Sea Level Rise - Summaries

Accessible summaries of science’s main findings, critical questions, and societal importance

Summaries - Accessible summaries of science’s main findings, critical questions, and societal importance

How fast is sea level rising?

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Year Authors Type Title
2017 Sweet, William V; Kopp, Robert E; Weaver, Christopher P; Obeysekera, Jayantha; Horton, Radley M; Thieler, E Robert; Zervas, Chris E Report NOAA Technical Report NOS CO-OPS 083: Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States

Resource


Type: Report

Title: NOAA Technical Report NOS CO-OPS 083: Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States

Authors: Sweet, William V; Kopp, Robert E; Weaver, Christopher P; Obeysekera, Jayantha; Horton, Radley M; Thieler, E Robert; Zervas, Chris E

Year: 2017

Issue: January

Pages: 1-75

Abstract: The Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flood Hazard Scenarios and Tools Interagency Task Force, jointly convened by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and the National Ocean Council (NOC), began its work in August 2015. The Task Force has focused its efforts on three primary tasks: 1) updating scenarios of global mean sea level (GMSL) rise, 2) integrating the global scenarios with regional factors contributing to sea level change for the entire U.S. coastline, and 3) incorporating these regionally appropriate scenarios within coastal risk management tools and capabilities deployed by individual agencies in support of the needs of specific stakeholder groups and user communities. This technical report focuses on the first two of these tasks and reports on the production of gridded relative sea level (RSL, which includes both ocean-level change and vertical land motion) projections for the United States associated with an updated set of GMSL scenarios. In addition to supporting the longer-term Task Force effort, this new product will be an important input into the USGCRP Sustained Assessment process and upcoming Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) due in 2018. This report also serves as a key technical input into the in-progress USGCRP Climate Science Special Report (CSSR)...

URL: https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/publications/techrpt83_Global_and_Regional_SLR...


Accessible summaries of science’s main findings, critical questions, and societal importance

Summaries - Accessible summaries of science’s main findings, critical questions, and societal importance

2016 Oppenheimer, Michael; Alley, Richard B Magazine Article How high will the seas rise?

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Type: Magazine Article

Title: How high will the seas rise?

Authors: Oppenheimer, Michael; Alley, Richard B

Year: 2016

Periodical: Science

Volume: 354

Issue: 6318

Pages: 1375-1377

Abstract: Recent estimates suggest that global mean sea level rise could exceed 2 m by 2100. These projections are higher than previous ones and are based on the latest understanding of how the Antarctic Ice Sheet has behaved in the past and how sensitive it is to future climate change. They pose a challenge for scientists and policy-makers alike, requiring far-reaching decisions about coastal policies to be made based on rapidly evolving projections with large, persistent uncertainties. An effective approach to managing coastal risk should couple research priorities to policy needs, enabling judicious decision-making while focusing research on key questions.

URL: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6318/1375

DOI: 10.1126/science.aak9460


Accessible summaries of science’s main findings, critical questions, and societal importance

Summaries - Accessible summaries of science’s main findings, critical questions, and societal importance

2015 Jacob, Klaus H Journal Article Sea level rise, storm risk, denial, and the future of coastal cities.

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Type: Journal Article

Title: Sea level rise, storm risk, denial, and the future of coastal cities.

Authors: Jacob, Klaus H

Year: 2015

Periodical: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Volume: 71

Issue: 5

Pages: 40-50

Abstract: The world’s present coastal land use is unsustainable in the face of sea level rise and storm surges induced by climate change. This is true of urban, suburban, and—to some degree—recreational use of coastal land, but it is especially true of the urban infrastructure that serves our economic activities and livelihoods. Hurricane Sandy was only one example of what the future holds; such events will occur with greater frequency and severity as the level of the ocean rises as much as 6 feet by the end of this century. Therefore, architects, engineers, designers, urban planners, developers, infrastructure operators, and decision makers in the private and public sectors must start planning now the best ways to minimize the increased flood hazards that threaten the built environment. Using New York City as a case study, this article delves into the major competing approaches: defending against flood and rising waters with massive earthworks and expensive engineered structures; accommodating to and living with the rising waters so that the city can recover quickly after flooding; strategically relocating to higher ground; and spreading the risk via insurance. It also examines two other options: doing nothing, and stopping the flooding problem at its source. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0096340215599777

DOI: 10.1177/0096340215599777


Accessible summaries of science’s main findings, critical questions, and societal importance

Summaries - Accessible summaries of science’s main findings, critical questions, and societal importance

2014 Hinkel, Jochen; Lincke, Daniel; Vafeidis, Athanasios T.; Perrette, Mahé; Nicholls, Robert James; Tol, Richard S. J.; Marzeion, Ben; Fettweis, Xavier; Ionescu, Cezar; Levermann, Anders Journal Article Coastal flood damage and adaptation costs under 21st century sea-level rise

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Type: Journal Article

Title: Coastal flood damage and adaptation costs under 21st century sea-level rise

Authors: Hinkel, Jochen; Lincke, Daniel; Vafeidis, Athanasios T.; Perrette, Mahé; Nicholls, Robert James; Tol, Richard S. J.; Marzeion, Ben; Fettweis, Xavier; Ionescu, Cezar; Levermann, Anders

Year: 2014

Periodical: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Volume: 111

Issue: 9

Pages: 3292-3297

Abstract: Coastal flood damage and adaptation costs under 21st century sea-level rise are assessed on a global scale taking into account a wide range of uncertainties in continental topography data, population data, protection strategies, socioeconomic development and sea-level rise. Uncertainty in global mean and regional sea level was derived from four different climate models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5, each combined with three land-ice scenarios based on the published range of contributions from ice sheets and glaciers. Without adaptation, 0.2–4.6% of global population is expected to be flooded annually in 2100 under 25–123 cm of global mean sea-level rise, with expected annual losses of 0.3–9.3% of global gross domestic product. Damages of this magnitude are very unlikely to be tolerated by society and adaptation will be widespread. The global costs of protecting the coast with dikes are significant with annual investment and maintenance costs of US$ 12–71 billion in 2100, but much smaller than the global cost of avoided damages even without accounting for indirect costs of damage to regional production supply. Flood damages by the end of this century are much more sensitive to the applied protection strategy than to variations in climate and socioeconomic scenarios as well as in physical data sources (topography and climate model). Our results emphasize the central role of long-term coastal adaptation strategies. These should also take into account that protecting large parts of the developed coast increases the risk of catastrophic consequences in the case of defense failure.

URL: http://www.pnas.org/content/111/9/3292.full.pdf

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1222469111


Accessible summaries of science’s main findings, critical questions, and societal importance

Summaries - Accessible summaries of science’s main findings, critical questions, and societal importance

2014 Sweet, William; Park, Joseph; Marra, John; Zervas, Chris; Gill, Stephen Report NOAA Technical Report NOS CO-OPS 073: Sea Level Rise and Nuisance Flood Frequency Changes around the United States

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Type: Report

Title: NOAA Technical Report NOS CO-OPS 073: Sea Level Rise and Nuisance Flood Frequency Changes around the United States

Authors: Sweet, William; Park, Joseph; Marra, John; Zervas, Chris; Gill, Stephen

Year: 2014

Periodical: NOAA Technical Report NOS CO-OPS 073: Sea Level Rise and Nuisance Flood Frequency Changes around the United States

Issue: June

Pages: 58

Abstract: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) water level (tide) gauges have been measuring water levels around the U.S. for over a century, providing clear evidence of sea level rise relative to land (SLRrel) around most of the continental United States and Hawaii. As SLRrel increases mean sea level (MSL), there is naturally an increase in tidal datum elevations, which are typically used to delineate inundation thresholds. Direct consequences of rising sea level against fixed elevations such as today’s built infrastructure also include increased inundation during extreme events both spatially and temporally. Not only are extreme flooding events reaching higher grounds and covering larger areas due to SLRrel, the frequency and duration of these extreme flood events are increasing. Another consequence of SLRrel is the increase in lesser extremes such as occasional minor coastal flooding experienced during high tide. These events are becoming more noticeable and widespread along many U.S. coastal regions and are today becoming more of a nuisance. As sea levels continue to rise and with an anticipated acceleration in the rate of rise from ocean warming and land-ice melt, concern exists as to when more substantive impacts from tidal flooding of greater frequency and duration will regularly occur. Information quantifying these occurrences to inform mitigation and adaptation efforts and decision makers is not widely available. In this report, we show that water level exceedances above the elevation threshold for “minor” coastal flooding (nuisance level) impacts established locally by the National Weather Service (NWS) have been increasing in time. More importantly, we document that event frequencies are accelerating at many U.S. East and Gulf Coast gauges, and many other locations will soon follow regardless of whether there is an acceleration of SLRrel. Lastly, we show a regional pattern of increasingly greater event-rate acceleration as the height between MSL and a location’s nuisance flood threshold elevation decreases. Impacts from recurrent coastal flooding include overwhelmed stormwater drainage capacity, frequent road closures, and general deterioration and corrosion of infrastructure not designed to withstand frequent inundation or salt-water exposure. From this, we conclude that there is a time horizon, largely dependent upon the local rate of SLRrel, when critical elevation thresholds for various public/private/commercial serving systems will become increasingly compromised by tidal flooding. This concept of a non-linear impact trajectory needs to recognized, as it is critical for coastal planning to prevent degradation to society-serving systems at risk from SLRrel. The goal of this report is to heighten awareness of a growing problem of more frequent nuisance coastal flooding respective to a community’s living memory and to encourage resiliency efforts in response to impacts from SLRrel.

URL: http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/publications/NOAA_Technical_Report_NOS_COOPS_07...

DOI: 10.13140/2.1.3900.2887


Accessible summaries of science’s main findings, critical questions, and societal importance

Summaries - Accessible summaries of science’s main findings, critical questions, and societal importance

2013 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. Report Sea level change

Resource


Type: Report

Title: Sea level change

Authors: 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.

Year: 2013

Periodical: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Pages: 1137-1216

Abstract: 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 physical understanding of the components of sea level, the improved agreement of process-based models with observations, and the inclusion of ice-sheet dynamical changes.

URL: https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter13_FINAL.pdf

DOI: 10.1017/CB09781107415315.026


Accessible summaries of science’s main findings, critical questions, and societal importance

Summaries - Accessible summaries of science’s main findings, critical questions, and societal importance