much is due to the mechanism of rapid ice loss ('cliff failure') proposed in the latter paper, or other parameterisation choices in these low resolution models (GRISLI and PISM, respectively)? How much is due to choices made in the ensemble design and calibration? How do these projections compare with high resolution, grounding line resolving models such as BISICLES? Could we reduce the huge uncertainties in the palaeo-study? Emulation provides a powerful tool for understanding these questions and reconciling the projections. By describing the three numerical ice sheet models with statistical models, we can re-analyse the ensembles and re-do the calibrations under a common statistical framework. This reduces uncertainty in the PISM study because it allows massive sampling of the parameter space, which reduces the sensitivity to reconstructed palaeo-sea level values and also narrows the probability intervals because the simple assumption about distribution shape above is no longer needed. We present reconciled probabilistic

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Coastal Marsh Longevity, Ecological Succession, and Organic Carbon Dynamics During Early Holocene Sea-Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, L.; Schreiner, K. M.; Rosenheim, B. E.; Tornqvist, T. E.

    2016-02-01

    Coastal marsh environments perform essential ecosystem services, including nutrient filtering, soil organic matter storage, and storm surge abatement, yet much is still unknown about their formation and fate under periods of sea-level change. During the early Holocene (7-10 ka), rapid sea-level rise in coastal Louisiana was one of the primary controls over marsh development and longevity. Here, we investigate plant community composition and succession and soil organic matter storage in early Holocene coastal marshes in Louisiana using bulk elemental ratios, lignin phenol biomarkers and stable isotopes from peat layers. Sediment cores were collected in southeastern Louisiana and contain a record of an early Holocene transgressive sea-level sequence 16-25 m below present sea-level. The sedimentary record consists of an immature paleosol overlain by basal peat that accumulated in an estuarine marsh, overlain by marine lagoonal muds. A re-established marsh peat is present 1-4 m above the initial transition to marine conditions, indicating a sequence of marsh development, sea-level rise and onset of marine conditions, and then further marsh development as the rate of relative sea-level rise decelerated. Plant community composition in coastal marshes was determined through cupric oxide oxidation and lignin-phenol and non-lignin-phenol biomarker abundances. The degradation state of soil organic matter and the specific source of stabilized organic matter within the sedimentary peats were determined through lignin-phenol biomarker ratios. Organic matter sources ranged from terrestrial to marine over the course of sea-level rise, and different sites showed different amounts of marine organic matter influence and different levels of terrestrial organic matter degradation. These results have important implications for reconstructing the response of coastal marshes and their plant communities to accelerated rates of sea-level rise projected through 2100.

  19. Experimental investigation of channel avulsion frequency on river deltas under rising sea levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestre, J.; Chadwick, A. J.; Steele, S.; Lamb, M. P.

    2017-12-01

    River deltas are low-relief landscapes that are socioeconomically important; they are home to over half a billion people worldwide. Many deltas are built by cycles of lobe growth punctuated by abrupt channel shifts, or avulsions, which often reoccur at a similar location and with a regular frequency. Previous experimental work has investigated the effect of hydrodynamic backwater in controlling channel avulsion location and timing on deltas under constant sea level conditions, but it is unclear how sea-level rise impacts avulsion dynamics. We present results from a flume experiment designed to isolate the role of relative sea-level rise on the evolution of a backwater-influenced delta. The experiment was conducted in the river-ocean facility at Caltech, where a 7m long, 14cm wide alluvial river drains into a 6m by 3m "ocean" basin. The experimental delta grew under subcritical flow, a persistent backwater zone, and a range of sea level rise rates. Without sea level rise, lobe progradation produced in-channel aggradation and periodic avulsions every 3.6 ± 0.9 hours, which corresponded to when channels aggraded to approximately one-half of their flow depth. With a modest rate of sea-level rise (0.25 mm/hr), we observed enhanced aggradation in the backwater zone, causing channels to aggrade more quickly and avulse more frequently (every 2.1 ± 0.6 hours). In future work, we expect further increases in the rate of relative sea-level rise to cause avulsion frequency to decrease as the delta drowns and the backwater zone retreats upstream. Experimental results can serve as tests of numerical models that are needed for hazard mitigation and coastal sustainability efforts on drowning deltas.

  20. 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 areas...

  1. 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.

  2. Do we have to take an acceleration of sea level rise into account?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dillingh, D.; Baart, F.; de Ronde, J.

    2012-04-01

    In view of preservation of safety against inundation and of the many values and functions of the coastal zone, coastal retreat is no longer acceptable. That is why it was decided to maintain the Dutch coastline on its position in 1990. Later the preservation concept was extended to the Dutch coastal foundation, which is the area that encompasses all dune area's and hard sea defences and reaches seawards until the 20m depth contour line. Present Dutch coastal policy is to grow with sea level by means of sand nourishments. A main issue for the planning of sand nourishments is the rate of sea level rise, because that is the main parameter for the volume of the sand needed. The question is than relevant if we already have to take into account an acceleration of sea level rise. Six stations with long water level records, well spread along the Dutch coast, were analysed. Correction of the measured data was considered necessary for an adaptation of the NAP in 2005 as a consequence of movements of the top of the pleistoceen, on which the NAP bench marks have been founded, and for the 18.6 year (nodal) cycle in the time series of yearly mean sea levels. It has been concluded that along the Dutch coast no significant acceleration of sea level rise could be detected yet. Over the last 120 years sea level rose with an average speed of 19 cm per century relative to NAP (the Dutch ordnance datum). Time series shorter than about 50 years showed less robust estimates of sea level rise. Future sea level rise also needs consideration in view of the estimate of future sand nourishment volumes. Scenario's for sea level rise have been derived for the years 2050 and 2100 relative to 1990 by the KNMI (Dutch Met Office) in 2006 for the Dutch situation. Plausible curves have been drawn from 1990 tangent to the linear regression line in 1990 and forced through the high and low scenario projections for 2050 and 2100. These curves show discrepancies with measurements of the last decade

  3. Tidal marsh plant responses to elevated CO2 , nitrogen fertilization, and sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam Langley, J; Mozdzer, Thomas J; Shepard, Katherine A; Hagerty, Shannon B; Patrick Megonigal, J

    2013-05-01

    Elevated CO2 and nitrogen (N) addition directly affect plant productivity and the mechanisms that allow tidal marshes to maintain a constant elevation relative to sea level, but it remains unknown how these global change drivers modify marsh plant response to sea level rise. Here we manipulated factorial combinations of CO2 concentration (two levels), N availability (two levels) and relative sea level (six levels) using in situ mesocosms containing a tidal marsh community composed of a sedge, Schoenoplectus americanus, and a grass, Spartina patens. Our objective is to determine, if elevated CO2 and N alter the growth and persistence of these plants in coastal ecosystems facing rising sea levels. After two growing seasons, we found that N addition enhanced plant growth particularly at sea levels where plants were most stressed by flooding (114% stimulation in the + 10 cm treatment), and N effects were generally larger in combination with elevated CO2 (288% stimulation). N fertilization shifted the optimal productivity of S. patens to a higher sea level, but did not confer S. patens an enhanced ability to tolerate sea level rise. S. americanus responded strongly to N only in the higher sea level treatments that excluded S. patens. Interestingly, addition of N, which has been suggested to accelerate marsh loss, may afford some marsh plants, such as the widespread sedge, S. americanus, the enhanced ability to tolerate inundation. However, if chronic N pollution reduces the availability of propagules of S. americanus or other flood-tolerant species on the landscape scale, this shift in species dominance could render tidal marshes more susceptible to marsh collapse. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  4. Evaluation of sea level rise in Bohai Bay and associated responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ke-Xiu LIU

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Tide gauge data from 1950 to 2015 are used to analyze sea level change, tidal change, return levels, and design tide levels under rising sea level scenarios in Bohai Bay. Results show the following: 1 Since 1950 sea levels in Bohai Bay show a significant rising trend of 3.3 mm per year. The speed has been particularly rapid in 1980–2015 at a rate of 4.7 mm per year. 2 Astronomical tides showed a clear long-term trend in 1950–2015. The amplitude and phase lag of the M2 tide constituent decreased at a rate of 0.21 cm per year and 0.11° per year, respectively and the phase lag of K1 decreased at a rate of 0.09° per year, whereas there was little change in its amplitude. The mean high and low tides increased at a rate of 0.08 and 0.52 cm per year, respectively, whereas the mean tidal range decreased at a rate of 0.44 cm per year. Results from numerical experiments show that local sea level rise plays an important role in the tidal dynamics change in Bohai Bay. 3 It is considered that the sea level return periods will decrease owing to the influence of sea level rise and land subsidence, therefore design tide level will change in relation to sea level rise. Therefore, the ability of seawalls to withstand water will diminish, and storm surge disasters will become more serious in the future.

  5. Estimating Areas of Vulnerability: Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Hazards in the National Parks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caffrey, M.; Beavers, R. L.; Slayton, I. A.

    2013-12-01

    The University of Colorado Boulder in collaboration with the National Park Service has undertaken the task of compiling sea level change and storm surge data for 105 coastal parks. The aim of our research is to highlight areas of the park system that are at increased risk of rapid inundation as well as periodic flooding due to sea level rise and storms. This research will assist park managers and planners in adapting to climate change. The National Park Service incorporates climate change data into many of their planning documents and is willing to implement innovative coastal adaptation strategies. Events such as Hurricane Sandy highlight how impacts of coastal hazards will continue to challenge management of natural and cultural resources and infrastructure along our coastlines. This poster will discuss the current status of this project. We discuss the impacts of Hurricane Sandy as well as the latest sea level rise and storm surge modeling being employed in this project. In addition to evaluating various drivers of relative sea-level change, we discuss how park planners and managers also need to consider projected storm surge values added to sea-level rise magnitudes, which could further complicate the management of coastal lands. Storm surges occurring at coastal parks will continue to change the land and seascapes of these areas, with the potential to completely submerge them. The likelihood of increased storm intensity added to increasing rates of sea-level rise make predicting the reach of future storm surges essential for planning and adaptation purposes. The National Park Service plays a leading role in developing innovative strategies for coastal parks to adapt to sea-level rise and storm surge, whilst coastal storms are opportunities to apply highly focused responses.

  6. 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.

  7. Morphological changes within Florida Bay as a result of sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, C. W.

    2011-12-01

    Data from Florida Bay indicates that from 10,000 year BP to 6000 BP, the rate of sea level rise averaged about 10 mm/yr. The rate slowed at the end of this period flooding the shallow shelves surrounding the reef platforms of the western Atlantic. The relative flat South Florida shelf, because of its slight tilt to the southwest is an ideal local to assess the effects of this flooding. From 6000 BP to the present, numerous banks were formed within Florida Bay. A morphological model of bank formation based on the sea level oscillations was constructed from analysis of over 120 cores. These cores record sedimentological changes which are correlated to climatic events. In the central bay, the sediment accumulation was controlled by variations in rate of progressive sea-level rise. The Key West sea-level record shows that sea level has been rising incrementally over the last century. Between 1931 and 1950, sea level rose at a rate of 5 mm/yr. After 1950, it remained stable until 1971, when it again began to rise, but at a rate of 3 mm/yr. On the leeward side of mud banks, these variations resulted in shifts in sediment- accumulation rates, with accretion increasing during rising sea level and decreasing during stable periods. Between late 1970 and early 1972, a sharp jump in sea-level rise occurred that was approximately 10 cm higher than the preceding period. This jump coincided with a strongly positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), a la Niña (negative ENSO), and a negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Water driven northward into Florida Bay eroded banks along the northern coastline, increased sediment accumulation in the northern lakes, and increased accretion rates on the banks. In addition to the sedimentological variations in the central portion of the bay, there was significant changes along the northern fringe. Around 1950, the northern fringe of the bay morphed from a fresh water environment to a marine environment. As a result, carbonate production

  8. Future rise of the sea level: consequences and strategies on the shoreline

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teisson, C.

    1991-11-01

    The Mean Sea Level may rise in a near future due to the warming of the atmosphere associated with the 'greenhouse effect'. The alarming estimations issued in the 1980's (several meters of surelevation in the next centuries) are now lowered: the ice sheets, the melting of which could induce such a rise, do not present signs of instability. A rise from 30 to 50 cm is likely to occur in the middle of the next century; there is a probability of 25% that the rise of sea level relative to the year 1980 stands beyond 1 meter by 2100. The consequences of such a rise on the shoreline and the maritime works are reviewed, and planning strategies are discussed. This study has been performed in the framework of a convention between EDF-LNH and the Sea State Secretary (Service Technique des Ports Maritimes et Voies Navigables) 41 refs., 31 figs., 6 tabs

  9. Potential of sea level rise impact on South China Sea: a preliminary ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The effect of the sea level rise was involved the existence of sea water intrusion and coastal erosion phenomenon in the coastal of Terengganu. This study aim to determine fluctuation of high and low tides of the South China Sea in their relation to water quality value of Marang and Paka Rivers as well as from wells ...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. THE IMPACT OF SEA LEVEL RISE ON GEODETIC VERTICAL DATUM OF PENINSULAR MALAYSIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. H. M. Din

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  13. 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

  14. Rising tides, rising gates: The complex ecogeomorphic response of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise and human interventions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandi, Steven G.; Rodríguez, José F.; Saintilan, Neil; Riccardi, Gerardo; Saco, Patricia M.

    2018-04-01

    Coastal wetlands are vulnerable to submergence due to sea-level rise, as shown by predictions of up to 80% of global wetland loss by the end of the century. Coastal wetlands with mixed mangrove-saltmarsh vegetation are particularly vulnerable because sea-level rise can promote mangrove encroachment on saltmarsh, reducing overall wetland biodiversity. Here we use an ecogeomorphic framework that incorporates hydrodynamic effects, mangrove-saltmarsh dynamics, and soil accretion processes to assess the effects of control structures on wetland evolution. Migration and accretion patterns of mangrove and saltmarsh are heavily dependent on topography and control structures. We find that current management practices that incorporate a fixed gate for the control of mangrove encroachment are useful initially, but soon become ineffective due to sea-level rise. Raising the gate, to counteract the effects of sea level rise and promote suitable hydrodynamic conditions, excludes mangrove and maintains saltmarsh over the entire simulation period of 100 years

  15. Modelling sea level rise impacts on storm surges along US coasts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tebaldi, Claudia; Strauss, Benjamin H; Zervas, Chris E

    2012-01-01

    Sound policies for protecting coastal communities and assets require good information about vulnerability to flooding. Here, we investigate the influence of sea level rise on expected storm surge-driven water levels and their frequencies along the contiguous United States. We use model output for global temperature changes, a semi-empirical model of global sea level rise, and long-term records from 55 nationally distributed tidal gauges to develop sea level rise projections at each gauge location. We employ more detailed records over the period 1979–2008 from the same gauges to elicit historic patterns of extreme high water events, and combine these statistics with anticipated relative sea level rise to project changing local extremes through 2050. We find that substantial changes in the frequency of what are now considered extreme water levels may occur even at locations with relatively slow local sea level rise, when the difference in height between presently common and rare water levels is small. We estimate that, by mid-century, some locations may experience high water levels annually that would qualify today as ‘century’ (i.e., having a chance of occurrence of 1% annually) extremes. Today’s century levels become ‘decade’ (having a chance of 10% annually) or more frequent events at about a third of the study gauges, and the majority of locations see substantially higher frequency of previously rare storm-driven water heights in the future. These results add support to the need for policy approaches that consider the non-stationarity of extreme events when evaluating risks of adverse climate impacts. (letter)

  16. 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.

  17. Reassessment of 20th century global mean sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dangendorf, Sönke; Marcos, Marta; Wöppelmann, Guy; Conrad, Clinton P.; Frederikse, Thomas; Riva, Riccardo

    2017-01-01

    The rate at which global mean sea level (GMSL) rose during the 20th century is uncertain, with little consensus between various reconstructions that indicate rates of rise ranging from 1.3 to 2 mm⋅y−1. Here we present a 20th-century GMSL reconstruction computed using an area-weighting technique for averaging tide gauge records that both incorporates up-to-date observations of vertical land motion (VLM) and corrections for local geoid changes resulting from ice melting and terrestrial freshwater storage and allows for the identification of possible differences compared with earlier attempts. Our reconstructed GMSL trend of 1.1 ± 0.3 mm⋅y−1 (1σ) before 1990 falls below previous estimates, whereas our estimate of 3.1 ± 1.4 mm⋅y−1 from 1993 to 2012 is consistent with independent estimates from satellite altimetry, leading to overall acceleration larger than previously suggested. This feature is geographically dominated by the Indian Ocean–Southern Pacific region, marking a transition from lower-than-average rates before 1990 toward unprecedented high rates in recent decades. We demonstrate that VLM corrections, area weighting, and our use of a common reference datum for tide gauges may explain the lower rates compared with earlier GMSL estimates in approximately equal proportion. The trends and multidecadal variability of our GMSL curve also compare well to the sum of individual contributions obtained from historical outputs of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5. This, in turn, increases our confidence in process-based projections presented in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. PMID:28533403

  18. Using environmental heterogeneity to plan for sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Elizabeth A; Nibbelink, Nathan P

    2017-12-01

    Environmental heterogeneity is increasingly being used to select conservation areas that will provide for future biodiversity under a variety of climate scenarios. This approach, termed conserving nature's stage (CNS), assumes environmental features respond to climate change more slowly than biological communities, but will CNS be effective if the stage were to change as rapidly as the climate? We tested the effectiveness of using CNS to select sites in salt marshes for conservation in coastal Georgia (U.S.A.), where environmental features will change rapidly as sea level rises. We calculated species diversity based on distributions of 7 bird species with a variety of niches in Georgia salt marshes. Environmental heterogeneity was assessed across six landscape gradients (e.g., elevation, salinity, and patch area). We used 2 approaches to select sites with high environmental heterogeneity: site complementarity (environmental diversity [ED]) and local environmental heterogeneity (environmental richness [ER]). Sites selected based on ER predicted present-day species diversity better than randomly selected sites (up to an 8.1% improvement), were resilient to areal loss from SLR (1.0% average areal loss by 2050 compared with 0.9% loss of randomly selected sites), and provided habitat to a threatened species (0.63 average occupancy compared with 0.6 average occupancy of randomly selected sites). Sites selected based on ED predicted species diversity no better or worse than random and were not resilient to SLR (2.9% average areal loss by 2050). Despite the discrepancy between the 2 approaches, CNS is a viable strategy for conservation site selection in salt marshes because the ER approach was successful. It has potential for application in other coastal areas where SLR will affect environmental features, but its performance may depend on the magnitude of geological changes caused by SLR. Our results indicate that conservation planners that had heretofore excluded low

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Sea-level rise and shoreline retreat: time to abandon the Bruun Rule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, J. Andrew G.; Pilkey, Orrin H.

    2004-11-01

    In the face of a global rise in sea level, understanding the response of the shoreline to changes in sea level is a critical scientific goal to inform policy makers and managers. A body of scientific information exists that illustrates both the complexity of the linkages between sea-level rise and shoreline response, and the comparative lack of understanding of these linkages. In spite of the lack of understanding, many appraisals have been undertaken that employ a concept known as the "Bruun Rule". This is a simple two-dimensional model of shoreline response to rising sea level. The model has seen near global application since its original formulation in 1954. The concept provided an advance in understanding of the coastal system at the time of its first publication. It has, however, been superseded by numerous subsequent findings and is now invalid. Several assumptions behind the Bruun Rule are known to be false and nowhere has the Bruun Rule been adequately proven; on the contrary several studies disprove it in the field. No universally applicable model of shoreline retreat under sea-level rise has yet been developed. Despite this, the Bruun Rule is in widespread contemporary use at a global scale both as a management tool and as a scientific concept. The persistence of this concept beyond its original assumption base is attributed to the following factors: Appeal of a simple, easy to use analytical model that is in widespread use. Difficulty of determining the relative validity of 'proofs' and 'disproofs'. Ease of application. Positive advocacy by some scientists. Application by other scientists without critical appraisal. The simple numerical expression of the model. Lack of easy alternatives. The Bruun Rule has no power for predicting shoreline behaviour under rising sea level and should be abandoned. It is a concept whose time has passed. The belief by policy makers that it offers a prediction of future shoreline position may well have stifled much

  2. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Infilling and flooding of the Mekong River incised valley during deglacial sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tjallingii, Rik; Stattegger, Karl; Wetzel, Andreas; Van Phach, Phung

    2010-06-01

    The abrupt transition from fluvial to marine deposition of incised-valley-fill sediments retrieved from the southeast Vietnamese shelf, accurately records the postglacial transgression after 14 ka before present (BP). Valley-filling sediments consist of fluvial mud, whereas sedimentation after the transgression is characterized by shallow-marine carbonate sands. This change in sediment composition is accurately marked in high-resolution X-ray fluorescence (XRF) core scanning records. Rapid aggradation of fluvial sediments at the river mouth nearly completely filled the Mekong incised valley prior to flooding. However, accumulation rates strongly reduced in the valley after the river-mouth system flooded and stepped back. This also affected the sediment supply to deeper parts of the southeast Vietnamese shelf. Comparison of the Mekong valley-filling with the East Asian sea-level history of sub- and inter-tidal sediment records shows that the transgressive surface preserved in the incised-valley-fill records is a robust sea-level indicator. The valley was nearly completely filled with fluvial sediments between 13.0 and 9.5 ka BP when sea-level rose rather constantly with approximately 10 mm/yr, as indicated by the East Asian sea-level record. At shallower parts of the shelf, significant sediment reworking and the establishment of estuarine conditions at the final stage of infilling complicates accurate dating of the transgressive surface. Nevertheless, incised-valley-fill records and land-based drill sites indicate a vast and rapid flooding of the shelf from the location of the modern Vietnamese coastline to the Cambodian lowlands between 9.5 ka and 8.5 ka BP. Fast flooding of this part of the shelf is related with the low shelf gradient and a strong acceleration of the East Asian sea-level rise from 34 to 9 meter below modern sea level (mbsl) corresponding to the sea-level jump of melt water pulse (MWP) 1C.

  4. Assessment on vulnerability of coastal wetlands to sea level rise in the Yangtze Estuary, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, L.; Ge, Z.; Zhang, L.

    2013-12-01

    1(low vulnerability) and 2 (moderate vulnerability), respectively. In 2050s, 88.8 %, 10.7 % and 0.5 % of the coastal wetlands were in the EVI score of 0, 1 and 2, respectively. In 2100s, 85.7 %, 7.3 % , 2.0 % and 5.0 % of the coastal wetlands were in the EVI score of 0, 1, 2 and 3(high vulnerability), respectively. At the A1F1 scenario of sea level rise rate of 0.59 cm/a, 91.0 %, 8.7 % and 0.3 % of the coastal wetlands in 2030s were in the EVI score of 0, 1 and 2 , respectively. In 2050s, 86.9 %, 10.5 % , 2.4 % and 0.2 % of the coastal wetlands were in the EVI score of 0, 1, 2 and 3, respectively. In 2100s, 82.4 %, 7.1 % , 2.4 % and 8.1 % of the coastal wetlands were in the EVI score of 0, 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The spatiotemporal occurrences of vulnerability were mainly where the subsidence rate is relatively higher and the sedimentation rate is lower or even negative. The results from this study indicated that the combined effects of sea level rise, land subsidence, reducing sediment discharge could give rise to the high risk of a considerable decrease or even habitat loss of coastal wetland in the Yangtze Estuary (particularly in 2050s and 2100s). Therefore some mitigation measures should be considered in the future, including management of sedimentation, reducing land subsidence, recreating and extending wetland habitat, and controlling reclamation.

  5. An Update of Sea Level Rise in the northwestern part of the Arabian Gulf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alothman, Abdulaziz; Bos, Machiel; Fernandes, Rui

    2017-04-01

    Relative sea level variations in the northwestern part of the Arabian Gulf have been estimated in the past using no more than 10 to 15 years of observations. In Alothman et al. (2014), we have almost doubled the period to 28.7 years by examining all available tide gauge data in the area and constructing a mean gauge time-series from seven coastal tide gauges. We found for the period 1979-2007 a relative sea level rise of about 2mm/yr, which correspond to an absolute sea level rise of about 1.5mm/yr based on the vertical displacement of GNSS stations in the region. By taking into account the temporal correlations we concluded that previous published results underestimate the true sea level rate error in this area by a factor of 5-10. In this work, we discuss and update the methodology and results from Alothman et al. (2014), particularly by checking and extending the GNSS solutions. Since 3 of the 6 GPS stations used only started observing in the end of 2011, the longer time series have now significantly lower uncertainties in the estimated vertical rate. In addition, we compare our results with GRACE derived ocean bottom pressure time series which are a good proxy of the changes in water mass in this area over time.

  6. Eustatic and Relative Sea Level Changes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rovere, A.; Stocchi, P.; Vacchi, M.

    2016-01-01

    Sea level changes can be driven by either variationsin the masses or volume of the oceans, or bychanges of the land with respect to the sea surface. Inthe first case, a sea level change is defined ‘eustatic’;otherwise, it is defined ‘relative’. Several techniques canbe used to observe changes in sea

  7. A process for developing and revising a learning progression on sea level rise using learners' explanations

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Robert Christopher

    The purpose of this study was to explore the process of developing a learning progression (LP) on constructing explanations about sea level rise. I used a learning progressions theoretical framework informed by the situated cognition learning theory. During this exploration, I explicitly described my decision-making process as I developed and revised a hypothetical learning progression. Correspondingly, my research question was: What is a process by which a hypothetical learning progression on sea level rise is developed into an empirical learning progression using learners' explanations? To answer this question, I used a qualitative descriptive single case study with multiple embedded cases (Yin, 2014) that employed analytic induction (Denzin, 1970) to analyze data collected on middle school learners (grades 6-8). Data sources included written artifacts, classroom observations, and semi-structured interviews. Additionally, I kept a researcher journal to track my thinking about the learning progression throughout the research study. Using analytic induction to analyze collected data, I developed eight analytic concepts: participant explanation structures varied widely, global warming and ice melt cause sea level rise, participants held alternative conceptions about sea level rise, participants learned about thermal expansion as a fundamental aspect of sea level rise, participants learned to incorporate authentic scientific data, participants' mental models of the ocean varied widely, sea ice melt contributes to sea level rise, and participants held vague and alternative conceptions about how pollution impacts the ocean. I started with a hypothetical learning progression, gathered empirical data via various sources (especially semi-structured interviews), revised the hypothetical learning progression in response to those data, and ended with an empirical learning progression comprising six levels of learner thinking. As a result of developing an empirically based LP

  8. Future sea level rise constrained by observations and long-term commitment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mengel, Matthias; Levermann, Anders; Frieler, Katja; Robinson, Alexander; Marzeion, Ben; Winkelmann, Ricarda

    2016-01-01

    Sea level has been steadily rising over the past century, predominantly due to anthropogenic climate change. The rate of sea level rise will keep increasing with continued global warming, and, even if temperatures are stabilized through the phasing out of greenhouse gas emissions, sea level is still expected to rise for centuries. This will affect coastal areas worldwide, and robust projections are needed to assess mitigation options and guide adaptation measures. Here we combine the equilibrium response of the main sea level rise contributions with their last century's observed contribution to constrain projections of future sea level rise. Our model is calibrated to a set of observations for each contribution, and the observational and climate uncertainties are combined to produce uncertainty ranges for 21st century sea level rise. We project anthropogenic sea level rise of 28–56 cm, 37–77 cm, and 57–131 cm in 2100 for the greenhouse gas concentration scenarios RCP26, RCP45, and RCP85, respectively. Our uncertainty ranges for total sea level rise overlap with the process-based estimates of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The “constrained extrapolation” approach generalizes earlier global semiempirical models and may therefore lead to a better understanding of the discrepancies with process-based projections. PMID:26903648

  9. Coastal sensitivity to sea level rise : a focus on the mid-atlantic region

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-15

    The focus of this product is to identify and review the potential impacts of future sea-level rise based on present scientific understanding. To do so, this product evaluates : several aspects of sea-level rise impacts to the natural environment and ...

  10. Future sea level rise constrained by observations and long-term commitment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mengel, Matthias; Levermann, Anders; Frieler, Katja; Robinson, Alexander; Marzeion, Ben; Winkelmann, Ricarda

    2016-03-08

    Sea level has been steadily rising over the past century, predominantly due to anthropogenic climate change. The rate of sea level rise will keep increasing with continued global warming, and, even if temperatures are stabilized through the phasing out of greenhouse gas emissions, sea level is still expected to rise for centuries. This will affect coastal areas worldwide, and robust projections are needed to assess mitigation options and guide adaptation measures. Here we combine the equilibrium response of the main sea level rise contributions with their last century's observed contribution to constrain projections of future sea level rise. Our model is calibrated to a set of observations for each contribution, and the observational and climate uncertainties are combined to produce uncertainty ranges for 21st century sea level rise. We project anthropogenic sea level rise of 28-56 cm, 37-77 cm, and 57-131 cm in 2100 for the greenhouse gas concentration scenarios RCP26, RCP45, and RCP85, respectively. Our uncertainty ranges for total sea level rise overlap with the process-based estimates of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The "constrained extrapolation" approach generalizes earlier global semiempirical models and may therefore lead to a better understanding of the discrepancies with process-based projections.

  11. Sea-level Rise Impacts on Oregon Estuaries: Biology and Hydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estuaries are transitional ecosystems located at the margin of the land and ocean and as a result they are particularly sensitive to sea level rise and other climate drivers. In this presentation, we summarize the potential impacts of sea level rise on key estuarine habitats inc...

  12. Sea-level Rise Impacts on Oregon Estuaries: Biology and Hydrology - for posting on website

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estuaries are transitional ecosystems located at the margin of the land and ocean and as a result they are particularly sensitive to sea level rise and other climate drivers. In this presentation, we summarize the potential impacts of sea level rise on key estuarine habitats incl...

  13. Investigating the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of sea level rise in the Galveston Bay, Texas region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subedee, M.; Dotson, M.; Gibeaut, J. C.

    2016-02-01

    Anthropogenic effects throughout the twenty-first century, particularly greenhouse gas emissions, have contributed to global climatic and environmental changes. Sea level rise (SLR) is one of these changes which is occurring along the Texas Coast and is amplified by land subsidence. SLR along the northern Texas coast is impacting sensitive coastal environments as well as human populations, and industries and infrastructure supporting those populations. Sea level data from the NOAA gauge at Galveston Pier 21 has shown an increase of 2.08 feet in relative sea level in 100 years. Given an expected increase in the rate of sea level rise in the next decades, the purpose of this study is to provide an in-depth assessment on the effects of relative sea level rise on the habitat distribution of highly valuable coastal wetlands in the Galveston Bay region. This study also focuses on projecting the potential socioeconomic losses due to coastal flooding that is amplified by SLR in the region. In this study, three SLR scenarios are modeled: a scenario based on a linear extrapolation of satellite altimetry data (0.21 m by 2100); the IPCC's RCP8.5 mean scenario (0.74 m by 2100); and a high-end scenario (1.8 m by 2100) as proposed by Jevrejeva et al. (2014). A land subsidence rate calculated by developing a subsidence grid using GPS-measured subsidence monitoring and releveling data is added to all these scenarios. The Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) is used to predict wetland conversion due to long-term SLR incorporating the processes of inundation, erosion, accretion, overwash, and saturation. Similarly, HAZUS-MH is used to evaluate the property damage to building stocks and the direct business interruption losses due to flooding caused by 100-year flood event scenario with three SLR scenarios. This coordinated research effort to assess the physical, environmental and policy impacts due to SLR is intended to enable policy-makers, managers, and the general public to

  14. Thresholds of sea-level rise rate and sea-level rise acceleration rate in a vulnerable coastal wetland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wei; Biber, Patrick; Bethel, Matthew

    2017-12-01

    Feedbacks among inundation, sediment trapping, and vegetation productivity help maintain coastal wetlands facing sea-level rise (SLR). However, when the SLR rate exceeds a threshold, coastal wetlands can collapse. Understanding the threshold helps address key challenges in ecology-nonlinear response of ecosystems to environmental change, promotes communication between ecologists and resource managers, and facilitates decision-making in climate change policies. We studied the threshold of SLR rate and developed a new threshold of SLR acceleration rate on sustainability of coastal wetlands as SLR is likely to accelerate due to enhanced anthropogenic forces. Deriving these two thresholds depends on the temporal scale, the interaction of SLR with other environmental factors, and landscape metrics, which have not been fully accounted for before this study. We chose a representative marine-dominated estuary in the northern Gulf of Mexico, Grand Bay in Mississippi, to test the concept of SLR thresholds. We developed a mechanistic model to simulate wetland change and then derived the SLR thresholds for Grand Bay. The model results show that the threshold of SLR rate in Grand Bay is 11.9 mm/year for 2050, and it drops to 8.4 mm/year for 2100 using total wetland area as a landscape metric. The corresponding SLR acceleration rate thresholds are 3.02 × 10 -4  m/year 2 and 9.62 × 10 -5  m/year 2 for 2050 and 2100, respectively. The newly developed SLR acceleration rate threshold can help quantify the temporal lag before the rapid decline in wetland area becomes evident after the SLR rate threshold is exceeded, and cumulative SLR a wetland can adapt to under the SLR acceleration scenarios. Based on the thresholds, SLR that will adversely impact the coastal wetlands in Grand Bay by 2100 will fall within the likely range of SLR under a high warming scenario (RCP8.5), highlighting the need to avoid RCP8.5 to preserve these marshes.

  15. 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.

  16. Resilience of Infrastructure Systems to Sea-Level Rise in Coastal Areas: Impacts, Adaptation Measures, and Implementation Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz Azevedo de Almeida

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Expansive areas of low elevation in many densely populated coastal areas are at elevated risk of storm surges and flooding due to torrential precipitation, as a result of sea level rise. These phenomena could have catastrophic impacts on coastal communities and result in the destruction of critical infrastructure, disruption of economic activities and salt water contamination of the water supply. The objective of the study presented in this paper was to identify various impacts of sea level rise on civil infrastructures in coastal areas and examine the adaptation measures suggested in the existing literature. To this end, a systemic review of the existing literature was conducted in order to identify a repository of studies addressing sea level rise impacts and adaptation measures in the context of infrastructure systems. The study focused on three infrastructure sectors: water and wastewater, energy, and road transportation. The collected information was then analyzed in order to identify different categories of sea level rise impacts and corresponding adaptation measures. The findings of the study are threefold: (1 the major categories of sea level rise impacts on different infrastructure systems; (2 measures for protection, accommodation, and retreat in response to sea level rise impacts; and (3 challenges related to implementing adaptation measures.

  17. Modeling and Analysis of Sea-level Rise Impacts on Salinity in the Lower St. Johns River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacopoulos, P.

    2015-12-01

    There is deliberate attention being paid to studying sea-level rise impacts on the lower St. Johns River, a drowned coastal plain-type estuary with low topographic drive, located in northeastern Florida. One area of attention is salinity in the river, which influences the entire food web, including sea and marsh grasses, juvenile crustaceans and fishes, wading birds and migratory waterfowl, marine mammals and other predator animals. It is expected that elevated ocean levels will increase the salinity of the estuarine waters, leading to deleterious effects on dependent species of the river biology. The objective of the modeling and analysis was: 1) to establish baseline conditions of salinity for the lower St. Johns River; and 2) to examine future conditions of salinity, as impacted by sea-level rise. Establishing baseline conditions entailed validation of the model for present-day salinity in the lower St. Johns River via comparison to available data. Examining future conditions entailed application of the model for sea-level rise scenarios, with comparison to the baseline conditions, for evaluation of sea-level rise impacts on salinity. While the central focus was on the physics of sea-level rise impacts on salinity, some level of salinity-biological assessment was conducted to identify sea-level rise/salinity thresholds, as related to negatively impacting different species of the river biology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 society respond to them? This paper aims to answer these questions through a comprehensive review of the relevant literature. First, the present status of observed sea-level rise, analyses of its causes, and future projections are summarized. Then the impacts are examined along with other consequences of climate change, from both global and Japanese perspectives. Finally, responses to adverse impacts will be discussed in order to clarify the implications of the sea-level rise issue for human society. PMID:23883609

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 society respond to them? This paper aims to answer these questions through a comprehensive review of the relevant literature. First, the present status of observed sea-level rise, analyses of its causes, and future projections are summarized. Then the impacts are examined along with other consequences of climate change, from both global and Japanese perspectives. Finally, responses to adverse impacts will be discussed in order to clarify the implications of the sea-level rise issue for human society.(Communicated by Kiyoshi HORIKAWA, M.J.A.).

  20. Resolving the Antarctic contribution to sea-level rise: a hierarchical modelling framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zammit-Mangion, Andrew; Rougier, Jonathan; Bamber, Jonathan; Schön, Nana

    2014-06-01

    Determining the Antarctic contribution to sea-level rise from observational data is a complex problem. The number of physical processes involved (such as ice dynamics and surface climate) exceeds the number of observables, some of which have very poor spatial definition. This has led, in general, to solutions that utilise strong prior assumptions or physically based deterministic models to simplify the problem. Here, we present a new approach for estimating the Antarctic contribution, which only incorporates descriptive aspects of the physically based models in the analysis and in a statistical manner. By combining physical insights with modern spatial statistical modelling techniques, we are able to provide probability distributions on all processes deemed to play a role in both the observed data and the contribution to sea-level rise. Specifically, we use stochastic partial differential equations and their relation to geostatistical fields to capture our physical understanding and employ a Gaussian Markov random field approach for efficient computation. The method, an instantiation of Bayesian hierarchical modelling, naturally incorporates uncertainty in order to reveal credible intervals on all estimated quantities. The estimated sea-level rise contribution using this approach corroborates those found using a statistically independent method. © 2013 The Authors. Environmetrics Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. Resolving the Antarctic contribution to sea-level rise: a hierarchical modelling framework†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zammit-Mangion, Andrew; Rougier, Jonathan; Bamber, Jonathan; Schön, Nana

    2014-01-01

    Determining the Antarctic contribution to sea-level rise from observational data is a complex problem. The number of physical processes involved (such as ice dynamics and surface climate) exceeds the number of observables, some of which have very poor spatial definition. This has led, in general, to solutions that utilise strong prior assumptions or physically based deterministic models to simplify the problem. Here, we present a new approach for estimating the Antarctic contribution, which only incorporates descriptive aspects of the physically based models in the analysis and in a statistical manner. By combining physical insights with modern spatial statistical modelling techniques, we are able to provide probability distributions on all processes deemed to play a role in both the observed data and the contribution to sea-level rise. Specifically, we use stochastic partial differential equations and their relation to geostatistical fields to capture our physical understanding and employ a Gaussian Markov random field approach for efficient computation. The method, an instantiation of Bayesian hierarchical modelling, naturally incorporates uncertainty in order to reveal credible intervals on all estimated quantities. The estimated sea-level rise contribution using this approach corroborates those found using a statistically independent method. © 2013 The Authors. Environmetrics Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:25505370

  2. Implications of sea-level rise in a modern carbonate ramp setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lokier, Stephen W.; Court, Wesley M.; Onuma, Takumi; Paul, Andreas

    2018-03-01

    This study addresses a gap in our understanding of the effects of sea-level rise on the sedimentary systems and morphological development of recent and ancient carbonate ramp settings. Many ancient carbonate sequences are interpreted as having been deposited in carbonate ramp settings. These settings are poorly-represented in the Recent. The study documents the present-day transgressive flooding of the Abu Dhabi coastline at the southern shoreline of the Arabian/Persian Gulf, a carbonate ramp depositional system that is widely employed as a Recent analogue for numerous ancient carbonate systems. Fourteen years of field-based observations are integrated with historical and recent high-resolution satellite imagery in order to document and assess the onset of flooding. Predicted rates of transgression (i.e. landward movement of the shoreline) of 2.5 m yr- 1 (± 0.2 m yr- 1) based on global sea-level rise alone were far exceeded by the flooding rate calculated from the back-stepping of coastal features (10-29 m yr- 1). This discrepancy results from the dynamic nature of the flooding with increased water depth exposing the coastline to increased erosion and, thereby, enhancing back-stepping. A non-accretionary transgressive shoreline trajectory results from relatively rapid sea-level rise coupled with a low-angle ramp geometry and a paucity of sediments. The flooding is represented by the landward migration of facies belts, a range of erosive features and the onset of bioturbation. Employing Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Church et al., 2013) predictions for 21st century sea-level rise, and allowing for the post-flooding lag time that is typical for the start-up of carbonate factories, it is calculated that the coastline will continue to retrograde for the foreseeable future. Total passive flooding (without considering feedback in the modification of the shoreline) by the year 2100 is calculated to likely be between 340 and 571 m with a flooding rate of 3

  3. 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

  4. Can community structure track sea-level rise? Stress and competitive controls in tidal wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schile, Lisa M; Callaway, John C; Suding, Katharine N; Kelly, N Maggi

    2017-02-01

    Climate change impacts, such as accelerated sea-level rise, will affect stress gradients, yet impacts on competition/stress tolerance trade-offs and shifts in distributions are unclear. Ecosystems with strong stress gradients, such as estuaries, allow for space-for-time substitutions of stress factors and can give insight into future climate-related shifts in both resource and nonresource stresses. We tested the stress gradient hypothesis and examined the effect of increased inundation stress and biotic interactions on growth and survival of two congeneric wetland sedges, Schoenoplectus acutus and Schoenoplectus americanus . We simulated sea-level rise across existing marsh elevations and those not currently found to reflect potential future sea-level rise conditions in two tidal wetlands differing in salinity. Plants were grown individually and together at five tidal elevations, the lowest simulating an 80-cm increase in sea level, and harvested to assess differences in biomass after one growing season. Inundation time, salinity, sulfides, and redox potential were measured concurrently. As predicted, increasing inundation reduced biomass of the species commonly found at higher marsh elevations, with little effect on the species found along channel margins. The presence of neighbors reduced total biomass of both species, particularly at the highest elevation; facilitation did not occur at any elevation. Contrary to predictions, we documented the competitive superiority of the stress tolerator under increased inundation, which was not predicted by the stress gradient hypothesis. Multifactor manipulation experiments addressing plant response to accelerated climate change are integral to creating a more realistic, valuable, and needed assessment of potential ecosystem response. Our results point to the important and unpredicted synergies between physical stressors, which are predicted to increase in intensity with climate change, and competitive forces on biomass as

  5. Subsidence, Sea Level Rise, and Seismicity in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey Mount

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic accommodation space, or that space in the Delta that lies below sea level and is filled neither with sediment nor water, serves as a useful measure of the regional consequences of Delta subsidence and sea level rise. Microbial oxidation and compaction of organic-rich soils due to farming activity is the primary cause of Delta subsidence. During the period 1900-2000, subsidence created approximately 2.5 billion cubic meters of anthropogenic accommodation space in the Delta. From 2000-2050, subsidence rates will slow due to depletion of organic material and better land use practices. However, by 2050 the Delta will contain more than 3 billion cubic meters of anthropogenic accommodation space due to continued subsidence and sea level rise. An Accommodation Space Index, which relates subaqueous accommodation space to anthropogenic accommodation space, provides an indicator of past and projected Delta conditions. While subsidence and sea level rise create increasing anthropogenic accommodation space in the Delta, they also lead to a regional increase in the forces that can cause levee failure. Although these forces take many forms, a Levee Force Index can be calculated that is a proxy for the cumulative forces acting on levees. The Levee Force Index increases significantly over the next 50 years demonstrating regional increases in the potential for island flooding. Based on continuing increases in the Levee Force Index and the Accommodation Space Index, and limited support for Delta levee upgrades, there will be a tendency for increases in and impacts of island flooding, with escalating costs for repairs. Additionally, there is a two-in-three chance that 100-year recurrence interval floods or earthquakes will cause catastrophic flooding and significant change in the Delta by 2050. Currently, the California Bay-Delta Authority has no overarching policy that addresses the consequences of, and potential responses to, gradual or abrupt

  6. 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

  7. Impacts of climate change and sea level rise to Danish near shore ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vestergaard, P.

    2001-01-01

    Salt marshes and sand dunes are important types of coastal, terrestrial nature, which like other terrestrial ecosystems will be sensible to the future changes in climate, which have been predicted. Due to the processes acting in their morphogenesis and in the development and composition of their ecosystems, they will not least be influenced by sea level rise. Especially a strong impact of a sea level rise of about 50 cm (midrange of the projected global sea level rise) for the next century can be expected on Danish salt marshes, considering their limited vertical range (50-100 cm). (LN)

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

    OpenAIRE

    Okmyung Bin; Ben Poulter; Christopher F. Dumas; 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...

  9. Using GNSS for Assessment Recent Sea Level Rise in the Northwestern Part of the Arabian Gulf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alothman, A. O.; Bos, M. S.; Fernandes, R.

    2017-12-01

    Due to the global warming acting recently (in the 21st century) on the planet Earth, an associated sea level rise is predicted to reach up to 30 cm to 60 cm in some regions. Sea level monitoring is important for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, since it is surrounded by very long cost of about 3400 km in length and hundreds of isolated islands. The eastern coast line of KSA, in the Arabian Gulf, needs some monitoring in the long term, due to low land nature of the region. Also, the ongoing oil withdrawal activities in the area, may affect the regional sea level rise. In addition to these two facts, the tectonic structure of the Arabian Peninsula is one factor. The Regional Relative sea level in the eastern cost of Saudi Arabia has been estimated in the past using tide gauge data of more than 28 years using the vertical displacement of permanent Global Navigation Satellite System GNSS stations having time span of only about 3 years. In this paper, we discuss and update the methodology and results from Alothman et al. (2014), particularly by checking and extending the GNSS solutions. Since 3 of the 6 GPS stations used only started observing in the end of 2011, the longer time series have now significantly lower uncertainties in the estimated vertical rate. Longer time span of GNSS observations were included and 500 synthetic time series were estimated and seasonal signals were analysed. it is concluded that the varying seasonal signal present in the GNSS time series causes an underestimation of 0.1 mm/yr for short time series of 3 years. In addition to the implications of using short time series to estimate the vertical land motion, we found that if the varying seasonal signals are present in the data, the problem is aggravated. This finding can be useful for other studies analyzing short GNSS time series.

  10. Limits on the adaptability of coastal marshes to rising sea level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirwan, Matthew L.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; D'Alpaos, Andrea; Morris, James T.; Mudd, Simon M.; Temmerman, Stijn

    2010-01-01

    Assumptions of a static landscape inspire predictions that about half of the world's coastal wetlands will submerge during this century in response to sea-level acceleration. In contrast, we use simulations from five numerical models to quantify the conditions under which ecogeomorphic feedbacks allow coastal wetlands to adapt to projected changes in sea level. In contrast to previous sea-level assessments, we find that non-linear feedbacks among inundation, plant growth, organic matter accretion, and sediment deposition, allow marshes to survive conservative projections of sea-level rise where suspended sediment concentrations are greater than ~20 mg/L. Under scenarios of more rapid sea-level rise (e.g., those that include ice sheet melting), marshes will likely submerge near the end of the 21st century. Our results emphasize that in areas of rapid geomorphic change, predicting the response of ecosystems to climate change requires consideration of the ability of biological processes to modify their physical environment.

  11. 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.

    reconfiguration in response to different sea level rise scenarios, the method of empirical distribution of new shorelines using trend lines which accounts for the inherent variability in shoreline response based on differing coastal processes is employed...

  12. 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...

  13. Modeling the Effects of Sea-Level Rise on Groundwater Levels in Coastal New Hampshire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, J. M.; Knott, J. F.; Daniel, J.; Kirshen, P. H.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal communities with high population density and low topography are vulnerable from sea-level rise (SLR) caused by climate change. Groundwater in coastal communities will rise with sea level impacting water quality, the structural integrity of infrastructure, and natural ecosystem health. SLR-induced groundwater rise has been studied in areas of high aquifer transmissivity and in low-lying areas immediately along the coast. In this regional study, we investigate SLR-induced groundwater rise in a coastal area characterized by shallow unconsolidated deposits overlying fractured bedrock, typical of the glaciated northeast United States. MODFLOW, a numerical groundwater-flow model, is used with groundwater observations, lidar topography, surface-water hydrology, and groundwater withdrawals to investigate SLR-induced changes in groundwater levels and vadose-zone thickness in New Hampshire's Seacoast. The SLR groundwater signal is detected up to 5 km from the coast, more than 3 times farther inland than projected surface-water flooding associated with SLR. Relative groundwater rise ranges from 38 to 98% of SLR within 1 km of the shoreline and drops below 4% between 4 and 5 km from the coast. The largest magnitude of SLR-induced groundwater rise occurs in the marine and estuarine deposits and land areas with tidal water bodies on three sides. In contrast, groundwater rise is dampened near streams. Groundwater inundation caused by 2 m of SLR is projected to contribute 48% of the total land inundation area in the City of Portsmouth with consequences for built and natural resources. Freshwater wetlands are projected to expand 3% by year 2030 increasing to 25% by year 2100 coupled with water-depth increases. These results imply that underground infrastructure and natural resources in coastal communities will be impacted by rising groundwater much farther inland than previously thought when considering only surface-water flooding from SLR.

  14. 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

    2012-08-01

    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. Conservation Biology ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology. No claim to original

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hallegatte, Stéphane

    2012-01-01

    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. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. Coastline Mapping and Cultural Review to Predict Sea Level Rise Impact on Hawaiian Archeological Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clinton, J.

    2017-12-01

    Much of Hawaii's history is recorded in archeological sites. Researchers and cultural practitioners have been studying and reconstructing significant archeological sites for generations. Climate change, and more specifically, sea level rise may threaten these sites. Our research records current sea levels and then projects possible consequences to these cultural monuments due to sea level rise. In this mixed methods study, research scientists, cultural practitioners, and secondary students use plane-table mapping techniques to create maps of coastlines and historic sites. Students compare historical records to these maps, analyze current sea level rise trends, and calculate future sea levels. They also gather data through interviews with community experts and kupuna (elders). If climate change continues at projected rates, some historic sites will be in danger of negative impact due to sea level rise. Knowing projected sea levels at specific sites allows for preventative action and contributes to raised awareness of the impacts of climate change to the Hawaiian Islands. Students will share results with the community and governmental agencies in hopes of inspiring action to minimize climate change. It will take collaboration between scientists and cultural communities to inspire future action on climate change.

  19. Challenges in Projecting Sea Level Rise impacts on the Coastal Environment of South Florida (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obeysekera, J.; Park, J.; Irizarry-Ortiz, M. M.; Barnes, J. A.; Trimble, P.; Said, W.

    2010-12-01

    Due to flat topography, a highly transmissive groundwater aquifer, and a growing population with the associated infrastructure, South Florida’s coastal environment is one of the most vulnerable areas to sea level rise. Current projections of sea level rise and the associated storm surges will have direct impacts on coastal beaches and infrastructure, flood protection, freshwater aquifers, and both the isolated and regional wetlands. Uncertainties in current projections have made it difficult for regional and local governments to develop adaptation strategies as such measures will depend heavily on the temporal and spatial patterns of sea level rise in the coming decades. We demonstrate the vulnerability of both the built and natural environments of the coastal region and present the current efforts to understand and predict the sea level rise estimate that management agencies could employ in planning of adaptation strategies. In particular, the potential vulnerabilities of the flood control system as well as the threat to the water supply wellfields in the coastal belt will be presented. In an effort to understand the historical variability of sea level rise, we present linkages to natural phenomena such as Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation, and the analytical methods we have developed to provide probabilistic projections of both mean sea level rise and the extremes.

  20. 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.

  1. Identification of Transportation Infrastructure at Risk Due To Sea-Level Rise and Subsidence of Land In Coastal Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tewari, S.; Palmer, W.; Manning, F.

    2017-12-01

    Climate change can affect coastal areas in a variety of ways. Coasts are sensitive to sea level rise, changes in the frequency/intensity of storms, increase in precipitation and storm surges. The resilience of transportation infrastructure located in Louisiana's coastal zone, against storm surges and climatic sea-level rise is critical. The net change in sea-level is affected by the increase in global sea level as well as land movement up or down. There are many places in coastal Louisiana that have a high subsidence rate. The subsidence could be related to excess extraction activities of oil and water, natural and/or human induced compaction, and tectonic movement. Where the land is sinking, the rate of relative sea level rise is larger than the global rate. Some of the fastest rates of relative sea level rise in the United States are occurring in areas where the land is sinking, including parts of the Gulf Coast. For example, coastal Louisiana has seen its relative sea level rise by eight inches or more in the last 50 years, which is about twice the global rate. Subsiding land in the Gulf area worsens the effects of relative sea level rise, increasing the risk of flooding in cities, inhabited islands, and tidal wetlands. The research team is investigating the trends for sea-level rise and land subsidence in coastal region of Louisiana. The variability in storm surges and its potential implication on the transportation infrastructure in the region is the focus of the study. The spatial maps will be created for spatial trends. This is extremely useful in being prepared for long-term natural hazards. The results of this study will be helpful to LADOTD and infrastructure managers and officials who are tasked with resiliency planning and management. Research results will also directly benefit university researchers in the state, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and LADOTD/LTRC through collaborative activity which will educate both professionals and the

  2. Mental health issues from rising sea level in a remote coastal region of the Solomon Islands: current and future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asugeni, James; MacLaren, David; Massey, Peter D; Speare, Rick

    2015-12-01

    There is little published research about mental health and climate change in the Pacific, including Solomon Islands. Solomon Islands has one of the highest rates of sea-level rise globally. The aim of this research was to document mental health issues related to sea-level rise for people in East Malaita, Solomon Islands. A cross-sectional study was carried out in six low-lying villages in East Malaita, Solomon Islands. The researcher travelled to villages by dugout canoe. In addition to quantitative, closed-ended questions, open-ended questions with villagers explored individual and community responses to rising sea level. Of 60 people asked, 57 completed the questionnaire. Of these, 90% reported having seen a change in the weather patterns. Nearly all participants reported that sea-level rise is affecting them and their family and is causing fear and worry on a personal and community level. Four themes emerged from the qualitative analysis: experience of physical impacts of climate change; worry about the future; adaptation to climate change; government response needed. Given predictions of ongoing sea-level rise in the Pacific it is essential that more research is conducted to further understand the human impact of climate change for small island states which will inform local, provincial and national-level mental health responses. © The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2015.

  3. Created mangrove wetlands store belowground carbon and surface elevation change enables them to adjust to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauss, Ken W.; Cormier, Nicole; Osland, Michael J.; Kirwan, Matthew L.; Stagg, Camille L.; Nestlerode, Janet A.; Russell, Marc J.; From, Andrew; Spivak, Amanda C.; Dantin, Darrin D.; Harvey, James E.; Almario, Alejandro E.

    2017-01-01

    Mangrove wetlands provide ecosystem services for millions of people, most prominently by providing storm protection, food and fodder. Mangrove wetlands are also valuable ecosystems for promoting carbon (C) sequestration and storage. However, loss of mangrove wetlands and these ecosystem services are a global concern, prompting the restoration and creation of mangrove wetlands as a potential solution. Here, we investigate soil surface elevation change, and its components, in created mangrove wetlands over a 25 year developmental gradient. All created mangrove wetlands were exceeding current relative sea-level rise rates (2.6 mm yr−1), with surface elevation change of 4.2–11.0 mm yr−1 compared with 1.5–7.2 mm yr−1 for nearby reference mangroves. While mangrove wetlands store C persistently in roots/soils, storage capacity is most valuable if maintained with future sea-level rise. Through empirical modeling, we discovered that properly designed creation projects may not only yield enhanced C storage, but also can facilitate wetland persistence perennially under current rates of sea-level rise and, for most sites, for over a century with projected medium accelerations in sea-level rise (IPCC RCP 6.0). Only the fastest projected accelerations in sea-level rise (IPCC RCP 8.5) led to widespread submergence and potential loss of stored C for created mangrove wetlands before 2100.

  4. 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.

    2016-12-01

    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 failures may either increase (if triggered by shallow fault ruptures) or decrease (if triggered by deep fault ruptures) as a result of sea-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.

  5. Created mangrove wetlands store belowground carbon and surface elevation change enables them to adjust to sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauss, Ken W; Cormier, Nicole; Osland, Michael J; Kirwan, Matthew L; Stagg, Camille L; Nestlerode, Janet A; Russell, Marc J; From, Andrew S; Spivak, Amanda C; Dantin, Darrin D; Harvey, James E; Almario, Alejandro E

    2017-04-21

    Mangrove wetlands provide ecosystem services for millions of people, most prominently by providing storm protection, food and fodder. Mangrove wetlands are also valuable ecosystems for promoting carbon (C) sequestration and storage. However, loss of mangrove wetlands and these ecosystem services are a global concern, prompting the restoration and creation of mangrove wetlands as a potential solution. Here, we investigate soil surface elevation change, and its components, in created mangrove wetlands over a 25 year developmental gradient. All created mangrove wetlands were exceeding current relative sea-level rise rates (2.6 mm yr -1 ), with surface elevation change of 4.2-11.0 mm yr -1 compared with 1.5-7.2 mm yr -1 for nearby reference mangroves. While mangrove wetlands store C persistently in roots/soils, storage capacity is most valuable if maintained with future sea-level rise. Through empirical modeling, we discovered that properly designed creation projects may not only yield enhanced C storage, but also can facilitate wetland persistence perennially under current rates of sea-level rise and, for most sites, for over a century with projected medium accelerations in sea-level rise (IPCC RCP 6.0). Only the fastest projected accelerations in sea-level rise (IPCC RCP 8.5) led to widespread submergence and potential loss of stored C for created mangrove wetlands before 2100.

  6. Doubling of coastal flooding frequency within decades due to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitousek, Sean; Barnard, Patrick L.; Fletcher, Charles H.; Frazer, Neil; Erikson, Li; Storlazzi, Curt D.

    2017-01-01

    Global climate change drives sea-level rise, increasing the frequency of coastal flooding. In most coastal regions, the amount of sea-level rise occurring over years to decades is significantly smaller than normal ocean-level fluctuations caused by tides, waves, and storm surge. However, even gradual sea-level rise can rapidly increase the frequency and severity of coastal flooding. So far, global-scale estimates of increased coastal flooding due to sea-level rise have not considered elevated water levels due to waves, and thus underestimate the potential impact. Here we use extreme value theory to combine sea-level projections with wave, tide, and storm surge models to estimate increases in coastal flooding on a continuous global scale. We find that regions with limited water-level variability, i.e., short-tailed flood-level distributions, located mainly in the Tropics, will experience the largest increases in flooding frequency. The 10 to 20 cm of sea-level rise expected no later than 2050 will more than double the frequency of extreme water-level events in the Tropics, impairing the developing economies of equatorial coastal cities and the habitability of low-lying Pacific island nations.

  7. Doubling of coastal flooding frequency within decades due to sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitousek, Sean; Barnard, Patrick L; Fletcher, Charles H; Frazer, Neil; Erikson, Li; Storlazzi, Curt D

    2017-05-18

    Global climate change drives sea-level rise, increasing the frequency of coastal flooding. In most coastal regions, the amount of sea-level rise occurring over years to decades is significantly smaller than normal ocean-level fluctuations caused by tides, waves, and storm surge. However, even gradual sea-level rise can rapidly increase the frequency and severity of coastal flooding. So far, global-scale estimates of increased coastal flooding due to sea-level rise have not considered elevated water levels due to waves, and thus underestimate the potential impact. Here we use extreme value theory to combine sea-level projections with wave, tide, and storm surge models to estimate increases in coastal flooding on a continuous global scale. We find that regions with limited water-level variability, i.e., short-tailed flood-level distributions, located mainly in the Tropics, will experience the largest increases in flooding frequency. The 10 to 20 cm of sea-level rise expected no later than 2050 will more than double the frequency of extreme water-level events in the Tropics, impairing the developing economies of equatorial coastal cities and the habitability of low-lying Pacific island nations.

  8. Observation-Driven Estimation of the Spatial Variability of 20th Century Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamlington, B. D.; Burgos, A.; Thompson, P. R.; Landerer, F. W.; Piecuch, C. G.; Adhikari, S.; Caron, L.; Reager, J. T.; Ivins, E. R.

    2018-03-01

    Over the past two decades, sea level measurements made by satellites have given clear indications of both global and regional sea level rise. Numerous studies have sought to leverage the modern satellite record and available historic sea level data provided by tide gauges to estimate past sea level rise, leading to several estimates for the 20th century trend in global mean sea level in the range between 1 and 2 mm/yr. On regional scales, few attempts have been made to estimate trends over the same time period. This is due largely to the inhomogeneity and quality of the tide gauge network through the 20th century, which render commonly used reconstruction techniques inadequate. Here, a new approach is adopted, integrating data from a select set of tide gauges with prior estimates of spatial structure based on historical sea level forcing information from the major contributing processes over the past century. The resulting map of 20th century regional sea level rise is optimized to agree with the tide gauge-measured trends, and provides an indication of the likely contributions of different sources to regional patterns. Of equal importance, this study demonstrates the sensitivities of this regional trend map to current knowledge and uncertainty of the contributing processes.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. The land-ice contribution to 21st-century dynamic sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, T.; Ridley, J.; Pardaens, A. K.; Hurkmans, R. T. W. L.; Payne, A. J.; Giesen, R. H.; Lowe, J. A.; Bamber, J. L.; Edwards, T. L.; Oerlemans, J.

    2014-06-01

    Climate change has the potential to influence global mean sea level through a number of processes including (but not limited to) thermal expansion of the oceans and enhanced land ice melt. In addition to their contribution to global mean sea level change, these two processes (among others) lead to local departures from the global mean sea level change, through a number of mechanisms including the effect on spatial variations in the change of water density and transport, usually termed dynamic sea level changes. In this study, we focus on the component of dynamic sea level change that might be given by additional freshwater inflow to the ocean under scenarios of 21st-century land-based ice melt. We present regional patterns of dynamic sea level change given by a global-coupled atmosphere-ocean climate model forced by spatially and temporally varying projected ice-melt fluxes from three sources: the Antarctic ice sheet, the Greenland Ice Sheet and small glaciers and ice caps. The largest ice melt flux we consider is equivalent to almost 0.7 m of global mean sea level rise over the 21st century. The temporal evolution of the dynamic sea level changes, in the presence of considerable variations in the ice melt flux, is also analysed. We find that the dynamic sea level change associated with the ice melt is small, with the largest changes occurring in the North Atlantic amounting to 3 cm above the global mean rise. Furthermore, the dynamic sea level change associated with the ice melt is similar regardless of whether the simulated ice fluxes are applied to a simulation with fixed CO2 or under a business-as-usual greenhouse gas warming scenario of increasing CO2.

  13. Coastal sea level rise with warming above 2 °C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jevrejeva, Svetlana; Jackson, Luke P; Riva, Riccardo E M; Grinsted, Aslak; Moore, John C

    2016-11-22

    Two degrees of global warming above the preindustrial level is widely suggested as an appropriate threshold beyond which climate change risks become unacceptably high. This "2 °C" threshold is likely to be reached between 2040 and 2050 for both Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 and 4.5. Resulting sea level rises will not be globally uniform, due to ocean dynamical processes and changes in gravity associated with water mass redistribution. Here we provide probabilistic sea level rise projections for the global coastline with warming above the 2 °C goal. By 2040, with a 2 °C warming under the RCP8.5 scenario, more than 90% of coastal areas will experience sea level rise exceeding the global estimate of 0.2 m, with up to 0.4 m expected along the Atlantic coast of North America and Norway. With a 5 °C rise by 2100, sea level will rise rapidly, reaching 0.9 m (median), and 80% of the coastline will exceed the global sea level rise at the 95th percentile upper limit of 1.8 m. Under RCP8.5, by 2100, New York may expect rises of 1.09 m, Guangzhou may expect rises of 0.91 m, and Lagos may expect rises of 0.90 m, with the 95th percentile upper limit of 2.24 m, 1.93 m, and 1.92 m, respectively. The coastal communities of rapidly expanding cities in the developing world, and vulnerable tropical coastal ecosystems, will have a very limited time after midcentury to adapt to sea level rises unprecedented since the dawn of the Bronze Age.

  14. Effective inundation of continental United States communities with 21st century sea level rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina A. Dahl

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Recurrent, tidally driven coastal flooding is one of the most visible signs of sea level rise. Recent studies have shown that such flooding will become more frequent and extensive as sea level continues to rise, potentially altering the landscape and livability of coastal communities decades before sea level rise causes coastal land to be permanently inundated. In this study, we identify US communities that will face effective inundation—defined as having 10% or more of livable land area flooded at least 26 times per year—with three localized sea level rise scenarios based on projections for the 3rd US National Climate Assessment. We present these results in a new, online interactive tool that allows users to explore when and how effective inundation will impact their communities. In addition, we identify communities facing effective inundation within the next 30 years that contain areas of high socioeconomic vulnerability today using a previously published vulnerability index. With the Intermediate-High and Highest sea level rise scenarios, 489 and 668 communities, respectively, would face effective inundation by the year 2100. With these two scenarios, more than half of communities facing effective inundation by 2045 contain areas of current high socioeconomic vulnerability. These results highlight the timeframes that US coastal communities have to respond to disruptive future inundation. The results also underscore the importance of limiting future warming and sea level rise: under the Intermediate-Low scenario, used as a proxy for sea level rise under the Paris Climate Agreement, 199 fewer communities would be effectively inundated by 2100.

  15. 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. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  16. Short Lived Climate Pollutants cause a Long Lived Effect on Sea-level Rise: Analyzing climate metrics for sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterner, E.; Johansson, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    Climate change depends on the increase of several different atmospheric pollutants. While long term global warming will be determined mainly by carbon dioxide, warming in the next few decades will depend to a large extent on short lived climate pollutants (SLCP). Reducing emissions of SLCPs could contribute to lower the global mean surface temperature by 0.5 °C already by 2050 (Shindell et al. 2012). Furthermore, the warming effect of one of the most potent SLCPs, black carbon (BC), may have been underestimated in the past. Bond et al. (2013) presents a new best estimate of the total BC radiative forcing (RF) of 1.1 W/m2 (90 % uncertainty bounds of 0.17 to 2.1 W/m2) since the beginning of the industrial era. BC is however never emitted alone and cooling aerosols from the same sources offset a majority of this RF. In the wake of calls for mitigation of SLCPs it is important to study other aspects of the climate effect of SLCPs. One key impact of climate change is sea-level rise (SLR). In a recent study, the effect of SLCP mitigation scenarios on SLR is examined. Hu et al (2013) find a substantial effect on SLR from mitigating SLCPs sharply, reducing SLR by 22-42% by 2100. We choose a different approach focusing on emission pulses and analyse a metric based on sea level rise so as to further enlighten the SLR consequences of SLCPs. We want in particular to understand the time dynamics of SLR impacts caused by SLCPs compared to other greenhouse gases. The most commonly used physical based metrics are GWP and GTP. We propose and evaluate an additional metric: The global sea-level rise potential (GSP). The GSP is defined as the sea level rise after a time horizon caused by an emissions pulse of a forcer to the sea level rise after a time horizon caused by an emissions pulse of a CO2. GSP is evaluated and compared to GWP and GTP using a set of climate forcers chosen to cover the whole scale of atmospheric perturbation life times (BC, CH4, N2O, CO2 and SF6). The study

  17. 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

  18. 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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Predictability of twentieth century sea-level rise from past data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bittermann, Klaus; Rahmstorf, Stefan; Perrette, Mahé; Vermeer, Martin

    2013-01-01

    The prediction of global sea-level rise is one of the major challenges of climate science. While process-based models are still being improved to capture the complexity of the processes involved, semi-empirical models, exploiting the observed connection between global-mean sea level and global temperature and calibrated with data, have been developed as a complementary approach. Here we investigate whether twentieth century sea-level rise could have been predicted with such models given a knowledge of twentieth century global temperature increase. We find that either proxy or early tide gauge data do not hold enough information to constrain the model parameters well. However, in combination, the use of proxy and tide gauge sea-level data up to 1900 AD allows a good prediction of twentieth century sea-level rise, despite this rise being well outside the rates experienced in previous centuries during the calibration period of the model. The 90% confidence range for the linear twentieth century rise predicted by the semi-empirical model is 13–30 cm, whereas the observed interval (using two tide gauge data sets) is 14–26 cm. (letter)

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. High-resolution tide projections reveal extinction threshold in response to sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, Christopher R; Bayard, Trina S; Gjerdrum, Carina; Hill, Jason M; Meiman, Susan; Elphick, Chris S

    2017-05-01

    Sea-level rise will affect coastal species worldwide, but models that aim to predict these effects are typically based on simple measures of sea level that do not capture its inherent complexity, especially variation over timescales shorter than 1 year. Coastal species might be most affected, however, by floods that exceed a critical threshold. The frequency and duration of such floods may be more important to population dynamics than mean measures of sea level. In particular, the potential for changes in the frequency and duration of flooding events to result in nonlinear population responses or biological thresholds merits further research, but may require that models incorporate greater resolution in sea level than is typically used. We created population simulations for a threatened songbird, the saltmarsh sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus), in a region where sea level is predictable with high accuracy and precision. We show that incorporating the timing of semidiurnal high tide events throughout the breeding season, including how this timing is affected by mean sea-level rise, predicts a reproductive threshold that is likely to cause a rapid demographic shift. This shift is likely to threaten the persistence of saltmarsh sparrows beyond 2060 and could cause extinction as soon as 2035. Neither extinction date nor the population trajectory was sensitive to the emissions scenarios underlying sea-level projections, as most of the population decline occurred before scenarios diverge. Our results suggest that the variation and complexity of climate-driven variables could be important for understanding the potential responses of coastal species to sea-level rise, especially for species that rely on coastal areas for reproduction. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. The Blackwater NWR inundation model. Rising sea level on a low-lying coast: land use planning for wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Curt; Clark, Inga; Guntenspergen, Glenn; Cahoon, Don; Caruso, Vincent; Hupp, Cliff; Yanosky, Tom

    2004-01-01

    The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (BNWR), on the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay (figure 1), occupies an area less than 1 meter above sea level. The Refuge has been featured prominently in studies of the impact of sea level rise on coastal wetlands. Most notably, the refuge has been sited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a key example of 'wetland loss' attributable to rising sea level due to global temperature increase. Comparative studies of aerial photos taken since 1938 show an expanding area of open water in the central area of the refuge. The expanding area of open water can be shown to parallel the record of sea level rise over the past 60 years. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) manages the refuge to support migratory waterfowl and to preserve endangered upland species. High marsh vegetation is critical to FWS waterfowl management strategies. A broad area once occupied by high marsh has decreased with rising sea level. The FWS needs a planning tool to help predict current and future areas of high marsh available for waterfowl. 'Wetland loss' is a relative term. It is dependant on the boundaries chosen for measurement. Wetland vegetation, zoned by elevation and salinity (figure 3), respond to rising sea level. Wetlands migrate inland and upslope and may vary in areas depending on the adjacent land slopes. Refuge managers need a geospatial tool that allows them to predict future areas that will be converted to high and intertidal marsh. Shifts in location and area of coverage must be anticipated. Viability of a current marsh area is also important. When will sea level rise make short-term management strategies to maintain an area impractical? The USGS has developed an inundation model for the BNWR centered on the refuge and surrounding areas. Such models are simple in concept, but they require a detailed topographic map upon which to superimpose future sea level positions. The new system of LIDAR mapping of land and

  6. Coralgal reef morphology records punctuated sea-level rise during the last deglaciation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanna, Pankaj; Droxler, André W; Nittrouer, Jeffrey A; Tunnell, John W; Shirley, Thomas C

    2017-10-19

    Coralgal reefs preserve the signatures of sea-level fluctuations over Earth's history, in particular since the Last Glacial Maximum 20,000 years ago, and are used in this study to indicate that punctuated sea-level rise events are more common than previously observed during the last deglaciation. Recognizing the nature of past sea-level rises (i.e., gradual or stepwise) during deglaciation is critical for informing models that predict future vertical behavior of global oceans. Here we present high-resolution bathymetric and seismic sonar data sets of 10 morphologically similar drowned reefs that grew during the last deglaciation and spread 120 km apart along the south Texas shelf edge. Herein, six commonly observed terrace levels are interpreted to be generated by several punctuated sea-level rise events forcing the reefs to shrink and backstep through time. These systematic and common terraces are interpreted to record punctuated sea-level rise events over timescales of decades to centuries during the last deglaciation, previously recognized only during the late Holocene.

  7. Effects of Sea Level Rise on Groundwater Flow Paths in a Coastal Aquifer System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrissey, S. K.; Clark, J. F.; Bennett, M. W.; Richardson, E.; Stute, M.

    2008-05-01

    Changes in groundwater flow in the Floridan aquifer system, South Florida, from the rise in sea level at the end of the last glacial period may be indicative of changes coastal aquifers will experience with continued sea level rise. As sea level rises, the hydraulic head near the coast increases. Coastal aquifers can therefore experience decreased groundwater gradients (increased residence times) and seawater intrusion. Stable isotopes of water, dissolved noble gas temperatures, radiocarbon and He concentrations were analyzed in water collected from 68 wells in the Floridan aquifer system throughout South Florida. Near the recharge area, geochemical data along groundwater flow paths in the Upper Floridan aquifer show a transition from recently recharged groundwater to glacial-aged water. Down gradient from this transition, little variation is apparent in the stable isotopes and noble gas recharge temperatures, indicating that most of the Upper Floridan aquifer contains groundwater recharged during the last glacial period. The rapid 120-meter rise in sea level marking the end of the last glacial period increased the hydraulic head in the Floridan aquifer system near the coast, slowing the flow of groundwater from the recharge area to the ocean and trapping glacial-aged groundwater. The raised sea level also flooded half of the Florida platform and caused seawater to intrude into the Lower Floridan. This circulation of seawater in the Lower Floridan continues today as our data indicate that the groundwater is similar to modern seawater with a freshwater component entering vertically from the recharge area to the Upper Floridan.

  8. A simple model to estimate the impact of sea-level rise on platform beaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taborda, Rui; Ribeiro, Mónica Afonso

    2015-04-01

    Estimates of future beach evolution in response to sea-level rise are needed to assess coastal vulnerability. A research gap is identified in providing adequate predictive methods to use for platform beaches. This work describes a simple model to evaluate the effects of sea-level rise on platform beaches that relies on the conservation of beach sand volume and assumes an invariant beach profile shape. In closed systems, when compared with the Inundation Model, results show larger retreats; the differences are higher for beaches with wide berms and when the shore platform develops at shallow depths. The application of the proposed model to Cascais (Portugal) beaches, using 21st century sea-level rise scenarios, shows that there will be a significant reduction in beach width.

  9. [Vulnerability assessment on the coastal wetlands in the Yangtze Estuary under sea-level rise].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Li-Fang; Wang, Ning; Ge, Zhen-Ming; Zhang, Li-Quan

    2014-02-01

    To study the response of coastal wetlands to climate change, assess the impacts of climate change on the coastal wetlands and formulate feasible and practical mitigation strategies are the important prerequisite for securing coastal ecosystems. In this paper, the possible impacts of sea level rise caused by climate change on the coastal wetlands in the Yangtze Estuary were analyzed by the Source-Pathway-Receptor-Consequence (SPRC) model and IPCC definition on the vulnerability. An indicator system for vulnerability assessment was established, in which sea-level rise rate, subsidence rate, habitat elevation, inundation threshold of habitat and sedimentation rate were selected as the key indicators. A quantitatively spatial assessment method based on the GIS platform was established by quantifying each indicator, calculating the vulnerability index and grading the vulnerability index for the assessment of coastal wetlands in the Yangtze Estuary under the scenarios of sea-level rise. The vulnerability assessments on the coastal wetlands in the Yangtze Estuary in 2030 and 2050 were performed under two sea-level rise scenarios (the present sea-level rise trend over recent 30 years and IPCC A1F1 scenario). The results showed that with the projection in 2030 under the present trend of sea-level rise (0.26 cm x a(-1)), 6.6% and 0.1% of the coastal wetlands were in the low and moderate vulnerabilities, respectively; and in 2050, 9.8% and 0.2% of the coastal wetlands were in low and moderate vulnerabilities, respectively. With the projection in 2030 under the A1F1 scenario (0.59 cm x a(-1)), 9.0% and 0.1% of the coastal wetlands were in the low and moderate vulnerabilities, respectively; and in 2050, 9.5%, 1.0% and 0.3% of the coastal wetlands were in the low, moderate and high vulnerabilities, respectively.

  10. Preparing for Sea-level Rise: Conflicts and Opportunities in Coastal Wetlands Coexisting with Infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, J. F.; Saco, P. M.; Sandi, S. G.; Saintilan, N.; Riccardi, G.

    2017-12-01

    Even though on a large scale the sustainability and resilience of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise depends on the slope of the landscape and a balance between the rates of soil accretion and the sea-level rise, local man-made flow disturbances can have comparable effects. Coastal infrastructure controlling flow in the wetlands can pose an additional constraint on the adaptive capacity of these ecosystems, but can also present opportunities for targeted flow management to increase their resilience. Coastal wetlands in SE Australia are heavily managed and typically present infrastructure including flow control devices. How these flow control structures are operated respond to different ecological conservation objectives (i.e. bird, frog or fish habitat) that can sometimes be mutually exclusive. For example, promoting mangrove establishment to enhance fish habitat results in saltmarsh decline thus affecting bird habitat. Moreover, sea-level rise will change hydraulic conditions in wetlands and may result in some flow control structures and strategies becoming obsolete or even counterproductive. In order to address these problems and in support of future management of flows in coastal wetlands, we have developed a predictive tool for long-term wetland evolution that incorporates the effects of infrastructure and other perturbations to the tidal flow within the wetland (i.e. vegetation resistance) and determines how these flow conditions affect vegetation establishment and survival. We use the model to support management and analyse different scenarios of sea-level rise and flow control measures aimed at preserving bird habitat. Our results show that sea-level rise affects the efficiency of management measures and in some cases may completely override their effect. It also shows the potential of targeted flow management to compensate for the effects of sea-level rise.

  11. Combining urbanization and hydrodynamics data to evaluate sea level rise impacts on coastal water resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, C. R.; Martin, J. B.

    2016-02-01

    Assessments of the potential for salt water intrusion due to sea level rise require consideration of both coastal hydrodynamic and human activity thresholds. In siliciclastic systems, sea level rise may cause salt intrusion to coastal aquifers at annual or decadal scales, whereas in karst systems salt intrudes at the tidal scalse. In both cases, human activity impacts the freshwater portion of the system by altering the water demand on the aquifer. We combine physicochemical and human activity data to evaluate impact of sea level rise on salt intrusion to siliclastic (Indian River Lagoon, Fl, USA) and karst (Puerto Morelos, Yucatan, Mexico) systems under different sea level rise rate scenarios. Two hydrodynamic modeling scenarios are considered; flux controlled and head controlled. Under a flux controlled system hydraulic head gradients remain constant during sea level rise while under a head controlled system hydraulic graidents diminish, allowing saltwater intrusion. Our model contains three key terms; aquifer recharge, groundwater discharge and hydraulic conductivity. Groundwater discharge and hydraulic conductivity were calculated based on high frequency (karst system) and decadal (siliciclastic system) field measurements. Aquifer recharge is defined as precipitation less evapotranspiration and water demand was evaluated based on urban planning data that provided the regional water demand. Water demand includes agricultural area, toursim, traffic patterns, garbage collection and total population. Water demand was initially estimated using a partial leaset squares regression based on these variables. Our model indicates that water demand depends most on agricultural area, which has changed significantly over the last 30 years. In both systems, additional water demand creates a head controlled scenario, thus increaseing the protential fo salt intrusion with projected sea level rise.

  12. Assessing water quality of the Chesapeake Bay by the impact of sea level rise and warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, P.; Linker, L.; Wang, H.; Bhatt, G.; Yactayo, G.; Hinson, K.; Tian, R.

    2017-08-01

    The influence of sea level rise and warming on circulation and water quality of the Chesapeake Bay under projected climate conditions in 2050 were estimated by computer simulation. Four estuarine circulation scenarios in the estuary were run using the same watershed load in 1991-2000 period. They are, 1) the Base Scenario, which represents the current climate condition, 2) a Sea Level Rise Scenario, 3) a Warming Scenario, and 4) a combined Sea Level Rise and Warming Scenario. With a 1.6-1.9°C increase in monthly air temperatures in the Warming Scenario, water temperature in the Bay is estimated to increase by 0.8-1°C. Summer average anoxic volume is estimated to increase 1.4 percent compared to the Base Scenario, because of an increase in algal blooms in the spring and summer, promotion of oxygen consumptive processes, and an increase of stratification. However, a 0.5-meter Sea Level Rise Scenario results in a 12 percent reduction of anoxic volume. This is mainly due to increased estuarine circulation that promotes oxygen-rich sea water intrusion in lower layers. The combined Sea Level Rise and Warming Scenario results in a 10.8 percent reduction of anoxic volume. Global warming increases precipitation and consequently increases nutrient loads from the watershed by approximately 5-7 percent. A scenario that used a 10 percent increase in watershed loads and current estuarine circulation patterns yielded a 19 percent increase in summer anoxic volume, while a scenario that used a 10 percent increase in watershed loads and modified estuarine circulation patterns by the aforementioned sea level rise and warming yielded a 6 percent increase in summer anoxic volume. Impacts on phytoplankton, sediments, and water clarity were also analysed.

  13. Project NOAH: Regulating modern sea-level rise. Phase II: Jerusalem Underground

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Walter S.; Fairbridge, Rhodes W.

    This proposal builds a high-speed inter-urban express between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, generates 1500 megawatts of hydroelectric energy, curtails littoral erosion, builds a port along the Israeli Mediterranean coast and demands peaceful cooperation on both sides of the Jordan River. Phase II represents a pilot project demonstrating the feasibility of continuing to regulate world sea-level by a new series of water regulation schemes. Phase I previously described all those projects already completed or underway which have inadvertently and/or unintentionally served the purpose of sea-level regulation. These forms of Phase I sea-level regulation include large and small reservoirs, irrigation projects, water infiltration schemes, farm ponds, and swimming and reflecting pools. All these water storage projects have already exercised a very appreciable brake on 20th century sea-level rise. Phase II outlines a high-visibility proposal which will serve to illustrate the viability of “Project NOAH”.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. A Mediterranean coastal database for assessing the impacts of sea-level rise and associated hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Claudia; Vafeidis, Athanasios T.; Muis, Sanne; Lincke, Daniel; Satta, Alessio; Lionello, Piero; Jimenez, Jose A.; Conte, Dario; Hinkel, Jochen

    2018-01-01

    We have developed a new coastal database for the Mediterranean basin that is intended for coastal impact and adaptation assessment to sea-level rise and associated hazards on a regional scale. The data structure of the database relies on a linear representation of the coast with associated spatial assessment units. Using information on coastal morphology, human settlements and administrative boundaries, we have divided the Mediterranean coast into 13 900 coastal assessment units. To these units we have spatially attributed 160 parameters on the characteristics of the natural and socio-economic subsystems, such as extreme sea levels, vertical land movement and number of people exposed to sea-level rise and extreme sea levels. The database contains information on current conditions and on plausible future changes that are essential drivers for future impacts, such as sea-level rise rates and socio-economic development. Besides its intended use in risk and impact assessment, we anticipate that the Mediterranean Coastal Database (MCD) constitutes a useful source of information for a wide range of coastal applications. PMID:29583140

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bierkandt, R; Levermann, A; Auffhammer, M

    2015-01-01

    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. (letter)

  18. A Mediterranean coastal database for assessing the impacts of sea-level rise and associated hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Claudia; Vafeidis, Athanasios T.; Muis, Sanne; Lincke, Daniel; Satta, Alessio; Lionello, Piero; Jimenez, Jose A.; Conte, Dario; Hinkel, Jochen

    2018-03-01

    We have developed a new coastal database for the Mediterranean basin that is intended for coastal impact and adaptation assessment to sea-level rise and associated hazards on a regional scale. The data structure of the database relies on a linear representation of the coast with associated spatial assessment units. Using information on coastal morphology, human settlements and administrative boundaries, we have divided the Mediterranean coast into 13 900 coastal assessment units. To these units we have spatially attributed 160 parameters on the characteristics of the natural and socio-economic subsystems, such as extreme sea levels, vertical land movement and number of people exposed to sea-level rise and extreme sea levels. The database contains information on current conditions and on plausible future changes that are essential drivers for future impacts, such as sea-level rise rates and socio-economic development. Besides its intended use in risk and impact assessment, we anticipate that the Mediterranean Coastal Database (MCD) constitutes a useful source of information for a wide range of coastal applications.

  19. A Mediterranean coastal database for assessing the impacts of sea-level rise and associated hazards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Claudia; Vafeidis, Athanasios T; Muis, Sanne; Lincke, Daniel; Satta, Alessio; Lionello, Piero; Jimenez, Jose A; Conte, Dario; Hinkel, Jochen

    2018-03-27

    We have developed a new coastal database for the Mediterranean basin that is intended for coastal impact and adaptation assessment to sea-level rise and associated hazards on a regional scale. The data structure of the database relies on a linear representation of the coast with associated spatial assessment units. Using information on coastal morphology, human settlements and administrative boundaries, we have divided the Mediterranean coast into 13 900 coastal assessment units. To these units we have spatially attributed 160 parameters on the characteristics of the natural and socio-economic subsystems, such as extreme sea levels, vertical land movement and number of people exposed to sea-level rise and extreme sea levels. The database contains information on current conditions and on plausible future changes that are essential drivers for future impacts, such as sea-level rise rates and socio-economic development. Besides its intended use in risk and impact assessment, we anticipate that the Mediterranean Coastal Database (MCD) constitutes a useful source of information for a wide range of coastal applications.

  20. 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.

  1. Predicting the impact of tsunami in California under rising sea level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dura, T.; Garner, A. J.; Weiss, R.; Kopp, R. E.; Horton, B.

    2017-12-01

    The flood hazard for the California coast depends not only on the magnitude, location, and rupture length of Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone earthquakes and their resultant tsunamis, but also on rising sea levels, which combine with tsunamis to produce overall flood levels. The magnitude of future sea-level rise remains uncertain even on the decadal scale, with future sea-level projections becoming even more uncertain at timeframes of a century or more. Earthquake statistics indicate that timeframes of ten thousand to one hundred thousand years are needed to capture rare, very large earthquakes. Because of the different timescales between reliable sea-level projections and earthquake distributions, simply combining the different probabilities in the context of a tsunami hazard assessment may be flawed. Here, we considered 15 earthquakes between Mw 8 to Mw 9.4 bound by -171oW and -140oW of the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone. We employed 24 realizations at each magnitude with random epicenter locations and different fault length-to-width ratios, and simulated the tsunami evolution from these 360 earthquakes at each decade from the years 2000 to 2200. These simulations were then carried out for different sea-level-rise projections to analyze the future flood hazard for California. Looking at the flood levels at tide gauges, we found that the flood level simulated at, for example, the year 2100 (including respective sea-level change) is different from the flood level calculated by adding the flood for the year 2000 to the sea-level change prediction for the year 2100. This is consistent for all sea-level rise scenarios, and this difference in flood levels range between 5% and 12% for the larger half of the given magnitude interval. Focusing on flood levels at the tide gauge in the Port of Los Angeles, the most probable flood level (including all earthquake magnitudes) in the year 2000 was 5 cm. Depending on the sea-level predictions, in the year 2050 the most probable

  2. Measuring Sea Level Rise-Induced Shoreline Changes and Inundation in Real Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shilling, F.; Waetjen, D.; Grijalva, E.

    2016-12-01

    We describe a method to monitor shoreline inundation and changes in response to sea level rise (SLR) using a network of time-lapse cameras. We found for coastal tidal marshes that this method was sensitive to vertical changes in sea level of 20 cm has occurred in the San Francisco Bay and other US coastal areas and is likely to rise by another 30-45 cm by mid-century, which will flood and erode many coastal ecosystems, highways, and urban areas. This rapid degree of rise means that it is imperative to co-plan for natural and built systems. Many public facilities are adjacent to shoreline ecosystems, which both protect infrastructure from wave and tide energy and are home to regulated species and habitats. Accurate and timely information about the actual extent of SLR impacts to shorelines will be critical during built-system adaptation. Currently, satellite-sourced imagery cannot provide the spatial or temporal resolution necessary to investigate fine-scale shoreline changes, leaving a gap between predictive models and knowing how, where and when these changes are occurring. The method described is feasible for near-term (1 to 10 years) to long-term application and can be used for measuring fine-resolution shoreline changes (organize photographs that could be combined with related external data (e.g., gauged water levels) to create an information mashup. This information could be used to validate models predicting shoreline inundation and loss, inform SLR-adaptation planning, and to visualize SLR impacts to the public.

  3. Evaluating model simulations of 20th century sea-level rise. Part 1: global mean sea-level change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slangen, A.B.A.; Meyssignac, B.; Agosta, C.; Champollion, N.; Church, J.A.; Fettweis, X.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; Marzeion, B.; Melet, A.; Palmer, M.D.; Richter, K.; Roberts, C.D.; Spada, G.

    2017-01-01

    Sea level change is one of the major consequences of climate change and is projected to affect coastal communities around the world. Here, global mean sea level (GMSL) change estimated by 12 climate models from phase 5 of the World Climate Research Programme’s Climate Model Intercomparison Project

  4. 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.

  5. Climate-change-driven accelerated sea-level rise detected in the altimeter era.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nerem, R S; Beckley, B D; Fasullo, J T; Hamlington, B D; Masters, D; Mitchum, G T

    2018-02-27

    Using a 25-y time series of precision satellite altimeter data from TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, Jason-2, and Jason-3, we estimate the climate-change-driven acceleration of global mean sea level over the last 25 y to be 0.084 ± 0.025 mm/y 2 Coupled with the average climate-change-driven rate of sea level rise over these same 25 y of 2.9 mm/y, simple extrapolation of the quadratic implies global mean sea level could rise 65 ± 12 cm by 2100 compared with 2005, roughly in agreement with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment Report (AR5) model projections. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  6. Coral reef structural complexity provides important coastal protection from waves under rising sea levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Daniel L.; Rovere, Alessio; Casella, Elisa; Power, Hannah; Canavesio, Remy; Collin, Antoine; Pomeroy, Andrew; Webster, Jody M.; Parravicini, Valeriano

    2018-01-01

    Coral reefs are diverse ecosystems that support millions of people worldwide by providing coastal protection from waves. Climate change and human impacts are leading to degraded coral reefs and to rising sea levels, posing concerns for the protection of tropical coastal regions in the near future. We use a wave dissipation model calibrated with empirical wave data to calculate the future increase of back-reef wave height. We show that, in the near future, the structural complexity of coral reefs is more important than sea-level rise in determining the coastal protection provided by coral reefs from average waves. We also show that a significant increase in average wave heights could occur at present sea level if there is sustained degradation of benthic structural complexity. Our results highlight that maintaining the structural complexity of coral reefs is key to ensure coastal protection on tropical coastlines in the future. PMID:29503866

  7. 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

  8. Groundwater reorganization in the Floridan aquifer following Holocene sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrissey, Sheila K.; Clark, Jordan F.; Bennett, Michael; Richardson, Emily; Stute, Martin

    2010-10-01

    Sea-level fluctuations, particularly those associated with glacial-interglacial cycles, can have profound impacts on the flow and circulation of coastal groundwater: the water found at present in many coastal aquifers may have been recharged during the last glacial period, when sea level was over 100m lower than present, and thus is not in equilibrium with present recharge conditions. Here we show that the geochemistry of the groundwater found in the Floridan Aquifer System in south Florida is best explained by a reorganization of groundwater flow following the sea-level rise at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum approximately 18,000 years ago. We find that the geochemistry of the fresh water found in the upper aquifers at present is consistent with recharge from meteoric water during the last glacial period. The lower aquifer, however, consists of post-sea-level-rise salt water that is most similar to that of the Straits of Florida, though with some dilution from the residual fresh water from the last glacial period circulation. We therefore suggest that during the last glacial period, the entire Floridan Aquifer System was recharged with meteoric waters. After sea level rose, the increased hydraulic head reduced the velocity of the groundwater flow. This velocity reduction trapped the fresh water in the upper aquifers and initiated saltwater circulation in the lower aquifer.

  9. A new method to estimate global mass transport and its implication for sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, S.; Heki, K.

    2017-12-01

    Estimates of changes in global land mass by using GRACE observations can be achieved by two methods, a mascon method and a forward modeling method. However, results from these two methods show inconsistent secular trend. Sea level budget can be adopted to validate the consistency among observations of sea level rise by altimetry, steric change by the Argo project, and mass change by GRACE. Mascon products from JPL, GSFC and CSR are compared here, we find that all these three products cannot achieve a reconciled sea level budget, while this problem can be solved by a new forward modeling method. We further investigate the origin of this difference, and speculate that it is caused by the signal leakage from the ocean mass. Generally, it is well recognized that land signals leak into oceans, but it also happens the other way around. We stress the importance of correction of leakage from the ocean in the estimation of global land masses. Based on a reconciled sea level budget, we confirmed that global sea level rise has been accelerating significantly over 2005-2015, as a result of the ongoing global temperature increase.

  10. Sea Level Rise Impacts on Wastewater Treatment Systems Along the U.S. Coasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummel, Michelle A.; Berry, Matthew S.; Stacey, Mark T.

    2018-04-01

    As sea levels rise, coastal communities will experience more frequent and persistent nuisance flooding, and some low-lying areas may be permanently inundated. Critical components of lifeline infrastructure networks in these areas are also at risk of flooding, which could cause significant service disruptions that extend beyond the flooded zone. Thus, identifying critical infrastructure components that are exposed to sea level rise is an important first step in developing targeted investment in protective actions and enhancing the overall resilience of coastal communities. Wastewater treatment plants are typically located at low elevations near the coastline to minimize the cost of collecting consumed water and discharging treated effluent, which makes them particularly susceptible to coastal flooding. For this analysis, we used geographic information systems to assess the exposure of wastewater infrastructure to various sea level rise projections at the national level. We then estimated the number of people who would lose wastewater services, which could be more than five times as high as previous predictions of the number of people at risk of direct flooding due to sea level rise. We also performed a regional comparison of wastewater exposure to marine and groundwater flooding in the San Francisco Bay Area. Overall, this analysis highlights the widespread exposure of wastewater infrastructure in the United States and demonstrates that local disruptions to infrastructure networks may have far-ranging impacts on areas that do not experience direct flooding.

  11. Sinking ships: conservation options for endemic taxa threatened by sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce Maschinski; Michael S. Ross; Hong Liu; Joe O' Brien; Erick J. von Wettberg; Kristin E. Haskins

    2011-01-01

    Low-elevation islands face threats from sea level rise (SLR) and increased storm intensity. Evidence of endangered species’ population declines and shifts in vegetation communities are already underway in the Florida Keys. SLR predictions indicate large areas of these habitats may be eliminated in the next century. Using the Florida Keys as a model system, we present a...

  12. Methods and problems in assessing the impacts of accelerated sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholls, Robert J.; Dennis, Karen C.; Volonte, Claudio R.; Leatherman, Stephen P.

    1992-06-01

    Accelerated sea-level rise is one of the more certain responses to global warming and presents a major challenge to mankind. However, it is important to note that sea-level rise is only manifest over long timescales (decades to centuries). Coastal scientists are increasingly being called upon to assess the physical, economic and societal impacts of sea-level rise and hence investigate appropriate response strategies. Such assessments are difficult in many developing countries due to a lack of physical, demographic and economic data. In particular, there is a lack of appropriate topographic information for the first (physical) phase of the analysis. To overcome these difficulties we have developed a new rapid and low-cost reconnaissance technique: ``aerial videotape-assisted vulnerability analysis'' (AVA). It involves: 1) videotaping the coastline from a small airplane; 2) limited ground-truth measurements; and 3) archive research. Combining the video record with the ground-truth information characterizes the coastal topography and, with an appropriate land loss model, estimates of the physical impact for different sea-level rise scenarios can be made. However, such land loss estimates raise other important questions such as the appropriate seaward limit of the beach profile. Response options also raise questions such as the long-term costs of seawalls. Therefore, realistic low and high estiimates were developed. To illustrate the method selected results from Senegal, Uruguay and Venezuela are presented.

  13. 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.S.; 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...

  14. Possible impacts of sea level rise on disease transmission and potential adaptation strategies, a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvorak, Ana C; Solo-Gabriele, Helena M; Galletti, Andrea; Benzecry, Bernardo; Malone, Hannah; Boguszewski, Vicki; Bird, Jason

    2018-04-18

    Sea levels are projected to rise in response to climate change, causing the intrusion of sea water into land. In flat coastal regions, this would generate an increase in shallow water covered areas with limited circulation. This scenario raises a concern about the consequences it could have on human health, specifically the possible impacts on disease transmission. In this review paper we identified three categories of diseases which are associated with water and whose transmission can be affected by sea level rise. These categories include: mosquitoborne diseases, naturalized organisms (Vibrio spp. and toxic algae), and fecal-oral diseases. For each disease category, we propose comprehensive adaptation strategies that would help minimize possible health risks. Finally, the City of Key West, Florida is analyzed as a case study, due to its inherent vulnerability to sea level rise. Current and projected adaptation techniques are discussed as well as the integration of additional recommendations, focused on disease transmission control. Given that sea level rise will likely continue into the future, the promotion and implementation of positive adaptation strategies is necessary to ensure community resilience. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Past and future contribution of global groundwater depletion to sea-level rise

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wada, Y.; Beek, L.P.H. van; Sperna Weiland, F.C.; Chao, B.; Wu, Y.-H.; Bierkens, M.F.P.

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies suggest the increasing contribution of groundwater depletion to global sea-level rise. Groundwater depletion has more than doubled during the last decades, primarily due to increase in water demand, while the increase in water impoundments behind dams has been tapering off since

  16. Adaptation to the Impacts of Sea Level Rise in the Nile Delta Coastal ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Extrants. Articles de revue. Facing the Tide - REVOLVE Magazine: Water Around the Mediterranean. Téléchargez le PDF. Rapports. Adaptation to the impacts of sea level rise in the Nile Delta coastal zone, Egypt : final project report. Téléchargez le PDF ...

  17. A Mediterranean coastal database for assessing the impacts of sea-level rise and associated hazards

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wolff, Claudia; Vafeidis, Athanasios T.; Muis, Sanne; Lincke, Daniel; Satta, Alessio; Lionello, Piero; Jimenez, Jose A.; Conte, Dario; Hinkel, Jochen

    2018-01-01

    We have developed a new coastal database for the Mediterranean basin that is intended for coastal impact and adaptation assessment to sea-level rise and associated hazards on a regional scale. The data structure of the database relies on a linear representation of the coast with associated spatial

  18. Comment on 'The Global Impacts of Extreme Sea-Level Rise: A Comprehensive Economic Assessment'

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tol, R.S.J.; Nicholls, R.J.; Brown, S.; Hinkel, J.; Vafeidis, A.T.; Spencer, T.

    2016-01-01

    Pycroft et al. (Environ Resour Econ 1–29, 2015) used incorrect and outdated data to study the economic impact of sea level rise. They misinterpret some of their input data, and fail to exploit the strengths of their computable general equilibrium model and previously developed methods to study

  19. Sea level rise impacts on wastewater treatment systems along the U.S. coasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummel, M.; Berry, M.; Stacey, M. T.

    2017-12-01

    As sea levels rise, coastal communities will experience more frequent and persistent nuisance flooding, and some low-lying areas may be permanently inundated. Critical components of lifeline infrastructure networks in these areas are also at risk of flooding, which could cause significant service disruptions that extend beyond the flooded zone. Thus, identifying critical infrastructure components that are vulnerable to sea level rise is an important first step in developing targeted investment in protective actions and enhancing the overall resilience of coastal communities. Wastewater treatment plants are typically located at low elevations near the coastline to minimize the cost of collecting consumed water and discharging treated effluent, which makes them particularly susceptible to coastal flooding. For this analysis, we used geographic information systems to assess the vulnerability of wastewater infrastructure to various sea level rise projections at the national level. We then estimated the number of people who would lose wastewater services, which could be more than three times as high as previous predictions of the number of people at risk of direct flooding due to sea level rise. We also considered several case studies of wastewater infrastructure in mid-sized cities to determine how topography and system configuration (centralized versus distributed) impact vulnerability. Overall, this analysis highlights the widespread vulnerability of wastewater infrastructure in the U.S. and demonstrates that local disruptions to infrastructure networks may have far-ranging impacts on areas that do not experience direct flooding.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  1. Sea level rise in the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel and impacts of a Severn Barrage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadian, Reza; Olbert, Agnieszka I.; Hartnett, Michael; Falconer, Roger A.

    2014-05-01

    Many research projects in recent years have focused on marine renewable energy devices and structures due to the growing interest in marine renewable energy. These devices and structures have very different life spans. Schemes such as the Severn Barrage in the UK, as originally proposed by the Severn Tidal Power Group (STPG), would be the largest tidal renewable energy generation project in the world and would be operational for well over a century if built. Due to the long working life of some of these marine renewable energy schemes, it is important to study the impacts of climate change on such schemes, and particularly sea level rise. This study focuses on investigating the impacts of sea level rise due to climate change on the largest macro-tidal estuary in the UK, namely the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel, and the alterations of the impacts and the performance of the Severn Barrage as a result of climate change. A hierarchy of computer models was implemented to identify the more localised impacts of climate change in the region of the study. Moreover, the potential benefits of the barrage on reducing flood risk, as well as the impact of climate change and the barrage on intertidal mudflats were investigated. The model predictions showed that the barrage would reduce flood risk due to the sea level rise. Furthermore, annual power output and the initial reduction in flood risk of the barrage would not be affected by sea level rise.

  2. Combining Geography, Math, and Science to Teach Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldakowski, Ray; Johnson, Ashley

    2018-01-01

    This study examines the effectiveness of integrating geography into existing math and science curriculum to teach climate change and sea level rise. The desired outcome is to improve student performance in all three subjects. A sample of 120 fifth graders from three schools were taught the integrated curriculum over a period of two to three weeks.…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

  4. Climate change, sea-level rise, and conservation: keeping island biodiversity afloat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courchamp, Franck; Hoffmann, Benjamin D; Russell, James C; Leclerc, Camille; Bellard, Céline

    2014-03-01

    Island conservation programs have been spectacularly successful over the past five decades, yet they generally do not account for impacts of climate change. Here, we argue that the full spectrum of climate change, especially sea-level rise and loss of suitable climatic conditions, should be rapidly integrated into island biodiversity research and management. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paskoff, R.

    2000-01-01

    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.)

  6. Global warming and sea level rise. Chikyu Ondanka to kaimen josho

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mimura, N [Ibaraki University, Ibaraki (Japan). Faculty of Engineering

    1993-10-15

    This paper describes the following matters on the problems of global warming and sea level rise. The first evaluation report published by the inter-government panel on climate change (IPCC) in 1990 estimates that, if emission of greenhouse effect gas keeps increasing at the present rate, the air temperature and the average sea level would rise by 3[degree]C and 65 centimeters, respectively by 2100. Global warming would not only result in rise of the sea level, but also accompany changes in strengths and routes of tropical low pressure areas, and precipitation patterns. Downstream areas of large rivers and island countries on coral reefs may have a risk of getting submerged. Countries having coasts developed to high densities (Japan, for example) would be subjected to a high potential effect. An 'East Hemisphere International Conference on Sea Level Rising Problem' was held in Japan in August 1993 as part of the works to prepare the second evaluation report of the IPCC (publication scheduled for 1995). The conference was attended by 24 countries, and 43 study results were reported. 4 figs.

  7. Complexities in barrier island response to sea level rise: Insights from numerical model experiments, North Carolina Outer Banks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Laura J.; List, Jeffrey H.; Williams, S. Jeffress; Stolper, David

    2010-09-01

    Using a morphological-behavior model to conduct sensitivity experiments, we investigate the sea level rise response of a complex coastal environment to changes in a variety of factors. Experiments reveal that substrate composition, followed in rank order by substrate slope, sea level rise rate, and sediment supply rate, are the most important factors in determining barrier island response to sea level rise. We find that geomorphic threshold crossing, defined as a change in state (e.g., from landward migrating to drowning) that is irreversible over decadal to millennial time scales, is most likely to occur in muddy coastal systems where the combination of substrate composition, depth-dependent limitations on shoreface response rates, and substrate erodibility may prevent sand from being liberated rapidly enough, or in sufficient quantity, to maintain a subaerial barrier. Analyses indicate that factors affecting sediment availability such as low substrate sand proportions and high sediment loss rates cause a barrier to migrate landward along a trajectory having a lower slope than average barrier island slope, thereby defining an "effective" barrier island slope. Other factors being equal, such barriers will tend to be smaller and associated with a more deeply incised shoreface, thereby requiring less migration per sea level rise increment to liberate sufficient sand to maintain subaerial exposure than larger, less incised barriers. As a result, the evolution of larger/less incised barriers is more likely to be limited by shoreface erosion rates or substrate erodibility making them more prone to disintegration related to increasing sea level rise rates than smaller/more incised barriers. Thus, the small/deeply incised North Carolina barriers are likely to persist in the near term (although their long-term fate is less certain because of the low substrate slopes that will soon be encountered). In aggregate, results point to the importance of system history (e

  8. Complexities in barrier island response to sea level rise: Insights from numerical model experiments, North Carolina Outer Banks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Laura J.; List, Jeffrey H.; Williams, S. Jeffress; Stolper, David

    2010-01-01

    Using a morphological-behavior model to conduct sensitivity experiments, we investigate the sea level rise response of a complex coastal environment to changes in a variety of factors. Experiments reveal that substrate composition, followed in rank order by substrate slope, sea level rise rate, and sediment supply rate, are the most important factors in determining barrier island response to sea level rise. We find that geomorphic threshold crossing, defined as a change in state (e.g., from landward migrating to drowning) that is irreversible over decadal to millennial time scales, is most likely to occur in muddy coastal systems where the combination of substrate composition, depth-dependent limitations on shoreface response rates, and substrate erodibility may prevent sand from being liberated rapidly enough, or in sufficient quantity, to maintain a subaerial barrier. Analyses indicate that factors affecting sediment availability such as low substrate sand proportions and high sediment loss rates cause a barrier to migrate landward along a trajectory having a lower slope than average barrier island slope, thereby defining an “effective” barrier island slope. Other factors being equal, such barriers will tend to be smaller and associated with a more deeply incised shoreface, thereby requiring less migration per sea level rise increment to liberate sufficient sand to maintain subaerial exposure than larger, less incised barriers. As a result, the evolution of larger/less incised barriers is more likely to be limited by shoreface erosion rates or substrate erodibility making them more prone to disintegration related to increasing sea level rise rates than smaller/more incised barriers. Thus, the small/deeply incised North Carolina barriers are likely to persist in the near term (although their long-term fate is less certain because of the low substrate slopes that will soon be encountered). In aggregate, results point to the importance of system history (e

  9. Wetland Responses to Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    Coastal regions are vulnerable to flood risk due to climate change, sea level rise, and wetland losses. The Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) is a region in which extreme events are projected to be more intense under climate change and sea level rise scenarios [Wang et al., 2013; Bilskie et al., 2014]. Considering increased frequency and intensity of coastal flooding, wetlands are valuable natural resources that protect shorelines by dissipating waves and storm surges [Costanza et al., 2008]. Therefore, it is critical to investigate the response of salt marsh systems in different estuaries to sea level rise in the NGOM and their effects on storm surges to inform coastal managers to choose effective restoration plans. This research applies the coupled Hydro-MEM model [Alizad et al., 2016] to study three different estuarine systems in the NGOM. The model incorporates both sea level rise rate and feedbacks between physics and biology by coupling a hydrodynamic (ADCIRC) and salt marsh (MEM) model. The results of the model provide tidal hydrodynamics and biomass density change under four sea level rise projections during a 100-year period. The results are used to investigate marsh migration path in the estuarine systems. In addition, this study shows how marsh migration and biomass density change can impact storm surge modeling. The results imply the broader impacts of sea level rise on the estuarine systems in the NGOM. ReferencesAlizad, K., S. C. Hagen, J. T. Morris, P. Bacopoulos, M. V. Bilskie, J. Weishampel, and S. C. Medeiros (2016), A coupled, two-dimensional hydrodynamic-marsh model with biological feedback, Ecological Modeling, 327, 29-43. Bilskie, M. V., S. C. Hagen, S. C. Medeiros, and D. L. Passeri (2014), Dynamics of sea level rise and coastal flooding on a changing landscape, Geophysical Research Letters, 41(3), 927-934. Costanza, R., O. Pérez-Maqueo, M. L. Martinez, P. Sutton, S. J. Anderson, and K. Mulder (2008), The Value of Coastal Wetlands for Hurricane

  10. 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

  11. 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.

    scenarios with particular emphasis to the coastal environment, a detailed investigation was carried out in the study region (Dinesh Kumar, 2000). Beach transect data generated in the region were analysed to determine the effects of projected sea level rise... considered valid (Are Kont et al., 2003) as the general projections on average global sea level rise, which is used in the present investigation as the projected sea level rise scenarios. According to the climate change scenario results, the projected values...

  12. Vertical land motion controls regional sea level rise patterns on the United States east coast since 1900

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piecuch, C. G.; Huybers, P. J.; Hay, C.; Mitrovica, J. X.; Little, C. M.; Ponte, R. M.; Tingley, M.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding observed spatial variations in centennial relative sea level trends on the United States east coast has important scientific and societal applications. Past studies based on models and proxies variously suggest roles for crustal displacement, ocean dynamics, and melting of the Greenland ice sheet. Here we perform joint Bayesian inference on regional relative sea level, vertical land motion, and absolute sea level fields based on tide gauge records and GPS data. Posterior solutions show that regional vertical land motion explains most (80% median estimate) of the spatial variance in the large-scale relative sea level trend field on the east coast over 1900-2016. The posterior estimate for coastal absolute sea level rise is remarkably spatially uniform compared to previous studies, with a spatial average of 1.4-2.3 mm/yr (95% credible interval). Results corroborate glacial isostatic adjustment models and reveal that meaningful long-period, large-scale vertical velocity signals can be extracted from short GPS records.

  13. The anticipated spatial loss of microtidal beaches in the next 100 years due to sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexandrakis, G.; Poulos, S.

    2012-04-01

    The anticipated sea level rise is expected to influence on a global scale the earth coast in the near future and it is considered to be a main factor related to coastal retreat, with beach zones being among the most vulnerable coastal landforms. Records for the period 1890-1990 have shown that sea level has already risen by 18cm (min: +10cm, max: +25cm), while the projected to 2100 sea level rise has estimated to be 20 to 50cm (IPCC, 2007). It has to be highlighted that a small rise of few tens of meters would cause shoreline retreat of a few to tens meters in the case of low lying coasts, i.e. beach zones (e.g. Bruun 1962, Nichol and Letherman, 1995, Ciavola and Corbau, 2002). Within the concept of climate change, sea level rise could also being related, in regional scale, to changes of meteorological factors such as intensity, duration and direction of the onshore blowing winds, variation in atmospheric pressure. In the microtidal Greek waters temporary changes in sea level exceeds the 1 m (HHS, 2004) This work investigates the impact of sea level rise to sixteen beach zones along the Greek coast. More specifically, shoreline retreat has been estimated for time periods of 10, 20, 50 and 100 years for the corresponding sea level rise of 0,038, 0,076m, 0,19m and 0,38m, according to the A1B scenario of IPCC (2007) and utilizing Dean's (1991) equation; the latter includes in the calculations both the effects of the anticipated sea level rise and the associated storm surge The appropriate morphodynamic and sedimentological data used for the estimation of beach retreat has been deduced from field measurements. Finally, the percentage of the sub-aerial area lost for each beach zone, under investigation, has been estimated. The results show that coastline retreat follows a liner increase in the case of eleven out of the 16 beach zones, for a time period of 100 years. Santava beach zone (inner Messiniakos Gulf) undergoes most of erosion in the first period of 20 years

  14. Can sea level rise cause large submarine landslides on continental slopes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urlaub, Morelia

    2014-05-01

    Submarine landslides are one of the volumetrically most important sediment transport processes at continental margins. Moreover, these landslides are a major geohazard as they can cause damaging tsunamis and destroy seabed infrastructure. Due to their inaccessibility our understanding of what causes these landslides is limited and based on hypotheses that are difficult to test. Some of the largest submarine landslides, such as the Storegga Slide off Norway, occurred during times of eustatic sea level rise. It has been suggested that this global sea level rise was implicated in triggering of the landslides by causing an increase in excess pore pressure in the subseafloor. However, in a homogeneous slope a change in the thickness of the overlying water mass is not expected to affect its stability, as only the hydrostatic pressure component will change, whereas pore pressures in excess of hydrostatic will remain unaltered. Whether sufficiently rapid sea level rise, aided by rather impermeable sediment and complex layering, could cause excess pore pressures that may destabilise a continental slope is more difficult to answer and has not yet been tested. I use Finite Element Modelling to explore and quantify the direct effect of changes in the thickness of the overlying water mass on the stability of a generic sediment column with different stratigraphic conditions and hydro-mechanical properties. The results show that the direct effect of sea level rise on continental slope stability is minimal. Nevertheless, sea level rise may foster other processes, such as lithospheric stress changes resulting in increased seismicity, that could potentially cause large submarine landslides on continental slopes.

  15. Can barrier islands survive sea level rise? Tidal inlets versus storm overwash

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nienhuis, J.; Lorenzo-Trueba, J.

    2017-12-01

    Barrier island response to sea level rise depends on their ability to transgress and move sediment to the back barrier, either through flood-tidal delta deposition or via storm overwash. Our understanding of these processes over decadal to centennial timescales, however, is limited and poorly constrained. We have developed a new barrier inlet environment (BRIE) model to better understand the interplay between tidal dynamics, overwash fluxes, and sea-level rise on barrier evolution. The BRIE model combines existing overwash and shoreface formulations [Lorenzo-Trueba and Ashton, 2014] with alongshore sediment transport, inlet stability [Escoffier, 1940], inlet migration and flood-tidal delta deposition [Nienhuis and Ashton, 2016]. Within BRIE, inlets can open, close, migrate, merge with other inlets, and build flood-tidal delta deposits. The model accounts for feedbacks between overwash and inlets through their mutual dependence on barrier geometry. Model results suggest that when flood-tidal delta deposition is sufficiently large, barriers require less storm overwash to transgress and aggrade during sea level rise. In particular in micro-tidal environments with asymmetric wave climates and high alongshore sediment transport, tidal inlets are effective in depositing flood-tidal deltas and constitute the majority of the transgressive sediment flux. Additionally, we show that artificial inlet stabilization (via jetty construction or maintenance dredging) can make barrier islands more vulnerable to sea level rise. Escoffier, F. F. (1940), The Stability of Tidal Inlets, Shore and Beach, 8(4), 114-115. Lorenzo-Trueba, J., and A. D. Ashton (2014), Rollover, drowning, and discontinuous retreat: Distinct modes of barrier response to sea-level rise arising from a simple morphodynamic model, J. Geophys. Res. Earth Surf., 119(4), 779-801, doi:10.1002/2013JF002941. Nienhuis, J. H., and A. D. Ashton (2016), Mechanics and rates of tidal inlet migration: Modeling and application to

  16. Increasing Resilience Through Engagement In Sea Level Rise Community Science Initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chilton, L. A.; Rindge, H.

    2017-12-01

    Science literate and engaged members of the public, including students, are critical to building climate resilient communities. USC Sea Grant facilitates programs that work to build and strengthen these connections. The Urban Tides Community Science Initiative (Urban Tides) and the Youth Exploring Sea Level Rise Science Program (YESS) engage communities across the boundaries of public engagement, K-12 education, and informal education. YESS is an experiential sea level rise education program that combines classroom learning, field investigations and public presentations. Students explore sea level rise using a new curricula, collect their own data on sea level rise, develop communication products, and present their findings to city governments, researchers, and others. Urban Tides engages community members, informal education centers, K-12 students, and local government leaders in a citizen science program photo- documenting extreme high tides, erosion and coastal flooding in Southern California. Images provide critical information to help calibrate scientific models used to identify locations vulnerable to damage from future sea level rise. These tools and information enable community leaders and local governments to set priorities, guidelines, and update policies as they plan strategies that will help the region adapt. The program includes a mobile app for data collection, an open database to view photos, a lesson plan, and community beach walks. Urban Tides has led to an increase in data and data-gathering capacity for regional scientists, an increase in public participation in science, and an increase in ocean and climate literacy among initiative participants. Both of these programs bring informed and diverse voices into the discussion of how to adapt and build climate resilient communities. USC Sea Grant will share impacts and lessons learned from these two unique programs.

  17. A policy hackathon for analysing impacts and solutions up to 20 metres sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haasnoot, Marjolijn; Bouwer, Laurens; Kwadijk, Jaap

    2017-04-01

    We organised a policy hackathon in order to quantify the impacts accelerated and high-end sea-level rise up to 20 metres on the coast of the Netherlands, and develop possible solutions. This was done during one day, with 20 experts that had a wide variety of disciplines, including hydrology, geology, coastal engineering, economics, and public policy. During the process the problem was divided up into several sub-sets of issues that were analysed and solved within small teams of between 4 to 8 people. Both a top-down impact analysis and bottom-up vulnerability analysis was done by answering the questions: What is the impact of sea level rise of x meter?; and How much sea level rise can be accommodated with before transformative actions are needed? Next, adaptation tipping points were identified that describe conditions under which the coastal system starts to perform unacceptably. Reasons for an adaptation tipping point can be technical (technically not possible), economic (cost-benefits are negative), or resources (available space, sand, energy production, financial). The results are presented in a summary document, and through an infographic displaying different adaptation tipping points and milestones that occur when the sea level rises up to 20 m. No technical limitations were found for adaptation, but many important decisions need to be taken. Although accelerated sea level rise seems far away it can have important consequences for short-term decisions that are required for transformative actions. Such extensive actions require more time for implementation. Also, other action may become ineffective before their design life. This hackathon exercise shows that it is possible to map within a short time frame the issues at hand, as well as potentially effective solutions. This can be replicated for other problems, and can be useful for several decision-makers that require quick but in-depth analysis of their long-term planning problems.

  18. Thresholds of sea-level rise rate and sea-level acceleration rate in a vulnerable coastal wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, W.; Biber, P.; Bethel, M.

    2017-12-01

    Feedback among inundation, sediment trapping, and vegetation productivity help maintain coastal wetlands facing sea-level rise (SLR). However, when the SLR rate exceeds a threshold, coastal wetlands can collapse. Understanding the threshold help address the key challenge in ecology - nonlinear response of ecosystems to environmental change, and promote communication between ecologists and policy makers. We studied the threshold of SLR rate and developed a new threshold of SLR acceleration rate on sustainability of coastal wetlands as SLR is likely to accelerate due to the enhanced anthropogenic forces. We developed a mechanistic model to simulate wetland change and derived the SLR thresholds for Grand Bay, MS, a micro-tidal estuary with limited upland freshwater and sediment input in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The new SLR acceleration rate threshold complements the threshold of SLR rate and can help explain the temporal lag before the rapid decline of wetland area becomes evident after the SLR rate threshold is exceeded. Deriving these two thresholds depends on the temporal scale, the interaction of SLR with other environmental factors, and landscape metrics, which have not been fully accounted for before this study. The derived SLR rate thresholds range from 7.3 mm/yr to 11.9 mm/yr. The thresholds of SLR acceleration rate are 3.02×10-4 m/yr2 and 9.62×10-5 m/yr2 for 2050 and 2100 respectively. Based on the thresholds developed, predicted SLR that will adversely impact the coastal wetlands in Grand Bay by 2100 will fall within the likely range of SLR under a high warming scenario (RCP8.5), and beyond the very likely range under a low warming scenario (RCP2.6 or 3), highlighting the need to avoid the high warming scenario in the future if these marshes are to be preserved.

  19. Linking sea level rise and socioeconomic indicators under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nauels, Alexander; Rogelj, Joeri; Schleussner, Carl-Friedrich; Meinshausen, Malte; Mengel, Matthias

    2017-11-01

    In order to assess future sea level rise and its societal impacts, we need to study climate change pathways combined with different scenarios of socioeconomic development. Here, we present sea level rise (SLR) projections for the Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) storylines and different year-2100 radiative forcing targets (FTs). Future SLR is estimated with a comprehensive SLR emulator that accounts for Antarctic rapid discharge from hydrofracturing and ice cliff instability. Across all baseline scenario realizations (no dedicated climate mitigation), we find 2100 median SLR relative to 1986-2005 of 89 cm (likely range: 57-130 cm) for SSP1, 105 cm (73-150 cm) for SSP2, 105 cm (75-147 cm) for SSP3, 93 cm (63-133 cm) for SSP4, and 132 cm (95-189 cm) for SSP5. The 2100 sea level responses for combined SSP-FT scenarios are dominated by the mitigation targets and yield median estimates of 52 cm (34-75 cm) for FT 2.6 Wm-2, 62 cm (40-96 cm) for FT 3.4 Wm-2, 75 cm (47-113 cm) for FT 4.5 Wm-2, and 91 cm (61-132 cm) for FT 6.0 Wm-2. Average 2081-2100 annual SLR rates are 5 mm yr-1 and 19 mm yr-1 for FT 2.6 Wm-2 and the baseline scenarios, respectively. Our model setup allows linking scenario-specific emission and socioeconomic indicators to projected SLR. We find that 2100 median SSP SLR projections could be limited to around 50 cm if 2050 cumulative CO2 emissions since pre-industrial stay below 850 GtC, with a global coal phase-out nearly completed by that time. For SSP mitigation scenarios, a 2050 carbon price of 100 US2005 tCO2 -1 would correspond to a median 2100 SLR of around 65 cm. Our results confirm that rapid and early emission reductions are essential for limiting 2100 SLR.

  20. 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.

  1. Responding to Sea Level Rise: Does Short-Term Risk Reduction Inhibit Successful Long-Term Adaptation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeler, A. G.; McNamara, D. E.; Irish, J. L.

    2018-04-01

    Most existing coastal climate-adaptation planning processes, and the research supporting them, tightly focus on how to use land use planning, policy tools, and infrastructure spending to reduce risks from rising seas and changing storm conditions. While central to community response to sea level rise, we argue that the exclusive nature of this focus biases against and delays decisions to take more discontinuous, yet proactive, actions to adapt—for example, relocation and aggressive individual protection investments. Public policies should anticipate real estate market responses to risk reduction to avoid large costs—social and financial—when and if sea level rise and other climate-related factors elevate the risks to such high levels that discontinuous responses become the least bad alternative.

  2. Vulnerability of the Nile Delta coastal areas to inundation by sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassaan, M A; Abdrabo, M A

    2013-08-01

    Sea level changes are typically caused by several natural phenomena, including ocean thermal expansion, glacial melt from Greenland and Antarctica. Global average sea level is expected to rise, through the twenty-first century, according to the IPCC projections by between 0.18 and 0.59 cm. Such a rise in sea level will significantly impact coastal area of the Nile Delta, consisting generally of lowland and is densely populated areas and accommodates significant proportion of Egypt's economic activities and built-up areas. The Nile Delta has been examined in several previous studies, which worked under various hypothetical sea level rise (SLR) scenarios and provided different estimates of areas susceptible to inundation due to SLR. The paper intends, in this respect, to identify areas, as well as land use/land cover, susceptible to inundation by SLR based upon most recent scenarios of SLR, by the year 2100 using GIS. The results indicate that about 22.49, 42.18, and 49.22 % of the total area of coastal governorates of the Nile Delta would be susceptible to inundation under different scenarios of SLR. Also, it was found that 15.56 % of the total areas of the Nile Delta that would be vulnerable to inundation due to land subsidence only, even in the absence of any rise in sea level. Moreover, it was found that a considerable proportion of these areas (ranging between 32.32 and 53.66 %) are currently either wetland or undeveloped areas. Furthermore, natural and/or man-made structures, such as the banks of the International Coastal Highway, were found to provide unintended protection to some of these areas. This suggests that the inundation impact of SLR on the Nile Delta is less than previously reported.

  3. Projections of tsunami inundation area coupled with impacts of sea level rise in Banda Aceh, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tursina, Syamsidik, Kato, Shigeru

    2017-10-01

    In a long term, sea level rise is anticipated to give devastating effects on Banda Aceh, as one of the coastal cities in the northern tip of Sumatra. The growth of the population and buildings in the city has come to the stage where the coastal area is vulnerable to any coastal hazard. Some public facilities and settlements have been constructed and keep expanding in the future. According to TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite images, 7 mm/year the sea level has been risen between 1992 and 2015 in this area. It is estimated that in the next 100 years, there will be 700 mm additional sea level rise which will give a setback more over to a rather flat area around the coast. This research is aim at investigating the influence of sea level rise toward the tsunami inundation on the land area particularly the impacts on Banda Aceh city. Cornell Multigrid Coupled Tsunami Model (COMCOT) simulation numerically generated tsunami propagation. Topography and bathymetry data were collected from GEBCO and updated with the available nautical chart (DISHIDROS, JICA, and field measurements). Geological movement of the underwater fault was generated using Piatanesi and Lorito of 9.15 Mw 2004 multi-fault scenario. The inundation area produced by COMCOT revealed that the inundation area was expanded to several hundred meters from the shoreline. To investigate the impacts of tsunami wave on Banda Aceh, the inundation area were digitized and analyzed with Quantum GIS spatial tools. The Quantum GIS analyzed inundations area affected by the projected tsunami. It will give a new tsunami-prone coastal area map induced by sea level rise in 100 years.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marzeion, Ben; Levermann, Anders

    2014-01-01

    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)

  5. The Orinoco megadelta as a conservation target in the face of the ongoing and future sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vegas-Vilarrúbia, T; Hernández, E; Rull, Valentí; Rull Vegas, Elisa

    2015-05-15

    Currently, risk assessments related to rising sea levels and the adoption of defensive or adaptive measures to counter these sea level increases are underway for densely populated deltas where economic losses might be important, especially in the developed world. However, many underpopulated deltas harbouring high biological and cultural diversity are also at risk but will most likely continue to be ignored as conservation targets. In this study, we explore the potential effects of erosion, inundation and salinisation on one of the world's comparatively underpopulated megadeltas, the Orinoco Delta. With a 1 m sea level rise expected to occur by 2100, several models predict a moderate erosion of the delta's shorelines, migration or loss of mangroves, general inundation of the delta with an accompanying submersion of wetlands, and an increase in the distance to which sea water intrudes into streams, resulting in harm to the freshwater biota and resources. The Warao people are the indigenous inhabitants of the Orinoco Delta and currently are subject to various socioeconomic stressors. Changes due to sea level rise will occur extremely rapidly and cause abrupt shifts in the Warao's traditional environments and resources, resulting in migrations and abandonment of their ancestral territories. However, evidence indicates that deltaic aggradation/accretion processes at the Orinoco delta due to allochthonous sediment input and vegetation growth could be elevating the surface of the land, keeping pace with the local sea level rise. Other underpopulated and large deltas of the world also may risk immeasurable biodiversity and cultural losses and should not be forgotten as important conservation targets. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. 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.

  7. Detecting anthropogenic footprints in sea level rise: the role of complex colored noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dangendorf, Sönke; Marcos, Marta; Müller, Alfred; Zorita, Eduardo; Jensen, Jürgen

    2015-04-01

    While there is scientific consensus that global mean sea level (MSL) is rising since the late 19th century, it remains unclear how much of this rise is due to natural variability or anthropogenic forcing. Uncovering the anthropogenic contribution requires profound knowledge about the persistence of natural MSL variations. This is challenging, since observational time series represent the superposition of various processes with different spectral properties. Here we statistically estimate the upper bounds of naturally forced centennial MSL trends on the basis of two separate components: a slowly varying volumetric (mass and density changes) and a more rapidly changing atmospheric component. Resting on a combination of spectral analyses of tide gauge records, ocean reanalysis data and numerical Monte-Carlo experiments, we find that in records where transient atmospheric processes dominate, the persistence of natural volumetric changes is underestimated. If each component is assessed separately, natural centennial trends are locally up to ~0.5 mm/yr larger than in case of an integrated assessment. This implies that external trends in MSL rise related to anthropogenic forcing might be generally overestimated. By applying our approach to the outputs of a centennial ocean reanalysis (SODA), we estimate maximum natural trends in the order of 1 mm/yr for the global average. This value is larger than previous estimates, but consistent with recent paleo evidence from periods in which the anthropogenic contribution was absent. Comparing our estimate to the observed 20th century MSL rise of 1.7 mm/yr suggests a minimum external contribution of at least 0.7 mm/yr. We conclude that an accurate detection of anthropogenic footprints in MSL rise requires a more careful assessment of the persistence of intrinsic natural variability.

  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. Assessing the impact of sea level rise due to climate change on seawater intrusion in Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vu, D T; Yamada, T; Ishidaira, H

    2018-03-01

    In the context of climate change, salinity intrusion into rivers has been, and will be, one of the most important issues for coastal water resources management. A combination of changes, including increased temperature, change in regional rainfall, especially sea level rise (SLR) related to climate change, will have significant impacts on this phenomenon. This paper presents the outcomes of a study conducted in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam (MKD) for evaluating the effect of sea water intrusion under a new SLR scenario. Salinity intrusion was simulated by one-dimensional (1D) modeling. The relative sea level projection was constructed corresponding to the RCP 6.0 emission scenario for MKD based on the statistical downscaling method. The sea level in 2050 is projected to increase from 25 cm to 30 cm compared to the baseline period (in 2000). Furthermore, the simulated results suggested that salinity greater than 4 g/l, which affects rice yield, will intrude up to 50-60 km into the river. Approximately 30,000 ha of agricultural area will be affected if the sea level rise is 30 cm.

  10. Consistent estimate of ocean warming, land ice melt and sea level rise from Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blazquez, Alejandro; Meyssignac, Benoît; Lemoine, Jean Michel

    2016-04-01

    Based on the sea level budget closure approach, this study investigates the consistency of observed Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) estimates from satellite altimetry, observed Ocean Thermal Expansion (OTE) estimates from in-situ hydrographic data (based on Argo for depth above 2000m and oceanic cruises below) and GRACE observations of land water storage and land ice melt for the period January 2004 to December 2014. The consistency between these datasets is a key issue if we want to constrain missing contributions to sea level rise such as the deep ocean contribution. Numerous previous studies have addressed this question by summing up the different contributions to sea level rise and comparing it to satellite altimetry observations (see for example Llovel et al. 2015, Dieng et al. 2015). Here we propose a novel approach which consists in correcting GRACE solutions over the ocean (essentially corrections of stripes and leakage from ice caps) with mass observations deduced from the difference between satellite altimetry GMSL and in-situ hydrographic data OTE estimates. We check that the resulting GRACE corrected solutions are consistent with original GRACE estimates of the geoid spherical harmonic coefficients within error bars and we compare the resulting GRACE estimates of land water storage and land ice melt with independent results from the literature. This method provides a new mass redistribution from GRACE consistent with observations from Altimetry and OTE. We test the sensibility of this method to the deep ocean contribution and the GIA models and propose best estimates.

  11. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Neumann, James; Ludwig, Lindsay; Verly, Caroleen; Emanuel, Kerry Andrew; Ravela, Srinivas

    2015-01-01

    This paper considers the impact of sea level rise and storm surge on the Red River delta region of Vietnam an area already known to be highly vulnerable to coastal risks. By combining a range of sea level rise scenarios for 2050 with the simulated storm surge level for the 100-year storm surge, we analyze permanently inundated lands and temporary flood zones. As is well-established in the literature, sea level rise will increase the risk of storms by raising the base sea level from which surg...

  13. Temperature rise, sea level rise and increased radiative forcing - an application of cointegration methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmith, Torben; Thejll, Peter; Johansen, Søren

    2016-04-01

    We analyse the statistical relationship between changes in global temperature, global steric sea level and radiative forcing in order to reveal causal relationships. There are in this, however, potential pitfalls due to the trending nature of the time series. We therefore apply a statistical method called cointegration analysis, originating from the field of econometrics, which is able to correctly handle the analysis of series with trends and other long-range dependencies. Further, we find a relationship between steric sea level and temperature and find that temperature causally depends on the steric sea level, which can be understood as a consequence of the large heat capacity of the ocean. This result is obtained both when analyzing observed data and data from a CMIP5 historical model run. Finally, we find that in the data from the historical run, the steric sea level, in turn, is driven by the external forcing. Finally, we demonstrate that combining these two results can lead to a novel estimate of radiative forcing back in time based on observations.

  14. Will fluctuations in salt marsh-mangrove dominance alter vulnerability of a subtropical wetland to sea-level rise?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Karen L; Vervaeke, William C

    2018-03-01

    To avoid submergence during sea-level rise, coastal wetlands build soil surfaces vertically through accumulation of inorganic sediment and organic matter. At climatic boundaries where mangroves are expanding and replacing salt marsh, wetland capacity to respond to sea-level rise may change. To compare how well mangroves and salt marshes accommodate sea-level rise, we conducted a manipulative field experiment in a subtropical plant community in the subsiding Mississippi River Delta. Experimental plots were established in spatially equivalent positions along creek banks in monospecific stands of Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) or Avicennia germinans (black mangrove) and in mixed stands containing both species. To examine the effect of disturbance on elevation dynamics, vegetation in half of the plots was subjected to freezing (mangrove) or wrack burial (salt marsh), which caused shoot mortality. Vertical soil development was monitored for 6 years with the surface elevation table-marker horizon system. Comparison of land movement with relative sea-level rise showed that this plant community was experiencing an elevation deficit (i.e., sea level was rising faster than the wetland was building vertically) and was relying on elevation capital (i.e., relative position in the tidal frame) to survive. Although Avicennia plots had more elevation capital, suggesting longer survival, than Spartina or mixed plots, vegetation type had no effect on rates of accretion, vertical movement in root and sub-root zones, or net elevation change. Thus, these salt marsh and mangrove assemblages were accreting sediment and building vertically at equivalent rates. Small-scale disturbance of the plant canopy also had no effect on elevation trajectories-contrary to work in peat-forming wetlands showing elevation responses to changes in plant productivity. The findings indicate that in this deltaic setting with strong physical influences controlling elevation (sediment accretion

  15. Assessing Sea Level Rise Impacts on the Surficial Aquifer in the Kennedy Space Center Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, H.; Wang, D.; Hagen, S. C.; Medeiros, S. C.; Warnock, A. M.; Hall, C. R.

    2014-12-01

    Global sea level rise in the past century due to climate change has been seen at an average rate of approximately 1.7-2.2 mm per year, with an increasing rate over the next century. The increasing SLR rate poses a severe threat to the low-lying land surface and the shallow groundwater system in the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, resulting in saltwater intrusion and groundwater induced flooding. A three-dimensional groundwater flow and salinity transport model is implemented to investigate and evaluate the extent of floods due to rising water table as well as saltwater intrusion. The SEAWAT model is chosen to solve the variable-density groundwater flow and salinity transport governing equations and simulate the regional-scale spatial and temporal evolution of groundwater level and chloride concentration. The horizontal resolution of the model is 50 m, and the vertical domain includes both the Surficial Aquifer and the Floridan Aquifer. The numerical model is calibrated based on the observed hydraulic head and chloride concentration. The potential impacts of sea level rise on saltwater intrusion and groundwater induced flooding are assessed under various sea level rise scenarios. Based on the simulation results, the potential landward movement of saltwater and freshwater fringe is projected. The existing water supply wells are examined overlaid with the projected salinity distribution map. The projected Surficial Aquifer water tables are overlaid with data of high resolution land surface elevation, land use and land cover, and infrastructure to assess the potential impacts of sea level rise. This study provides useful tools for decision making on ecosystem management, water supply planning, and facility management.

  16. Amplification of flood frequencies with local sea level rise and emerging flood regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

    The amplification of flood frequencies by sea level rise (SLR) is expected to become one of the most economically damaging impacts of climate change for many coastal locations. Understanding the magnitude and pattern by which the frequency of current flood levels increase is important for developing more resilient coastal settlements, particularly since flood risk management (e.g. infrastructure, insurance, communications) is often tied to estimates of flood return periods. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report characterized the multiplication factor by which the frequency of flooding of a given height increases (referred to here as an amplification factor; AF). However, this characterization neither rigorously considered uncertainty in SLR nor distinguished between the amplification of different flooding levels (such as the 10% versus 0.2% annual chance floods); therefore, it may be seriously misleading. Because both historical flood frequency and projected SLR are uncertain, we combine joint probability distributions of the two to calculate AFs and their uncertainties over time. Under probabilistic relative sea level projections, while maintaining storm frequency fixed, we estimate a median 40-fold increase (ranging from 1- to 1314-fold) in the expected annual number of local 100-year floods for tide-gauge locations along the contiguous US coastline by 2050. While some places can expect disproportionate amplification of higher frequency events and thus primarily a greater number of historically precedented floods, others face amplification of lower frequency events and thus a particularly fast growing risk of historically unprecedented flooding. For example, with 50 cm of SLR, the 10%, 1%, and 0.2% annual chance floods are expected respectively to recur 108, 335, and 814 times as often in Seattle, but 148, 16, and 4 times as often in Charleston, SC.

  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. 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

    presented in this research, while the larger, low probability scenarios beyond this level are estimated to contribute a residual annual risk of approximately £0.45 million. These findings clearly demonstrate that uncertainty in future sea level rise is a vital component of coastal flood risk, and therefore, needs to be accounted for by decision makers when considering mitigation policies related to coastal flooding.

  19. Preparing Norfolk Area Students for America's Second Highest Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunbar, R. R.

    2017-12-01

    The nonprofit Elizabeth River Project located in Hampton Roads, Virginia was awarded a 3-year national NOAA Environmental Literacy award 2016-2019 to teach 21,000 K-12 youth how to help restore one of the most polluted rivers on the Chesapeake Bay and to help create a resilient community that is facing impacts from the rising seas and changing climate. Through a community collaboration, partners are also creating perhaps the nation's first Youth Resilience Strategy with a vision, goals, best practices and resources on engaging youth to help create resilient cities facing environmental and economic changes. During Year 1, 7,000 elementary students held field investigations aboard the floating classroom Learning Barge and at Paradise Creek Nature Park and helped restore wetland restoration sites. Students performed inquiry based investigations, learned stewardship actions to help create resilience and showed a 40% increase in knowledge. Year 1 best practices in teaching resilience include youth: getting out of the classroom, discovering how rain water travels, performing bioblitzes and water quality testing, engaging in hands-on GreenSTEM activities, using investigation tools, creating innovative solutions to retain and reuse rain water, creating art and voicing their opinions on creating a resilient community.Lessons learned include developing engaging inquiry questions based on creating a resilient community. These included: "What are the impact of rising tides?", "How can sea level rise affect river animals?", "How can we be safe and prepare for extreme weather and flooding as the sea level rises?", "How has the way people worked with the Elizabeth River changed?", "How could sea level rise affect the Elizabeth River's water quality?", "How hot might the air temperature get by 2050 and what can we do to keep it cooler?", "What does this park show us about sea level rise and other ways our climate is changing?", "How do trees help make our park and community

  20. 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

    Flood risk and sea level rise impacts were assessed for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) at four airports in the New York City area. These airports included John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia, Newark International, and Teterboro Airports. Quantifying both present day and future flood risk due to climate change and developing flood mitigation alternatives is crucial for the continued operation of these airports. During Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 all four airports were forced to shut down, in part due to coastal flooding. Future climate change and sea level rise effects may result in more frequent shutdowns and disruptions in travel to and from these busy airports. The study examined the effects of the 1%-annual-chance coastal flooding event for present day existing conditions and six different sea level rise scenarios at each airport. Storm surge model outputs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided the present day storm surge conditions. 50th and 90thpercentile sea level rise projections from the New York Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) 2013 report were incorporated into storm surge results using linear superposition methods. These projections were evaluated for future years 2025, 2035, and 2055. In addition to the linear superposition approach for storm surge at airports where waves are a potential hazard, one dimensional wave modeling was performed to get the total water level results. Flood hazard and flood depth maps were created based on these results. In addition to assessing overall flooding at each airport, major at-risk infrastructure critical to the continued operation of the airport was identified and a detailed flood vulnerability assessment was performed. This assessment quantified flood impacts in terms of potential critical infrastructure inundation and developed mitigation alternatives to adapt to coastal flooding and future sea level changes. Results from this project are advancing the PANYNJ

  1. VARIATION OF CHART DATUM TOWARDS MARITIME DELIMITATION DUE TO RISING SEA LEVEL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. R. M. Faizuddin

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The importance of Chart Datum in hydrographic surveying is inarguable because its determination is part of the process to obtain the actual depth of bathymetry. The Chart Datum has a relationship with the determination of base points because any uncertainty of the base points would definitely cause uncertainty to the determination of the maritime baseline. If there is any doubt on the baselines, it will then cause doubt on the maritime zones as well which includes the equidistant line that forms the border between the two countries. However, due to the ongoing rising sea level, there has been some variations of the Chart Datum in some areas in Malaysia. This research discusses about the variation of Mean Sea Level and Chart Datum for the tide gauge stations at Geting, Cendering, Sedili and Tioman at East Coast and Kukup, Langkawi, Lumut and Penang at the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The tidal analysis was carried out by using the 23 years of data beginning at 1993 to 2015. The observed tidal data for 23 years were processed and analysed by using GeoTide software. In this research, the Harmonic Analysis technique was used in order to calculate the values of Mean Sea Level and the Chart Datum while the slope of the shoreline is modelled by using Global Mapper. The linear trend of the Mean Sea Level and the Chart Datum was analysed to determine the increase of the annual sea level in millimetres accuracy and also to determine the variation of the Chart Datum for each tidal station and its impact towards maritime baseline. The result has shown that the linear trend of sea level rise varies from 24 millimetres per year up to 168 millimetres per year at the East Coast and 24 millimetres per year up to 96 millimetres per year at the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. As for the maritime baseline, results has indicated that there exist shifting in the horizontal which are varies from 1.564 metres per year to 3.299 metres per year at the East Coast

  2. Variation of Chart Datum Towards Maritime Delimitation due to Rising Sea Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faizuddin, A. R. M.; Razali, M. M.

    2017-10-01

    The importance of Chart Datum in hydrographic surveying is inarguable because its determination is part of the process to obtain the actual depth of bathymetry. The Chart Datum has a relationship with the determination of base points because any uncertainty of the base points would definitely cause uncertainty to the determination of the maritime baseline. If there is any doubt on the baselines, it will then cause doubt on the maritime zones as well which includes the equidistant line that forms the border between the two countries. However, due to the ongoing rising sea level, there has been some variations of the Chart Datum in some areas in Malaysia. This research discusses about the variation of Mean Sea Level and Chart Datum for the tide gauge stations at Geting, Cendering, Sedili and Tioman at East Coast and Kukup, Langkawi, Lumut and Penang at the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The tidal analysis was carried out by using the 23 years of data beginning at 1993 to 2015. The observed tidal data for 23 years were processed and analysed by using GeoTide software. In this research, the Harmonic Analysis technique was used in order to calculate the values of Mean Sea Level and the Chart Datum while the slope of the shoreline is modelled by using Global Mapper. The linear trend of the Mean Sea Level and the Chart Datum was analysed to determine the increase of the annual sea level in millimetres accuracy and also to determine the variation of the Chart Datum for each tidal station and its impact towards maritime baseline. The result has shown that the linear trend of sea level rise varies from 24 millimetres per year up to 168 millimetres per year at the East Coast and 24 millimetres per year up to 96 millimetres per year at the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. As for the maritime baseline, results has indicated that there exist shifting in the horizontal which are varies from 1.564 metres per year to 3.299 metres per year at the East Coast and from 1

  3. Tidal extension and sea-level rise: recommendations for a research agenda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ensign, Scott H.; Noe, Gregory

    2018-01-01

    Sea-level rise is pushing freshwater tides upstream into formerly non-tidal rivers. This tidal extension may increase the area of tidal freshwater ecosystems and offset loss of ecosystem functions due to salinization downstream. Without considering how gains in ecosystem functions could offset losses, landscape-scale assessments of ecosystem functions may be biased toward worst-case scenarios of loss. To stimulate research on this concept, we address three fundamental questions about tidal extension: Where will tidal extension be most evident, and can we measure it? What ecosystem functions are influenced by tidal extension, and how can we measure them? How do watershed processes, climate change, and tidal extension interact to affect ecosystem functions? Our preliminary answers lead to recommendations that will advance tidal extension research, enable better predictions of the impacts of sea-level rise, and help balance the landscape-scale benefits of ecosystem function with costs of response.

  4. Rapid sea level rise in the aftermath of a Neoproterozoic snowball Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myrow, P M; Lamb, M P; Ewing, R C

    2018-04-19

    Earth's most severe climate changes occurred during global-scale snowball-Earth glaciations, which profoundly altered Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere. Extreme rates of glacio-eustatic sea-level rise are a fundamental prediction of the snowball Earth hypothesis, but supporting geologic evidence is lacking. We use paleohydraulic analysis of wave ripples and tidal laminae of the Elatina Formation, Australia - deposited following the Marinoan glaciation ca. 635Ma - to show that water depths of 9-16m remained nearly constant for ~100yrs throughout 27m of sediment accumulation. This accumulation rate was too great to have been accommodated by subsidence, and instead indicates an extraordinarily rapid rate of sea-level rise (0.2-0.27m/yr). Our results substantiate a fundamental prediction of snowball Earth models of rapid deglaciation during the early transition to a super-greenhouse climate. Copyright © 2018, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  5. 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

  6. The economic impact of sea-level rise on nonmarket lands in Singapore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Wei-Shiuen; Mendelsohn, Robert

    2006-09-01

    Sea-level rise, as a result of climate change, will likely inflict considerable economic consequences on coastal regions, particularly low-lying island states like Singapore. Although the literature has addressed the vulnerability of developed coastal lands, this is the first economic study to address nonmarket lands, such as beaches, marshes and mangrove estuaries. This travel cost and contingent valuation study reveals that consumers in Singapore attach considerable value to beaches. The contingent valuation study also attached high values to marshes and mangroves but this result was not supported by the travel cost study. Although protecting nonmarket land uses from sea-level rise is expensive, the study shows that at least highly valued resources, such as Singapore's popular beaches, should be protected.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Characterizing uncertain sea-level rise projections to support investment decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lempert, Robert J.; Wikman-Svahn, Per; Keller, Klaus

    2018-01-01

    Many institutions worldwide are considering how to include uncertainty about future changes in sea-levels and storm surges into their investment decisions regarding large capital infrastructures. Here we examine how to characterize deeply uncertain climate change projections to support such decisions using Robust Decision Making analysis. We address questions regarding how to confront the potential for future changes in low probability but large impact flooding events due to changes in sea-levels and storm surges. Such extreme events can affect investments in infrastructure but have proved difficult to consider in such decisions because of the deep uncertainty surrounding them. This study utilizes Robust Decision Making methods to address two questions applied to investment decisions at the Port of Los Angeles: (1) Under what future conditions would a Port of Los Angeles decision to harden its facilities against extreme flood scenarios at the next upgrade pass a cost-benefit test, and (2) Do sea-level rise projections and other information suggest such conditions are sufficiently likely to justify such an investment? We also compare and contrast the Robust Decision Making methods with a full probabilistic analysis. These two analysis frameworks result in similar investment recommendations for different idealized future sea-level projections, but provide different information to decision makers and envision different types of engagement with stakeholders. In particular, the full probabilistic analysis begins by aggregating the best scientific information into a single set of joint probability distributions, while the Robust Decision Making analysis identifies scenarios where a decision to invest in near-term response to extreme sea-level rise passes a cost-benefit test, and then assembles scientific information of differing levels of confidence to help decision makers judge whether or not these scenarios are sufficiently likely to justify making such investments

  10. Characterizing uncertain sea-level rise projections to support investment decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sriver, Ryan L; Lempert, Robert J; Wikman-Svahn, Per; Keller, Klaus

    2018-01-01

    Many institutions worldwide are considering how to include uncertainty about future changes in sea-levels and storm surges into their investment decisions regarding large capital infrastructures. Here we examine how to characterize deeply uncertain climate change projections to support such decisions using Robust Decision Making analysis. We address questions regarding how to confront the potential for future changes in low probability but large impact flooding events due to changes in sea-levels and storm surges. Such extreme events can affect investments in infrastructure but have proved difficult to consider in such decisions because of the deep uncertainty surrounding them. This study utilizes Robust Decision Making methods to address two questions applied to investment decisions at the Port of Los Angeles: (1) Under what future conditions would a Port of Los Angeles decision to harden its facilities against extreme flood scenarios at the next upgrade pass a cost-benefit test, and (2) Do sea-level rise projections and other information suggest such conditions are sufficiently likely to justify such an investment? We also compare and contrast the Robust Decision Making methods with a full probabilistic analysis. These two analysis frameworks result in similar investment recommendations for different idealized future sea-level projections, but provide different information to decision makers and envision different types of engagement with stakeholders. In particular, the full probabilistic analysis begins by aggregating the best scientific information into a single set of joint probability distributions, while the Robust Decision Making analysis identifies scenarios where a decision to invest in near-term response to extreme sea-level rise passes a cost-benefit test, and then assembles scientific information of differing levels of confidence to help decision makers judge whether or not these scenarios are sufficiently likely to justify making such investments

  11. Characterizing uncertain sea-level rise projections to support investment decisions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan L Sriver

    Full Text Available Many institutions worldwide are considering how to include uncertainty about future changes in sea-levels and storm surges into their investment decisions regarding large capital infrastructures. Here we examine how to characterize deeply uncertain climate change projections to support such decisions using Robust Decision Making analysis. We address questions regarding how to confront the potential for future changes in low probability but large impact flooding events due to changes in sea-levels and storm surges. Such extreme events can affect investments in infrastructure but have proved difficult to consider in such decisions because of the deep uncertainty surrounding them. This study utilizes Robust Decision Making methods to address two questions applied to investment decisions at the Port of Los Angeles: (1 Under what future conditions would a Port of Los Angeles decision to harden its facilities against extreme flood scenarios at the next upgrade pass a cost-benefit test, and (2 Do sea-level rise projections and other information suggest such conditions are sufficiently likely to justify such an investment? We also compare and contrast the Robust Decision Making methods with a full probabilistic analysis. These two analysis frameworks result in similar investment recommendations for different idealized future sea-level projections, but provide different information to decision makers and envision different types of engagement with stakeholders. In particular, the full probabilistic analysis begins by aggregating the best scientific information into a single set of joint probability distributions, while the Robust Decision Making analysis identifies scenarios where a decision to invest in near-term response to extreme sea-level rise passes a cost-benefit test, and then assembles scientific information of differing levels of confidence to help decision makers judge whether or not these scenarios are sufficiently likely to justify making

  12. Minimum and Maximum Potential Contributions to Future Sea Level Rise from Polar Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deconto, R. M.; Pollard, D.

    2017-12-01

    New climate and ice-sheet modeling, calibrated to past changes in sea-level, is painting a stark picture of the future fate of the great polar ice sheets if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated. This is especially true for Antarctica, where a substantial fraction of the ice sheet rests on bedrock more than 500-meters below sea level. Here, we explore the sensitivity of the polar ice sheets to a warming atmosphere and ocean under a range of future greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. The ice sheet-climate-ocean model used here considers time-evolving changes in surface mass balance and sub-ice oceanic melting, ice deformation, grounding line retreat on reverse-sloped bedrock (Marine Ice Sheet Instability), and newly added processes including hydrofracturing of ice shelves in response to surface meltwater and rain, and structural collapse of thick, marine-terminating ice margins with tall ice-cliff faces (Marine Ice Cliff Instability). The simulations improve on previous work by using 1) improved atmospheric forcing from a Regional Climate Model and 2) a much wider range of model physical parameters within the bounds of modern observations of ice dynamical processes (particularly calving rates) and paleo constraints on past ice-sheet response to warming. Approaches to more precisely define the climatic thresholds capable of triggering rapid and potentially irreversible ice-sheet retreat are also discussed, as is the potential for aggressive mitigation strategies like those discussed at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) to substantially reduce the risk of extreme sea-level rise. These results, including physics that consider both ice deformation (creep) and calving (mechanical failure of marine terminating ice) expand on previously estimated limits of maximum rates of future sea level rise based solely on kinematic constraints of glacier flow. At the high end, the new results show the potential for more than 2m of global mean sea level rise by 2100

  13. 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

  14. 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...... experiments suggest that mass loss could be higher by 20–30% if a strong lowering of the surface albedo were to take place in the future. It is shown that the sea-level rise contribution from the north-easterly regions of Greenland is reduced by increasing precipitation while mass loss in the southern half...... feedback mechanisms are considered. The mass loss of all GICs by 2098 is calculated to be 2016 ± 129 Gt (HIRHAM5 forcing), 2584 ± 109 Gt (RACMO2) and 3907 ± 108 Gt (MAR). This corresponds to a total contribution to sea-level rise of 5.8 ± 0.4, 7.4 ± 0.3 and 11.2 ± 0.3 mm, respectively. Sensitivity...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwasi Appeaning Addo

    2013-08-01

    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.

  16. Bangladesh’s dynamic coastal regions and sea-level rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugh Brammer

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The physical geography of Bangladesh’s coastal area is more diverse and dynamic than is generally recognised. Failure to recognise this has led to serious misconceptions about the potential impacts of a rising sea-level on Bangladesh with global warming. This situation has been aggravated by accounts giving incorrect information on current rates of coastal erosion and land subsidence. This paper describes physical conditions within individual physiographic regions in Bangladesh’s coastal area based on ground-surveyed information, and it reviews possible area-specific mitigation measures to counter predicted rates of sea-level rise in the 21st century. Two important conclusions are drawn: the adoption of appropriate measures based on knowledge of the physical geography of potentially-affected areas could significantly reduce the currently-predicted displacement of many millions of people; and the impacts of a slowly-rising sea-level are currently much less than those generated by rapidly increasing population pressure on Bangladesh’s available land and water resources and by exposure to existing environmental hazards, and the latter problems need priority attention.

  17. Sea level rise at Honolulu and Hilo, Hawaii: GPS estimates of differential land motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caccamise, Dana J.; Merrifield, Mark A.; Bevis, Michael; Foster, James; Firing, Yvonne L.; Schenewerk, Mark S.; Taylor, Frederick W.; Thomas, Donald A.

    2005-02-01

    Since 1946, sea level at Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii has risen an average of 1.8 +/- 0.4 mm/yr faster than at Honolulu on the island of Oahu. This difference has been attributed to subsidence of the Big Island. However, GPS measurements indicate that Hilo is sinking relative to Honolulu at a rate of -0.4 +/- 0.5 mm/yr, which is too small to account for the difference in sea level trends. In the past 30 years, there has been a statistically significant reduction in the relative sea level trend. While it is possible that the rates of land motion have changed over this time period, the available hydrographic data suggest that interdecadal variations in upper ocean temperature account for much of the differential sea level signal between the two stations, including the recent trend change. These results highlight the challenges involved in estimating secular sea level trends in the presence of significant low frequency variability.

  18. We Are All Engineers Now: Delivering Useful Projections Of Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeffer, W. T.

    2011-12-01

    Sea level rise is among the most tangible and potentially costly global changes facing society in the near future. Much of the uncertainty in future sea level rise lies in the determination of glacier and ice sheet contributions through melting of ice and through the discharge of icebergs directly into the ocean. As a consequence, many aspects of modern glaciological research have come to be motivated wholly or in part by the need to solve societally relevant problems involving future changes in sea level. To this extent, glaciology has become - temporarily - an applied science, in which the motivating questions are not purely scientific but practical in nature, and entail goals, deadlines and constraints that may or may not mesh comfortably with the skills, resources, and interests of the glaciological research community. This shift in motivation has subtle but important effects on how the glaciological community conducts research: we are no longer fully at liberty to explore only those problems that we judge to be the most intellectually stimulating and novel, or even the most likely to produce immediate results. We are obliged, at least if we are going to claim to be serving a critical societal need, to take on the entire spectrum of problems pertinent to sea level rise: the exciting with the mundane, the low-hanging fruit with the high-hanging, the tractable with the intractable. And in those intractable cases, and in other situations where the path to a solution is unclear, we must explore alternatives to our conventional approaches, and seek the means, if not to actually obtain solutions, to at least constrain the outcome and reduce the uncertainty of future knowledge. This broadening of methods is very much an engineer's approach to problem solving, but it also fits the philosopher/physicist P.W. Bridgman's definition of the scientific method as "Doing your damnedest, no holds barred."

  19. QUANTIFYING REGIONAL SEA LEVEL RISE CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE GREENLAND ICE SHEET

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diandong Ren

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This study projects the sea level contribution from the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS through to 2100, using a recently developed ice dynamics model forced by atmospheric parameters derived from three different climate models (CGCMs. The geographical pattern of the near-surface ice warming imposes a divergent flow field favoring mass loss through enhanced ice flow. The calculated average mass loss rate during the latter half of the 21st century is ~0.64±0.06 mm/year eustatic sea level rise, which is significantly larger than the IPCC AR4 estimate from surface mass balance. The difference is due largely to the positive feedbacks from reduced ice viscosity and the basal sliding mechanism present in the ice dynamics model. This inter-model, inter-scenario spread adds approximately a 20% uncertainty to the IPCC ice model estimates. The sea level rise is geographically non-uniform and reaches 1.69±0.24 mm/year by 2100 for the northeast coastal region of the United States, amplified by the expected weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC. In contrast to previous estimates, which neglected the GrIS fresh water input, both sides of the North Atlantic Gyre are projected to experience sea level rises. The impacts on a selection of major cities on both sides of the Atlantic and in the Pacific and southern oceans also are assessed. The other ocean basins are found to be less affected than the Atlantic Ocean.

  20. Keep up or drown: adjustment of western Pacific coral reefs to sea-level rise in the 21st century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Woesik, R; Golbuu, Y; Roff, G

    2015-07-01

    Since the Mid-Holocene, some 5000 years ago, coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean have been vertically constrained by sea level. Contemporary sea-level rise is releasing these constraints, providing accommodation space for vertical reef expansion. Here, we show that Porites microatolls, from reef-flat environments in Palau (western Pacific Ocean), are 'keeping up' with contemporary sea-level rise. Measurements of 570 reef-flat Porites microatolls at 10 locations around Palau revealed recent vertical skeletal extension (78±13 mm) over the last 6-8 years, which is consistent with the timing of the recent increase in sea level. We modelled whether microatoll growth rates will potentially 'keep up' with predicted sea-level rise in the near future, based upon average growth, and assuming a decline in growth for every 1°C increase in temperature. We then compared these estimated extension rates with rates of sea-level rise under four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). Our model suggests that under low-mid RCP scenarios, reef-coral growth will keep up with sea-level rise, but if greenhouse gas concentrations exceed 670 ppm atmospheric CO2 levels and with +2.2°C sea-surface temperature by 2100 (RCP 6.0 W m(-2)), our predictions indicate that Porites microatolls will be unable to keep up with projected rates of sea-level rise in the twenty-first century.

  1. Assessing storm surge hazard and impact of sea level rise in the Lesser Antilles case study of Martinique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krien, Yann; Dudon, Bernard; Roger, Jean; Arnaud, Gael; Zahibo, Narcisse

    2017-09-01

    In the Lesser Antilles, coastal inundations from hurricane-induced storm surges pose a great threat to lives, properties and ecosystems. Assessing current and future storm surge hazards with sufficient spatial resolution is of primary interest to help coastal planners and decision makers develop mitigation and adaptation measures. Here, we use wave-current numerical models and statistical methods to investigate worst case scenarios and 100-year surge levels for the case study of Martinique under present climate or considering a potential sea level rise. Results confirm that the wave setup plays a major role in the Lesser Antilles, where the narrow island shelf impedes the piling-up of large amounts of wind-driven water on the shoreline during extreme events. The radiation stress gradients thus contribute significantly to the total surge - up to 100 % in some cases. The nonlinear interactions of sea level rise (SLR) with bathymetry and topography are generally found to be relatively small in Martinique but can reach several tens of centimeters in low-lying areas where the inundation extent is strongly enhanced compared to present conditions. These findings further emphasize the importance of waves for developing operational storm surge warning systems in the Lesser Antilles and encourage caution when using static methods to assess the impact of sea level rise on storm surge hazard.

  2. 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, 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. PMID:14576277

  3. Evidence for coral island formation during rising sea level in the central Pacific Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kench, Paul S.; Owen, Susan D.; Ford, Murray R.

    2014-02-01

    The timing and evolution of Jabat Island, Marshall Islands, was investigated using morphostratigraphic analysis and radiometric dating. Results show the first evidence of island building in the Pacific during latter stages of Holocene sea level rise. A three-phase model of development of Jabat is presented. Initially, rapid accumulation of coarse sediments on Jabat occurred 4800-4000 years B.P. across a reef flat higher than present level, as sea level continued to rise. During the highstand, island margins and particularly the western margin accreted vertically to 2.5-3.0 m above contemporary ridge elevations. This accumulation phase was dominated by sand-size sediments. Phase three involved deposition of gravel ridges on the northern reef, as sea level fell to present position. Jabat has remained geomorphically stable for the past 2000 years. Findings suggest reef platforms may accommodate the oldest reef islands in atoll systems, which may have profound implications for questions of prehistoric migration through Pacific archipelagos.

  4. Sea level change

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Church, J.A.; Clark, P.U.; 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.

    This chapter considers changes in global mean sea level, regional sea level, sea level extremes, and waves. Confidence in projections of global mean sea level rise has increased since the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) because of the improved...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Modeling tidal marsh distribution with sea-level rise: evaluating the role of vegetation, sediment, and upland habitat in marsh resiliency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schile, Lisa M; Callaway, John C; Morris, James T; Stralberg, Diana; Parker, V Thomas; Kelly, Maggi

    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 using the Marsh Equilibrium Model, a mechanistic, elevation-based soil cohort model, using a rich data set of plant productivity and physical properties from sites across the estuarine salinity gradient. Four tidal marshes were chosen along this gradient: two islands and two with adjacent uplands. Varying century sea-level rise (52, 100, 165, 180 cm) and suspended sediment concentrations (100%, 50%, and 25% of current concentrations), we simulated marsh accretion across vegetated elevations for 100 years, applying the results to high spatial resolution digital elevation models to quantify potential changes in marsh distributions. At low rates of sea-level rise and mid-high sediment concentrations, all marshes maintained vegetated elevations indicative of mid/high marsh habitat. With century sea-level rise at 100 and 165 cm, marshes shifted to low marsh elevations; mid/high marsh elevations were found only in former uplands. At the highest century sea-level rise and lowest sediment concentrations, the island marshes became dominated by mudflat elevations. Under the same sediment concentrations, low salinity brackish marshes containing highly productive vegetation had slower elevation loss compared to more saline sites with lower productivity. A similar trend was documented when comparing against a marsh accretion model that did not model vegetation feedbacks. Elevation predictions using the Marsh Equilibrium Model highlight the importance of including vegetation responses to sea-level

  8. 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.

  9. Spatial variability of coastal wetland resilience to sea-level rise using Bayesian inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, T.; Wu, W.

    2017-12-01

    The coastal wetlands in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) account for 40% of coastal wetland area in the United States and provide various ecosystem services to the region and broader areas. Increasing rates of relative sea-level rise (RSLR), and reduced sediment input have increased coastal wetland loss in the NGOM, accounting for 80% of coastal wetland loss in the nation. Traditional models for predicting the impact of RSLR on coastal wetlands in the NGOM have focused on coastal erosion driven by geophysical variables only, and/or at small spatial extents. Here we developed a model in Bayesian inference to make probabilistic prediction of wetland loss in the entire NGOM as a function of vegetation productivity and geophysical attributes. We also studied how restoration efforts help maintain the area of coastal wetlands. Vegetation productivity contributes organic matter to wetland sedimentation and was approximated using the remotely sensed normalized difference moisture index (NDMI). The geophysical variables include RSLR, tidal range, river discharge, coastal slope, and wave height. We found a significantly positive relation between wetland loss and RSLR, which varied significantly at different river discharge regimes. There also existed a significantly negative relation between wetland loss and NDMI, indicating that in-situ vegetation productivity contributed to wetland resilience to RSLR. This relation did not vary significantly between river discharge regimes. The spatial relation revealed three areas of high RSLR but relatively low wetland loss; these areas were associated with wetland restoration projects in coastal Louisiana. Two projects were breakwater projects, where hard materials were placed off-shore to reduce wave action and promote sedimentation. And one project was a vegetation planting project used to promote sedimentation and wetland stabilization. We further developed an interactive web tool that allows stakeholders to develop similar wetland

  10. Assessment of salinity intrusion in the James and Chickahominy Rivers as a result of simulated sea-level rise in Chesapeake Bay, East Coast, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Karen C; Hong, Bo; Shen, Jian

    2012-11-30

    Global sea level is rising, and the relative rate in the Chesapeake Bay region of the East Coast of the United States is greater than the worldwide rate. Sea-level rise can cause saline water to migrate upstream in estuaries and rivers, threatening freshwater habitat and drinking-water supplies. The effects of future sea-level rise on two tributaries of Chesapeake Bay, the James and Chickahominy (CHK) Rivers, were evaluated in order to quantify the salinity change with respect to the magnitude of sea-level rise. Such changes are critical to: 1) local floral and faunal habitats that have limited tolerance ranges to salinity; and 2) a drinking-water supply for the City of Newport News, Virginia. By using the three-dimensional Hydrodynamic-Eutrophication Model (HEM-3D), sea-level rise scenarios of 30, 50, and 100 cm, based on the U.S. Climate Change Science Program for the mid-Atlantic region for the 21st century, were evaluated. The model results indicate that salinity increases in the entire river as sea level rises and that the salinity increase in a dry year is greater than that in a typical year. In the James River, the salinity increase in the middle-to-upper river (from 25 to 50 km upstream of the mouth) is larger than that in the lower and upper parts of the river. The maximum mean salinity increase would be 2 and 4 ppt for a sea-level rise of 50 and 100 cm, respectively. The upstream movement of the 10 ppt isohaline is much larger than the 5 and 20 ppt isohalines. The volume of water with salinity between 10 and 20 ppt would increase greatly if sea level rises 100 cm. In the CHK River, with a sea-level rise of 100 cm, the mean salinity at the drinking-water intake 34 km upstream of the mouth would be about 3 ppt in a typical year and greater than 5 ppt in a dry year, both far in excess of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's secondary standard for total dissolved solids for drinking water. At the drinking-water intake, the number of days of salinity

  11. Rapid evolution of a marsh tidal creek network in response to sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Z. J.; Fitzgerald, D. M.; Mahadevan, A.; Wilson, C. A.; Pennings, S. C.

    2008-12-01

    In the Santee River Delta (SRD), South Carolina, tidal creeks are extending rapidly onto the marsh platform. A time-series of aerial photographs establishes that these channels were initiated in the 1950's and are headward eroding at a rate of 1.9 m /yr. Short-term trends in sea level show an average relative sea level rise (RSLR) of 4.6 mm/yr over a 20-year tide gauge record from nearby Winyah Bay and Charleston Harbor (1975-1995). Longer-term (85-year) records in Charleston suggest a rate of 3.2 mm/yr. RSLR in the SRD is likely even higher as sediment cores reveal that the marsh is predominantly composed of fine-grained sediment, making it highly susceptible to compaction and subsidence. Furthermore, loss in elevation will have been exacerbated by the decrease in sediment supply due to the damming of the Santee River in 1939. The rapid rate of headward erosion indicates that the marsh platform is in disequilibrium; unable to keep pace with RSLR through accretionary processes and responding to an increased volume and frequency of inundation through the extension of the drainage network. The observed tidal creeks show no sinuosity and a distinctive morphology associated with their young age and biological mediation during their evolution. Feedbacks between tidal flow, vegetation and infauna play a strong role in the morphological development of the creeks. The creek heads are characterized by a region denuded of vegetation, the edges of which are densely populated and burrowed by Uca Pugnax (fiddler crab). Crab burrowing destabilizes sediment, destroys rooting and impacts drainage. Measured infiltration rates are three orders of magnitude higher in the burrowed regions than in a control area (1000 ml/min and 0.6 ml/min respectively). Infiltration of oxygenated water enhances decomposition of organic matter and root biomass is reduced within the creek head (marsh=4.3 kg/m3, head=0.6 kg/m3). These processes lead to the removal and collapse of the soils, producing

  12. 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

  13. Relative Sea Level Trends Along the Coast of the Bay of Bengal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, M.; Calmant, S.; Papa, F.; Delebecque, C.; Islam, A. S.; Shum, C. K.

    2016-12-01

    In the coastal belt of the Bay of Bengal, the sea level rise is one of a major threat, linked to climate change, which drastically affects the livelihoods of millions of people. A comprehensive understanding of sea level trends and its variability in this region is therefore crucial and should help to anticipate the impacts of climate change and implement adaptation strategies. This region is bordered mostly by Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand. Here, we revisit the sea level changes in the Bay of Bengal region from tide gauges and satellite altimetry over the period 1993-2014. The 23 monthly mean tide gauge records, used in this study, are retrieved from PSMSL (15 records) and supplemented with Bangladeshi observations (8 records). We show that, over the satellite altimetry era, the sea level interannual/decadal variability is mainly due to ocean thermal expansion variability driven by IOD/ENSO events and their low frequency modulation. We focus on relative sea level rise at major coastal cities and try to separate the climatic signal (long term trend plus interannual/decadal variability) from local effects, in particular vertical land movements. Results from GPS are analysed where available. When no such data exist, vertical land movements are deduced from the combined use of tide gauge and altimetry data. While the analysis is performed over the whole region, a particular attention is given to the low-lyingBangladesh's coastal area.

  14. 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.

  15. The future sea-level rise contribution of Greenland’s glaciers and ice caps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Machguth, H; Rastner, P; Bolch, T; Mölg, N; Sørensen, L Sandberg; Aðalgeirsdottir, G; Van Angelen, J H; Van den Broeke, M R; Fettweis, X

    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 km 2 ) 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 feedback mechanisms are considered. The mass loss of all GICs by 2098 is calculated to be 2016 ± 129 Gt (HIRHAM5 forcing), 2584 ± 109 Gt (RACMO2) and 3907 ± 108 Gt (MAR). This corresponds to a total contribution to sea-level rise of 5.8 ± 0.4, 7.4 ± 0.3 and 11.2 ± 0.3 mm, respectively. Sensitivity experiments suggest that mass loss could be higher by 20–30% if a strong lowering of the surface albedo were to take place in the future. It is shown that the sea-level rise contribution from the north-easterly regions of Greenland is reduced by increasing precipitation while mass loss in the southern half 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. (letter)

  16. Late Post-glacial Sea Level Rise and Its Effects On Human Activity In Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppenheimer, S. J.

    Three rapid post-glacial sea-level rises flooded coastlines with large continental shelves. The last of these, shortly before the interglacial optimum c.7,500BP, not only changed coastal Neolithic societies, but may also have stimulated maritime skills. Two Asian examples explore these aspects. First, during the Mid-Holocene, the Arabian Gulf transgressed as far inland as Ur probably laying down Woolley's famous Ur Flood silt layer between 7,000-5,500 BP. Stratigraphy and dating suggests the phase of rapid sea level rise immediately preceded the start of the 'Ubaid pottery period. Red-slipped Uruk pottery and copper items then appear from about 6,000BP, but above Woolley's silt layer. The Sumerian King Lists also record a major upheaval and dynastic change after 'the Flood'. Second, the final flooding of the Sunda shelf in Southeast Asia was followed by a maritime extension of human occupation from Northern Melanesia south into the Solomon Islands 6,000 years ago. Simultaneously, further west on the north coast of New Guinea, new archaeological assemblages ap- pear beneath a silt layer left by a pro-grading 6,000 year-old inland sea. The presence of arboriculture items such as betel nuts and the contemporary arrival of dogs and pigs in the same region suggests intrusion from Southeast Asia. This supports Solheim's suggestion that rapid sea-level rise on the eastern edge of the Sunda Shelf stimulated maritime skills and invention in Southeast Asia. This may have provided the initial stimulus to the first maritime expansion that was later to colonise the whole Pacific.

  17. 21st Century Sea-Level Rise in Line with the Paris Accord

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Luke P.; Grinsted, Aslak; Jevrejeva, Svetlana

    2018-02-01

    As global average sea-level rises in the early part of this century there is great interest in how much global and local sea level will change in the forthcoming decades. The Paris Climate Agreement's proposed temperature thresholds of 1.5°C and 2°C have directed the research community to ask what differences occur in the climate system for these two states. We have developed a novel approach to combine climate model outputs that follow specific temperature pathways to make probabilistic projections of sea-level in a 1.5°C and 2°C world. We find median global sea-level (GSL) projections for 1.5°C and 2°C temperature pathways of 44 and 50 cm, respectively. The 90% uncertainty ranges (5%-95%) are both around 48 cm by 2100. In addition, we take an alternative approach to estimate the contribution from ice sheets by using a semi-empirical GSL model. Here we find median projections of 58 and 68 cm for 1.5°C and 2°C temperature pathways. The 90% uncertainty ranges are 67 and 82 cm respectively. Regional projections show similar patterns for both temperature pathways, though differences vary between the median projections (2-10 cm) and 95th percentile (5-20 cm) for the bulk of oceans using process-based approach and 10-15 cm (median) and 15-25 cm (95th percentile) using the semi-empirical approach.

  18. Carbon burial and storage in tropical salt marshes under the influence of sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Fernández, A C; Carnero-Bravo, V; Sanchez-Cabeza, J A; Pérez-Bernal, L H; Amaya-Monterrosa, O A; Bojórquez-Sánchez, S; López-Mendoza, P G; Cardoso-Mohedano, J G; Dunbar, R B; Mucciarone, D A; Marmolejo-Rodríguez, A J

    2018-07-15

    Coastal vegetated habitats can be important sinks of organic carbon (C org ) and mitigate global warming by sequestering significant quantities of atmospheric CO 2 and storing sedimentary C org for long periods, although their C org burial and storage capacity may be affected by on-going sea level rise and human intervention. Geochemical data from published 210 Pb-dated sediment cores, collected from low-energy microtidal coastal wetlands in El Salvador (Jiquilisco Bay) and in Mexico (Salada Lagoon; Estero de Urias Lagoon; Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve) were revisited to assess temporal changes (within the last 100years) of C org concentrations, storage and burial rates in tropical salt marshes under the influence of sea level rise and contrasting anthropization degree. Grain size distribution was used to identify hydrodynamic changes, and δ 13 C to distinguish terrigenous sediments from those accumulated under the influence of marine transgression. Although the accretion rate ranges in all sediment records were comparable, C org concentrations (0.2-30%), stocks (30-465Mgha -1 , by extrapolation to 1m depth), and burial rates (3-378gm -2 year -1 ) varied widely within and among the study areas. However, in most sites sea level rise decreased C org concentrations and stocks in sediments, but increased C org burial rates. Lower C org concentrations were attributed to the input of reworked marine particles, which contribute with a lower amount of C org than terrigenous sediments; whereas higher C org burial rates were driven by higher mass accumulation rates, influenced by increased flooding and human interventions in the surroundings. C org accumulation and long-term preservation in tropical salt marshes can be as high as in mangrove or temperate salt marsh areas and, besides the reduction of C org stocks by ongoing sea level rise, the disturbance of the long-term buried C org inventories might cause high CO 2 releases, for which they must be protected as a part of

  19. 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

    Policy makers and stakeholders in the coastal zone are equally challenged by the risk of an anticipated rise of coastal Local Sea Level (LSL) as a consequence of future global warming. Many low-lying and often densely populated coastal areas are under risk of increased inundation. More than 40% of the global population is living in or near the coastal zone and this fraction is steadily increasing. A rise in LSL will increase the vulnerability of coastal infrastructure and population dramatically, with potentially devastating consequences for the global economy, society, and environment. Policy makers are faced with a trade-off between imposing today the often very high costs of coastal protection and adaptation upon national economies and leaving the costs of potential major disasters to future generations. They are in need of actionable information that provides guidance for the development of coastal zones resilient to future sea level changes. Part of this actionable information comes from risk and vulnerability assessments, which require information on future LSL changes as input. In most cases, a deterministic approach has been applied based on predictions of the plausible range of future LSL trajectories as input. However, there is little consensus in the scientific community on how these trajectories should be determined, and what the boundaries of the plausible range are. Over the last few years, many publications in Science, Nature and other peer-reviewed scientific journals have revealed a broad range of possible futures and significant epistemic uncertainties and gaps concerning LSL changes. Based on the somewhat diffuse science input, policy and decision makers have made rather different choices for mitigation and adaptation in cases such as Venice, The Netherlands, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay area. Replacing the deterministic, prediction-based approach with a statistical one that fully accounts for the uncertainties and epistemic gaps

  20. Predicting habitat distribution to conserve seagrass threatened by sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, M. I.; Baldock, T.; Brown, C. J.; Callaghan, D. P.; Golshani, A.; Hamylton, S.; Hoegh-guldberg, O.; Leon, J. X.; Lovelock, C. E.; Lyons, M. B.; O'Brien, K.; Mumby, P.; Phinn, S. R.; Roelfsema, C. M.

    2013-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) over the 21st century will cause significant redistribution of valuable coastal habitats. Seagrasses form extensive and highly productive meadows in shallow coastal seas support high biodiversity, including economically valuable and threatened species. Predictive habitat models can inform local management actions that will be required to conserve seagrass faced with multiple stressors. We developed novel modelling approaches, based on extensive field data sets, to examine the effects of sea level rise and other stressors on two representative seagrass habitats in Australia. First, we modelled interactive effects of SLR, water clarity and adjacent land use on estuarine seagrass meadows in Moreton Bay, Southeast Queensland. The extent of suitable seagrass habitat was predicted to decline by 17% by 2100 due to SLR alone, but losses were predicted to be significantly reduced through improvements in water quality (Fig 1a) and by allowing space for seagrass migration with inundation. The rate of sedimentation in seagrass strongly affected the area of suitable habitat for seagrass in sea level rise scenarios (Fig 1b). Further research to understand spatial, temporal and environmental variability of sediment accretion in seagrass is required. Second, we modelled changes in wave energy distribution due to predicted SLR in a linked coral reef and seagrass ecosystem at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Scenarios where the water depth over the coral reef deepened due to SLR and minimal reef accretion, resulted in larger waves propagating shoreward, changing the existing hydrodynamic conditions sufficiently to reduce area of suitable habitat for seagrass. In a scenario where accretion of the coral reef was severely compromised (e.g. warming, acidification, overfishing), the probability of the presence of seagrass declined significantly. Management to maintain coral health will therefore also benefit seagrasses subject to SLR in reef environments. Further

  1. 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.

  2. Coastal wetland adaptation to sea level rise: Quantifying potential for landward migration and coastal squeeze

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borchert, Sinéad M.; Osland, Michael J.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; Griffith, Kereen

    2018-01-01

    Coastal wetland ecosystems are expected to migrate landwards in response to rising seas. However, due to differences in topography and coastal urbanization, estuaries vary in their ability to accommodate migration. Low‐lying urban areas can constrain migration and lead to wetland loss (i.e. coastal squeeze), especially where existing wetlands cannot keep pace with rising seas via vertical adjustments. In many estuaries, there is a pressing need to identify landward migration corridors and better quantify the potential for landward migration and coastal squeeze.We quantified and compared the area available for landward migration of tidal saline wetlands and the area where urban development is expected to prevent migration for 39 estuaries along the wetland‐rich USA Gulf of Mexico coast. We did so under three sea level rise scenarios (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 m by 2100).Within the region, the potential for wetland migration is highest within certain estuaries in Louisiana and southern Florida (e.g. Atchafalaya/Vermilion Bays, Mermentau River, Barataria Bay, and the North and South Ten Thousand Islands estuaries).The potential for coastal squeeze is highest in estuaries containing major metropolitan areas that extend into low‐lying lands. The Charlotte Harbor, Tampa Bay, and Crystal‐Pithlachascotee estuaries (Florida) have the highest amounts of urban land expected to constrain wetland migration. Urban barriers to migration are also high in the Galveston Bay (Texas) and Atchafalaya/Vermilion Bays (Louisiana) estuaries.Synthesis and applications. Coastal wetlands provide many ecosystem services that benefit human health and well‐being, including shoreline protection and fish and wildlife habitat. As the rate of sea level rise accelerates in response to climate change, coastal wetland resources could be lost in areas that lack space for landward migration. Migration corridors are particularly important in highly urbanized estuaries where, due to low‐lying coastal

  3. Reef-scale modeling of coral calcification responses to ocean acidification and sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Takashi; Nadaoka, Kazuo; Watanabe, Atsushi; Yamamoto, Takahiro; Miyajima, Toshihiro; Blanco, Ariel C.

    2018-03-01

    To predict coral responses to future environmental changes at the reef scale, the coral polyp model (Nakamura et al. in Coral Reefs 32:779-794, 2013), which reconstructs coral responses to ocean acidification, flow conditions and other factors, was incorporated into a reef-scale three-dimensional hydrodynamic-biogeochemical model. This coupled reef-scale model was compared to observations from the Shiraho fringing reef, Ishigaki Island, Japan, where the model accurately reconstructed spatiotemporal variation in reef hydrodynamic and geochemical parameters. The simulated coral calcification rate exhibited high spatial variation, with lower calcification rates in the nearshore and stagnant water areas due to isolation of the inner reef at low tide, and higher rates on the offshore side of the inner reef flat. When water is stagnant, bottom shear stress is low at night and thus oxygen diffusion rate from ambient water to the inside of the coral polyp limits respiration rate. Thus, calcification decreases because of the link between respiration and calcification. A scenario analysis was conducted using the reef-scale model with several pCO2 and sea-level conditions based on IPCC (Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2013) scenarios. The simulation indicated that the coral calcification rate decreases with increasing pCO2. On the other hand, sea-level rise increases the calcification rate, particularly in the nearshore and the areas where water is stagnant at low tide under present conditions, as mass exchange, especially oxygen exchange at night, is enhanced between the corals and their ambient seawater due to the reduced stagnant period. When both pCO2 increase and sea-level rise occur concurrently, the calcification rate generally decreases due to the effects of ocean acidification. However, the

  4. Greenland ice-sheet contribution to sea-level rise buffered by meltwater storage in firn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, J; Humphrey, N; Pfeffer, W T; Brown, J; Fettweis, X

    2012-11-08

    Surface melt on the Greenland ice sheet has shown increasing trends in areal extent and duration since the beginning of the satellite era. Records for melt were broken in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012. Much of the increased surface melt is occurring in the percolation zone, a region of the accumulation area that is perennially covered by snow and firn (partly compacted snow). The fate of melt water in the percolation zone is poorly constrained: some may travel away from its point of origin and eventually influence the ice sheet's flow dynamics and mass balance and the global sea level, whereas some may simply infiltrate into cold snow or firn and refreeze with none of these effects. Here we quantify the existing water storage capacity of the percolation zone of the Greenland ice sheet and show the potential for hundreds of gigatonnes of meltwater storage. We collected in situ observations of firn structure and meltwater retention along a roughly 85-kilometre-long transect of the melting accumulation area. Our data show that repeated infiltration events in which melt water penetrates deeply (more than 10 metres) eventually fill all pore space with water. As future surface melt intensifies under Arctic warming, a fraction of melt water that would otherwise contribute to sea-level rise will fill existing pore space of the percolation zone. We estimate the lower and upper bounds of this storage sink to be 322 ± 44 gigatonnes and  1,289(+388)(-252) gigatonnes, respectively. Furthermore, we find that decades are required to fill this pore space under a range of plausible future climate conditions. Hence, routing of surface melt water into filling the pore space of the firn column will delay expansion of the area contributing to sea-level rise, although once the pore space is filled it cannot quickly be regenerated.

  5. Possible impacts of sea-level rise on the Diep river/Rietvlei system, Cape-Town

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Hughes, P

    1993-10-01

    Full Text Available Many of the Cape Province's estuaries and tidal inlets have sandy connections to the sea and are often intensively developed for industrial or residential purposes. The possible impacts of sea-level rise are of considerable interest...

  6. Development of a methodology for the assessment of sea level rise impacts on Florida's transportation modes and infrastructure : [summary].

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    In Florida, low elevations can make transportation infrastructure in coastal and low-lying areas potentially vulnerable to sea level rise (SLR). Becuase global SLR forecasts lack precision at local or regional scales, SLR forecasts or scenarios for p...

  7. 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.

  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.

  9. Relative sea-level change in the central Cyclades (Greece) since the Early Bronze Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draganits, E.

    2012-04-01

    The Aegean is a focus of important cultural achievements in Europe since the Neolithic period. The resulting abundance of archaeological remains, many of them below sea-level represent an advantageous area for the study of local relative sea-level change. We have carried out detailed mapping of Despotiko Island (SW of Antiparos) and its surrounding. Despotiko is situated almost exactly in the center of the Cyclades (as defined nowadays), more so than Delos, and therefore is very well suited for sea-level studies of the Cyclades. This beneficial location, combined with a spacious and protected bay, additionally may explain its former importance as stepping-stone in the Aegean Sea. The island is uninhabited at present, but Early Bronze Age settlement sites and graveyards as well as a large Archaic sanctuary proof its former importance. The sanctuary is situated on a gently northeast dipping slope in the northeast part of Despotiko, in range of sight of the Órmos Despotiko. Since 1997 large parts of this important sanctuary have been excavated during several excavation campaigns. Tectonically, Despotiko, Antiparos and Paros, belong to the Attic-Cycladic Crystalline of the Central Hellenides, a stack of metamorphic tectonic nappes, mainly comprising variable types of gneiss, schist, marble and amphibolite, and tectonic slices of unmetamorphosed sediments on top, separated by low-angle normal faults from the metamorphic units below. Submerged archaeological structures at the sea bottom of the Órmos Despotiko, a Classical marble inscription from the sanctuary and partly submerged agriculture trenches at the east coast Despotiko, indicate that the relative sea-level in this area was some 3 m lower during the Early Bronze Age and still more than 1 m lower during Classical time. These values of relative sea-level rise indicate a subsidence component additional to the global sea-level rise in the investigated time period. Neglecting possible vertical tectonic movements and

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Jennifer M; Bell, Susan S

    2015-01-01

    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.

  12. Drowning of the Mississippi Delta due to insufficient sediment supply and global sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blum, Michael D.; Roberts, Harry H.

    2009-07-01

    Over the past few centuries, 25% of the deltaic wetlands associated with the Mississippi Delta have been lost to the ocean. Plans to protect and restore the coast call for diversions of the Mississippi River, and its associated sediment, to sustain and build new land. However, the sediment load of the Mississippi River has been reduced by 50% through dam construction in the Mississippi Basin, which could affect the effectiveness of diversion plans. Here we calculate the amount of sediment stored on the delta plain for the past 12,000 years, and find that mean storage rates necessary to construct the flood plain and delta over this period exceed modern Mississippi River sediment loads. We estimate that, in the absence of sediment input, an additional 10,000-13,500km2 will be submerged by the year 2100 owing to subsidence and sea-level rise. Sustaining existing delta surface area would require 18-24billiontons of sediment, which is significantly more than can be drawn from the Mississippi River in its current state. We conclude that significant drowning is inevitable, even if sediment loads are restored, because sea level is now rising at least three times faster than during delta-plain construction.

  13. Adaptation to Sea Level Rise: A Multidisciplinary Analysis for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scussolini, Paolo; Tran, Thi Van Thu; Koks, Elco; Diaz-Loaiza, Andres; Ho, Phi Long; Lasage, Ralph

    2017-12-01

    One of the most critical impacts of sea level rise is that flooding suffered by ever larger settlements in tropical deltas will increase. Here we look at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and quantify the threats that coastal floods pose to safety and to the economy. For this, we produce flood maps through hydrodynamic modeling and, by combining these with data sets of exposure and vulnerability, we estimate two indicators of risk: the damage to assets and the number of potential casualties. We simulate current and future (2050 and 2100) flood risk using IPCC scenarios of sea level rise and socioeconomic change. We find that annual damage may grow by more than 1 order of magnitude, and potential casualties may grow 5-20-fold until the end of the century, in the absence of adaptation. Impacts depend strongly on the climate and socioeconomic scenarios considered. Next, we simulate the implementation of adaptation measures and calculate their effectiveness in reducing impacts. We find that a ring dike would protect the inner city but increase risk in more rural districts, whereas elevating areas at risk and dryproofing buildings will reduce impacts to the city as a whole. Most measures perform well from an economic standpoint. Combinations of measures seem to be the optimal solution and may address potential equity conflicts. Based on our results, we design possible adaptation pathways for Ho Chi Minh City for the coming decades; these can inform policy-making and strategic thinking.

  14. Contributions of internal climate variability to mitigation of projected future regional sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, A.; Bates, S. C.

    2017-12-01

    Observations indicate that the global mean surface temperature is rising, so does the global mean sea level. Sea level rise (SLR) can impose significant impacts on island and coastal communities, especially when SLR is compounded with storm surges. Here, via analyzing results from two sets of ensemble simulations from the Community Earth System Model version 1, we investigate how the potential SLR benefits through mitigating the future emission scenarios from business as usual to a mild-mitigation over the 21st Century would be affected by internal climate variability. Results show that there is almost no SLR benefit in the near term due to the large SLR variability due to the internal ocean dynamics. However, toward the end of the 21st century, the SLR benefit can be as much as a 26±1% reduction of the global mean SLR due to seawater thermal expansion. Regionally, the benefits from this mitigation for both near and long terms are heterogeneous. They vary from just a 11±5% SLR reduction in Melbourne, Australia to a 35±6% reduction in London. The processes contributing to these regional differences are the coupling of the wind-driven ocean circulation with the decadal scale sea surface temperature mode in the Pacific and Southern Oceans, and the changes of the thermohaline circulation and the mid-latitude air-sea coupling in the Atlantic.

  15. Seabed Gradient Controlling Onshore Transport Rates of Surf Sand during Beach Retreat by Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hee Jun; Yi, Hi-Il

    2018-03-01

    A simple relationship is proposed for the onshore transport rates of surf-zone sand to evaluate the beach retreat caused by sea level rise. It suggests that the preservation potential of surf sand is proportional inversely to the seabed gradient during beach retreat. According to this relationship, the erosional remnants of surf sand would be more readily developed on a gentler shelf collectively as transgressive sand sheets. This finding may explain the previous studies regarding the Korean shelves that proposed that the Holocene transgressive sand sheets (HTSS) occur not in the steep eastern shelf but in the gentle western shelf. In line with such presence/absence of the HTSS are the results from some coastal seismic profiles obtained in the present study. The profiles indicate that sand deposits are restricted within the nearshore in the eastern coast, whereas they are persistently traceable to the offshore HTSS in the western coast. Tide is proven to have a negligible influence on the total duration of surf-zone processes. This study may be useful in predicting the consequences of the beach retreat that takes place worldwide as sea levels rise as a result of global warming.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Examining the evidence for a recent acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise using combined instrumental and proxy data, North Carolina, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, A.; Horton, B. P.

    2007-12-01

    Whilst accelerated rates of relative sea-level (RSL) rise are potentially one of the most devastating impacts of future climate change, our understanding of decadal scale changes in sea-level is poor. This paper seeks to address this knowledge gap by combining tide gauge and high-precision geological reconstructions of relative sea-level of sufficient resolution and duration to detect any recent acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise. We offer a high resolution relative sea-level history for the last ~2000 years from the Albemarle - Pamlico Estuarine System in North Carolina. Contemporary foraminifera were collected from five back barrier marshes to create a regional scale modern training set. The use of multiple marshes from a region increases the ecological and environmental diversity included within the training set and reduces the probability of a no modern analogue outcome. To merge the five spatially distinct sites and to relate each to local tide levels we used the VDatum transformation tool. This method relates all samples to a common orthometric datum (NAVD88) and reduces error. We developed an accurate and precise transfer function to reconstruct former sea levels based upon the modern observable relationship between foraminifera and elevation with respect to the tidal frame. We applied the transfer function to salt-marsh core(s) from Sand Point (Roanoke Island), North Carolina to produce a late Holocene RSL record. An age-depth model was produced from composite chronologies of 210Pb, 14C and pollen chrono-horizons. We validated our approach by comparing geological based reconstructions and instrumental tide gauge records. Our records show that in the last ~2000 years sea level has risen at a background rate of ~1.1mm/yr. There is evidence for two recent accelerations in the rate of sea-level rise during the late 19th and 20th centuries to a current rate of ~4mm/yr.

  19. Relative Sea Level, Tidal Range, and Extreme Water Levels in Boston Harbor from 1825 to 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talke, S. A.; Kemp, A.; Woodruff, J. D.

    2017-12-01

    Long time series of water-level measurements made by tide gauges provide a rich and valuable observational history of relative sea-level change, the frequency and height of extreme water levels and evolving tidal regimes. However, relatively few locations have available tide-gauge records longer than 100 years and most of these places are in northern Europe. This spatio-temporal distribution hinders efforts to understand global-, regional- and local-scale trends. Using newly-discovered archival measurements, we constructed a 200 year, instrumental record of water levels, tides, and storm surges in Boston Harbor. We detail the recovery, datum reconstruction, digitization, quality assurance, and analysis of this extended observational record. Local, decadally-averaged relative sea-level rose by 0.28 ± 0.05 m since the 1820s, with an acceleration of 0.023 ±0.009 mm/yr2. Approximately 0.13 ± 0.02 m of the observed RSL rise occurred due to ongoing glacial isostatic adjustment, and the remainder occurred due to changes in ocean mass and volume associated with the onset of modern mean sea-level rise. Change-point analysis of the new relative sea level record confirms that anthropogenic rise began in 1924-1932, which is in agreement with global mean sea level estimates from the global tide gauge network. Tide range decreased by 5.5% between 1830 and 1910, likely due in large part to anthropogenic development. Storm tides in Boston Harbor are produced primarily by extratropical storms during the November-April time frame. The three largest storm tides occurred in 1851, 1909, and 1978. Because 90% of the top 20 storm tides since 1825 occurred during a spring tide, the secular change in tide range contributes to a slight reduction in storm tide magnitudes. However, non-stationarity in storm hazard was historically driven primarily by local relative sea-level rise; a modest 0.2 m increase in relative sea level reduces the 100 year high water mark to a once-in-10 year event.

  20. Postglacial relative sea level change at Fildes Peninsula, King George Island (West Antarctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. V. Polishchuk

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Analysis and integration of data obtained in our field and laboratory investigations of 2008–2012 together with results of previous paleogeographic studies were conducted to reveal parameters and factors of the post-glacial changes in the relative sea-level on the Fildes Peninsula and the King George Island. Results of dating of organic material taken from cross-sections of Quaternary deposits, data on morphology of marine landforms as well as on bottom sediments in lakes were used to construct a curve of changes in the relative sea-level.Our research has shown that the rapid rise of relative sea level in the area (since the beginning of the Holocene decelerated about 8000 years BP, achieving its maximum about 7000 years BP. This was followed by the fall of relative sea-level (the land elevation by 18–20  m in total, and it was characterized by relatively high rate of fall during periods of 6000– 5000 years BP, 4000–2500 years BP, and during the last 1500 years; the rate decreased in 5000–4000 years BP and 2500– 1600 years BP. The changes in relative sea level in this region were determined by the following factors: the eustatic component of the global changes in sea-level and, possibly, oscillations in the global sea level of another nature; local parameters of the Last glacial maximum; a course of the Peninsula deglaciation; regional physical characteristics of the Earth's crust and the mantle substances; local tectonic processes, including the isostatic rebound. Since the beginning of the Holocene up to about 7000 years BP, the main contribution to changes of the relative sea-level in this area was made by the global eustatic factor. The subsequent fall of the relative sea-level (elevation of the Peninsula surface proceeded under condition of reduced role of the eustatic factor and predominance of other factors.

  1. XXI century projections of wind-wave conditions and sea-level rise in the Black sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polonsky, A.; Garmashov, A.; Fomin, V.; Valchev, N.; Trifonova, E.

    2012-04-01

    Projection of regional climate changes for XXI century is one of the priorities of EC environmental programme. Potential worsening of the waves' statistics, sea level rise and extreme surges are the principal negative consequences of the climate change for marine environment. That is why the main purpose of this presentation is to discuss the above issue for the Black sea region (with a strong focus to the south-west subregion because the maximum heights of waves exceeding 10 m occur just here) using output of several global coupled models (GCM) for XXI century, wave simulation, long-term observations of sea level and statistical techniques. First of all we tried to choose the best coupled model (s) simulated the Black sea climate change and variability using the control experiments for 20 century (203). The principal result is as follows. There is not one model which is simulating adequately even one atmospheric parameter for all seasons. Therefore we considered (for the climate projection) different outputs form various models. When it was possible we calculated also the ensemble mean projection for the selected model (s) and emission scenarios. To calculate the wave projection we used the output of SWAN model forced by the GCM wind projection for 2010 to 2100. To estimate the sea level rise in XXI century and future surges statistics we extrapolate the observed sea level rise tendencies, statistical relation between wave heights and sea level and wave scenarios. Results show that in general, the climate change in XXI century doesn't lead to the catastrophic change of the Black sea wind-wave statistics including the extreme waves in the S-W Black sea. The typical atmospheric pattern leading to the intense storm in the S-W Black sea is characterized by the persistent anticyclonic area to the North of the Black sea and cyclonic conditions in the Southern Black sea region. Such pressure pattern causes persistent and strong eastern or north-eastern wind which

  2. Orbit-related sea level errors for TOPEX altimetry at seasonal to decadal timescales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esselborn, Saskia; Rudenko, Sergei; Schöne, Tilo

    2018-03-01

    Interannual to decadal sea level trends are indicators of climate variability and change. A major source of global and regional sea level data is satellite radar altimetry, which relies on precise knowledge of the satellite's orbit. Here, we assess the error budget of the radial orbit component for the TOPEX/Poseidon mission for the period 1993 to 2004 from a set of different orbit solutions. The errors for seasonal, interannual (5-year), and decadal periods are estimated on global and regional scales based on radial orbit differences from three state-of-the-art orbit solutions provided by different research teams: the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), the Groupe de Recherche de Géodésie Spatiale (GRGS), and the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The global mean sea level error related to orbit uncertainties is of the order of 1 mm (8 % of the global mean sea level variability) with negligible contributions on the annual and decadal timescales. In contrast, the orbit-related error of the interannual trend is 0.1 mm yr-1 (27 % of the corresponding sea level variability) and might hamper the estimation of an acceleration of the global mean sea level rise. For regional scales, the gridded orbit-related error is up to 11 mm, and for about half the ocean the orbit error accounts for at least 10 % of the observed sea level variability. The seasonal orbit error amounts to 10 % of the observed seasonal sea level signal in the Southern Ocean. At interannual and decadal timescales, the orbit-related trend uncertainties reach regionally more than 1 mm yr-1. The interannual trend errors account for 10 % of the observed sea level signal in the tropical Atlantic and the south-eastern Pacific. For decadal scales, the orbit-related trend errors are prominent in a several regions including the South Atlantic, western North Atlantic, central Pacific, South Australian Basin, and the Mediterranean Sea. Based on a set of test orbits calculated at GFZ, the sources of the

  3. Orbit-related sea level errors for TOPEX altimetry at seasonal to decadal timescales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Esselborn

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Interannual to decadal sea level trends are indicators of climate variability and change. A major source of global and regional sea level data is satellite radar altimetry, which relies on precise knowledge of the satellite's orbit. Here, we assess the error budget of the radial orbit component for the TOPEX/Poseidon mission for the period 1993 to 2004 from a set of different orbit solutions. The errors for seasonal, interannual (5-year, and decadal periods are estimated on global and regional scales based on radial orbit differences from three state-of-the-art orbit solutions provided by different research teams: the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ, the Groupe de Recherche de Géodésie Spatiale (GRGS, and the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC. The global mean sea level error related to orbit uncertainties is of the order of 1 mm (8 % of the global mean sea level variability with negligible contributions on the annual and decadal timescales. In contrast, the orbit-related error of the interannual trend is 0.1 mm yr−1 (27 % of the corresponding sea level variability and might hamper the estimation of an acceleration of the global mean sea level rise. For regional scales, the gridded orbit-related error is up to 11 mm, and for about half the ocean the orbit error accounts for at least 10 % of the observed sea level variability. The seasonal orbit error amounts to 10 % of the observed seasonal sea level signal in the Southern Ocean. At interannual and decadal timescales, the orbit-related trend uncertainties reach regionally more than 1 mm yr−1. The interannual trend errors account for 10 % of the observed sea level signal in the tropical Atlantic and the south-eastern Pacific. For decadal scales, the orbit-related trend errors are prominent in a several regions including the South Atlantic, western North Atlantic, central Pacific, South Australian Basin, and the Mediterranean Sea. Based on a set of test

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Changes in Holocene relative sea-level and coastal morphology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hede, Mikkel Ulfeldt; Sander, Lasse; Clemmensen, Lars B

    2015-01-01

    Changes in relative sea-level (RSL) during the Holocene are reconstructed based on ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data collected across a raised beach ridge system on the island of Samsø, Denmark. The internal architecture of the beach ridge and swale deposits is divided into characteristic radar...... ridge progradation through time. The vertical levels of identified downlap points are combined with an age model based on optically stimulated luminescence-dated samples to reconstruct RSL for the past c. 5000 years. Overall, the reconstruction shows that the period between c. 4800 and 3800 yr BP...

  7. Effect 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. Published 2012. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  8. 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.

  9. Coral reef growth in an era of rapidly rising sea level: predictions and suggestions for long-term research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buddemeier, R W; Smith, S V

    1988-01-01

    Coral reef growth is intimately linked to sea level. It has been postulated that over the next century, sea level will rise at a probable average rate of 15 mm/year, in response to fossil fuel emissions, heating, and melting of the Antarctic ice cap. This predicted rate of sea level rise is five times the present modal rate of vertical accretion on coral reef flats and 50% greater than the maximum vertical accretion rates apparently attained by coral reefs. We use these predictions and observations to offer the following hypothesis for reef growth over the next century. The vertical accretion rates of protected reef flats will accelerate from the present modal rate up to the maximum rate, in response to the more rapidly rising sea level. This more rapid vertical accretion rate will be insufficient to keep up with sea level rise, if present predictions prove to be correct. Less protected reef flats will slow their rate of growth as they become inundated and subjected to erosion by progressively larger waves. This projected sea level rise and postulated reef response will provide an opportunity for long- term studies of the response of coral reef systems to a predictable and measurable forcing function.

  10. Tidally adjusted estimates of topographic vulnerability to sea level rise and flooding for the contiguous United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strauss, Benjamin H; Ziemlinski, Remik; Weiss, Jeremy L; Overpeck, Jonathan T

    2012-01-01

    Because sea level could rise 1 m or more during the next century, it is important to understand what land, communities and assets may be most at risk from increased flooding and eventual submersion. Employing a recent high-resolution edition of the National Elevation Dataset and using VDatum, a newly available tidal model covering the contiguous US, together with data from the 2010 Census, we quantify low-lying coastal land, housing and population relative to local mean high tide levels, which range from ∼0 to 3 m in elevation (North American Vertical Datum of 1988). Previous work at regional to national scales has sometimes equated elevation with the amount of sea level rise, leading to underestimated risk anywhere where the mean high tide elevation exceeds 0 m, and compromising comparisons across regions with different tidal levels. Using our tidally adjusted approach, we estimate the contiguous US population living on land within 1 m of high tide to be 3.7 million. In 544 municipalities and 38 counties, we find that over 10% of the population lives below this line; all told, some 2150 towns and cities have some degree of exposure. At the state level, Florida, Louisiana, California, New York and New Jersey have the largest sub-meter populations. We assess topographic susceptibility of land, housing and population to sea level rise for all coastal states, counties and municipalities, from 0 to 6 m above mean high tide, and find important threat levels for widely distributed communities of every size. We estimate that over 22.9 million Americans live on land within 6 m of local mean high tide. (letter)

  11. Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise: Advancing coastal management through integrated research and engagement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidwell, D. M.

    2012-12-01

    Rising sea level represents a significant threat to coastal communities and ecosystems through land loss, altered habitats, and increased vulnerability to coastal storms and inundation. This threat is exemplified in the northern Gulf of Mexico where low topography, expansive marshes, and a prevalence of tropical storms have already resulted in extensive coastal impacts. The development of robust predictive capabilities that incorporate complex biological processes with physical dynamics are critical for informed planning and restoration efforts for coastal ecosystems. Looking to build upon existing predictive modeling capabilities and allow for use of multiple model (i.e., ensemble) approaches, NOAA initiated the Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise program in 2010 to advance physical/biological integrative modeling capabilities in the region with a goal to provide user friendly predictive tools for coastal ecosystem management. Focused on the northern Gulf of Mexico, this multi-disciplinary project led by the University of Central Florida will use in situ field studies to parameterize physical and biological models. These field studies will also result in a predictive capability for overland sediment delivery and transport that will further enhance marsh, oyster, and submerged aquatic vegetation models. Results from this integrated modeling effort are envisioned to inform management strategies for reducing risk, restoration and breakwater guidelines, and resource sustainability for project planning, among other uses. In addition to the science components, this project incorporates significant engagement of the management community through a management applications principle investigator and an advisory management committee. Routine engagement between the science team and the management committee, including annual workshops, are focused on ensuring the development of applicable, relevant, and useable products and tools at the conclusion of this project. Particular

  12. Sensitivity of Estuaries to Coastal Morphological Change Induced by Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alizad, K.; Hagen, S. C.; Bilskie, M. V.; Mariotti, G.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal wetlands play a critical role by providing food and habitat for a variety of species and by dissipating wave and storm surge. These regions are also vulnerable to climate change and specifically rising sea levels. Projections show that coastal marshes across the Northern Gulf of Mexico are threatened by a higher risk of losing their productivity through increased inundation depth and time [Alizad et al., 2016a]. Individual estuaries will respond differently to stressors based on local conditions such as tidal range, creek geometry, and sediment sources, among others. In addition, morphological changes in estuaries are functions of both physical processes such as hydrodynamics and wind waves as well as biological mechanisms. To investigate the sensitivity of storm surge to bio-geomorphological changes associated with climate change within an estuary, the Hydro-MEM model [Alizad et al., 2016b] and first-order bathymetric changes were applied for a set of sea level rise (SLR) scenarios. Morphologic change in the form of marsh platform accretion and enhanced bay bathymetry through time was employed in an ADvanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) shallow-water equation model. The model was used to run synthetic storm simulations for an intermediate-low (0.5 m), intermediate-high (1.2 m), and high (2.0 m) SLR scenarios in Grand Bay, MS (marine dominated) and Weeks Bay, AL (mixed) estuaries. Results including with and without morphologic changes applied will be discussed. Future steps for incorporating morphological effects including channel widening and wave erosion processes into the Hydro-MEM model is to couple morphologic and hydrodynamic models [Mariotti and Canestrelli, 2017] in the Hydro-MEM time step framework. ReferencesAlizad, K., S. C. Hagen, J. T. Morris, S. C. Medeiros, M. V. Bilskie, and J. F. Weishampel (2016a), Coastal wetland response to sea-level rise in a fluvial estuarine system, Earth's Future, 4(11), 483-497. Alizad, K., S. C. Hagen, J. T. Morris, P

  13. Assessing economic impact of storm surge under projected sea level rise scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Angel, D. C.; Yoskowitz, D.

    2017-12-01

    Global sea level is expected to rise 0.2-2m by the year 2100. Rising sea level is expected to have a number of impacts such as erosion, saltwater intrusion, and decline in coastal wetlands; all which have direct and indirect socio-economic impact to coastal communities. By 2050, 25% of the world's population will reside within flood-prone areas. These statistics raise a concern for the economic cost that sea level and flooding has on the growing coastal communities. Economic cost of storm surge inundation and rising seas may include loss or damage to public facilities and infrastructure that may become temporarily inaccessible, as well as disruptions to business and services. This goal of this project is to assess economic impacts of storms under four SLR scenarios including low, intermediate-low, intermediate-high, and high (0.2m, 0.5m, 1.2m and 2m, respectively) in the Northern Gulf of Mexico region. To assess flooding impact on communities from storm surge, this project utilizes HAZUS-MH software - a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based modeling tool developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency - to estimate physical, economic, and social impacts of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. The HAZUS database comes integrated with aggregate and site specific inventory which includes: demographic data, general building stock, agricultural statistics, vehicle inventory, essential facilities, transportation systems, utility systems (among other sensitive facilities). User-defined inundation scenarios will serve to identify assets at risk and damage estimates will be generated using the Depth Damage Function included in the HAZUS software. Results will focus on 3 communities in the Gulf and highlight changes in storm flood impact. This approach not only provides a method for economic impact assessment but also begins to create a link between ecosystem services and natural and nature-based features such as wetlands, beaches and dunes

  14. 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.

  15. Vulnerability of the peatland carbon sink to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittle, Alex; Gallego-Sala, Angela V.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27354088

  16. Extreme storms, sea level rise, and coastal change: implications for infrastructure reliability in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anarde, K.; Kameshwar, S.; Irza, N.; Lorenzo-Trueba, J.; Nittrouer, J. A.; Padgett, J.; Bedient, P. B.

    2016-12-01

    Predicting coastal infrastructure reliability during hurricane events is important for risk-based design and disaster planning, such as delineating viable emergency response routes. Previous research has focused on either infrastructure vulnerability to coastal flooding or the impact of changing sea level and landforms on surge dynamics. Here we investigate the combined impact of sea level, morphology, and coastal flooding on the reliability of highway bridges - the only access points between barrier islands and mainland communities - during future extreme storms. We forward model coastal flooding for static projections of geomorphic change using ADCIRC+SWAN. First-order parameters that are adjusted include sea level and elevation. These are varied for each storm simulation to evaluate relative impact on the reliability of bridges surrounding Freeport, TX. Simulated storms include both synthetic and historical events, which are classified by intensity using the storm's integrated kinetic energy, a metric for surge generation potential. Reliability is estimated through probability of failure - given wave and surge loads - and time inundated. Findings include that: 1) bridge reliability scales inversely with surge height, and 2) sea level rise reduces bridge reliability due to a monotonic increase in surge height. The impact of a shifting landscape on bridge reliability is more complex: barrier island rollback can increase or decrease inundation times for storms of different intensity due to changes in wind-setup and back-barrier bay interactions. Initial storm surge readily inundates the coastal landscape during large intensity storms, however the draining of inland bays following storm passage is significantly impeded by the barrier. From a coastal engineering standpoint, we determine that to protect critical infrastructure, efforts now implemented that nourish low-lying barriers may be enhanced by also armoring back-bay coastlines and elevating bridge approach

  17. Global mean sea-level rise in a world agreed upon in Paris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bittermann, Klaus; Rahmstorf, Stefan; Kopp, Robert E.; Kemp, Andrew C.

    2017-12-01

    Although the 2015 Paris Agreement seeks to hold global average temperature to ‘well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels’, projections of global mean sea-level (GMSL) rise commonly focus on scenarios in which there is a high probability that warming exceeds 1.5 °C. Using a semi-empirical model, we project GMSL changes between now and 2150 CE under a suite of temperature scenarios that satisfy the Paris Agreement temperature targets. The projected magnitude and rate of GMSL rise varies among these low emissions scenarios. Stabilizing temperature at 1.5 °C instead of 2 °C above preindustrial reduces GMSL in 2150 CE by 17 cm (90% credible interval: 14-21 cm) and reduces peak rates of rise by 1.9 mm yr-1 (90% credible interval: 1.4-2.6 mm yr-1). Delaying the year of peak temperature has little long-term influence on GMSL, but does reduce the maximum rate of rise. Stabilizing at 2 °C in 2080 CE rather than 2030 CE reduces the peak rate by 2.7 mm yr-1 (90% credible interval: 2.0-4.0 mm yr-1).

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Reconstructing Common Era relative sea-level change on the Gulf Coast of Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerlach, Matthew J.; Engelhart, Simon E.; Kemp, Andrew C.; Moyer, Ryan P.; Smoak, Joseph M.; Bernhardt, Christopher E.; Cahill, Niamh

    2017-01-01

    To address a paucity of Common Era data in the Gulf of Mexico, we reconstructed ~ 1.1 m of relative sea-level (RSL) rise over the past ~ 2000 years at Little Manatee River (Gulf Coast of Florida, USA). We applied a regional-scale foraminiferal transfer function to fossil assemblages preserved in a core of salt-marsh peat and organic silt that was dated using radiocarbon and recognition of pollution, 137Cs and pollen chronohorizons. Our proxy reconstruction was combined with tide-gauge data from four nearby sites spanning 1913–2014 CE. Application of an Errors-in-Variables Integrated Gaussian Process (EIV-IGP) model to the combined proxy and instrumental dataset demonstrates that RSL fell from ~ 350 to 100 BCE, before rising continuously to present. This initial RSL fall was likely the result of local-scale processes (e.g., silting up of a tidal flat or shallow sub-tidal shoal) as salt-marsh development at the site began. Since ~ 0 CE, we consider the reconstruction to be representative of regional-scale RSL trends. We removed a linear rate of 0.3 mm/yr from the RSL record using the EIV-IGP model to estimate climate-driven sea-level trends and to facilitate comparison among sites. This analysis demonstrates that since ~ 0 CE sea level did not deviate significantly from zero until accelerating continuously from ~ 1500 CE to present. Sea level was rising at 1.33 mm/yr in 1900 CE and accelerated until 2014 CE when a rate of 2.02 mm/yr was attained, which is the fastest, century-scale trend in the ~ 2000-year record. Comparison to existing reconstructions from the Gulf coast of Louisiana and the Atlantic coast of northern Florida reveal similar sea-level histories at all three sites. We explored the influence of compaction and fluvial processes on our reconstruction and concluded that compaction was likely insignificant. Fluvial processes were also likely insignificant, but further proxy evidence is needed to fully test this hypothesis. Our results

  1. Natural and Human-Induced Variability in Barrier-Island Response to Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miselis, Jennifer L.; Lorenzo-Trueba, Jorge

    2017-12-01

    Storm-driven sediment fluxes onto and behind barrier islands help coastal barrier systems keep pace with sea level rise (SLR). Understanding what controls cross-shore sediment flux magnitudes is critical for making accurate forecasts of barrier response to increased SLR rates. Here, using an existing morphodynamic model for barrier island evolution, observations are used to constrain model parameters and explore potential variability in future barrier behavior. Using modeled drowning outcomes as a proxy for vulnerability to SLR, 0%, 28%, and 100% of the barrier is vulnerable to SLR rates of 4, 7, and 10 mm/yr, respectively. When only overwash fluxes are increased in the model, drowning vulnerability increases for the same rates of SLR, suggesting that future increases in storminess may increase island vulnerability particularly where sediment resources are limited. Developed sites are more vulnerable to SLR, indicating that anthropogenic changes to overwash fluxes and estuary depths could profoundly affect future barrier response to SLR.

  2. Investigating sea level rise due to global warming in the teaching laboratory using Archimedes’ principle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughes, Stephen; Pearce, Darren

    2015-01-01

    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 cm 3 and mass of 99.3 g, yielding water density measurements with an average error of −0.008 ± 0.011%. (paper)

  3. Adaptation or Resistance: a classification of responses to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, J. A.

    2016-02-01

    Societal responses to sea level rise and associated coastal change are apparently diverse in nature and motivation. Most are commonly referred to as 'adaptation'. Based on a review of current practice, however, it is argued that many of these responses do not involve adaptation, but are rather resisting change. There are several instances where formerly adaptive initiatives involving human adaptability are being replaced by initiatives that resist change. A classification is presented that recognises a continuum of responses ranging from adaptation to resistance, depending upon the willingness to change human activities to accommodate environmental change. In many cases climate change adaptation resources are being used for projects that are purely resistant and which foreclose future adaptation options. It is argued that a more concise definition of adaptation is needed if coastal management is to move beyond the current position of holding the shoreline, other tah n in a few showcase examples.

  4. 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.

  5. Risk Analysis of Coastal hazard Considering Sea-level Rise and Local Environment in Coastal Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sangjin, P.; Lee, D. K.; KIM, H.; Ryu, J. E.; Yoo, S.; Ryoo, H.

    2014-12-01

    Recently, natural hazards has been more unpredictable with increasing frequency and strength due to climate change. Especially, coastal areas would be more vulnerable in the future because of sea-level rise (SLR). In case of Korea, it is surrounded by oceans and has many big cities at coastal area, thus a hazard prevention plan in coastal area is absolutely necessary. However, prior to making the plan, finding areas at risk would be the first step. In order to find the vulnerable area, local characteristics of coastal areas should also be considered along with SLR. Therefore, the objective of the research is to find vulnerable areas, which could be damaged by coastal hazards considering local environment and SLR of coastal areas. Spatial scope of the research was set up as 1km from the coastline according to the 'coastal management law' in Korea. The assessment was done up to the year of 2050, and the highest sea level rise scenario was used. For risk analysis, biophysical and socioeconomic characteristics were considered as to represent local characteristics of coastal area. Risk analysis was carried out through the combination of 'possibility of hazard' and the 'level of damages', and both of them reflect the above-mentioned regional characteristics. Since the range of inundation was narrowed down to the inundation from typhoon in this research, the possibility of inundation caused by typhoon was estimated by using numerical model, which calculated the height of storm surge considering wave, tide, sea-level pressure and SLR. Also the level of damage was estimated by categorizing the socioeconomic character into four factors; human, infrastructure, ecology and socioeconomic. Variables that represent each factor were selected and used in damage estimation with their classification and weighting value. The result shows that the urban coastal areas are more vulnerable and hazardous than other areas because of socioeconomic factors. The east and the south coast are

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Elevated CO2 stimulates marsh elevation gain, counterbalancing sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langley, J Adam; McKee, Karen L; Cahoon, Donald R; Cherry, Julia A; Megonigal, J Patrick

    2009-04-14

    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 CO(2) 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 [CO(2)] stimulates biogenic mechanisms of elevation gain in a brackish marsh. Elevated CO(2) (ambient + 340 ppm) accelerated soil elevation gain by 3.9 mm yr(-1) in this 2-year field study, an effect mediated by stimulation of below-ground plant productivity. Further, a companion greenhouse experiment revealed that the CO(2) 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, CO(2), may paradoxically aid some coastal wetlands in counterbalancing rising seas.

  9. Elevated CO2 stimulates marsh elevation gain, counterbalancing sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langley, J. Adam; McKee, Karen L.; Cahoon, Donald R.; Cherry, Julia A.; Megonigal, J. Patrick

    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 yr−1 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. PMID:19325121

  10. Measuring the Rate of Change in Sea Level and Its Adherence to USACE Sea Level Rise Planning Scenarios Using Timeseries Metrics

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, K. D.; Huang, N.; Huber, M.; Veatch, W.; Moritz, H.; Obrien, P. S.; Friedman, D.

    2017-12-01

    In 2013, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued guidance for all Civil Works activities to incorporate the effects of sea level change as described in three distinct planning scenarios.[1] These planning scenarios provided a useful framework to incorporate these effects into Civil Works activities, but required the manual calculation of these scenarios for a given gage and set of datum. To address this need, USACE developed the Sea Level Change Curve Calculator (SLCCC) in 2014 which provided a "simple, web-based tool to provide repeatable analytical results."[2]USACE has been developing a successor to the SLCCC application which retains the same, intuitive functionality to calculate these planning scenarios, but it also allows the comparison of actual sea level change between 1992 and today against the projections, and builds on the user's ability to understand the rate of change using a variety of timeseries metrics (e.g. moving averages, trends) and related visualizations. These new metrics help both illustrate and measure the complexity and nuances of sea level change. [1] ER 1000-2-8162. http://www.publications.usace.army.mil/Portals/76/Publications/EngineerRegulations/ER_1100-2-8162.pdf. [2] SLCC Manual. http://www.corpsclimate.us/docs/SLC_Calculator_Manual_2014_88.pdf.

  11. Effects of sea level rise on the formation and drowning of shoreface-connected sand ridges, a model study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nnafie, A.; de Swart, H. E.; Calvete, D.; Garnier, R.

    2014-06-01

    Shoreface-connected sand ridges occur on many storm-dominated inner shelves. These rhythmic features have an along-shelf spacing of 2-10 km, a height of 1-12 m, they evolve on timescales of centuries and they migrate several meters per year. An idealized model is used to study the impact of sea level rise on the characteristics of the sand ridges during their initial and long-term evolution. Different scenarios (rates of sea level rise, geometry of inner shelf) are examined. Results show that with increasing sea level the height of sand ridges increases and their migration decreases until they eventually drown. This latter occurs when the near-bed wave orbital velocity drops below the critical velocity for erosion of sediment. In contrast, in the absence of sea level rise, the model simulates shoreface-connected sand ridges with constant heights and migration rates. Model results furthermore indicate that sand ridges do not form if the rate of sea level rise is too high, or if the initial depth of the inner shelf is too small. A larger transverse bottom slope enhances growth and height of sand ridges and they drown quicker. When shoreface retreat due to sea level rise is considered, new ridges form in the landward part of the inner shelf, while ridges on the antecedent part of the shelf become less active and ultimately drown. Only if sea level rise is accounted for, merging of ridges is reduced such that multiple ridges occur in the end state, thereby yielding a better agreement with observations. The physical mechanisms responsible for these findings are also explained.

  12. The effects of freshwater inflow, inlet conveyance and sea level rise on the salinity regime in the Loxahatchee Estuary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, G.

    2002-01-01

    The upstream migration of salt water into the historic freshwater reaches of the Loxahatchee River is the likely cause of the altered floodplain cypress forest community along the Northwest Fork and some of its tributaries. Mangroves are replacing cypress forest and areas of mixed swamp hardwoods have reacted to different degrees to the saltwater stress. A hydrodynamic/salinity model was developed to study the influence of freshwater input, tidal inlet deepening and sea level rise on the salinity regime in the estuary. Field data analysis and model simulations indicate that the salinity condition in the estuary is sensitive to the amount of freshwater input from the watershed. During dry seasons the salt front advances into areas that were historically freshwater habitats. Historic evidence indicates that the Loxahatchee estuary was periodically closed and opened to the sea. Due to the active long shore sediment transport, the tidal inlet was probably characterized by shifting sandbars through which ran a narrow and unstable channel. Inlet dredging in the past several decades has increased the hydraulic conveyance of the inlet and the tidal influence into the estuary. The sea level record from a site in south Florida indicates that the sea level has been rising at a rate of approximately 2.3-mm per year. The rise of sea level in the past century has probably raised the mean tide level by about 23 centimeters. If the sea level rise continues as predicted, it is foreseeable that the salt front will move further upstream along with the sea level rise. Field data analysis and the preliminary model output led us to believe that the advance of seawater up the estuary is the combined effect of watershed hydrological changes, inlet deepening and sea level rise. (author)

  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)

    Applegate, Patrick J; Keller, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    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 (≫10 3 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 (<10 3 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. 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.

  15. How Shall We Tell Our People? The Art and Science of Communicating Sea-Level Rise to Coastal Audiences (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  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. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  17. Using simulations to forecast homeowner response to sea level rise in South Florida: Will they stay or will they go?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treuer, G.

    2017-12-01

    Sea level rise threatens coastal communities around the world, including South Florida which may be the most financially vulnerable region in the world. Proactive investments in sea level rise adaptive flood protections could reduce South Florida's financial vulnerability. However, it is unclear if local governments and homeowners will be willing to make those investments before it is too late. Our research explores this issue by reporting the results of a novel online simulation that accelerates 348 South Florida homeowners thirty-five years into the future so that they can `live' the effects of sea level rise. The results contain a mix of optimism and caution for the prospects of future adaptation. On the positive side over 75% of participants indicated a willingness to support bond issues to pay for adaptation, even as the costs of the measures and effects of sea level rise increased over the years. Likewise, we find little evidence that politically conservative residents who normally have more skeptical views about climate change would be any less inclined to support adaptation, or only look to information sources that downplay the threat. On the negative side, homeowner interest in moving out of the region increases steadily over time as the sea level rises. This is driven by an increase in worry associated with viewing more information within the simulation.

  18. Impact of sea-level rise on Everglades carbon storage capacity in the Holocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, M.; Bernhardt, C. E.; Wingard, G. L. L.; Keller, K.; Stackhouse, B.; Landacre, B.

    2017-12-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) and climate have driven environmental changes in South Florida over time. Florida Bay, a shallow carbonate bay located to the south of the Florida Peninsula, contains carbonate islands and mudbanks that formed over the last few thousand years and once comprised the freshwater Everglades. The islands, often ringed with mangroves, provide wildlife habitat, physical barriers to storm surge, tidal flux, and wave development along South Florida's coastline. Because most of South Florida is only 1-2 m above mean sea level, and IPCC AR5 projections of 0.26 to 0.98 m of SLR by 2100, vertical accommodation space could outpace sediment accretion in the southern freshwater Everglades and Florida Bay islands, impacting carbon (C) storage, as well as wildlife habitat and the ability to protect shorelines from coastal storms. We analyzed sediment cores that reached the Plio-Pleistocene limestone bedrock from four islands in Florida Bay to determine how floral and faunal communities and source C change in response to Holocene sea level transgression. We used pollen and mollusk assemblages, δ13C, and C/N ratios, along with radiometric dating, bulk density, and organic C content to calculate changes in C accumulation rates (CAR) over the last 4 ka, as deposition transitioned from freshwater peat to estuarine carbonate mud, to mangrove peat and ultimately to the hyper-saline playa-like carbonate sediments deposited today. Results show that CAR are more than twice as high in the basal freshwater Everglades peat than in the overlying estuarine sediments and slightly greater than the short-lived period of Rhizophora (red mangrove) peat accumulation. Avicennia (black mangrove) and playa-like environments have similar CAR as the estuarine carbonate mud and hypersaline carbonate sediments but accretion rates are less than the current rate of SLR. These results suggest that with current rates of accretion and SLR, these islands could disappear in <200 years, and the C

  19. 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

  20. Responses to salinity in invasive cordgrass hybrids and their parental species (Spartina) in a scenario of sea level rise and climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/Methods: Salinity is one of the main abiotic factors in salt marshes. Studies rooted to analyzed salinity tolerance of halophytes may help to relate their physiological tolerances with distribution limits in the field. Climate change-induced sea level rise and higher temperatures...

  1. 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.

  2. Estuarine Response to River Flow and Sea-Level Rise under Future Climate Change and Human Development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Zhaoqing; Wang, Taiping; Voisin, Nathalie; Copping, Andrea E.

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the response of river flow and estuarine hydrodynamics to climate change, land-use/land-cover change (LULC), and sea-level rise is essential to managing water resources and stress on living organisms under these changing conditions. This paper presents a modeling study using a watershed hydrology model and an estuarine hydrodynamic model, in a one-way coupling, to investigate the estuarine hydrodynamic response to sea-level rise and change in river flow due to the effect of future climate and LULC changes in the Snohomish River estuary, Washington, USA. A set of hydrodynamic variables, including salinity intrusion points, average water depth, and salinity of the inundated area, were used to quantify the estuarine response to river flow and sea-level rise. Model results suggest that salinity intrusion points in the Snohomish River estuary and the average salinity of the inundated areas are a nonlinear function of river flow, although the average water depth in the inundated area is approximately linear with river flow. Future climate changes will shift salinity intrusion points further upstream under low flow conditions and further downstream under high flow conditions. In contrast, under the future LULC change scenario, the salinity intrusion point will shift downstream under both low and high flow conditions, compared to present conditions. The model results also suggest that the average water depth in the inundated areas increases linearly with sea-level rise but at a slower rate, and the average salinity in the inundated areas increases linearly with sea-level rise; however, the response of salinity intrusion points in the river to sea-level rise is strongly nonlinear.

  3. Actionable Science for Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding to Help Avoid Maladaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, M. K.

    2017-12-01

    Rising sea levels increase the frequency of flooding at all levels, from nuisance to extreme, along coastlines across the world. Although recent flooding has increased the saliency of sea level rise (SLR) and the risks it presents to governments and communities, the effect of SLR on coastal hazards is complex and filled with uncertainty that is often uncomfortable for decision-makers. Although it is certain that SLR is occurring and will continue, its rate remains ambiguous. Because extreme flooding is by definition rare, there is also uncertainty in the effect of natural variability on flood frequency. These uncertainties pose methodological obstacles for integrating SLR into flood hazard projections and risk management. A major challenge is how to distill this complexity into information geared towards public sectors to help inform adaptation decision-making. Because policy windows are limited, budgets are tight, and decisions may have long-term consequences, it is especially important that this information accounts for uncertainty to help avoid damage and maladaptation. The U.S. Global Research Program, and others, describe this type of science—data and tools that help decision-makers plan for climate change impacts—as actionable [1]. We produce actionable science to support decision-making for adaptation to coastal impacts, despite uncertainty in projections of SLR and flood frequency. We found that SLR will boost the occurrence of minor rather than severe flooding in some regions of the U.S., while in other regions the reverse is true. For many cities, the current ten-year flood level will become a regular occurrence as the century progresses and by 2100 will occur every few days for some cities. This creates a mismatch with current planning in some cases. For example, a costly storm surge barrier may be built to protect parts of New York City from extreme flood levels but these are not often used because they are expensive to operate and obstructive to

  4. Retrograde Accretion of a Caribbean Fringing Reef Controlled by Hurricanes and Sea-level Rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Blanchon

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Predicting the impact of sea-level (SL rise on coral reefs requires reliable models of reef accretion. Most assume that accretion results from vertical growth of coralgal framework, but recent studies show that reefs exposed to hurricanes consist of layers of coral gravel rather than in-place corals. New models are therefore needed to account for hurricane impact on reef accretion over geological timescales. To investigate this geological impact, we report the configuration and development of a 4-km-long fringing reef at Punta Maroma along the northeast Yucatan Peninsula. Satellite-derived bathymetry (SDB shows the crest is set-back a uniform distance of 315 ±15 m from a mid-shelf slope break, and the reef-front decreases 50% in width and depth along its length. A 12-core drill transect constrained by multiple 230Th ages shows the reef is composed of an ~2-m thick layer of coral clasts that has retrograded 100 m over its back-reef during the last 5.5 ka. These findings are consistent with a hurricane-control model of reef development where large waves trip and break over the mid-shelf slope break, triggering rapid energy dissipation and thus limiting how far upslope individual waves can fragment corals and transport clasts. As SL rises and water depth increases, energy dissipation during wave-breaking is reduced, extending the clast-transport limit, thus leading to reef retrogradation. This hurricane model may be applicable to a large sub-set of fringing reefs in the tropical Western-Atlantic necessitating a reappraisal of their accretion rates and response to future SL rise.

  5. Morphological response of the saltmarsh habitats of the Guadiana estuary due to flow regulation and sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampath, D. M. R.; Boski, T.

    2016-12-01

    In the context of rapid sea-level rise in the 21st century, the reduction of fluvial sediment supply due to the regulation of river discharge represents a major challenge for the management of estuarine ecosystems. Therefore, the present study aims to assess the cumulative impacts of the reduction of river discharge and projected sea-level rise on the morphological evolution of the Guadiana estuary during the 21st century. The assessment was based on a set of analytical solutions to simplified equations of tidal wave propagation in shallow waters and empirical knowledge of the system. As methods applied to estimate environmental flows do not take into consideration the fluvial discharge required to maintain saltmarsh habitats and the impact of sea-level rise, simulations were carried out for ten cases in terms of base river flow and sea-level rise so as to understand their sensitivity on the deepening of saltmarsh platforms. Results suggest saltmarsh habitats may not be affected severely in response to lower limit scenarios of sea-level rise and sedimentation. A similar behaviour can be expected even due to the upper limit scenarios until 2050, but with a significant submergence afterwards. In the case of the upper limit scenarios under scrutiny, there was a net erosion of sediment from the estuary. Multiplications of amplitudes of the base flow function by factors 1.5, 2, and 5 result in reduction of the estimated net eroded sediment volume by 25, 40, and 80%, respectively, with respect to the net eroded volume for observed river discharge. The results also indicate that defining the minimum environmental flow as a percentage of dry season flow (as done presently) should be updated to include the full spectrum of natural flows, incorporating temporal variability to better anticipate scenarios of sea-level rise during this century. As permanent submergence of intertidal habitats can be significant after 2050, due to the projected 79 cm rise of sea-level by the year

  6. Sedimentary Evidence for a Rapid Sea Level Rise at 7,600 cal yr BP from North-Central Cuba

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peros, M. C.; Agosta G'meiner, A. M.; Collins, S.

    2016-12-01

    A lack of high-resolution relative sea level (RSL) proxy data has meant that the pattern of early Holocene RSL change in the Caribbean is poorly understood. A RSL curve published by Toscano and Macintyre (2003) using inter-tidal mangrove peats and submerged corals suggests RSL underwent a relatively fast and `smooth' curvilinear increase during the Holocene. However, others, such as Blanchon and Shaw (1995), suggest that RSL increased rapidly at around 7600 cal yr BP, in response to the final stages of the melting of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (melt water pulse 1C or catastrophic rise event 3). We investigated this question using multi-proxy data from a flooded sinkhole (Cenote Jennifer) on the north coast of central Cuba. Cenote Jennifer is located 7 m above mean sea level and 2 km from the Bahamas Channel and appears to have a high degree of connectivity with the ocean through a network of underground caverns. The water depth is 13 m and the bottommost 5 m is anoxic. A sediment core collected from Cenote Jennifer was studied using loss-on-ignition, pollen analysis, high-resolution XRF core-scanning, and grain size analysis. An age-depth model was generated for the core by AMS dating. The results show that the bottommost stratigraphic unit ( 9000 to 7600 cal yr BP) is a fine-grained carbonate-rich mud (i.e., marl). This unit abruptly transitions into finely laminated organic-rich sediment from 7600 cal yr BP to the present. The pollen analysis shows that the sinkhole supported a cattail (Typha) community until 7600 cal yr BP, indicating low water levels ( 1 m). At 7600 cal yr BP, the cattail community disappeared and the vegetation of the surrounding bedrock became dominated by a thorny coastal scrubland. In addition, a 3 cm thick fining-upward siliciclastic unit is present immediately above the marl-organic contact, suggesting: 1) a marine sediment source given the limestone-dominated nature of the region, and 2) the presence of a short-duration, high

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Future Reef Growth Can Mitigate Physical Impacts of Sea-Level Rise on Atoll Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beetham, Edward; Kench, Paul S.; Popinet, Stéphane

    2017-10-01

    We present new detail on how future sea-level rise (SLR) will modify nonlinear wave transformation processes, shoreline wave energy, and wave driven flooding on atoll islands. Frequent and destructive wave inundation is a primary climate-change hazard that may render atoll islands uninhabitable in the near future. However, limited research has examined the physical vulnerability of atoll islands to future SLR and sparse information are available to implement process-based coastal management on coral reef environments. We utilize a field-verified numerical model capable of resolving all nonlinear wave transformation processes to simulate how future SLR will modify wave dissipation and overtopping on Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu, accounting for static and accretionary reef adjustment morphologies. Results show that future SLR coupled with a static reef morphology will not only increase shoreline wave energy and overtopping but will fundamentally alter the spectral composition of shoreline energy by decreasing the contemporary influence of low-frequency infragravity waves. "Business-as-usual" emissions (RCP 8.5) will result in annual wave overtopping on Funafuti Atoll by 2030, with overtopping at high tide under mean wave conditions occurring from 2090. Comparatively, vertical reef accretion in response to SLR will prevent any significant increase in shoreline wave energy and mitigate wave driven flooding volume by 72%. Our results provide the first quantitative assessment of how effective future reef accretion can be at mitigating SLR-associated flooding on atoll islands and endorse active reef conservation and restoration for future coastal protection.

  12. U.S. Pacific coastal wetland resilience and vulnerability to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Karen M.; MacDonald, Glen M.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Ambrose, Richard F.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Dugger, Bruce D.; Freeman, Chase; Janousek, Christopher; Brown, Lauren N.; Rosencranz, Jordan A.; Homquist, James; Smol, John P.; Hargan, Kathryn; Takekawa, John Y.

    2018-01-01

    We used a first-of-its-kind comprehensive scenario approach to evaluate both the vertical and horizontal response of tidal wetlands to projected changes in the rate of sea-level rise (SLR) across 14 estuaries along the Pacific coast of the continental United States. Throughout the U.S. Pacific region, we found that tidal wetlands are highly vulnerable to end-of-century submergence, with resulting extensive loss of habitat. Using higher-range SLR scenarios, all high and middle marsh habitats were lost, with 83% of current tidal wetlands transitioning to unvegetated habitats by 2110. The wetland area lost was greater in California and Oregon (100%) but still severe in Washington, with 68% submerged by the end of the century. The only wetland habitat remaining at the end of the century was low marsh under higher-range SLR rates. Tidal wetland loss was also likely under more conservative SLR scenarios, including loss of 95% of high marsh and 60% of middle marsh habitats by the end of the century. Horizontal migration of most wetlands was constrained by coastal development or steep topography, with just two wetland sites having sufficient upland space for migration and the possibility for nearly 1:1 replacement, making SLR threats particularly high in this region and generally undocumented. With low vertical accretion rates and little upland migration space, Pacific coast tidal wetlands are at imminent risk of submergence with projected rates of rapid SLR.

  13. Towards a unified estimate of arctic glaciers contribution to sea level rise since 1972.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehecq, A.; Gardner, A. S.; Alexandrov, O.; McMichael, S.

    2017-12-01

    Glaciers retreat contributed to about 1/3 of the observed sea level rise since 1971 (IPCC). However, long term estimates of glaciers volume changes rely on sparse field observations and region-wide satellite observations are available mostly after 2000. The recently declassified images from the reconnaissance satellite series Hexagon (KH9), that acquired 6 m resolution stereoscopic images from 1971 to 1986, open new possibilities for glaciers observation. But the film-printed images represent a processing challenge. Here we present an automatic workflow developed to generate Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) at 24 m resolution from the raw scanned KH9 images. It includes a preprocessing step to detect fiducial marks and to correct distortions of the film caused by the 40-year storage. An estimate of the unknown satellite position is obtained from a crude geolocation of the images. Each stereo image pair/triplet is then processed using the NASA Ames Stereo Pipeline to derive an unscaled DEM using standard photogrammetric techniques. This DEM is finally aligned to a reference topography, to account for errors in translation, rotation and scaling. In a second part, we present DEMs generated over glaciers in the Canadian Arctic and analyze glaciers volume changes from 1970 to the more recent WorldView ArcticDEM.

  14. Regional Interdependence in Adaptation to Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stacey, M. T.; Lubell, M.; Hummel, M.; Wang, R. Q.; Barnard, P.; Erikson, L. H.; Herdman, L.; Pozdnukhov, A.; Sheehan, M.

    2017-12-01

    Projections of sea level rise may differ in the pace of change, but there is clear consensus that coastal communities will be facing more frequent and severe flooding events in the coming century. As communities adapt to future conditions, infrastructure systems will be developed, modified and abandoned, with important consequences for services and resilience. Whether action or inaction is pursued, the decisions made by an individual community regarding a single infrastructure system have implications that extend spatially and temporally due to geographic and infrastructure system interactions. At the same time, there are a number of barriers to collective or coordinated action that inhibit regional solutions. This interplay between local actions and regional responses is one of the great challenges facing decision-makers grappling with both local and regional climate-change adaptation. In this talk, I present case studies of the San Francisco Bay Area that examine how shoreline infrastructure, transporation sytems and decision-making networks interact to define the regional response to local actions and the local response to regional actions. I will characterize the barriers that exist to regional solutions, and characterize three types of interdependence that may motivate decision-makers to overcome those barriers. Using these examples, I will discuss the importance of interdisciplinary analyses that integrate the natural sciences, engineering and the social science to climate change adaptation more generally.

  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. Clusters of community exposure to coastal flooding hazards based on storm and sea level rise scenarios—implications for adaptation networks in the San Francisco Bay region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummel, Michelle; Wood, Nathan J.; Schweikert, Amy; Stacey, Mark T.; Jones, Jeanne; Barnard, Patrick L.; Erikson, Li H.

    2018-01-01

    Sea level is projected to rise over the coming decades, further increasing the extent of flooding hazards in coastal communities. Efforts to address potential impacts from climate-driven coastal hazards have called for collaboration among communities to strengthen the application of best practices. However, communities currently lack practical tools for identifying potential partner communities based on similar hazard exposure characteristics. This study uses statistical cluster analysis to identify similarities in community exposure to flooding hazards for a suite of sea level rise and storm scenarios. We demonstrate this approach using 63 jurisdictions in the San Francisco Bay region of California (USA) and compare 21 distinct exposure variables related to residents, employees, and structures for six hazard scenario combinations of sea level rise and storms. Results indicate that cluster analysis can provide an effective mechanism for identifying community groupings. Cluster compositions changed based on the selected societal variables and sea level rise scenarios, suggesting that a community could participate in multiple networks to target specific issues or policy interventions. The proposed clustering approach can serve as a data-driven foundation to help communities identify other communities with similar adaptation challenges and to enhance regional efforts that aim to facilitate adaptation planning and investment prioritization.

  17. Detecting anthropogenic footprints in regional and global sea level rise since 1900

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dangendorf, S.; Marcos, M.; Piecuch, C. G.; Jensen, J.

    2015-12-01

    While there is scientific consensus that global and local mean sea level (GMSL and LMSL) is rising since the late 19th century, it remains unclear how much of this rise is due to natural variability or anthropogenic forcing. Distinguishing both contributions requires an extensive knowledge about the persistence of natural high and low stands in GMSL and LMSL. This is challenging, since observational time series represent the superposition of various processes with different spectral properties. Here we provide a probabilistic upper range of long-term persistent natural GMSL/LMSL variability (P=0.99), which in turn determines the minimum/maximum anthropogenic contribution since 1900. To account for different spectral characteristics of various contributing processes, we separate LMSL (corrected for vertical land motion) into a slowly varying volumetric (mass and density changes) and a more rapidly changing atmospheric component. Based on a combination of spectral analyses of tide gauge records, barotropic and baroclinic ocean models and numerical Monte-Carlo experiments, we find that in records where transient atmospheric processes dominate the spectra, the persistence of natural volumetric changes tends to be underestimated. If each component is assessed separately, natural centennial trends are locally up to ~1.0 mm/yr larger than in case of an integrated assessment, therefore erroneously enhancing the significance of anthropogenic footprints. The GMSL, however, remains unaffected by such biases. On the basis of a model assessment of the separate components, we conclude that it is virtually certain (P=0.99) that at least 45% of the observed increase in GMSL is of anthropogenic origin.

  18. Evolution of Two Urbanized Estuaries: Environmental Change, Legal Framework, and Implications for Sea-Level Rise Vulnerability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro J. Pinto

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The San Francisco Bay (CA, USA and the Tagus Estuary (Lisbon, Portugal share striking similarities in terms of morphology and urban development. A finer analysis of development patterns reveals crucial differences in the extent of shoreline alteration and types of land use that now encroach upon natural estuarine habitat. Through historical map analysis and prior stratigraphic and historical research, we reconstruct in GIS environment the evolution of both estuaries over the last millennia and the relative distribution of different classes of land cover. We also discuss the legal frameworks that accompanied this evolution, and how they have influenced the process of wetland reclamation and landfilling. We compared the legal history and synchronous patterns of development by compiling historical mapping information and resorting to GIS analysis to explore spatial patterns over time. This method was useful in isolating events and decisions that were unique to each of the case studies. The Tagus Estuary has experienced disruption of natural environments for over two millennia. Yet, the State has been able to keep estuarine lowlands under public control, even if vast areas have been transformed into farmland. Public control could allow wetland migration with rising seas and restoration efforts. The San Francisco Bay was affected by several decades of elevated sediment loads in the 19th century, which induced rapid wetland expansion, but virtual cutoff of sediment supply by dams in the 20th century now impairs their ability to accrete. Meanwhile, tidal wetlands were subject to extremely fast and poorly regulated development. Artificially filled and/or drained wetlands were transferred to local governments and private landowners, in violation of the Public Trust Doctrine. The transformation of wetlands into salt ponds, industrial zones and even residential neighborhoods created extensive developed areas at or below sea level, which are vulnerable to

  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. Assessing coastal wetland vulnerability to sea-level rise along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast: Gaps and opportunities for developing a coordinated regional sampling network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osland, Michael J; Griffith, Kereen T; Larriviere, Jack C; Feher, Laura C; Cahoon, Donald R; Enwright, Nicholas M; Oster, David A; Tirpak, John M; Woodrey, Mark S; Collini, Renee C; Baustian, Joseph J; Breithaupt, Joshua L; Cherry, Julia A; Conrad, Jeremy R; Cormier, Nicole; Coronado-Molina, Carlos A; Donoghue, Joseph F; Graham, Sean A; Harper, Jennifer W; Hester, Mark W; Howard, Rebecca J; Krauss, Ken W; Kroes, Daniel E; Lane, Robert R; McKee, Karen L; Mendelssohn, Irving A; Middleton, Beth A; Moon, Jena A; Piazza, Sarai C; Rankin, Nicole M; Sklar, Fred H; Steyer, Greg D; Swanson, Kathleen M; Swarzenski, Christopher M; Vervaeke, William C; Willis, Jonathan M; Wilson, K Van

    2017-01-01

    Coastal wetland responses to sea-level rise are greatly influenced by biogeomorphic processes that affect wetland surface elevation. Small changes in elevation relative to sea level can lead to comparatively large changes in ecosystem structure, function, and stability. The surface elevation table-marker horizon (SET-MH) approach is being used globally to quantify the relative contributions of processes affecting wetland elevation change. Historically, SET-MH measurements have been obtained at local scales to address site-specific research questions. However, in the face of accelerated sea-level rise, there is an increasing need for elevation change network data that can be incorporated into regional ecological models and vulnerability assessments. In particular, there is a need for long-term, high-temporal resolution data that are strategically distributed across ecologically-relevant abiotic gradients. Here, we quantify the distribution of SET-MH stations along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast (USA) across political boundaries (states), wetland habitats, and ecologically-relevant abiotic gradients (i.e., gradients in temperature, precipitation, elevation, and relative sea-level rise). Our analyses identify areas with high SET-MH station densities as well as areas with notable gaps. Salt marshes, intermediate elevations, and colder areas with high rainfall have a high number of stations, while salt flat ecosystems, certain elevation zones, the mangrove-marsh ecotone, and hypersaline coastal areas with low rainfall have fewer stations. Due to rapid rates of wetland loss and relative sea-level rise, the state of Louisiana has the most extensive SET-MH station network in the region, and we provide several recent examples where data from Louisiana's network have been used to assess and compare wetland vulnerability to sea-level rise. Our findings represent the first attempt to examine spatial gaps in SET-MH coverage across abiotic gradients. Our analyses can be used

  2. Assessing coastal wetland vulnerability to sea-level rise along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast: Gaps and opportunities for developing a coordinated regional sampling network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Osland

    Full Text Available Coastal wetland responses to sea-level rise are greatly influenced by biogeomorphic processes that affect wetland surface elevation. Small changes in elevation relative to sea level can lead to comparatively large changes in ecosystem structure, function, and stability. The surface elevation table-marker horizon (SET-MH approach is being used globally to quantify the relative contributions of processes affecting wetland elevation change. Historically, SET-MH measurements have been obtained at local scales to address site-specific research questions. However, in the face of accelerated sea-level rise, there is an increasing need for elevation change network data that can be incorporated into regional ecological models and vulnerability assessments. In particular, there is a need for long-term, high-temporal resolution data that are strategically distributed across ecologically-relevant abiotic gradients. Here, we quantify the distribution of SET-MH stations along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast (USA across political boundaries (states, wetland habitats, and ecologically-relevant abiotic gradients (i.e., gradients in temperature, precipitation, elevation, and relative sea-level rise. Our analyses identify areas with high SET-MH station densities as well as areas with notable gaps. Salt marshes, intermediate elevations, and colder areas with high rainfall have a high number of stations, while salt flat ecosystems, certain elevation zones, the mangrove-marsh ecotone, and hypersaline coastal areas with low rainfall have fewer stations. Due to rapid rates of wetland loss and relative sea-level rise, the state of Louisiana has the most extensive SET-MH station network in the region, and we provide several recent examples where data from Louisiana's network have been used to assess and compare wetland vulnerability to sea-level rise. Our findings represent the first attempt to examine spatial gaps in SET-MH coverage across abiotic gradients. Our

  3. Economy-wide estimates of the implications of climate change: A joint analysis for sea level rise and tourism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bigano, A. [Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Venice (Italy)]|[Ricerche per l' Economia e la Finanza, Milan (Italy); Bosello, F.; Roson, R. [Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Venice (Italy)]|[Ca' Foscari Univ. of Venice (Italy); Tol, R.S.J. [Hamburg Univ. and Centre for Marine and Atmospheric Science, Hamburg (Germay). Research Unit Sustainability and Global Change]|[Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (Netherlands). Inst. for Environmental Studies]|[Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA (United States)

    2007-07-01

    Climate change impacts of human life have well defined and different origins. Nevertheless in the determination of their final effects, especially those involving social-economic responses, interactions among impacts are likely to play an important role. This paper is one of the first attempts to disentangle and highlight the role of these interactions. It focuses on the economic assessment of two specific climate change impacts: sea-level rise and changes in tourism flows. By using a CGE model the two impacts categories are first analyzed separately and then jointly. Comparing the results it is shown that, even though qualitatively joint effects follow the outcomes of the disjoint exercises, quantitatively impact interaction do play a significant role. Moreover it has also been possible to disentangle the relative contribution of each single impact category to the final result. In the case under scrutiny demand shocks induced by changes in tourism flows outweigh the supply side shock induced by the loss of coastal land.

  4. 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).

  5. Are sea-level-rise trends along the coasts of the north Indian Ocean consistent with global estimates?

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Unnikrishnan, A.S.; Shankar, D.

    yielded sea-level-rise estimates between 1.06–1.75 mm/ yrear-1 , with a regional average of 1.29 mm yr-1, when corrected for global isostatic adjustment (GIA) using model data, with a regional average of 1.29 mm-1.. These estimates are consistent...

  6. Sensitivity of tidal motion in well-mixed estuaries to cross-sectional shape, deepening, and sea level rise

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ensing, Erik; de Swart, Huib E.; Schuttelaars, Henk M.

    For well-mixed estuaries, key physical mechanisms are identified and quantified that cause changes in characteristics of the semi-diurnal sea surface elevation and lateral velocity due to modifications of the lateral bottom profile, channel deepening, and sea level rise. This is done by decomposing

  7. Non-linear interactions determine the impact of sea-level rise on estuarine benthic biodiversity and ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanaka, Tsuyuko; Raffaelli, David; White, Piran C L

    2013-01-01

    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.

  8. Computing Risk to West Coast Intertidal Rocky Habitat due to Sea Level Rise using LiDAR Topobathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Compared to marshes, little information is available on the potential for rocky intertidal habitats to migrate upward in response to sea level rise (SLR). To address this gap, we utilized topobathy LiDAR digital elevation models (DEMs) downloaded from NOAA’s Digital Coast G...

  9. 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

  10. Salt marsh as a coastal filter for the oceans: changes in function with experimental increases in nitrogen loading and sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Joanna L; Zavaleta, Erika S

    2012-01-01

    Coastal salt marshes are among Earth's most productive ecosystems and provide a number of ecosystem services, including interception of watershed-derived nitrogen (N) before it reaches nearshore oceans. Nitrogen pollution and climate change are two dominant drivers of global-change impacts on ecosystems, yet their interacting effects at the land-sea interface are poorly understood. We addressed how sea-level rise and anthropogenic N additions affect the salt marsh ecosystem process of nitrogen uptake using a field-based, manipulative experiment. We crossed simulated sea-level change and ammonium-nitrate (NH(4)NO(3))-addition treatments in a fully factorial design to examine their potentially interacting effects on emergent marsh plants in a central California estuary. We measured above- and belowground biomass and tissue nutrient concentrations seasonally and found that N-addition had a significant, positive effect on a) aboveground biomass, b) plant tissue N concentrations, c) N stock sequestered in plants, and d) shoot:root ratios in summer. Relative sea-level rise did not significantly affect biomass, with the exception of the most extreme sea-level-rise simulation, in which all plants died by the summer of the second year. Although there was a strong response to N-addition treatments, salt marsh responses varied by season. Our results suggest that in our site at Coyote Marsh, Elkhorn Slough, coastal salt marsh plants serve as a robust N trap and coastal filter; this function is not saturated by high background annual N inputs from upstream agriculture. However, if the marsh is drowned by rising seas, as in our most extreme sea-level rise treatment, marsh plants will no longer provide the ecosystem service of buffering the coastal ocean from eutrophication.

  11. Salt marsh as a coastal filter for the oceans: changes in function with experimental increases in nitrogen loading and sea-level rise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna L Nelson

    Full Text Available Coastal salt marshes are among Earth's most productive ecosystems and provide a number of ecosystem services, including interception of watershed-derived nitrogen (N before it reaches nearshore oceans. Nitrogen pollution and climate change are two dominant drivers of global-change impacts on ecosystems, yet their interacting effects at the land-sea interface are poorly understood. We addressed how sea-level rise and anthropogenic N additions affect the salt marsh ecosystem process of nitrogen uptake using a field-based, manipulative experiment. We crossed simulated sea-level change and ammonium-nitrate (NH(4NO(3-addition treatments in a fully factorial design to examine their potentially interacting effects on emergent marsh plants in a central California estuary. We measured above- and belowground biomass and tissue nutrient concentrations seasonally and found that N-addition had a significant, positive effect on a aboveground biomass, b plant tissue N concentrations, c N stock sequestered in plants, and d shoot:root ratios in summer. Relative sea-level rise did not significantly affect biomass, with the exception of the most extreme sea-level-rise simulation, in which all plants died by the summer of the second year. Although there was a strong response to N-addition treatments, salt marsh responses varied by season. Our results suggest that in our site at Coyote Marsh, Elkhorn Slough, coastal salt marsh plants serve as a robust N trap and coastal filter; this function is not saturated by high background annual N inputs from upstream agriculture. However, if the marsh is drowned by rising seas, as in our most extreme sea-level rise treatment, marsh plants will no longer provide the ecosystem service of buffering the coastal ocean from eutrophication.

  12. Mapping Sea Level Rise Behavior in an Estuarine Delta System: A Case Study along the Shanghai Coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.Q. Cheng

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Sea level rise (SLR is a major projected threat of climate change that is expected to affect developing coastal cities located in estuarine delta regions. Shanghai is one such city, being located in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD. It is difficult, however, for decision-makers to implement adaptation due to the uncertain causes, magnitudes, and timings of SLR behaviors. This paper attempts to map the causes and magnitudes of SLR behaviors on a decadal scale. We analyze the tidal level records from 11 tidal gauge stations and the corresponding bathymetry measurements around these stations since 1921. We identify three new SLR behaviors along the Shanghai coast due to anthropogenic geomorphologic changes (AGCs, besides the well-known eustatic sea level rise (ESLR, tectonic subsidence (TS, and urban land subsidence (ULS. The first new behavior is regional sea level rise (RSLR, which occurs as a result of land reclamation and deep waterway regulation. The second is regional sea level fall (RSLF, which occurs because the channel bed is eroded due to sediment supply decline in the river catchment. The last SLR behavior is local tidal datum rise (LTDR. Thus, we project that the magnitude of SLR for the Shanghai coast ranges from 10 cm to 16 cm from 2011 to 2030. Clarifying SLR behaviors is important to aid local decision-makers in planning structural and non-structural measures to combat escalating flood damage costs in an estuarine delta system; this field is full of future challenges. Keywords: Sea level rise behavior, Anthropogenic geomorphologic change, Local tidal datum, Flood management, Adaptation

  13. Groundwater reorganization in the Floridan aquifer following Holocene sea-level rise

    OpenAIRE

    Morrissey, SK; Clark, JF; Bennett, M; Richardson, E; Stute, M

    2010-01-01

    Sea-level fluctuations, particularly those associated with glacial-interglacial cycles, can have profound impacts on the flow and circulation of coastal groundwater: the water found at present in many coastal aquifers may have been recharged during the last glacial period, when sea level was over 100 m lower than present, and thus is not in equilibrium with present recharge conditions. Here we show that the geochemistry of the groundwater found in the Floridan Aquifer System in south Florida ...

  14. Salinity tolerances and use of saline environments by freshwater turtles: implications of sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Ennen, Joshua R; Bower, Deborah S; Nowakowski, A Justin; Sweat, Sarah C; Todd, Brian D

    2018-03-25

    The projected rise in global mean sea levels places many freshwater turtle species at risk of saltwater intrusion into freshwater habitats. Freshwater turtles are disproportionately more threatened than other taxa; thus, understanding the role of salinity in determining their contemporary distribution and evolution should be a research priority. Freshwater turtles are a slowly evolving lineage; however, they can adapt physiologically or behaviourally to various levels of salinity and, therefore, temporarily occur in marine or brackish environments. Here, we provide the first comprehensive global review on freshwater turtle use and tolerance of brackish water ecosystems. We link together current knowledge of geographic occurrence, salinity tolerance, phylogenetic relationships, and physiological and behavioural mechanisms to generate a baseline understanding of the response of freshwater turtles to changing saline environments. We also review the potential origins of salinity tolerance in freshwater turtles. Finally, we integrate 2100 sea level rise (SLR) projections, species distribution maps, literature gathered on brackish water use, and a phylogeny to predict the exposure of freshwater turtles to projected SLR globally. From our synthesis of published literature and available data, we build a framework for spatial and phylogenetic conservation prioritization of coastal freshwater turtles. Based on our literature review, 70 species (∼30% of coastal freshwater turtle species) from 10 of the 11 freshwater turtle families have been reported in brackish water ecosystems. Most anecdotal records, observations, and descriptions do not imply long-term salinity tolerance among freshwater turtles. Rather, experiments show that some species exhibit potential for adaptation and plasticity in physiological, behavioural, and life-history traits that enable them to endure varying periods (e.g. days or months) and levels of saltwater exposure. Species that specialize on

  15. 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

  16. Mapping Relative Sea Level Influences of the Cape Fear Arch in southern North Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkes, A.; Kemp, A.; Capar, P.

    2017-12-01

    Long-term relative sea-level (RSL) records are a necessary benchmark by which to gauge present accelerated rates of sea-level rise, future sea-level predictions, and their implications to the coastal zone. The east coast of the United States functions as a significant region of latitudinal RSL variability due to the continuous recovery of land from the deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet since the Last Glacial Maximum. Differential glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) along the coastline has caused higher rates of subsidence in areas around the former forbulge maxima near New Jersey and Delaware and lower rates to the north and south of this maxima. However, the coast between southern North Carolina and northern South Carolina is experiencing a slower rate of RSL rise then is seen in reconstructed GIA latitudinal trends along the U.S. east coast. It was thought that this could have been attributed to non-isostatic, long-term tectonic processes causing less GIA subsidence of the lithosphere within the region impacted by uplift from the Cape Fear Arch (CFA), an underlying crystalline basement high. A recent study suggests that RSL rise is slower around the CFA than areas to the north and south due to suggested CFA uplift rates of 0.24+0.15mm a-1. An absence of RSL records for 200km north of the CFA make mapping of its influence difficult. Additional RSL records to the north of the CFA allow for a better understanding of the asymmetrical distribution in the rate of RSL rise in this region. Because the distribution in the rate of RSLR between records is not linear it is important for these low-lying coastal communities to better understand their risk to future RSLR.

  17. 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. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  18. A multi-attribute approach to choosing adaptation strategies: Application to sea-level rise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, A.E.; Chu, H.Q.

    1994-01-01

    Selecting good adaptation strategies in anticipation of climate change is gaining increasing attention as it becomes increasingly clear that much of the likely change is already committed, and could not be avoided even with aggressive and immediate emissions reductions. Adaptation decision making will place special requirements on regional and local planners in the US and other countries, especially developing countries. Approaches, tools, and guidance will be useful to assist in an effective response to the challenge. This paper describes the value of using a multi-attribute approach for evaluating adaptation strategies and its implementation as a decision-support software tool to help planners understand and execute this approach. The multi-attribute approach described here explicitly addresses the fact that many aspects of the decision cannot be easily quantified, that future conditions are highly uncertain, and that there are issues of equity, flexibility, and coordination that may be as important to the decision as costs and benefits. The approach suggested also avoids trying to collapse information on all of the attributes to a single metric. Such metrics can obliterate insights about the nature of the trade-offs that must be made in choosing among very dissimilar types of responses to the anticipated threat of climate change. Implementation of such an approach requires management of much information, and an ability to easily manipulate its presentation while seeking acceptable trade-offs. The Adaptation Strategy Evaluator (ASE) was developed under funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency to provide user-friendly, PC-based guidance through the major steps of a multi-attribute evaluation. The initial application of ASE, and the focus of this paper, is adaptation to sea level rise. However, the approach can be easily adapted to any multi-attribute choice problem, including the range of other adaptation planning needs

  19. Assessing the role of internal climate variability in Antarctica's contribution to future sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, C. Y.; Forest, C. E.; Pollard, D.

    2017-12-01

    The Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) has the potential to be a major contributor to future sea-level rise (SLR). Current projections of SLR due to AIS mass loss remain highly uncertain. Better understanding of how ice sheets respond to future climate forcing and variability is essential for assessing the long-term risk of SLR. However, the predictability of future climate is limited by uncertainties from emission scenarios, model structural differences, and the internal variability that is inherently generated within the fully coupled climate system. Among those uncertainties, the impact of internal variability on the AIS changes has not been explicitly assessed. In this study, we quantify the effect of internal variability on the AIS evolutions by using climate fields from two large-ensemble experiments using the Community Earth System Model to force a three-dimensional ice sheet model. We find that internal variability of climate fields, particularly atmospheric fields, among ensemble members leads to significantly different AIS responses. Our results show that the internal variability can cause about 80 mm differences of AIS contribution to SLR by 2100 compared to the ensemble-mean contribution of 380-450 mm. Moreover, using ensemble-mean climate fields as the forcing in the ice sheet model does not produce realistic simulations of the ice loss. Instead, it significantly delays the onset of retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet for up to 20 years and significantly underestimates the AIS contribution to SLR by 0.07-0.11 m in 2100 and up to 0.34 m in the 2250's. Therefore, because the uncertainty caused by internal variability is irreducible, we seek to highlight a critical need to assess the role of internal variability in projecting the AIS loss over the next few centuries. By quantifying the impact of internal variability on AIS contribution to SLR, policy makers can obtain more robust estimates of SLR and implement suitable adaptation strategies.

  20. How to preserve coastal wetlands, threatened by climate change-driven rises in sea level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivajnšič, Danijel; Kaligarič, Mitja

    2014-10-01

    A habitat transition model, based on the correlation between individual habitats and micro-elevation intervals, showed substantial changes in the future spatial distributions of coastal habitats. The research was performed within two protected areas in Slovenia: Sečovlje Salina Nature Park and Škocjan Inlet Nature Reserve. Shifts between habitats will occur, but a general decline of 42 % for all Natura 2000 habitats is projected by 2060, according to local or global (IPCC AR4) sea level rise predictions. Three different countermeasures for the long-term conservation of targeted habitat types were proposed. The most "natural" is displacement of coastal habitats using buffer zones (1) were available. Another solution is construction of artificial islets, made of locally dredged material (2); a feasible solution in both protected areas. Twenty-two islets and a dried salt pan zone at the desired elevations suitable for those habitats that have been projected to decease in area would offer an additional 10 ha in the Sečovlje Salina. Twenty-one islets and two peninsulas at two different micro-altitudes would ensure the survival of 13 ha of three different habitats. In the area of Sečovlje Salina, abandoned salt pans could be terrestrialized by using permanent, artificial sea barriers, in a manner close to poldering (3). By using this countermeasure, another 32 ha of targeted habitat could be preserved. It can be concluded that, for each coastal area, where wetland habitats will shrink, strategic plans involving any of the three solutions should be prepared well in advance. The specific examples provided might facilitate adaptive management of coastal wetlands in general.

  1. The impact of future sea-level rise on the global tides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickering, M. D.; Horsburgh, K. J.; Blundell, J. R.; Hirschi, J. J.-M.; Nicholls, R. J.; Verlaan, M.; Wells, N. C.

    2017-06-01

    Tides are a key component in coastal extreme water levels. Possible changes in the tides caused by mean sea-level rise (SLR) are therefore of importance in the analysis of coastal flooding, as well as many other applications. We investigate the effect of future SLR on the tides globally using a fully global forward tidal model: OTISmpi. Statistical comparisons of the modelled and observed tidal solutions demonstrate the skill of the refined model setup with no reliance on data assimilation. We simulate the response of the four primary tidal constituents to various SLR scenarios. Particular attention is paid to future changes at the largest 136 coastal cities, where changes in water level would have the greatest impact. Spatially uniform SLR scenarios ranging from 0.5 to 10 m with fixed coastlines show that the tidal amplitudes in shelf seas globally respond strongly to SLR with spatially coherent areas of increase and decrease. Changes in the M2 and S2 constituents occur globally in most shelf seas, whereas changes in K1 and O1 are confined to Asian shelves. With higher SLR tidal changes are often not proportional to the SLR imposed and larger portions of mean high water (MHW) changes are above proportional. Changes in MHW exceed ±10% of the SLR at 10% of coastal cities. SLR scenarios allowing for coastal recession tend increasingly to result in a reduction in tidal range. The fact that the fixed and recession shoreline scenarios result mainly in changes of opposing sign is explained by the effect of the perturbations on the natural period of oscillation of the basin. Our results suggest that coastal management strategies could influence the sign of the tidal amplitude change. The effect of a spatially varying SLR, in this case fingerprints of the initial elastic response to ice mass loss, modestly alters the tidal response with the largest differences at high latitudes.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Structured decision making as a proactive approach to dealing with sea level rise in Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Julien; Fackler, Paul L.; Nichols, James D.; Lubow, Bruce C.; Eaton, Mitchell J.; Runge, Michael C.; Stith, Bradley M.; Langtimm, Catherine A.

    2011-01-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) projections along the coast of Florida present an enormous challenge for management and conservation over the long term. Decision makers need to recognize and adopt strategies to adapt to the potentially detrimental effects of SLR. Structured decision making (SDM) provides a rigorous framework for the management of natural resources. The aim of SDM is to identify decisions that are optimal with respect to management objectives and knowledge of the system. Most applications of SDM have assumed that the managed systems are governed by stationary processes. However, in the context of SLR it may be necessary to acknowledge that the processes underlying managed systems may be non-stationary, such that systems will be continuously changing. Therefore, SLR brings some unique considerations to the application of decision theory for natural resource management. In particular, SLR is expected to affect each of the components of SDM. For instance, management objectives may have to be reconsidered more frequently than under more stable conditions. The set of potential actions may also have to be adapted over time as conditions change. Models have to account for the non-stationarity of the modeled system processes. Each of the important sources of uncertainty in decision processes is expected to be exacerbated by SLR. We illustrate our ideas about adaptation of natural resource management to SLR by modeling a non-stationary system using a numerical example. We provide additional examples of an SDM approach for managing species that may be affected by SLR, with a focus on the endangered Florida manatee.

  5. 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

  6. Global cost analysis on adaptation to sea level rise based on RCP/SSP scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumano, N.; Tamura, M.; Yotsukuri, M.; Kuwahara, Y.; Yokoki, H.

    2017-12-01

    Low-lying areas are the most vulnerable to sea level rise (SLR) due to climate change in the future. In order to adapt to SLR, it is necessary to decide whether to retreat from vulnerable areas or to install dykes to protect them from inundation. Therefore, cost- analysis of adaptation using coastal dykes is one of the most essential issues in the context of climate change and its countermeasures. However, few studies have globally evaluated the future costs of adaptation in coastal areas. This study tries to globally analyze the cost of adaptation in coastal areas. First, global distributions of projected inundation impacts induced by SLR including astronomical high tide were assessed. Economic damage was estimated on the basis of the econometric relationship between past hydrological disasters, affected population, and per capita GDP using CRED's EM-DAT database. Second, the cost of adaptation was also determined using the cost database and future scenarios. The authors have built a cost database for installed coastal dykes worldwide and applied it to estimating the future cost of adaptation. The unit costs of dyke construction will increase with socio-economic scenario (SSP) such as per capita GDP. Length of vulnerable coastline is calculated by identifying inundation areas using ETOPO1. Future cost was obtained by multiplying the length of vulnerable coastline and the unit cost of dyke construction. Third, the effectiveness of dyke construction was estimated by comparing cases with and without adaptation.As a result, it was found that incremental adaptation cost is lower than economic damage in the cases of SSP1 and SSP3 under RCP scenario, while the cost of adaptation depends on the durability of the coastal dykes.

  7. Future Coastal Population Growth and Exposure to Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Flooding - A Global Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Barbara; Vafeidis, Athanasios T.; Zimmermann, Juliane; Nicholls, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Coastal zones are exposed to a range of coastal hazards including sea-level rise with its related effects. At the same time, they are more densely populated than the hinterland and exhibit higher rates of population growth and urbanisation. As this trend is expected to continue into the future, we investigate how coastal populations will be affected by such impacts at global and regional scales by the years 2030 and 2060. Starting from baseline population estimates for the year 2000, we assess future population change in the low-elevation coastal zone and trends in exposure to 100-year coastal floods based on four different sea-level and socio-economic scenarios. Our method accounts for differential growth of coastal areas against the land-locked hinterland and for trends of urbanisation and expansive urban growth, as currently observed, but does not explicitly consider possible displacement or out-migration due to factors such as sea-level rise. We combine spatially explicit estimates of the baseline population with demographic data in order to derive scenario-driven projections of coastal population development. Our scenarios show that the number of people living in the low-elevation coastal zone, as well as the number of people exposed to flooding from 1-in-100 year storm surge events, is highest in Asia. China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Viet Nam are estimated to have the highest total coastal population exposure in the baseline year and this ranking is expected to remain largely unchanged in the future. However, Africa is expected to experience the highest rates of population growth and urbanisation in the coastal zone, particularly in Egypt and sub-Saharan countries in Western and Eastern Africa. The results highlight countries and regions with a high degree of exposure to coastal flooding and help identifying regions where policies and adaptive planning for building resilient coastal communities are not only desirable but essential. Furthermore, we

  8. Future coastal population growth and exposure to sea-level rise and coastal flooding--a global assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Barbara; Vafeidis, Athanasios T; Zimmermann, Juliane; Nicholls, Robert J

    2015-01-01

    Coastal zones are exposed to a range of coastal hazards including sea-level rise with its related effects. At the same time, they are more densely populated than the hinterland and exhibit higher rates of population growth and urbanisation. As this trend is expected to continue into the future, we investigate how coastal populations will be affected by such impacts at global and regional scales by the years 2030 and 2060. Starting from baseline population estimates for the year 2000, we assess future population change in the low-elevation coastal zone and trends in exposure to 100-year coastal floods based on four different sea-level and socio-economic scenarios. Our method accounts for differential growth of coastal areas against the land-locked hinterland and for trends of urbanisation and expansive urban growth, as currently observed, but does not explicitly consider possible displacement or out-migration due to factors such as sea-level rise. We combine spatially explicit estimates of the baseline population with demographic data in order to derive scenario-driven projections of coastal population development. Our scenarios show that the number of people living in the low-elevation coastal zone, as well as the number of people exposed to flooding from 1-in-100 year storm surge events, is highest in Asia. China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Viet Nam are estimated to have the highest total coastal population exposure in the baseline year and this ranking is expected to remain largely unchanged in the future. However, Africa is expected to experience the highest rates of population growth and urbanisation in the coastal zone, particularly in Egypt and sub-Saharan countries in Western and Eastern Africa. The results highlight countries and regions with a high degree of exposure to coastal flooding and help identifying regions where policies and adaptive planning for building resilient coastal communities are not only desirable but essential. Furthermore, we

  9. Future coastal population growth and exposure to sea-level rise and coastal flooding--a global assessment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Neumann

    Full Text Available Coastal zones are exposed to a range of coastal hazards including sea-level rise with its related effects. At the same time, they are more densely populated than the hinterland and exhibit higher rates of population growth and urbanisation. As this trend is expected to continue into the future, we investigate how coastal populations will be affected by such impacts at global and regional scales by the years 2030 and 2060. Starting from baseline population estimates for the year 2000, we assess future population change in the low-elevation coastal zone and trends in exposure to 100-year coastal floods based on four different sea-level and socio-economic scenarios. Our method accounts for differential growth of coastal areas against the land-locked hinterland and for trends of urbanisation and expansive urban growth, as currently observed, but does not explicitly consider possible displacement or out-migration due to factors such as sea-level rise. We combine spatially explicit estimates of the baseline population with demographic data in order to derive scenario-driven projections of coastal population development. Our scenarios show that the number of people living in the low-elevation coastal zone, as well as the number of people exposed to flooding from 1-in-100 year storm surge events, is highest in Asia. China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Viet Nam are estimated to have the highest total coastal population exposure in the baseline year and this ranking is expected to remain largely unchanged in the future. However, Africa is expected to experience the highest rates of population growth and urbanisation in the coastal zone, particularly in Egypt and sub-Saharan countries in Western and Eastern Africa. The results highlight countries and regions with a high degree of exposure to coastal flooding and help identifying regions where policies and adaptive planning for building resilient coastal communities are not only desirable but essential

  10. Validation and Comparison of a Model of the Effect of Sea-Level Rise on Coastal Wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogensen, Laura A; Rogers, Kerrylee

    2018-01-22

    Models are used to project coastal wetland distribution under future sea-level rise scenarios to assist decision-making. Model validation and comparison was used to investigate error and uncertainty in the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model, a readily available model with minimal validation, particularly for wetlands beyond North America. Accurate parameterisation is required to improve the performance of the model, and indeed any spatial model. Consideration of tidal attenuation further enhances model performance, particularly for coastal wetlands located within estuaries along wave-dominated coastlines. The model does not simulate vegetation changes that are known to occur, particularly when sedimentation exceeds rates of sea-level rise resulting in shoreline progradation. Model performance was reasonable over decadal timescales, decreasing as the time-scale of retrospection increased due to compounding of errors. Comparison with other deterministic models showed reasonable agreement by 2100. However, given the uncertainty of the future and the unpredictable nature of coastal wetlands, it is difficult to ascertain which model could be realistic enough to meet its intended purpose. Model validation and comparison are useful for assessing model efficacy and parameterisation, and should be applied before application of any spatially explicit model of coastal wetland response to sea-level rise.

  11. Using Direct Policy Search to Identify Robust Strategies in Adapting to Uncertain Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garner, G. G.; Keller, K.

    2017-12-01

    Sea-level rise poses considerable risks to coastal communities, ecosystems, and infrastructure. Decision makers are faced with deeply uncertain sea-level projections when designing a strategy for coastal adaptation. The traditional methods have provided tremendous insight into this decision problem, but are often silent on tradeoffs as well as the effects of tail-area events and of potential future learning. Here we reformulate a simple sea-level rise adaptation model to address these concerns. We show that Direct Policy Search yields improved solution quality, with respect to Pareto-dominance in the objectives, over the traditional approach under uncertain sea-level rise projections and storm surge. Additionally, the new formulation produces high quality solutions with less computational demands than the traditional approach. Our results illustrate the utility of multi-objective adaptive formulations for the example of coastal adaptation, the value of information provided by observations, and point to wider-ranging application in climate change adaptation decision problems.

  12. 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

  13. Quantifying Changes in Los Angeles River Breakout Triggered by Sea Level Rise Using a Hydrodynamic Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallakpour, I.; Shakeri Majd, M.; AghaKouchak, A.; Moftakhari, H.; Sadegh, M.; Vahedifard, F.

    2017-12-01

    Sea Level Rise (SLR) has been identified as a global phenomenon that will challenge coastal communities and infrastructures through escalating risk of erosion and subsidence, as well as elevating storm surge heights. Overall, SLR not only increases frequency of future coastal flooding in low-land coastal areas, but also changes flow dynamics in rivers connected to oceans. Changes in flow dynamics (e.g., peaks, flow intensities) can elevate water surface profile locally, leading to river breakout and flooding. Quantifying river breakout provides invaluable information to local authorities when it comes to SLR mitigation and adaptation efforts. Los Angeles River (LAR) which is located in southern part of California is protected with levee systems. The focus of this study is about 18 miles of the river, starting from Pacific Ocean to Downtown Los Angeles, which protects residence and major infrastructures. We use the Hydrologic Engineering Center's River Analysis System (HEC-RAS) to simulate flow and its interactions with coastal water levels. HEC-RAS is capable of simulating flow in one- and two-dimensional systems, resolving Diffusive Wave Equation and Shallow Water Equation, respectively. In this study, the hydraulic model consists of one- and two-dimensional models connected through the LAR's levee system. This approach enables us to identify the onset of river breakout location alongside the LAR. The inflow data incorporated into the model obtained from a gage records and represents a significant event occurred in February 2005. This model utilizes a detail terrain model with 0.3 m LiDAR data. In order to explore effects of SLR associated with future climate changes on LAR and its levee system, two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP of 4.5 and 8.5) are considered. Based on our RCPs, 24 projected SLRs are computed for future years (2030, 2050, and 2100) for three different quantiles. Our simulation results show SLR, which varies from 0.05 to 2.8 m, causes

  14. SEA LEVEL RISE AND ITS POTENTIAL IMPACTS ON COASTAL URBAN AREA: A CASE OF ETI-OSA, NIGERIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayodele Michael AGBOOLA

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the spatial extent of coastal urban development and its potential sensitivity to sea-level rise. The main aim of the study is to critically examine the extent of growth in Eti-Osa over time, and the potential impacts of sea leve rise. Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+ imageries of years 2000 and 2015 were used to evaluate the different land use type identified. Post-classification change detection method was used to evaluate the output of the maximum likelihood supervised classification analysis done. This was also used to estimate the changes induces through urban development on the environment which accounts for the biodiversity loss. ASTER GDEM 2 imagery of 2011 was used to generate the elevation data used for the inundation analysis. Thus, both Land use map of Eti-Osa in 2015 and the down scaled Sea-level rise scenarios (at 0.5 to 15 meters were used for the inundation mapping. Results obtained from this research affirms that indeed EtiOsa has been subjected to gross urban expansion giving room for diverse forms of environmental degradation among which are huge replacement of natural land cover with built-up, reclamation of wetlands and sand filling of water bodies. This basically illustrates growth but also the risk that accompanies the advent of excessive alteration of natural ecosystem as Sea-level rise projections imply in this research.

  15. Modeled Sea Level Rise Impacts on Coastal Ecosystems at Six Major Estuaries on Florida's Gulf Coast: Implications for Adaptation Planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geselbracht, Laura L; Freeman, Kathleen; Birch, Anne P; Brenner, Jorge; Gordon, Doria R

    2015-01-01

    The Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) was applied at six major estuaries along Florida's Gulf Coast (Pensacola Bay, St. Andrews/Choctawhatchee Bays, Apalachicola Bay, Southern Big Bend, Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor) to provide quantitative and spatial information on how coastal ecosystems may change with sea level rise (SLR) and to identify how this information can be used to inform adaption planning. High resolution LiDAR-derived elevation data was utilized under three SLR scenarios: 0.7 m, 1 m and 2 m through the year 2100 and uncertainty analyses were conducted on selected input parameters at three sites. Results indicate that the extent, spatial orientation and relative composition of coastal ecosystems at the study areas may substantially change with SLR. Under the 1 m SLR scenario, total predicted impacts for all study areas indicate that coastal forest (-69,308 ha; -18%), undeveloped dry land (-28,444 ha; -2%) and tidal flat (-25,556 ha; -47%) will likely face the greatest loss in cover by the year 2100. The largest potential gains in cover were predicted for saltmarsh (+32,922 ha; +88%), transitional saltmarsh (+23,645 ha; na) and mangrove forest (+12,583 ha; +40%). The Charlotte Harbor and Tampa Bay study areas were predicted to experience the greatest net loss in coastal wetlands The uncertainty analyses revealed low to moderate changes in results when some numerical SLAMM input parameters were varied highlighting the value of collecting long-term sedimentation, accretion and erosion data to improve SLAMM precision. The changes predicted by SLAMM will affect exposure of adjacent human communities to coastal hazards and ecosystem functions potentially resulting in impacts to property values, infrastructure investment and insurance rates. The results and process presented here can be used as a guide for communities vulnerable to SLR to identify and prioritize adaptation strategies that slow and/or accommodate the changes underway.

  16. 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.

  17. Contribution of glacier melt to sea-level rise since AD 1865: a regionally differentiated calculation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuo, Z.; Oerlemans, J.

    1997-01-01

    The contribution of glacier melt, including the Greenland ice-sheet, to sea-level change since AD 1865 is estimated on the basis of modelled sensitivity of glacier mass balance to climate change and historical temperature data. Calculations are done in a regionally differentiated manner to overcome

  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. Future hydrological alterations in the Mekong Delta under the impact of water resources development, land subsidence and sea level rise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thanh Duc Dang

    2018-02-01

    New hydrological insights for the region: Depending on hydrological characteristics of each region (river-dominated, transitional or tidal, the influence of each potential driver may vary. The operation of proposed hydropower dams would change river-dominated upper floodplain’s water levels by 26 to 70% and −0.8 to −5.9% in the dry and wet season respectively, but the impact diminishes throughout the floodplains. In the wet season, the upper Vietnamese Delta changes from a transitional stage to a river-dominated stage, and localized water infrastructure development in the upper delta has the greatest effect on water levels in the region. Land subsidence combined with sea level rise could have the greatest future influence on flooding in the delta if current rates are extrapolated. Sustainable water management strategies are thus necessary to mitigate changes in the floodplains and delta and increase resilience to sea level rise and land subsidence.

  20. State and local governments plan for development of most land vulnerable to rising sea level along the US Atlantic coast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Titus, J G; Hudgens, D E; Kassakian, J M; Trescott, D L; Craghan, M; Nuckols, W H; Hershner, C H; Linn, C J; Merritt, P G; McCue, T M; O'Connell, J F; Tanski, J; Wang, J

    2009-01-01

    Rising sea level threatens existing coastal wetlands. Overall ecosystems could often survive by migrating inland, if adjacent lands remained vacant. On the basis of 131 state and local land use plans, we estimate that almost 60% of the land below 1 m along the US Atlantic coast is expected to be developed and thus unavailable for the inland migration of wetlands. Less than 10% of the land below 1 m has been set aside for conservation. Environmental regulators routinely grant permits for shore protection structures (which block wetland migration) on the basis of a federal finding that these structures have no cumulative environmental impact. Our results suggest that shore protection does have a cumulative impact. If sea level rise is taken into account, wetland policies that previously seemed to comply with federal law probably violate the Clean Water Act.

  1. Potential increase in coastal wetland vulnerability to sea-level rise suggested by considering hydrodynamic attenuation effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, José F.; Saco, Patricia M.; Sandi, Steven; Saintilan, Neil; Riccardi, Gerardo

    2017-07-01

    The future of coastal wetlands and their ecological value depend on their capacity to adapt to the interacting effects of human impacts and sea-level rise. Even though extensive wetland loss due to submergence is a possible scenario, its magnitude is highly uncertain due to limited understanding of hydrodynamic and bio-geomorphic interactions over time. In particular, the effect of man-made drainage modifications on hydrodynamic attenuation and consequent wetland evolution is poorly understood. Predictions are further complicated by the presence of a number of vegetation types that change over time and also contribute to flow attenuation. Here, we show that flow attenuation affects wetland vegetation by modifying its wetting-drying regime and inundation depth, increasing its vulnerability to sea-level rise. Our simulations for an Australian subtropical wetland predict much faster wetland loss than commonly used models that do not consider flow attenuation.

  2. Spatial analysis of landfills in respect to flood events and sea-level rise using ArcGIS Pro

    OpenAIRE

    Taylor, Benjamin S; Fei, Songlin

    2017-01-01

    "Recently in the news, media coverage of flood events has garnered attention due to tropical storms like Hurricane Harvey and the costly damages that resulted. Under climate change, events like sea-level rise (SLR) and flooding are projected to increase which threaten infrastructure, making it necessary for proper planning before, during, and after installation of landfills to mitigate risk. Studies in Austria and the UK have revealed that many landfills are located in flood zones in addition...

  3. Analysis of lidar elevation data for improved identification and delineation of lands vulnerable to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gesch, Dean 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.

  4. Sea-level rise along the Emilia-Romagna coast (Northern Italy) in 2100: scenarios and impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perini, Luisa; Calabrese, Lorenzo; Luciani, Paolo; Olivieri, Marco; Galassi, Gaia; Spada, Giorgio

    2017-12-01

    As a consequence of climate change and land subsidence, coastal zones are directly impacted by sea-level rise. In some particular areas, the effects on the ecosystem and urbanisation are particularly enhanced. We focus on the Emilia-Romagna (E-R) coastal plain in Northern Italy, bounded by the Po river mouth to the north and by the Apennines to the south. The plain is ˜ 130 km long and is characterised by wide areas below mean sea level, in part made up of reclaimed wetlands. In this context, several morphodynamic factors make the shore and back shore unstable. During next decades, the combined effects of land subsidence and of the sea-level rise as a result of climate change are expected to enhance the shoreline instability, leading to further retreat. The consequent loss of beaches would impact the economy of the region, which is tightly connected with tourism infrastructures. Furthermore, the loss of wetlands and dunes would threaten the ecosystem, which is crucial for the preservation of life and the environment. These specific conditions show the importance of a precise definition of the possible local impacts of the ongoing and future climate variations. The aim of this work is the characterisation of vulnerability in different sectors of the coastal plain and the recognition of the areas in which human intervention is urgently required. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) sea-level scenarios are merged with new high-resolution terrain models, current data for local subsidence and predictions of the flooding model in_CoastFlood in order to develop different scenarios for the impact of sea-level rise projected to year 2100. First, the potential land loss due to the combined effect of subsidence and sea-level rise is extrapolated. Second, the increase in floodable areas as a result of storm surges is quantitatively determined. The results are expected to support the regional mitigation and adaptation strategies

  5. 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

    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......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...... 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....

  6. Dasymetric high resolution population distribution estimates for improved decision making, with a case study of sea-level rise vulnerability in Boca Raton, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Hannes Moritz

    Planners and managers often rely on coarse population distribution data from the census for addressing various social, economic, and environmental problems. In the analysis of physical vulnerabilities to sea-level rise, census units such as blocks or block groups are coarse relative to the required decision-making application. This study explores the benefits offered from integrating image classification and dasymetric mapping at the household level to provide detailed small area population estimates at the scale of residential buildings. In a case study of Boca Raton, FL, a sea-level rise inundation grid based on mapping methods by NOAA is overlaid on the highly detailed population distribution data to identify vulnerable residences and estimate population displacement. The enhanced spatial detail offered through this method has the potential to better guide targeted strategies for future development, mitigation, and adaptation efforts.

  7. 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.

  8. Impacts of Global Warming and Sea Level Rise on Service Life of Chloride-Exposed Concrete Structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Jian Gao

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Global warming will increase the rate of chloride ingress and the rate of steel corrosion of concrete structures. Furthermore, in coastal (atmospheric marine zones, sea level rise will reduce the distance of concrete structures from the coast and increase the surface chloride content. This study proposes a probabilistic model for analyzing the effects of global warming and sea level rise on the service life of coastal concrete structures. First, in the corrosion initiation stage, an improved chloride diffusion model is proposed to determine chloride concentration. The Monte Carlo method is employed to calculate the service life in the corrosion initiation stage; Second, in the corrosion propagation stage, a numerical model is proposed to calculate the rate of corrosion, probability of corrosion cracking, and service life. Third, overall service life is determined as the sum of service life in the corrosion initiation and corrosion propagation stages. After considering the impacts of global warming and sea level rise, the analysis results show that for concrete structures having a service life of 50 years, the service life decreases by about 5%.

  9. Great Britain Storm Surge Modeling for a 10,000-Year Stochastic Catalog with the Effect of Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keshtpoor, M.; Carnacina, I.; Blair, A.; Yablonsky, R. M.

    2017-12-01

    Storm surge caused by Extratropical Cyclones (ETCs) has significantly impacted not only the life of private citizens but also the insurance and reinsurance industry in Great Britain. The storm surge risk assessment requires a larger dataset of storms than the limited recorded historical ETCs. Thus, historical ETCs were perturbed to generate a 10,000-year stochastic catalog that accounts for surge-generating ETCs in the study area with return periods from one year to 10,000 years. Delft3D-Flexible Mesh hydrodynamic model was used to numerically simulate the storm surge along the Great Britain coastline. A nested grid technique was used to increase the simulation grid resolution up to 200 m near the highly populated coastal areas. Coarse and fine mesh models were calibrated and validated using historical recorded water elevations. Then, numerical simulations were performed on a 10,000-year stochastic catalog. The 50-, 100-, and 500-year return period maps were generated for Great Britain coastal areas. The corresponding events with return periods of 50-, 100-, and 500-years in Humber Bay and Thames River coastal areas were identified, and simulated with the consideration of projected sea level rises to reveal the effect of rising sea levels on the inundation return period maps in two highly-populated coastal areas. Finally, the return period of Storm Xaver (2013) was determined with and without the effect of rising sea levels.

  10. HERA: A dynamic web application for visualizing community exposure to flood hazards based on storm and sea level rise scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Jeanne M.; Henry, Kevin; Wood, Nathan; Ng, Peter; Jamieson, Matthew

    2017-12-01

    The Hazard Exposure Reporting and Analytics (HERA) dynamic web application was created to provide a platform that makes research on community exposure to coastal-flooding hazards influenced by sea level rise accessible to planners, decision makers, and the public in a manner that is both easy to use and easily accessible. HERA allows users to (a) choose flood-hazard scenarios based on sea level rise and storm assumptions, (b) appreciate the modeling uncertainty behind a chosen hazard zone, (c) select one or several communities to examine exposure, (d) select the category of population or societal asset, and (e) choose how to look at results. The application is designed to highlight comparisons between (a) varying levels of sea level rise and coastal storms, (b) communities, (c) societal asset categories, and (d) spatial scales. Through a combination of spatial and graphical visualizations, HERA aims to help individuals and organizations to craft more informed mitigation and adaptation strategies for climate-driven coastal hazards. This paper summarizes the technologies used to maximize the user experience, in terms of interface design, visualization approaches, and data processing.

  11. HERA: A dynamic web application for visualizing community exposure to flood hazards based on storm and sea level rise scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Jeanne M.; Henry, Kevin; Wood, Nathan J.; Ng, Peter; Jamieson, Matthew

    2017-01-01

    The Hazard Exposure Reporting and Analytics (HERA) dynamic web application was created to provide a platform that makes research on community exposure to coastal-flooding hazards influenced by sea level rise accessible to planners, decision makers, and the public in a manner that is both easy to use and easily accessible. HERA allows users to (a) choose flood-hazard scenarios based on sea level rise and storm assumptions, (b) appreciate the modeling uncertainty behind a chosen hazard zone, (c) select one or several communities to examine exposure, (d) select the category of population or societal asset, and (e) choose how to look at results. The application is designed to highlight comparisons between (a) varying levels of sea level rise and coastal storms, (b) communities, (c) societal asset categories, and (d) spatial scales. Through a combination of spatial and graphical visualizations, HERA aims to help individuals and organizations to craft more informed mitigation and adaptation strategies for climate-driven coastal hazards. This paper summarizes the technologies used to maximize the user experience, in terms of interface design, visualization approaches, and data processing.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mani Murali, R; Dinesh Kumar, P K

    2015-01-15

    Physical responses of the coastal zones in the vicinity of Cochin, India due to sea level rise are investigated based on analysis of inundation scenarios. Quantification of potential habitat loss was made by merging the Land use/Land cover (LU/LC) prepared from the satellite imagery with the digital elevation model. Scenarios were generated for two different rates of sea level rise and responses of changes occurred were made to ascertain the vulnerability and loss in extent. LU/LC classes overlaid on 1 m and 2 m elevation showed that it was mostly covered by vegetation areas followed by water and urban zones. For the sea level rise scenarios of 1 m and 2 m, the total inundation zones were estimated to be 169.11 km(2) and 598.83 km(2) respectively using Geographic Information System (GIS). The losses of urban areas were estimated at 43 km(2) and 187 km(2) for the 1 m and 2 m sea level rise respectively which is alarming information for the most densely populated state of India. Quantitative comparison of other LU/LC classes showed significant changes under each of the inundation scenarios. The results obtained conclusively point that sea level rise scenarios will bring profound effects on the land use and land cover classes as well as on coastal landforms in the study region. Coastal inundation would leave ocean front and inland properties vulnerable. Increase in these water levels would alter the coastal drainage gradients. Reduction in these gradients would increase flooding attributable to rainstorms which could promote salt water intrusion into coastal aquifers and force water tables to rise. Changes in the coastal landforms associated with inundation generate concern in the background that the coastal region may continue to remain vulnerable in the coming decades due to population growth and development pressures. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. An improved empirical dynamic control system model of global mean sea