Science.gov

Sample records for accelerate sea-level rise

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-08-10

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

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

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

    PubMed

    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. Contemporary sea level rise.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  8. Consequences of sea level variability and sea level rise for Cuban territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández, M.; Martínez, C. A.; Marzo, O.

    2015-03-01

    The objective of the present paper was to determine a first approximation of coastal zone flooding by 2100, taking into account the more persistent processes of sea level variability and non-accelerated linear sea level rise estimation to assess the main impacts. The annual linear rate of mean sea level rise in the Cuban archipelago, obtained from the longest tide gauge records, has fluctuated between 0.005 cm/year at Casilda and 0.214 cm/year at Siboney. The main sea level rise effects for the Cuban coastal zone due to climate change and global warming are shown. Monthly and annual mean sea level anomalies, some of which are similar to or higher than the mean sea level rise estimated for halfway through the present century, reinforce the inland seawater penetration due to the semi-daily high tide. The combination of these different events will result in the loss of goods and services, and require expensive investments for adaption.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-07

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Coastal marsh response to historical and future sea-level acceleration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirwan, M.; Temmerman, S.

    2009-01-01

    We consider the response of marshland to accelerations in the rate of sea-level rise by utilizing two previously described numerical models of marsh elevation. In a model designed for the Scheldt Estuary (Belgium-SW Netherlands), a feedback between inundation depth and suspended sediment concentrations allows marshes to quickly adjust their elevation to a change in sea-level rise rate. In a model designed for the North Inlet Estuary (South Carolina), a feedback between inundation and vegetation growth allows similar adjustment. Although the models differ in their approach, we find that they predict surprisingly similar responses to sea-level change. Marsh elevations adjust to a step change in the rate of sea-level rise in about 100 years. In the case of a continuous acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise, modeled accretion rates lag behind sea-level rise rates by about 20 years, and never obtain equilibrium. Regardless of the style of acceleration, the models predict approximately 6-14 cm of marsh submergence in response to historical sea-level acceleration, and 3-4 cm of marsh submergence in response to a projected scenario of sea-level rise over the next century. While marshes already low in the tidal frame would be susceptible to these depth changes, our modeling results suggest that factors other than historical sea-level acceleration are more important for observations of degradation in most marshes today.

  12. Overestimation of marsh vulnerability to sea level rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Intermittent sea-level acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olivieri, M.; Spada, G.

    2013-10-01

    Using instrumental observations from the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL), we provide a new assessment of the global sea-level acceleration for the last ~ 2 centuries (1820-2010). Our results, obtained by a stack of tide gauge time series, confirm the existence of a global sea-level acceleration (GSLA) and, coherently with independent assessments so far, they point to a value close to 0.01 mm/yr2. However, differently from previous studies, we discuss how change points or abrupt inflections in individual sea-level time series have contributed to the GSLA. Our analysis, based on methods borrowed from econometrics, suggests the existence of two distinct driving mechanisms for the GSLA, both involving a minority of tide gauges globally. The first effectively implies a gradual increase in the rate of sea-level rise at individual tide gauges, while the second is manifest through a sequence of catastrophic variations of the sea-level trend. These occurred intermittently since the end of the 19th century and became more frequent during the last four decades.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  15. Coastal Impact Underestimated From Rapid Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, John; Milliken, Kristy; Wallace, Davin; Rodriguez, Antonio; Simms, Alexander

    2010-06-01

    A primary effect of global warming is accelerated sea level rise, which will eventually drown low-lying coastal areas, including some of the world's most populated cities. Predictions from the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggest that sea level may rise by as much as 0.6 meter by 2100 [Solomon et al., 2007]. However, uncertainty remains about how projected melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will contribute to sea level rise. Further, considerable variability is introduced to these calculations due to coastal subsidence, especially along the northern Gulf of Mexico (see http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.shtml).

  16. Sea-level rise: towards understanding local vulnerability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahmstorf, Stefan

    2012-06-01

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

  17. Ice2sea - the future glacial contribution to sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaughan, D. G.; Ice2sea Consortium

    2009-04-01

    The melting of continental ice (glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets) is a substantial source of current sea-level rise, and one that is accelerating more rapidly than was predicted even a few years ago. Indeed, the most recent report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlighted that the uncertainty in projections of future sea-level rise is dominated by uncertainty concerning continental ice, and that understanding of the key processes that will lead to loss of continental ice must be improved before reliable projections of sea-level rise can be produced. Such projections are urgently required for effective sea-defence management and coastal adaptation planning. Ice2sea is a consortium of European institutes and international partners seeking European funding to support an integrated scientific programme to improve understanding concerning the future glacial contribution to sea-level rise. This includes improving understanding of the processes that control, past, current and future sea-level rise, and generation of improved estimates of the contribution of glacial components to sea-level rise over the next 200 years. The programme will include targeted studies of key processes in mountain glacier systems and ice caps (e.g. Svalbard), and in ice sheets in both polar regions (Greenland and Antarctica) to improve understanding of how these systems will respond to future climate change. It will include fieldwork and remote sensing studies, and develop a suite of new, cross-validated glacier and ice-sheet model. Ice2sea will deliver these results in forms accessible to scientists, policy-makers and the general public, which will include clear presentations of the sources of uncertainty. Our aim is both, to provide improved projections of the glacial contribution to sea-level rise, and to leave a legacy of improved tools and techniques that will form the basis of ongoing refinements in sea-level projection. Ice2sea will provide exciting opportunities for many

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  20. Chapter 12: Sea Level Rise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sweet, W. V.; Horton, R.; Kopp, R. E.; LeGrande, A. N.; Romanou, A.

    2017-01-01

    impacts (also called "nuisance floods") have increased 5- to 10-fold since the 1960s in several U.S. coastal cities. Rates of increase are accelerating in over 25 Atlantic and Gulf Coast cities. Tidal flooding will continue increasing in depth, frequency, and extent this century. Assuming storm characteristics do not change, sea level rise will increase the frequency and extent of extreme flooding associated with coastal storms, such as hurricanes and nor'easters. A projected increase in the intensity of hurricanes in the North Atlantic could increase the probability of extreme flooding along most of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coast states beyond what would be projected based solely on RSL rise. However, there is low confidence in the projected increase in frequency of intense Atlantic hurricanes, and the associated flood risk amplification and flood effects could be offset or amplified by such factors as changes in overall storm frequency or tracks.

  1. Sea-Level Projections from the SeaRISE Initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nowicki, Sophie; Bindschadler, Robert

    2011-01-01

    SeaRISE (Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution) is a community organized modeling effort, whose goal is to inform the fifth IPCC of the potential sea-level contribution from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets in the 21st and 22nd century. SeaRISE seeks to determine the most likely ice sheet response to imposed climatic forcing by initializing an ensemble of models with common datasets and applying the same forcing to each model. Sensitivity experiments were designed to quantify the sea-level rise associated with a change in: 1) surface mass balance, 2) basal lubrication, and 3) ocean induced basal melt. The range of responses, resulting from the multi-model approach, is interpreted as a proxy of uncertainty in our sea-level projections. http://websrv.cs .umt.edu/isis/index.php/SeaRISE_Assessment.

  2. Soil organic matter decomposition follows plant productivity response to sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    The accumulation of soil organic matter (SOM) is an important mechanism for many tidal wetlands to keep pace with sea-level rise. SOM accumulation is governed by the rates of production and decomposition of organic matter. While plant productivity responses to sea-level rise are well understood, far less is known about the response of SOM decomposition to accelerated sea-level rise. Here we quantified the effects of sea-level rise on SOM decomposition by exposing planted and unplanted tidal marsh monoliths to experimentally manipulated flood duration. The study was performed in a field-based mesocosm facility at the Smithsonian Global Change Research Wetland, a micro tidal brackish marsh in Maryland, US. SOM decomposition was quantified as CO2 efflux, with plant- and SOM-derived CO2 separated using a stable carbon isotope approach. Despite the dogma that decomposition rates are inversely related to flooding, SOM mineralization was not sensitive to varying flood duration over a 35 cm range in surface elevation in unplanted mesocoms. In the presence of plants, decomposition rates were strongly and positively related to aboveground biomass (p≤0.01, R2≥0.59). We conclude that rates of soil carbon loss through decomposition are driven by plant responses to sea level in this intensively studied tidal marsh. If our result applies more generally to tidal wetlands, it has important implications for modeling carbon sequestration and marsh accretion in response to accelerated sea-level rise.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donner, S. D.

    2012-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Quantifying and Projecting Relative Sea-Level Rise At The Regional Scale: The Bangladesh Sea-Level Project (BanD-AID)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shum, C. K.; Kuo, C. Y.; Guo, J.; Shang, K.; Tseng, K. H.; Wan, J.; Calmant, S.; Ballu, V.; Valty, P.; Kusche, J.; Hossain, F.; Khan, Z. H.; Rietbroek, R.; Uebbing, B.

    2014-12-01

    The potential for accelerated sea-level rise under anthropogenic warming is a significant societal problem, in particular in world's coastal deltaic regions where about half of the world's population resides. Quantifying geophysical sources of sea-level rise with the goal of improved projection at local scales remains a complex and challenging interdisciplinary research problem. These processes include ice-sheet/glacier ablations, steric sea-level, solid Earth uplift or subsidence due to GIA, tectonics, sediment loading or anthropogenic causes, hydrologic imbalance, and human processes including water retention in reservoirs and aquifer extraction. The 2013 IPCC AR5 concluded that the observed and explained geophysical causes of global geocentric sea-level rise, 1993-2010, is closer towards closure. However, the discrepancy reveals that circa 1.3→37.5% of the observed sea-level rise remains unexplained. This relatively large discrepancy is primarily attributable to the wide range of estimates of respective contributions of Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheets and mountain/peripheral glaciers to sea-level rise. Understanding and quantifying the natural and anthropogenic processes governing solid Earth (land, islands and sea-floor) uplift or subsidence at the regional and local scales remain elusive to enable addressing coastal vulnerability due to relative sea-level rise hazards, such as the Bangladesh Delta. This study focuses on addressing coastal vulnerability of Bangladesh, a Belmont Forum/IGFA project, BanD-AID (http://Belmont-SeaLevel.org). Sea-level rise, along with tectonic, sediment load and groundwater extraction induced land uplift/subsidence, have exacerbated Bangladesh's coastal vulnerability, affecting 150 million people in one of the world's most densely populated regions. Here we present preliminary results using space geodetic observations, including satellite radar and laser altimetry, GRACE gravity, tide gauge, hydrographic, and GPS/InSAR observed

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  7. Coastal Louisiana in Crisis: Subsidence or Sea Level Rise?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González, Juan L.; Törnqvist, Torbjörn E.

    2006-11-01

    The drowning of wetlands and barrier islands in coastal Louisiana has become a widely publicized environmental catastrophe in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. The devastation caused by these storms has reenergized the debate about restoring the natural coastal-defense system and building higher and sturdier levees, in anticipation of future storms. Understanding the contributions of land subsidence and eustatic (global) sea level rise to Louisiana's wetland loss is crucial to the success of any plan designed to protect coastal communities. It is argued here that accelerated sea level rise in the future may pose a larger threat than subsidence for considerable portions of coastal Louisiana.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. A heuristic evaluation of long-term global sea level acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spada, Giorgio; Olivieri, Marco; Galassi, Gaia

    2015-05-01

    In view of the scientific and social implications, the global mean sea level rise (GMSLR) and its possible causes and future trend have been a challenge for so long. For the twentieth century, reconstructions generally indicate a rate of GMSLR in the range of 1.5 to 2.0 mm yr-1. However, the existence of nonlinear trends is still debated, and current estimates of the secular acceleration are subject to ample uncertainties. Here we use various GMSLR estimates published on scholarly journals since the 1940s for a heuristic assessment of global sea level acceleration. The approach, alternative to sea level reconstructions, is based on simple statistical methods and exploits the principles of meta-analysis. Our results point to a global sea level acceleration of 0.54 ± 0.27 mm/yr/century (1σ) between 1898 and 1975. This supports independent estimates and suggests that a sea level acceleration since the early 1900s is more likely than currently believed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  12. Acceleration in U.S. Mean Sea Level? A New Insight using Improved Tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, Phil J.

    2016-08-01

    The detection of acceleration in mean sea level around the data-rich margins of the United States has been a keen endeavour of sea-level researchers following the seminal work of Bruce Douglas in 1992. Over the past decade, such investigations have taken on greater prominence given mean sea level remains a key proxy by which to measure a changing climate system. The physics-based climate projection models are forecasting that the current global average rate of mean sea-level rise (≈3 mm/y) might climb to rates in the range of 10020 mm/y by 2100. Most research in this area has centred on reconciling current rates of rise with the significant accelerations required to meet the forecast projections of climate models. The analysis in this paper is based on a recently developed analytical package titled "msltrend," specifically designed to enhance estimates of trend, real-time velocity and acceleration in the relative mean sea-level signal derived from long annual average ocean-water-level time series. Key findings are that at the 95% confidence level, no consistent or substantial evidence (yet) exists that recent rates of rise are higher or abnormal in the context of the historical records available for the United States, nor does any evidence exist that geocentric rates of rise are above the global average. It is likely that a further 20 years of data will identify whether recent increases east of Galveston and along the east coast are evidence of the onset of climate change induced acceleration.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Plants Regulate Soil Organic Matter Decomposition in Response to Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Megonigal, P.; Mueller, P.; Jensen, K.

    2014-12-01

    Tidal wetlands have a large capacity for producing and storing organic matter, making their role in the global carbon budget disproportionate to their land area. Most of the organic matter stored in these systems is in soils where it contributes 2-5 times more to surface accretion than an equal mass of minerals. Soil organic matter (SOM) sequestration is the primary process by which tidal wetlands become perched high in the tidal frame, decreasing their vulnerability to accelerated sea level rise. Plant growth responses to sea level rise are well understood and represented in century-scale forecast models of soil surface elevation change. We understand far less about the response of soil organic matter decomposition to rapid sea level rise. Here we quantified the effects of sea level on SOM decomposition rates by exposing planted and unplanted tidal marsh monoliths to experimentally manipulated flood duration. The study was performed in a field-based mesocosm facility at the Smithsonian's Global Change Research Wetland. SOM decomposition rate was quantified as CO2 efflux, with plant- and SOM-derived CO2 separated with a two end-member δ13C-CO2 model. Despite the dogma that decomposition rates are inversely related to flooding, SOM mineralization was not sensitive to flood duration over a 35 cm range in soil surface elevation. However, decomposition rates were strongly and positively related to aboveground biomass (R2≥0.59, p≤0.01). We conclude that soil carbon loss through decomposition is driven by plant responses to sea level in this intensively studied tidal marsh. If this result applies more generally to tidal wetlands, it has important implications for modeling soil organic matter and surface elevation change in response to accelerated sea level rise.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  17. Sea Level Rise Data Discovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  18. Sea level rise with warming above 2 degree

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jevrejeva, Svetlana; Jackson, Luke; Riva, Riccardo; Grinsted, Aslak; Moore, John

    2017-04-01

    Holding the increase in the global average temperature to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C, has been agreed by the representatives of the 196 parties of United Nations, as an appropriate threshold beyond which climate change risks become unacceptably high. Sea level rise is one of the most damaging aspects of warming climate for the more than 600 million people living in low-elevation coastal areas less than 10 meters above sea level. Fragile coastal ecosystems and increasing concentrations of population and economic activity in coastal areas, are reasons why future sea level rise is one of the most damaging aspects of the warming climate. Furthermore, sea level is set to continue to rise for centuries after greenhouse gas emissions concentrations are stabilised due to system inertia and feedback time scales. Impact, risk, adaptation policies and long-term decision making in coastal areas depend on regional and local sea level rise projections and local projections can differ substantially from the global one. Here we provide probabilistic sea level rise projections for the global coastline with warming above the 2 degree goal. A warming of 2°C makes global ocean rise on average by 20 cm, but more than 90% of coastal areas will experience greater rises, 40 cm along the Atlantic coast of North America and Norway, due to ocean dynamics. If warming continues above 2°C, then by 2100 sea level will rise with speeds unprecedented throughout human civilization, reaching 0.9 m (median), and 80% of the global coastline will exceed the global ocean sea level rise upper 95% confidence limit of 1.8 m. Coastal communities of rapidly expanding cities in the developing world, small island states, and vulnerable tropical coastal ecosystems will have a very limited time after mid-century to adapt to sea level rises.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  20. Anomalous secular sea-level acceleration in the Baltic Sea caused by glacial isostatic adjustment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spada, Giorgio; Galassi, Gaia; Olivieri, Marco

    2014-05-01

    Observations from the global array of tide gauges show that global sea-level has been rising at an average rate of 1.5-2 mm/yr during the last ˜ 150 years (Spada & Galassi, 2012). Although a global sea-level acceleration was initially ruled out, subsequent studies have coherently proposed values of ˜1 mm/year/century (Olivieri & Spada, 2012). More complex non-linear trends and abrupt sea-level variations have now also been recognized. Globally, they could manifest a regime shift between the late Holocene and the current rhythms of sea-level rise, while locally they result from ocean circulation anomalies, steric effects and wind stress (Bromirski et al. 2011). Although isostatic readjustment affects the local rates of secular sea-level change, a possible impact on regional acceleration have been so far discounted (Woodworth et al., 2009) since the process evolves on a millennium scale. Here we report a previously unnoticed anomaly in the long-term sea-level acceleration of the Baltic Sea tide gauge records, and we explain it by the classical post-glacial rebound theory and numerical modeling of glacial isostasy. Contrary to previous assumptions, our findings demonstrate that isostatic compensation plays a role in the regional secular sea-level acceleration. In response to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), tide gauge records located along the coasts of the Baltic Sea exhibit a small - but significant - long-term sea-level acceleration in excess to those in the far field of previously glaciated regions. The sign and the amplitude of the anomaly is consistent with the post-glacial rebound theory and with realistic numerical predictions of GIA models routinely employed to decontaminate the tide gauges observations from the GIA effects (Peltier, 2004). Model computations predict the existence of anomalies of similar amplitude in other regions of the globe where GIA is still particularly vigorous at present, but no long-term instrumental observations are available to

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

    SciTech Connect

    Graham, Sonia, E-mail: sonia.graham@unimelb.edu.au; Barnett, Jon, E-mail: jbarn@unimelb.edu.au; Fincher, Ruth, E-mail: r.fincher@unimelb.edu.au

    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 frommore » 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.« less

  2. Sea Level Rise Impacts On Infrastructure Vulnerability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasqualini, D.; Mccown, A. W.; Backhaus, S.; Urban, N. M.

    2015-12-01

    Increase of global sea level is one of the potential consequences of climate change and represents a threat for the U.S.A coastal regions, which are highly populated and home of critical infrastructures. The potential danger caused by sea level rise may escalate if sea level rise is coupled with an increase in frequency and intensity of storms that may strike these regions. These coupled threats present a clear risk to population and critical infrastructure and are concerns for Federal, State, and particularly local response and recovery planners. Understanding the effect of sea level rise on the risk to critical infrastructure is crucial for long planning and for mitigating potential damages. In this work we quantify how infrastructure vulnerability to a range of storms changes due to an increase of sea level. Our study focuses on the Norfolk area of the U.S.A. We assess the direct damage of drinking water and wastewater facilities and the power sector caused by a distribution of synthetic hurricanes. In addition, our analysis estimates indirect consequences of these damages on population and economic activities accounting also for interdependencies across infrastructures. While projections unanimously indicate an increase in the rate of sea level rise, the scientific community does not agree on the size of this rate. Our risk assessment accounts for this uncertainty simulating a distribution of sea level rise for a specific climate scenario. Using our impact assessment results and assuming an increase of future hurricanes frequencies and intensities, we also estimate the expected benefits for critical infrastructure.

  3. Adapting to Rising Sea Level: A Florida Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  4. Rhode Island Salt Marshes: Elevation Capital and Resilience to Sea Level Rise

    EPA Science Inventory

    Tidal salt marsh is especially sensitive to deterioration due to the effects of accelerated sea level rise when combined with other anthropogenically linked stressors, including crab herbivory, changes in tidal hydrology, nutrient loading, dam construction, changes in temperature...

  5. Quantifying and Projecting Relative Sea-Level Rise in The Deltaic Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shum, C. K.; Chung-Yen, K.; Calmant, S.; Yang, T. Y.; Guo, Q.; Jia, Y.; Ballu, V.; Guo, J.; Karptychev, M.; Krien, Y.; Kusche, J.; Tseng, K. H.; Wan, J.; Uebbing, B.

    2017-12-01

    Half of the world's population lives within 200 km of coastlines. Accelerated sea-level rise, compounded by effects of population growth, severe land subsidence due to fluvial sediment compaction/load, and anthropogenic oil and natural gas and ground water extraction, tectonic motion, and the increasing threat of more intense and more frequent cyclone-driven storm surges, have exacerbated the vulnerability of many of world's deltaic regions, including the Bangladesh and the Mississippi River Deltas. At present, understanding and quantifying the natural and anthropogenic processes governing these solid Earth vertical motion processes remain elusive to enable addressing coastal vulnerability due to current and future projection of relative sea-level rise for deltaic regions at the regional scales. Bangladesh, a low-lying and one of the most densely populated countries in the world located at the Bay of Bengal, is prone to transboundary monsoonal flooding, and is believed to be aggravated by more frequent and intensified cyclones resulting from anthropogenic climate change. The Mississippi River Deltaic region has been severely subsiding due primarily to fluvial sediment compaction and load during the last 10 centuries, oil/gas and groundwater extractions, and commercial developments, making it vulnerable to sea-level rise hazards. Here we present results of global geocentric sea-level rise, 1950-2016, separating vertical land motion at global tide gauge datum, by integrating tide gauge and radar altimeter records in a novel sea-level reconstruction scheme, focusing on the Mississippi River and the Bangladesh Deltas. We then integrate the resulting sea level estimates with historic imageries, GPS and InSAR data, as well as sediment isostatic and load model predicted present-day land subsidence, to constrain the 3D land motion to study the impacts of various scenarios of future relative sea level projections on the Bangladesh Delta to the end of the 21st Century and

  6. Sea-level rise risks to coastal cities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  7. Analysis of Sea Level Rise in Singapore Strait

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  8. Glaciers and Sea Level Rise

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    Small valley glacier exiting the Devon Island Ice Cap in Canada. To learn about the contributions of glaciers to sea level rise, visit: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/glacier-sea-rise.html Credit: Alex Gardner, Clark University NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  9. Sea Level Rise in Santa Clara County

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Milesi, Cristina

    2005-01-01

    Presentation by Cristina Milesi, First Author, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA at the "Meeting the Challenge of Sea Level Rise in Santa Clara County" on June 19, 2005 Santa Clara County, bordering with the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay, is highly vulnerable to flooding and to sea level rise (SLR). In this presentation, the latest sea level rise projections for the San Francisco Bay will be discussed in the context of extreme water height frequency and extent of flooding vulnerability. I will also present preliminary estimations of levee requirements and possible mitigation through tidal restoration of existing salt ponds. The examples will draw mainly from the work done by the NASA Climate Adaptation Science Investigators at NASA Ames.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  11. Modeled Tradeoffs between Developed Land Protection and Tidal Habitat Maintenance during Rising Sea Levels

    PubMed Central

    Cadol, Daniel; Elmore, Andrew J.; Guinn, Steven M.; Engelhardt, Katharina A. M.; Sanders, Geoffrey

    2016-01-01

    Tidal habitats host a diversity of species and provide hydrological services such as shoreline protection and nutrient attenuation. Accretion of sediment and biomass enables tidal marshes and swamps to grow vertically, providing a degree of resilience to rising sea levels. Even if accelerating sea level rise overcomes this vertical resilience, tidal habitats have the potential to migrate inland as they continue to occupy land that falls within the new tide range elevations. The existence of developed land inland of tidal habitats, however, may prevent this migration as efforts are often made to dyke and protect developments. To test the importance of inland migration to maintaining tidal habitat abundance under a range of potential rates of sea level rise, we developed a spatially explicit elevation tracking and habitat switching model, dubbed the Marsh Accretion and Inundation Model (MAIM), which incorporates elevation-dependent net land surface elevation gain functions. We applied the model to the metropolitan Washington, DC region, finding that the abundance of small National Park Service units and other public open space along the tidal Potomac River system provides a refuge to which tidal habitats may retreat to maintain total habitat area even under moderate sea level rise scenarios (0.7 m and 1.1 m rise by 2100). Under a severe sea level rise scenario associated with ice sheet collapse (1.7 m by 2100) habitat area is maintained only if no development is protected from rising water. If all existing development is protected, then 5%, 10%, and 40% of the total tidal habitat area is lost by 2100 for the three sea level rise scenarios tested. PMID:27788209

  12. Modeled Tradeoffs between Developed Land Protection and Tidal Habitat Maintenance during Rising Sea Levels.

    PubMed

    Cadol, Daniel; Elmore, Andrew J; Guinn, Steven M; Engelhardt, Katharina A M; Sanders, Geoffrey

    2016-01-01

    Tidal habitats host a diversity of species and provide hydrological services such as shoreline protection and nutrient attenuation. Accretion of sediment and biomass enables tidal marshes and swamps to grow vertically, providing a degree of resilience to rising sea levels. Even if accelerating sea level rise overcomes this vertical resilience, tidal habitats have the potential to migrate inland as they continue to occupy land that falls within the new tide range elevations. The existence of developed land inland of tidal habitats, however, may prevent this migration as efforts are often made to dyke and protect developments. To test the importance of inland migration to maintaining tidal habitat abundance under a range of potential rates of sea level rise, we developed a spatially explicit elevation tracking and habitat switching model, dubbed the Marsh Accretion and Inundation Model (MAIM), which incorporates elevation-dependent net land surface elevation gain functions. We applied the model to the metropolitan Washington, DC region, finding that the abundance of small National Park Service units and other public open space along the tidal Potomac River system provides a refuge to which tidal habitats may retreat to maintain total habitat area even under moderate sea level rise scenarios (0.7 m and 1.1 m rise by 2100). Under a severe sea level rise scenario associated with ice sheet collapse (1.7 m by 2100) habitat area is maintained only if no development is protected from rising water. If all existing development is protected, then 5%, 10%, and 40% of the total tidal habitat area is lost by 2100 for the three sea level rise scenarios tested.

  13. Glaciers and Sea Level Rise

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    Summit camp on top of the Austfonna Ice Cap in Svalbard (Norwegian Arctic). To learn about the contributions of glaciers to sea level rise, visit: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/glacier-sea-rise.html Credit: Thorben Dunse, University of Oslo NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  14. Sea-Level Rise and Subsidence: Implications for Flooding in New Orleans, Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burkett, V.R.; Zilkoski, D.B.; Hart, D.A.

    2003-01-01

    Global sea-level rise is projected to accelerate two-to four-fold during the next century, increasing storm surge and shoreline retreat along low-lying, unconsolidated coastal margins. The Mississippi River Deltaic Plain in southeastern Louisiana is particularly vulnerable to erosion and inundation due to the rapid deterioration of coastal barriers combined with relatively high rates of land subsidence. Land-surface altitude data collected in the leveed areas of the New Orleans metropolitan region during five survey epochs between 1951 and 1995 indicated mean annual subsidence of 5 millimeters per year. Preliminary results of other studies detecting the regional movement of the north-central Gulf Coast indicate that the rate may be as much as 1 centimeter per year. Considering the rate of subsidence and the mid-range estimate of sea-level rise during the next 100 years (480 millimeters), the areas of New Orleans and vicinity that are presently 1.5 to 3 meters below mean sea level will likely be 2.5 to 4.0 meters or more below mean sea level by 2100.

  15. Future sea-level rise in the Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galassi, Gaia; Spada, Giorgio

    2014-05-01

    Secular sea level variations in the Mediterranean Sea are the result of a number of processes characterized by distinct time scales and spatial patterns. Here we predict the future sea level variations in the Mediterranean Sea to year 2050 combining the contributions from terrestrial ice melt (TIM), glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), and the ocean response (OR) that includes the thermal expansion and the ocean circulation contributions. The three contributions are characterized by comparable magnitudes but distinctly different sea-level fingerprints across the Mediterranean basin. The TIM component of future sea-level rise is taken from Spada et al. (2013) and it is mainly driven by the melt of small glaciers and ice caps and by the dynamic ice loss from Antarctica. The sea-level fingerprint associated with GIA is studied using two distinct models available from the literature: ICE-5G(VM2) (Peltier, 2004) and the ice model progressively developed at the Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES) of the National Australian University (KL05) (see Fleming and Lambeck, 2004 and references therein). Both the GIA and the TIM sea-level predictions have been obtained with the aid of the SELEN program (Spada and Stocchi, 2007). The spatially-averaged OR component, which includes thermosteric and halosteric sea-level variations, recently obtained using a regional coupled ocean-atmosphere model (Carillo et al., 2012), vary between 2 and 7 cm according to scenarios adopted (EA1B and EA1B2, see Meehl at al., 2007). Since the sea-level variations associated with TIM mainly result from the gravitational interactions between the cryosphere components, the oceans and the solid Earth, and long-wavelength rotational variations, they are characterized by a very smooth global pattern and by a marked zonal symmetry reflecting the dipole geometry of the ice sources. Since the Mediterranean Sea is located in the intermediate far-field of major ice sources, TIM sea-level changes have sub

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  18. Glaciers and Sea Level Rise

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    Aerial view of the Sverdrup Glacier, a river of ice that flows from the interior of the Devon Island Ice Cap (Canada) into the ocean. To learn about the contributions of glaciers to sea level rise, visit: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/glacier-sea-rise.html Credit: Alex Gardner, Clark University NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  19. Glaciers and Sea Level Rise

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    Melt water ponded at surface in the accumulation zone of Columbia Glacier, Alaska, in July 2008. To learn about the contributions of glaciers to sea level rise, visit: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/glacier-sea-rise.html Credit: W. Tad Pfeffer, University of Colorado at Boulder NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  20. Glaciers and Sea Level Rise

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    Peripheral glaciers and ice caps (isolated from the main ice sheet, which is seen in the upper right section of the image) in eastern Greenland. To learn about the contributions of glaciers to sea level rise, visit: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/glacier-sea-rise.html Credit: Frank Paul, University of Zurich NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  1. Glaciers and Sea Level Rise

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    This ice cave in Belcher Glacier (Devon Island, Canada) was formed by melt water flowing within the glacier ice. To learn about the contributions of glaciers to sea level rise, visit: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/glacier-sea-rise.html Credit: Angus Duncan, University of Saskatchewan NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  7. Visualizing Sea Level Rise with Augmented Reality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kintisch, E. S.

    2013-12-01

    Looking Glass is an application on the iPhone that visualizes in 3-D future scenarios of sea level rise, overlaid on live camera imagery in situ. Using a technology known as augmented reality, the app allows a layperson user to explore various scenarios of sea level rise using a visual interface. Then the user can see, in an immersive, dynamic way, how those scenarios would affect a real place. The first part of the experience activates users' cognitive, quantitative thinking process, teaching them how global sea level rise, tides and storm surge contribute to flooding; the second allows an emotional response to a striking visual depiction of possible future catastrophe. This project represents a partnership between a science journalist, MIT, and the Rhode Island School of Design, and the talk will touch on lessons this projects provides on structuring and executing such multidisciplinary efforts on future design projects.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  10. The impact of sea-level rise on organic matter decay rates in Chesapeake Bay brackish tidal marshes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirwanm, M.L.; Langley, J.A.; Guntenspergen, Gleen R.; Megonigal, J.P.

    2013-01-01

    The balance between organic matter production and decay determines how fast coastal wetlands accumulate soil organic matter. Despite the importance of soil organic matter accumulation rates in influencing marsh elevation and resistance to sea-level rise, relatively little is known about how decomposition rates will respond to sea-level rise. Here, we estimate the sensitivity of decomposition to flooding by measuring rates of decay in 87 bags filled with milled sedge peat, including soil organic matter, roots and rhizomes. Experiments were located in field-based mesocosms along 3 mesohaline tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Mesocosm elevations were manipulated to influence the duration of tidal inundation. Although we found no significant influence of inundation on decay rate when bags from all study sites were analyzed together, decay rates at two of the sites increased with greater flooding. These findings suggest that flooding may enhance organic matter decay rates even in water-logged soils, but that the overall influence of flooding is minor. Our experiments suggest that sea-level rise will not accelerate rates of peat accumulation by slowing the rate of soil organic matter decay. Consequently, marshes will require enhanced organic matter productivity or mineral sediment deposition to survive accelerating sea-level rise.

  11. The impact of sea-level rise on organic matter decay rates in Chesapeake Bay brackish tidal marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirwan, M. L.; Langley, J. A.; Guntenspergen, G. R.; Megonigal, J. P.

    2013-03-01

    The balance between organic matter production and decay determines how fast coastal wetlands accumulate soil organic matter. Despite the importance of soil organic matter accumulation rates in influencing marsh elevation and resistance to sea-level rise, relatively little is known about how decomposition rates will respond to sea-level rise. Here, we estimate the sensitivity of decomposition to flooding by measuring rates of decay in 87 bags filled with milled sedge peat, including soil organic matter, roots and rhizomes. Experiments were located in field-based mesocosms along 3 mesohaline tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Mesocosm elevations were manipulated to influence the duration of tidal inundation. Although we found no significant influence of inundation on decay rate when bags from all study sites were analyzed together, decay rates at two of the sites increased with greater flooding. These findings suggest that flooding may enhance organic matter decay rates even in water-logged soils, but that the overall influence of flooding is minor. Our experiments suggest that sea-level rise will not accelerate rates of peat accumulation by slowing the rate of soil organic matter decay. Consequently, marshes will require enhanced organic matter productivity or mineral sediment deposition to survive accelerating sea-level rise.

  12. The impact of sea-level rise on organic matter decay rates in Chesapeake Bay brackish tidal marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirwan, M. L.; Langley, J. A.; Guntenspergen, G. R.; Megonigal, J. P.

    2012-10-01

    The balance between organic matter production and decay determines how fast coastal wetlands accumulate soil organic matter. Despite the importance of soil organic matter accumulation rates in influencing marsh elevation and resistance to sea-level rise, relatively little is known about how decomposition rates will respond to sea-level rise. Here, we estimate the sensitivity of decomposition to flooding by measuring rates of decay in 87 bags filled with milled sedge peat, including soil organic matter, roots and rhizomes. Experiments were located in field-based mesocosms along 3 mesohaline tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Mesocosm elevations were manipulated to influence the duration of tidal inundation. Although we found no significant influence of inundation on decay rate when bags from all study sites were analyzed together, decay rates at two of the sites increased with greater flooding. These findings suggest that flooding may enhance organic matter decay rates even in water-logged soils, but that the overall influence of flooding is minor. Our experiments suggest that sea-level rise will not accelerate rates of peat accumulation by slowing the rate of soil organic matter decay. Consequently, marshes will require enhanced organic matter productivity or mineral sediment deposition to survive accelerating sea-level rise.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  15. Glaciers and Sea Level Rise

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-05-15

    An airplane drops essential support on the Austfonna Ice Cap in Svalbard (Norwegian Arctic). The triangular structure is a corner reflector used as ground reference for airborne radar surveys. To learn about the contributions of glaciers to sea level rise, visit: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/glacier-sea-rise.html Credit: Andrea Taurisano, Norwegian Polar Institute NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  17. Potential Inundation due to Rising Sea Levels in the San Francisco Bay Region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knowles, Noah

    2009-01-01

    An increase in the rate of sea level rise is one of the primary impacts of projected global climate change. To assess potential inundation associated with a continued acceleration of sea level rise, the highest resolution elevation data available were assembled from various sources and mosaicked to cover the land surfaces of the San Francisco Bay region. Next, to quantify high water levels throughout the bay, a hydrodynamic model of the San Francisco Estuary was driven by a projection of hourly water levels at the Presidio. This projection was based on a combination of climate model outputs and empirical models and incorporates astronomical, storm surge, El Niño, and long-term sea level rise influences. Based on the resulting data, maps of areas vulnerable to inundation were produced, corresponding to specific amounts of sea level rise and recurrence intervals. These maps portray areas where inundation will likely be an increasing concern. In the North Bay, wetland survival and developed fill areas are at risk. In Central and South bays, a key feature is the bay-ward periphery of developed areas that would be newly vulnerable to inundation. Nearly all municipalities adjacent to South Bay face this risk to some degree. For the Bay as a whole, as early as 2050 under this scenario, the one-year peak event nearly equals the 100-year peak event in 2000. Maps of vulnerable areas are presented and some implications discussed.

  18. The Sea Level Rise Tipping Point of Delta Survival

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, R. E.; Kearney, M.; Parkinson, R. W.

    2017-12-01

    The estimated rate of global eustatic sea-level rise (RSLR) associated with the formation of thirty-six of the world's coastal deltas was calculated for the last 22,000 years. These deltas are located in a variety of environmental settings in respect to tidal range, isostasy, and climate. After correcting the original uncalibrated radiocarbon age estimates to calibrated years, 90% of the deltas appear to have formed at an average age of 8,109 ± 122 BP and a median age of 7,967 BP. This age corresponds to a period of significant deceleration in the RSLR to between 5 mm yr-1 and 10 mm yr-1, and is in agreement with two regional estimates of vegetation growth limits with respect to RSLR. This RSLR tipping point for delta formation can be used to inform forecasts of delta resiliency under conditions of climate change and concomitant sea level rise. The RSLR is accelerating and will likely be several times higher than the formation tipping point by the end of this century. Hence, the demise of the world's deltaic environments are likely to occur within the same time frame.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27821743

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

    PubMed

    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.

  1. Glaciers and Sea Level Rise

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    Calving front of the Perito Moreno Glacier (Argentina). Contrary to the majority of the glaciers from the southern Patagonian ice field, the Perito Moreno Glacier is currently stable. It is also one of the most visited glaciers in the world. To learn about the contributions of glaciers to sea level rise, visit: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/glacier-sea-rise.html Credit: Etienne Berthier, Université de Toulouse NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  2. Glaciers and Sea Level Rise

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    The Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland is the largest valley glacier in the Alps. Its volume loss since the middle of the 19th century is well-visible from the trimlines to the right of the image. To learn about the contributions of glaciers to sea level rise, visit: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/glacier-sea-rise.html Credit: Frank Paul, University of Zurich NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  8. Glaciers and Sea Level Rise

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    Calving front of the Upsala Glacier (Argentina). This glacier has been thinning and retreating at a rapid rate during the last decades – from 2006 to 2010, it receded 43.7 yards (40 meters) per year. During summer 2012, large calving events prevented boat access to the glacier. To learn about the contributions of glaciers to sea level rise, visit: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/glacier-sea-rise.html Credit: Etienne Berthier, Université de Toulouse NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

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

    PubMed

    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.).

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  13. Sea-Level Acceleration Hotspot along the Atlantic Coast of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sallenger, A. H.; Doran, K. J.; Howd, P.

    2012-12-01

    Spatial variations of sea level rise (SLR) can be forced by dynamic processes arising from circulation and variations in temperature and/or salinity, and by static equilibrium processes arising from mass re-distributions changing gravity and the earth's rotation and shape. The sea-level variations can form unique spatial patterns, yet there are very few field observations verifying predicted patterns, or fingerprints. We present evidence of SLR acceleration in a 1,000-km-long hotspot on the North American Atlantic coast north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to above Boston, Massachusetts. By using accelerations, or rate differences, sea level signals that are linear over sub-century records, like the relative sea level changes arising from vertical land movements of glacial isostatic adjustment, do not affect our results. For a 60-yr regression window (between 1950-1979 and 1980-2009), mean increase in the rate of SLR in the hotspot was 1.97 ± 0.64 mm/yr. (For a 40-yr window, the mean rate increase was 3.80 ± 1.06 mm/yr.) South of Cape Hatteras to Key West, Florida, rate differences for either 60 yr or 40 yr windows were not statistically different from zero (e.g. for 60 yr window: mean= 0.11 ± 0.92 mm/yr). This pattern is similar to a fingerprint of dynamic SLR established by sea-level projections in several climate model studies. Correlations were consistent with accelerated SLR associated with a slowdown of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  15. Rising Sea Levels: Truth or Scare?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peacock, Alan

    2007-01-01

    When "ITV News" ran an item that shocked the author, about rising sea levels that will have caused the entire evacuation of the islands by the end of this year, he began to wonder whether the Pacific Ocean is really rising as fast as this. The media reporting of such things can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it brought to the author's…

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  1. Climate Adaptation and Sea Level Rise

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    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.

  2. PERSPECTIVE: The tripping points of sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hecht, Alan D.

    2009-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  6. Sea level variation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Douglas, Bruce C.

    1992-01-01

    Published values for the long-term, global mean sea level rise determined from tide gauge records range from about one to three mm per year. The scatter of the estimates appears to arise largely from the use of data from gauges located at convergent tectonic plate boundaries where changes of land elevation give fictitious sea level trends, and the effects of large interdecadal and longer sea level variations on short (less than 50+ years) or sappy records. In addition, virtually all gauges undergo subsidence or uplift due to isostatic rebound from the last deglaciation at a rate comparable to or greater than the secular rise of sea level. Modeling rebound by the ICE-3G model of Tushingham and Peltier (1990) and avoiding tide gauge records in areas of converging tectonic plates produces a highly consistent set of long sea level records. A global set of 21 such stations in nine oceanic regions with an average record length of 76 years during the period 1880-1980 yields the global sea level rise value 1.8 mm/year +/- 0.1. Greenhouse warming scenarios commonly forecast an additional acceleration of global sea level in the next 5 or 6+ decades in the range 0.1-0.2 mm/yr2. Because of the large power at low frequencies in the sea level spectrum, very long tide gauge records (75 years minimum) have been examined for past apparent sea level acceleration. For the 80-year period 1905-1985, 23 essentially complete tide gauge records in 10 geographic groups are available for analysis. These yielded the apparent global acceleration -0.011 (+/- 0.012) mm/yr2. A larger, less uniform set of 37 records in the same 10 groups with 92 years average length covering the 141 years from 1850-1991 gave 0.001 (+/- 0.008) mm/yr2. Thus there is no evidence for an apparent acceleration in the past 100+ years that is significant either statistically, or in comparison to values associated with global warming. Unfortunately, the large interdecadal fluctuations of sea level severely affect

  7. Updating Maryland's sea-level rise projections

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Global climate change and sea level rise: potential losses of intertidal habitat for shorebirds

    Treesearch

    H. Galbraith; R. Jones; R. Park; J. Clough; S. Herrod-Julius; B. Harrington; G. Page

    2005-01-01

    Global warming is expected to result in an acceleration of current rates of sea level rise, inundating many low-lying coastal and intertidal areas. This could have important implications for organisms that depend on these sites, including shorebirds that rely on them for foraging habitat during their migrations and in winter. We modeled the potential changes in the...

  14. Analysis of global impacts of sea-level rise: a case study of flooding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicholls, Robert J.

    Analysis of the response to climate change and sea-level rise requires a link from climate change science to the resulting impacts and their policy implications. This paper explores the impacts of sea-level rise, particularly increased coastal flooding due to storm surges. In particular, it asks the simple question “how much will projected global sea-level rise exacerbate coastal flood problems, if ignored?” This is an important question to the intergovernmental process considering climate change. Further many countries presently ignore sea-level rise in long-term coastal planning, even though global sea levels are presently slowly rising. Using the model of Nicholls et al. [Global Environmental Change 9 (1999) S69], the analysis considers the flood impacts of sea-level rise on an “IS92a world” based on a consistent set of scenarios of global-mean sea-level rise, subsidence (where appropriate), coastal population change (usually increase), and flood defence standards (derived from GDP/capita). Two of the protection scenarios consider the possible upgrade of flood defences, but no allowance for global-mean sea-level rise is allowed to ensure consistency with the question being investigated. This model has been validated against national- and regional-scale assessments indicating that the relative results are reasonable, and the absolute results are of the right order of magnitude. The model estimates that 10 million people experienced flooding annually in 1990. It also predicts that the incidence of flooding will change without sea-level rise due to changes to the other three factors. Taking the full range of scenarios considered by 2100 the number of people flooded could be from 0.4 to 39 million/year. All the sea-level rise scenarios would cause an increase in flooding during the 21st century if measures to adapt to sea-level rise are not taken. However, there are significant uncertainties and the number of people who are estimated to experience flooding

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  16. Under-estimated wave contribution to coastal sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melet, Angélique; Meyssignac, Benoit; Almar, Rafael; Le Cozannet, Gonéri

    2018-03-01

    Coastal communities are threatened by sea-level changes operating at various spatial scales; global to regional variations are associated with glacier and ice sheet loss and ocean thermal expansion, while smaller coastal-scale variations are also related to atmospheric surges, tides and waves. Here, using 23 years (1993-2015) of global coastal sea-level observations, we examine the contribution of these latter processes to long-term sea-level rise, which, to date, have been relatively less explored. It is found that wave contributions can strongly dampen or enhance the effects of thermal expansion and land ice loss on coastal water-level changes at interannual-to-multidecadal timescales. Along the US West Coast, for example, negative wave-induced trends dominate, leading to negative net water-level trends. Accurate estimates of past, present and future coastal sea-level rise therefore need to consider low-frequency contributions of wave set-up and swash.

  17. Oyster reefs can outpace sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, Antonio B.; Fodrie, F. Joel; Ridge, Justin T.; Lindquist, Niels L.; Theuerkauf, Ethan J.; Coleman, Sara E.; Grabowski, Jonathan H.; Brodeur, Michelle C.; Gittman, Rachel K.; Keller, Danielle A.; Kenworthy, Matthew D.

    2014-06-01

    In the high-salinity seaward portions of estuaries, oysters seek refuge from predation, competition and disease in intertidal areas, but this sanctuary will be lost if vertical reef accretion cannot keep pace with sea-level rise (SLR). Oyster-reef abundance has already declined ~85% globally over the past 100 years, mainly from over harvesting, making any additional losses due to SLR cause for concern. Before any assessment of reef response to accelerated SLR can be made, direct measures of reef growth are necessary. Here, we present direct measurements of intertidal oyster-reef growth from cores and terrestrial lidar-derived digital elevation models. On the basis of our measurements collected within a mid-Atlantic estuary over a 15-year period, we developed a globally testable empirical model of intertidal oyster-reef accretion. We show that previous estimates of vertical reef growth, based on radiocarbon dates and bathymetric maps, may be greater than one order of magnitude too slow. The intertidal reefs we studied should be able to keep up with any future accelerated rate of SLR (ref. ) and may even benefit from the additional subaqueous space allowing extended vertical accretion.

  18. Accelerated relative sea-level rise and rapid coastal erosion: Testing a causal relationship for the Louisiana barrier islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. The Wadden Sea in transition - consequences of sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becherer, Johannes; Hofstede, Jacobus; Gräwe, Ulf; Purkiani, Kaveh; Schulz, Elisabeth; Burchard, Hans

    2018-01-01

    The impact of sea level rise (SLR) on the future morphological development of the Wadden Sea (North Sea) is investigated by means of extensive process-resolving numerical simulations. A new sediment and morphodynamic module was implemented in the well-established 3D circulation model GETM. A number of different validations are presented, ranging from an idealized 1D channel over a semi-idealized 2D Wadden Sea basin to a fully coupled realistic 40-year hindcast without morphological amplification of the Sylt-Rømøbight, a semi-enclosed subsystem of the Wadden Sea. Based on the results of the hindcast, four distinct future scenarios covering the period 2010-2100 are simulated. While these scenarios differ in the strength of SLR and wind forcing, they also account for an expected increase of tidal range over the coming century. The results of the future projections indicate a transition from a tidal-flat-dominated system toward a lagoon-like system, in which large fractions of the Sylt-Rømøbight will remain permanently covered by water. This has potentially dramatic implications for the unique ecosystem of the Wadden Sea. Although the simulations also predict an increased accumulation of sediment in the back-barrier basin, this accumulation is far too weak to compensate for the rise in mean sea level.

  1. Critical width of tidal flats triggers marsh collapse in the absence of sea-level rise

    PubMed Central

    Mariotti, Giulio; Fagherazzi, Sergio

    2013-01-01

    High rates of wave-induced erosion along salt marsh boundaries challenge the idea that marsh survival is dictated by the competition between vertical sediment accretion and relative sea-level rise. Because waves pounding marshes are often locally generated in enclosed basins, the depth and width of surrounding tidal flats have a pivoting control on marsh erosion. Here, we show the existence of a threshold width for tidal flats bordering salt marshes. Once this threshold is exceeded, irreversible marsh erosion takes place even in the absence of sea-level rise. This catastrophic collapse occurs because of the positive feedbacks among tidal flat widening by wave-induced marsh erosion, tidal flat deepening driven by wave bed shear stress, and local wind wave generation. The threshold width is determined by analyzing the 50-y evolution of 54 marsh basins along the US Atlantic Coast. The presence of a critical basin width is predicted by a dynamic model that accounts for both horizontal marsh migration and vertical adjustment of marshes and tidal flats. Variability in sediment supply, rather than in relative sea-level rise or wind regime, explains the different critical width, and hence erosion vulnerability, found at different sites. We conclude that sediment starvation of coastlines produced by river dredging and damming is a major anthropogenic driver of marsh loss at the study sites and generates effects at least comparable to the accelerating sea-level rise due to global warming. PMID:23513219

  2. Critical width of tidal flats triggers marsh collapse in the absence of sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Mariotti, Giulio; Fagherazzi, Sergio

    2013-04-02

    High rates of wave-induced erosion along salt marsh boundaries challenge the idea that marsh survival is dictated by the competition between vertical sediment accretion and relative sea-level rise. Because waves pounding marshes are often locally generated in enclosed basins, the depth and width of surrounding tidal flats have a pivoting control on marsh erosion. Here, we show the existence of a threshold width for tidal flats bordering salt marshes. Once this threshold is exceeded, irreversible marsh erosion takes place even in the absence of sea-level rise. This catastrophic collapse occurs because of the positive feedbacks among tidal flat widening by wave-induced marsh erosion, tidal flat deepening driven by wave bed shear stress, and local wind wave generation. The threshold width is determined by analyzing the 50-y evolution of 54 marsh basins along the US Atlantic Coast. The presence of a critical basin width is predicted by a dynamic model that accounts for both horizontal marsh migration and vertical adjustment of marshes and tidal flats. Variability in sediment supply, rather than in relative sea-level rise or wind regime, explains the different critical width, and hence erosion vulnerability, found at different sites. We conclude that sediment starvation of coastlines produced by river dredging and damming is a major anthropogenic driver of marsh loss at the study sites and generates effects at least comparable to the accelerating sea-level rise due to global warming.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Langley, J.A.; McKee, K.L.; Cahoon, D.R.; Cherry, J.A.; Megonigala, J.P.

    2009-01-01

    Tidal wetlands experiencing increased rates of sea-level rise (SLR) must increase rates of soil elevation gain to avoid permanent conversion to open water. The maximal rate of SLR that these ecosystems can tolerate depends partly on mineral sediment deposition, but the accumulation of organic matter is equally important for many wetlands. Plant productivity drives organic matter dynamics and is sensitive to global change factors, such as rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. It remains unknown how global change will influence organic mechanisms that determine future tidal wetland viability. Here, we present experimental evidence that plant response to elevated atmospheric [CO2] stimulates biogenic mechanisms of elevation gain in a brackish marsh. Elevated CO2 (ambient + 340 ppm) accelerated soil elevation gain by 3.9 mm yr−1in 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Hurricanes, sea level rise, and coastal change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sallenger,, Asbury H.; Wang, Ping; Rosati, Julie D.; Roberts, Tiffany M.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  10. Estuarine wetland evolution including sea-level rise and infrastructure effects.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, Jose Fernando; Trivisonno, Franco; Rojas, Steven Sandi; Riccardi, Gerardo; Stenta, Hernan; Saco, Patricia Mabel

    2015-04-01

    Estuarine wetlands are an extremely valuable resource in terms of biotic diversity, flood attenuation, storm surge protection, groundwater recharge, filtering of surface flows and carbon sequestration. On a large scale the survival of these systems depends on the slope of the land and a balance between the rates of accretion and sea-level rise, but local man-made flow disturbances can have comparable effects. Climate change predictions for most of Australia include an accelerated sea level rise, which may challenge the survival of estuarine wetlands. Furthermore, coastal infrastructure poses an additional constraint on the adaptive capacity of these ecosystems. Numerical models are increasingly being used to assess wetland dynamics and to help manage some of these situations. We present results of a wetland evolution model that is based on computed values of hydroperiod and tidal range that drive vegetation preference. Our first application simulates the long term evolution of an Australian wetland heavily constricted by infrastructure that is undergoing the effects of predicted accelerated sea level rise. The wetland presents a vegetation zonation sequence mudflats - mangrove - saltmarsh from the seaward margin and up the topographic gradient but is also affected by compartmentalization due to internal road embankments and culverts that effectively attenuates tidal input to the upstream compartments. For this reason, the evolution model includes a 2D hydrodynamic module which is able to handle man-made flow controls and spatially varying roughness. It continually simulates tidal inputs into the wetland and computes annual values of hydroperiod and tidal range to update vegetation distribution based on preference to hydrodynamic conditions of the different vegetation types. It also computes soil accretion rates and updates roughness coefficient values according to evolving vegetation types. In order to explore in more detail the magnitude of flow attenuation due to

  11. Sea level rise and variability around Peninsular Malaysia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  13. Sea Level Rise Drove Enhanced Coastal Erosion following the Last Glacial Maximum, Southern California, U.S.A.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharman, G.; Covault, J. A.; Stockli, D. F.; Sickmann, Z.; Malkowski, M. A.; Johnstone, S.

    2017-12-01

    Seacliff erosion poses a major threat to southern California coastal communities, including the propensity for episodic cliff failure and damage to residential and commercial property. Rising sea level is predicted to accelerate seacliff retreat, yet few constraints exist on how rapid sea level rise influenced coastal erosion rates in pre-modern timescales. Here we look to the geologic record in submarine fans to investigate changes in relative sediment supply from rivers and coastal erosion, the latter including seacliff retreat and bluffland erosion. To understand how sea level rise driven by past global warming impacted coastal erosion rates, we sampled modern rivers of the Peninsular Ranges and latest Pleistocene-Holocene submarine canyon-fan systems in southern California for detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology (1369 analyses from 10 samples). Modern river samples show a systematic north-south change in grain age populations broadly distributed across Cretaceous time (ca. 70-135 Ma) to a predominance of middle Cretaceous grain ages (ca. 95-115 Ma), reflecting variations in the geologic age of units within each river catchment. The Carlsbad and La Jolla submarine canyon-fan systems, deposited during sea level lowstand and highstand, respectively, exhibit detrital zircon age distributions consistent with derivation from upstream rivers, with mixing in the littoral zone. However, a sample from the Oceanside fan, deposited during rapid sea level rise at ca. 13 ka, is dominated by detrital ages that lack a local source in the northern Peninsular Ranges, including latest Cretaceous, late Jurassic, and Proterozoic ages. However, such grain ages are widespread in Paleogene sedimentary rocks that comprise the shelf and coastal area, suggesting increased sediment supply from coastal and shelf erosion. Assuming that the Oceanside sample is representative of sediment production during sea level rise, sediment mixing calculations suggest a one to two orders of magnitude

  14. Projecting future sea level

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  16. Tidal wetland stability in the face of human impacts and sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Kirwan, Matthew L; Megonigal, J Patrick

    2013-12-05

    Coastal populations and wetlands have been intertwined for centuries, whereby humans both influence and depend on the extensive ecosystem services that wetlands provide. Although coastal wetlands have long been considered vulnerable to sea-level rise, recent work has identified fascinating feedbacks between plant growth and geomorphology that allow wetlands to actively resist the deleterious effects of sea-level rise. Humans alter the strength of these feedbacks by changing the climate, nutrient inputs, sediment delivery and subsidence rates. Whether wetlands continue to survive sea-level rise depends largely on how human impacts interact with rapid sea-level rise, and socio-economic factors that influence transgression into adjacent uplands.

  17. How mangrove forests adjust to rising sea level

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Mean sea-level rise impacts on Santos Bay, Southeastern Brazil--physical modelling study.

    PubMed

    Alfredini, Paolo; Arasaki, Emilia; do Amaral, Rogério Fernando

    2008-09-01

    The greenhouse effect and resulting increase in the Earth's temperature may accelerate the mean sea-level rise. The natural response of bays and estuaries to this rise, such as this case study of Santos Bay (Brazil), will include change in shoreline position, land flooding and wetlands impacts. The main impacts of this scenario were studied in a physical model built in the Coastal and Harbour Division of Hydraulic Laboratory, University of São Paulo, and the main conclusions are presented in this paper. The model reproduces near 1,000 km(2) of the study area, including Santos, São Vicente, Praia Grande, Cubatão, Guarujá and Bertioga cities.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  1. Experimental Investigation of River Avulsion and Land-Loss on a Backwater-Influenced Delta Undergoing Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sikes, K.; Chadwick, A. J.; Lamb, M. P.; Fuller, B. M.

    2016-12-01

    Predicting the frequency of river channel avulsions and the rate of land-loss on deltas is important for hazard mitigation, ecological protection, and coastal sustainability, especially given modern rates of relative sea level rise. Previous work has investigated the effect of hydrodynamic backwater in mediating sedimentation patterns and channel avulsions on deltas, but the effect of sea-level rise on backwater-influenced deltas has yet to be explored in experiments. We will present preliminary results from a flume experiment designed to explore the role of sea-level rise on the evolution of a backwater-mediated 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 under subcritical flow conditions. We used periodic flood events with different discharges to produce persistent non-uniform flow with a backwater length of 1m. Using a combination of image processing and topographic scans, we will characterize the frequency of backwater-mediated avulsions and the evolution of discrete deltaic lobes under a series of steady sea-level rise rates of different magnitude. We predict that, under moderate rise rates, enhanced aggradation will cause channels to avulse at an accelerated pace, replenishing inactive lobes more quickly and naturally acting to mitigate the extent of drowning along the delta shoreline. However, for higher rise rates, we hypothesize that rapid shoreline retreat may shift the backwater zone upstream, leading to the complete abandonment of deltaic lobes.

  2. A search for scale in sea-level studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larsen, C.E.; Clark, I.

    2006-01-01

    Many researchers assume a proportional relationship among the atmospheric CO2 concentration, temperature, and sea level. Thus, the rate of sea-level rise should increase in concert with the documented exponential increase in CO2. Although sea surface temperature has increased in places over the past century and short-term sea level rose abruptly during the 1990s, it is difficult to demonstrate a proportional relationship using existing geologic or historic records. Tide gauge records in the United States cover too short a time interval to verify acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise, although multicentury tide gauge and staff records from the Netherlands and Sweden suggest a mid-19th-century acceleration in sea-level rise. Reconstructions of sea-level changes for the past 1000 years derived using benthic foraminifer data from salt marshes along the East Coast of the United States suggest an increased rate of relative sea-level rise beginning in the 1600s. Geologic records of relative sea-level rise for the past 6000 years are available for several sites along the US East Coast from 14C-dated basal peat below salt marshes and estuarine sediments. When these three scales of sea-level variation are integrated, adjusted for postglacial isostatic movement, and replotted, the range of variation in sea level suggested by basal peat ages is within ??1 meter of the long-term trend. The reconstruction from Long Island Sound data shows a linear rise in sea level beginning in the mid-1600s at a rate consistent with the historic record of mean high water. Long-term tide gauge records from Europe and North America show similar trends since the mid-19th century. There is no clear proportional exponential increase in the rate of sea-level rise. If proportionality exists among sea level, atmospheric CO2, and temperature, there may be a significant time lag before an anthropogenic increase in the rate of sea-level rise occurs.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  5. Coastal Vulnerability Assessment of Padre Island National Seashore (PAIS) to Sea-Level Rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nicholls, Robert J; Marinova, Natasha; Lowe, Jason A; Brown, Sally; Vellinga, Pier; de Gusmão, Diogo; Hinkel, Jochen; Tol, Richard S J

    2011-01-13

    The range of future climate-induced sea-level rise remains highly uncertain with continued concern that large increases in the twenty-first century cannot be ruled out. The biggest source of uncertainty is the response of the large ice sheets of Greenland and west Antarctica. Based on our analysis, a pragmatic estimate of sea-level rise by 2100, for a temperature rise of 4°C or more over the same time frame, is between 0.5 m and 2 m--the probability of rises at the high end is judged to be very low, but of unquantifiable probability. However, if realized, an indicative analysis shows that the impact potential is severe, with the real risk of the forced displacement of up to 187 million people over the century (up to 2.4% of global population). This is potentially avoidable by widespread upgrade of protection, albeit rather costly with up to 0.02 per cent of global domestic product needed, and much higher in certain nations. The likelihood of protection being successfully implemented varies between regions, and is lowest in small islands, Africa and parts of Asia, and hence these regions are the most likely to see coastal abandonment. To respond to these challenges, a multi-track approach is required, which would also be appropriate if a temperature rise of less than 4°C was expected. Firstly, we should monitor sea level to detect any significant accelerations in the rate of rise in a timely manner. Secondly, we need to improve our understanding of the climate-induced processes that could contribute to rapid sea-level rise, especially the role of the two major ice sheets, to produce better models that quantify the likely future rise more precisely. Finally, responses need to be carefully considered via a combination of climate mitigation to reduce the rise and adaptation for the residual rise in sea level. In particular, long-term strategic adaptation plans for the full range of possible sea-level rise (and other change) need to be widely developed.

  7. What Causes the North Sea Level to Rise Faster over the Last Decade ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Sea Level Rise National Coastal Property Model

    EPA Science Inventory

    The impact of sea level rise on coastal properties depends critically on the human response to the threat, which in turn depends on several factors, including the immediacy of the risk, the magnitude of property value at risk, options for adapting to the threat and the cost of th...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  16. Ice2sea - Estimating the future contribution of continental ice to sea-level rise - project summary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Elaina; Vaughan, David

    2013-04-01

    Ice2sea brings together the EU's scientific and operational expertise from 24 leading institutions across Europe and beyond. Improved projections of the contribution of ice to sea-level rise produced by this major European-funded programme will inform the fifth IPCC report (due in September 2013). In 2007, the fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report highlighted ice-sheets as the most significant remaining uncertainty in projections of sea-level rise. Understanding about the crucial ice-sheet effects was "too limited to assess their likelihood or provide a best estimate of an upper bound for sea-level rise". Ice2sea was created to address these issues - the project started in 2009 and is now drawing to a close, with our final symposium in May 2013, and final publicity activities around the IPCC report release in autumn 2013. Here we present a summary of the overall and key outputs of the ice2sea project.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    Estimates of future flood hazards made under the assumption of stationary mean sea level are biased low due to sea-level rise (SLR). However, adjustments to flood return levels made assuming fixed increases of sea level are also inadequate when applied to sea level that is rising over time at an uncertain rate. SLR allowances—the height adjustment from historic flood levels that maintain under uncertainty the annual expected probability of flooding—are typically estimated independently of individual decision-makers’ preferences, such as time horizon, risk tolerance, and confidence in SLR projections.We provide a framework of SLR allowances that employs complete probability distributions ofmore » local SLR and a range of user-defined flood risk management preferences. Given non-stationary and uncertain sea-level rise, these metrics provide estimates of flood protection heights and offsets for different planning horizons in coastal areas. In conclusion, we illustrate the calculation of various allowance types for a set of long-duration tide gauges along U.S. coastlines.« less

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-06-03

    Estimates of future flood hazards made under the assumption of stationary mean sea level are biased low due to sea-level rise (SLR). However, adjustments to flood return levels made assuming fixed increases of sea level are also inadequate when applied to sea level that is rising over time at an uncertain rate. SLR allowances—the height adjustment from historic flood levels that maintain under uncertainty the annual expected probability of flooding—are typically estimated independently of individual decision-makers’ preferences, such as time horizon, risk tolerance, and confidence in SLR projections.We provide a framework of SLR allowances that employs complete probability distributions ofmore » local SLR and a range of user-defined flood risk management preferences. Given non-stationary and uncertain sea-level rise, these metrics provide estimates of flood protection heights and offsets for different planning horizons in coastal areas. In conclusion, we illustrate the calculation of various allowance types for a set of long-duration tide gauges along U.S. coastlines.« less

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Tidal marshes have a large capacity for producing and storing organic matter, making their role in the global carbon budget disproportionate to land area. Most of the organic matter stored in these systems is in soils where it contributes 2-5 times more to surface accretion than an equal mass of minerals. Soil organic matter (SOM) sequestration is the primary process by which tidal marshes become perched high in the tidal frame, decreasing their vulnerability to accelerated relative sea level rise (RSLR). Plant growth responses to RSLR are well understood and represented in century-scale forecast models of soil surface elevation change. We understand far less about the response of SOM decomposition to accelerated RSLR. Here we quantified the effects of flooding depth and duration on SOM decomposition by exposing planted and unplanted field-based mesocosms to experimentally manipulated relative sea level over two consecutive growing seasons. SOM decomposition was quantified as CO2 efflux, with plant- and SOM-derived CO2 separated via δ(13) CO2 . Despite the dominant paradigm that decomposition rates are inversely related to flooding, SOM decomposition in the absence of plants was not sensitive to flooding depth and duration. The presence of plants had a dramatic effect on SOM decomposition, increasing SOM-derived CO2 flux by up to 267% and 125% (in 2012 and 2013, respectively) compared to unplanted controls in the two growing seasons. Furthermore, plant stimulation of SOM decomposition was strongly and positively related to plant biomass and in particular aboveground biomass. We conclude that SOM decomposition rates are not directly driven by relative sea level and its effect on oxygen diffusion through soil, but indirectly by plant responses to relative sea level. If this result applies more generally to tidal wetlands, it has important implications for models of SOM accumulation and surface elevation change in response to accelerated RSLR. © 2015 John Wiley

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

    PubMed

    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.

  1. Non-Linear Interactions Determine the Impact of Sea-Level Rise on Estuarine Benthic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Processes

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23861863

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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. Analysis of Sea Level Rise in Action

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  6. Mass and volume contributions to twentieth-century global sea level rise.

    PubMed

    Miller, Laury; Douglas, Bruce C

    2004-03-25

    The rate of twentieth-century global sea level rise and its causes are the subjects of intense controversy. Most direct estimates from tide gauges give 1.5-2.0 mm yr(-1), whereas indirect estimates based on the two processes responsible for global sea level rise, namely mass and volume change, fall far below this range. Estimates of the volume increase due to ocean warming give a rate of about 0.5 mm yr(-1) (ref. 8) and the rate due to mass increase, primarily from the melting of continental ice, is thought to be even smaller. Therefore, either the tide gauge estimates are too high, as has been suggested recently, or one (or both) of the mass and volume estimates is too low. Here we present an analysis of sea level measurements at tide gauges combined with observations of temperature and salinity in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans close to the gauges. We find that gauge-determined rates of sea level rise, which encompass both mass and volume changes, are two to three times higher than the rates due to volume change derived from temperature and salinity data. Our analysis supports earlier studies that put the twentieth-century rate in the 1.5-2.0 mm yr(-1) range, but more importantly it suggests that mass increase plays a larger role than ocean warming in twentieth-century global sea level rise.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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

  8. Global Projection of Coastal Exposure Associated with Sea-level Rise beyond Tipping Points

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tawatari, R.; Miyazaki, C.; Iseri, Y.; Kiguchi, M.; Kanae, S.

    2015-12-01

    Sea-level rise due to global warming becomes a great matter of concern for global coastal area. Additionally, it has reported in fifth report of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) that deglaciation of Greenland ice sheet and Antarctic ice sheet would occur rapidly and enhance sea-level rise if temperature passes certain "Tipping point". In terms of projecting damage induced by sea-level rise globally, some previous studies focused on duration until mainly 2100. Furthermore long-term estimations on centuries to millennial climatic response of the ice sheets which are supposed to be triggered within this or next century would be also important to think about future climate and lifestyle in coastal . In this study, I estimated the long term sea-level which take into account the tipping points of Greenland ice sheet (1.4℃) as sum of 4 factors (thermal expansion, glacier and ice cap, Greenland ice sheet, Antarctic ice sheet). The sea-level follows 4 representative concentration pathways up to 3000 obtained through literature reviewing since there were limited available sea-level projections up to 3000. I also estimated a number of affected population lives in coastal area up to 3000 with using the estimated sea-level. The cost for damage, adaptation and mitigation would be also discussed. These estimations would be useful when decision-makers propose policies for construction of dikes and proposing mitigation plans for sustainable future. The result indicates there would be large and relatively rapid increases in both sea-level rise and coastal exposure if global mean temperature passes the tipping point of Greenland ice sheet. However the tipping points, melting rate and timescale of response are highly uncertain and still discussed among experts. Thus more precise and credible information is required for further accurate estimation of long-term sea-level rise and population exposure in the future.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    DOT National Transportation Integrated Search

    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 ...

  13. Vulnerability of marginal seas to sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  14. Nest inundation from sea-level rise threatens sea turtle population viability.

    PubMed

    Pike, David A; Roznik, Elizabeth A; Bell, Ian

    2015-07-01

    Contemporary sea-level rise will inundate coastal habitats with seawater more frequently, disrupting the life cycles of terrestrial fauna well before permanent habitat loss occurs. Sea turtles are reliant on low-lying coastal habitats worldwide for nesting, where eggs buried in the sand remain vulnerable to inundation until hatching. We show that saltwater inundation directly lowers the viability of green turtle eggs (Chelonia mydas) collected from the world's largest green turtle nesting rookery at Raine Island, Australia, which is undergoing enigmatic decline. Inundation for 1 or 3 h reduced egg viability by less than 10%, whereas inundation for 6 h reduced viability by approximately 30%. All embryonic developmental stages were vulnerable to mortality from saltwater inundation. Although the hatchlings that emerged from inundated eggs displayed normal physical and behavioural traits, hypoxia during incubation could influence other aspects of the physiology or behaviour of developing embryos, such as learning or spatial orientation. Saltwater inundation can directly lower hatching success, but it does not completely explain the consistently low rates of hatchling production observed on Raine Island. More frequent nest inundation associated with sea-level rise will increase variability in sea turtle hatching success spatially and temporally, due to direct and indirect impacts of saltwater inundation on developing embryos.

  15. Nest inundation from sea-level rise threatens sea turtle population viability

    PubMed Central

    Pike, David A.; Roznik, Elizabeth A.; Bell, Ian

    2015-01-01

    Contemporary sea-level rise will inundate coastal habitats with seawater more frequently, disrupting the life cycles of terrestrial fauna well before permanent habitat loss occurs. Sea turtles are reliant on low-lying coastal habitats worldwide for nesting, where eggs buried in the sand remain vulnerable to inundation until hatching. We show that saltwater inundation directly lowers the viability of green turtle eggs (Chelonia mydas) collected from the world's largest green turtle nesting rookery at Raine Island, Australia, which is undergoing enigmatic decline. Inundation for 1 or 3 h reduced egg viability by less than 10%, whereas inundation for 6 h reduced viability by approximately 30%. All embryonic developmental stages were vulnerable to mortality from saltwater inundation. Although the hatchlings that emerged from inundated eggs displayed normal physical and behavioural traits, hypoxia during incubation could influence other aspects of the physiology or behaviour of developing embryos, such as learning or spatial orientation. Saltwater inundation can directly lower hatching success, but it does not completely explain the consistently low rates of hatchling production observed on Raine Island. More frequent nest inundation associated with sea-level rise will increase variability in sea turtle hatching success spatially and temporally, due to direct and indirect impacts of saltwater inundation on developing embryos. PMID:26587269

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  20. Land subsidence and relative sea-level rise in the southern Chesapeake Bay region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eggleston, Jack; Pope, Jason

    2013-01-01

    The southern Chesapeake Bay region is experiencing land subsidence and rising water levels due to global sea-level rise; land subsidence and rising water levels combine to cause relative sea-level rise. Land subsidence has been observed since the 1940s in the southern Chesapeake Bay region at rates of 1.1 to 4.8 millimeters per year (mm/yr), and subsidence continues today. This land subsidence helps explain why the region has the highest rates of sea-level rise on the Atlantic Coast of the United States. Data indicate that land subsidence has been responsible for more than half the relative sea-level rise measured in the region. Land subsidence increases the risk of flooding in low-lying areas, which in turn has important economic, environmental, and human health consequences for the heavily populated and ecologically important southern Chesapeake Bay region. The aquifer system in the region has been compacted by extensive groundwater pumping in the region at rates of 1.5- to 3.7-mm/yr; this compaction accounts for more than half of observed land subsidence in the region. Glacial isostatic adjustment, or the flexing of the Earth’s crust in response to glacier formation and melting, also likely contributes to land subsidence in the region.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  2. GGOS Focus Area 3: Understanding and Forecasting Sea-Level Rise and Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schöne, Tilo; Shum, Ck; Tamisiea, Mark; Woodworth, Philip

    2017-04-01

    Sea level and its change have been measured for more than a century. Especially for coastal nations, deltaic regions, and coastal-oriented industries, observations of tides, tidal extremes, storm surges, and sea level rise at the interannual or longer scales have substantial impacts on coastal vulnerability towards resilience and sustainability of world's coastal regions. To date, the observed global sea level rise is largely associated with climate related changes. To find the patterns and fingerprints of those changes, and to e.g., separate the land motion from sea level signals, different monitoring techniques have been developed. Some of them are local, e.g., tide gauges, while others are global, e.g., satellite altimetry. It is well known that sea level change and land vertical motion varies regionally, and both signals need to be measured in order to quantify relative sea level at the local scale. The Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS) and its services contribute in many ways to the monitoring of the sea level. These includes tide gauge observations, estimation of gravity changes, satellite altimetry, InSAR/Lidar, GNSS-control of tide gauges, providing ground truth sites for satellite altimetry, and importantly the maintenance of the International Reference Frame. Focus Area 3 (Understanding and Forecasting Sea-Level Rise and Variability) of GGOS establishes a platform and a forum for researchers and authorities dealing with estimating global and local sea level changes in a 10- to 30-year time span, and its project to the next century or beyond. It presents an excellent opportunity to emphasize the global, through to regional and local, importance of GGOS to a wide range of sea-level related science and practical applications. Focus Area 3 works trough demonstration projects to highlight the value of geodetic techniques to sea level science and applications. Contributions under a call for participation (http://www.ggos.org/Applications/theme3_SL

  3. Extreme Sea Level Rise Event Linked to 2009-10 AMOC Downturn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, J.

    2016-02-01

    The coastal sea levels along the Northeast Coast of North America show significant year-to-year fluctuations in a general upward trend. Our analysis of long-term tide gauge records along the North American east coast identified an extreme sea-level rise (SLR) event during 2009-2010. Within this relatively brief two-year period, coastal sea levels north of New York City jumped by 100 mm. This magnitude of inter-annual SLR is unprecedented in the century-long tide gauge records, with statistical methods suggesting that it was a 1-in-850 year event. We show that this extreme SLR event was a combined effect of two physical factors. First, it was partly due to an observed 30% downturn of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) during 2009-2010. This AMOC slowdown caused a significant decline of the dynamic sea level gradient across the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Current, thereby imparting a rise in coastal sea level. The second contributing factor to the extreme SLR event was due to a significant negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index. The associated easterly or northeasterly wind anomalies acted to push ocean waters towards the Northeast Coast through the Ekman transport, resulting in further rise in coastal sea levels. Sea level pressure anomalies also contributed to the extreme SLR event through the inverse barometer effect. To project future extreme sea levels along the east coast of North America during the 21st century, we make use of a suite of climate/Earth system models developed at GFDL and other modeling centers. These models included typical CMIP5-class models, as well as the newer climate models GFDL CM2.5 and CM2.6 with eddying oceans. In response to the increase in greenhouse-gas concentrations, each of these models show a reduction in the AMOC. Given the observed connection between AMOC reduction and extreme coastal sea levels, the models thus project an increase in extreme SLR frequency on interannual time scales along the

  4. Sea-Level Rise and Land Subsidence in Deltas: Estimating Future Flood Risk Through Integrated Natural and Human System Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tessler, Z. D.; Vorosmarty, C. J.

    2016-12-01

    Deltas are highly sensitive to local human activities, land subsidence, regional water management, global sea-level rise, and climate extremes. We present a new delta flood exposure and risk framework for estimating the sensitivity of deltas to relative sea-level rise. We have applied this framework to a set of global environmental, geophysical, and social indicators over 48 major river deltas to quantify how contemporary risks vary across delta systems. The risk modeling framework incorporates upstream sediment flux and coastal land subsidence models, global empirical estimates of contemporary storm surge exposure, and population distribution and growth. Future scenarios are used to test the impacts on coastal flood risk of upstream dam construction, coastal population growth, accelerated sea-level rise, and enhanced storm surge. Results suggest a wide range of outcomes across different delta systems within each scenario. Deltas in highly engineered watersheds (Mississippi, Rhine) exhibit less sensitivity to increased dams due to saturation of sediment retention effects, though planned or under-construction dams are expected to have a substantial impact in the Yangtze, Irrawaddy, and Magdalena deltas. Population growth and sea-level rise are expected to be the dominant drivers of increased human risk in most deltas, with important exceptions in several countries, particularly China, where population are forecast to contract over the next several decades.

  5. Method for Assessing Impacts of Global Sea Level Rise on Navigation Gate Operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obrien, P. S.; White, K. D.; Friedman, D.

    2015-12-01

    Coastal navigation infrastructure may be highly vulnerable to changing climate, including increasing sea levels and altered frequency and intensity of coastal storms. Future gate operations impacted by global sea level rise will pose unique challenges, especially for structures 50 years and older. Our approach is to estimate future changes in gate operational frequency based on a bootstrapping method to forecast future water levels. A case study will be presented to determine future changes in frequency of operations over the next 100 years. A statistical model in the R programming language was developed to apply future sea level rise projections using the three sea level rise scenarios prescribed by USACE Engineer Regulation ER 1100-2-8162. Information derived from the case study will help forecast changes in operational costs caused by increased gate operations and inform timing of decisions on adaptation measures.

  6. Reconciling projections of the Antarctic contribution to sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  7. Habitability at the frontlines of sea level rise: a spatiotemporal analysis of settlements and coastal inundation in eight global sea level rise hotspots between 1990 and 2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rose, S. A.; Wrathall, D.

    2017-12-01

    Over the coming centuries and millennia, sea level rise will greatly redistribute global human population through displacement and migration. Sudden, large-scale displacement is extremely disruptive to society both for migrants and host communities, and there is a great scientific and policy need to anticipate where, when and how this could happen around sea level rise. We can meet these needs by examining how long-term coastal inundation of settlements has already occurred. Using two global geospatial data sets, the Global Human Settlement Layer and the Global Surface Water Layer, we examine the global spatial concentration of settlement inundation that occurred between 1990 and 2015. We focus on the eight sea level rise hotspots identified in Clark et al (2016), which include Bangladesh, Mekong Delta, Indonesia, Japan, Nile Delta, Philippines, and the US Mid-Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, and examine areas of convergence between settlement loss density and negative population change. This analysis reveals specific areas of concern within vulnerable countries, and forms the basis for focused investigations of the long-term impact of coastal inundation on various migration systems. This analysis shows us how long-term sets of satellite derived data on human population can help anticipate how sea level rise will alter future patterns of human settlement and migration into the 21st century and beyond.

  8. Rates of subsidence and relative sea level rise in the Hawaii Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, Albert

    2016-12-01

    The major cause of the Hawaiian Islands coastal erosion is shown to be not global warming, but the sinking of the volcanic islands. The geologic "circle-of-life" beyond the Hawaiian hot spot is the true explanation of the beach erosion. The sea levels are slow rising and not accelerating worldwide as well as in the United States. In the specific of the Hawaii Islands, they have been decelerating over the last 3 decades because of the phasing of the multi-decadal oscillations for this area of the Pacific. There is therefore no evidence coastal erosion will double in the Hawaii by 2050 because of global warming.

  9. A new perspective on global mean sea level (GMSL) acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, Phil J.

    2016-06-01

    The vast body of contemporary climate change science is largely underpinned by the premise of a measured acceleration from anthropogenic forcings evident in key climate change proxies -- greenhouse gas emissions, temperature, and mean sea level. By virtue, over recent years, the issue of whether or not there is a measurable acceleration in global mean sea level has resulted in fierce, widespread professional, social, and political debate. Attempts to measure acceleration in global mean sea level (GMSL) have often used comparatively crude analysis techniques providing little temporal instruction on these key questions. This work proposes improved techniques to measure real-time velocity and acceleration based on five GMSL reconstructions spanning the time frame from 1807 to 2014 with substantially improved temporal resolution. While this analysis highlights key differences between the respective reconstructions, there is now more robust, convincing evidence of recent acceleration in the trend of GMSL.

  10. How Do River Meanders Change with Sea Level Rise and Fall?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scamardo, J. E.; Kim, W.

    2016-12-01

    River meander patterns are controlled by numerous factors, including variations in water discharge, sediment input, and base level. However, the effect of sea level rise and fall on meandering rivers has not been thoroughly quantified. This study examines geomorphic changes to meandering rivers as a result of sea level rise and fall. Twenty experimental runs using coarse-grained walnut shell sediment (D50= 500 microns) in a flume tank (2.4m x 0.6m x 0.1m) tested the optimal initial conditions for creating meandering rivers in a laboratory setting as well as variations in base level rise and fall rates. Geomorphic changes were recorded by camera images every 20 seconds for a duration of 4 hours per experiment. Seventeen experiments tested the effects of changes in initial base levels, water discharge between 200 and 400 mL/min, and sediment to water input ratios between 1:1000 and 1:250 while measuring sinuosity, channel geometry, and the timescale of the channel to reach a stable form. Sinuosity and channel activity increased with increasing water discharge, initial base level, and the sediment to water ratio to a point after which the activity decreased with increasing sediment input. Base-level change experiments used initial conditions of 400 mL/min, a 1:750 sediment to water input ratio, and a 6 cm initial base-level to induce river meanders for the initial 2 hours before base-level change occurred. Three separate experiments investigated the effects of increasing rates of sea level change: 0.07 cm/min, 0.1 cm/min, and 0.2 cm/min. Experimental sea level was decreased constantly from a high-stand of 6 cm to a low-stand of 2 cm back to the high-stand base-level in each experiment. The rates of change in the experiments scale roughly from central to glacial cycles. In all three experiments, sea level fall induced meander cut-off while sea level rise prompted greater rates of meander bend erosion and meander growth. Sinuosity increased by 12%, 13.5%, and 24

  11. Constraining Future Sea Level Rise Estimates from the Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nias, I.; Cornford, S. L.; Edwards, T.; Gourmelen, N.; Payne, A. J.

    2016-12-01

    The Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) is the primary source of mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The catchment is particularly susceptible to grounding line retreat, because the ice sheet is grounded on bedrock that is below sea level and deepening towards its interior. Mass loss from the ASE ice streams, which include Pine Island, Thwaites and Smith glaciers, is a major uncertainty on future sea level rise, and understanding the dynamics of these ice streams is essential to constraining this uncertainty. The aim of this study is to construct a distribution of future ASE sea level contributions from an ensemble of ice sheet model simulations and observations of surface elevation change. A 284 member ensemble was performed using BISICLES, a vertically-integrated ice flow model with adaptive mesh refinement. Within the ensemble parameters associated with basal traction, ice rheology and sub-shelf melt rate were perturbed, and the effect of bed topography and sliding law were also investigated. Initially each configuration was run to 50 model years. Satellite observations of surface height change were then used within a Bayesian framework to assign likelihoods to each ensemble member. Simulations that better reproduced the current thinning patterns across the catchment were given a higher score. The resulting posterior distribution of sea level contributions is narrower than the prior distribution, although the central estimates of sea level rise are similar between the prior and posterior. The most extreme simulations were eliminated and the remaining ensemble members were extended to 200 years, using a simple melt rate forcing.

  12. 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.

    PubMed

    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

  13. Nutrient enrichment and precipitation changes do not enhance resiliency of salt marshes to sea level rise in the Northeastern U.S.

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the U.S. Northeast, salt marshes are exceptionally vulnerable to the effects of accelerated sea level rise as compensatory mechanisms relying on positive feedbacks between inundation and sediment deposition are insufficient to counter inundation increases in low turbidity tida...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  16. Predicting tidal marsh survival or submergence to sea-level rise using Holocene data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horton, B.; Shennan, I.; Bradley, S.; Cahill, N.; Kirwan, M. L.; Kopp, R. E.; Shaw, T.

    2017-12-01

    Rising sea level threatens to permanently submerge tidal marsh environments if they cannot accrete faster than the rate of relative sea-level rise (RSLR). But regional and global model simulations of the future ability of marshes to maintain their elevation with respect to the tidal frame are uncertain. The compilation of empirical data for tidal marsh vulnerability is, therefore, essential to address disparities across these simulations. A hitherto unexplored source of empirical data are Holocene records of tidal marsh evolution. In particular, the marshes of Great Britain have survived and submerged while RSLR varied between -7.7 and 15.2 mm/yr, primarily because of the interplay between global ice-volume changes and regional isostatic processes. Here, we reveal the limits to marsh vulnerability are revealed through the analysis of over 400 reconstructions of tidal marsh submergence and conversion to tidal mud flat or open water from 54 regions in Great Britain during the Holocene. Holocene records indicate a 90% probability of tidal marsh submergence at sites with RSLR exceeding 7.3 mm/yr (95% CI: 6.6-8.6 mm/yr). Although most modern tidal marshes in Great Britain have not yet reached these sea-level rise limits, our empirical data suggest widespread concern over their ability to survive rates of sea-level rise in the 21st century under high emission scenarios. Integrating over the uncertainties in both sea-level rise predictions and the response of tidal marshes to sea-level rise, all of Great Britain has a >80% probability of marsh submergence under RCP 8.5 by 2100, with areas of south and eastern England, where the rate of RSLR is increased by glacio-isostatic subsidence, achieving this probability by 2040.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  18. The role of surface and subsurface processes in keeping pace with sea level rise in intertidal wetlands of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovelock, Catherine E.; Bennion, Vicki; Grinham, Alistair; Cahoon, Donald R.

    2011-01-01

    Increases in the elevation of the soil surfaces of mangroves and salt marshes are key to the maintenance of these habitats with accelerating sea level rise. Understanding the processes that give rise to increases in soil surface elevation provides science for management of landscapes for sustainable coastal wetlands. Here, we tested whether the soil surface elevation of mangroves and salt marshes in Moreton Bay is keeping up with local rates of sea level rise (2.358 mm y-1) and whether accretion on the soil surface was the most important process for keeping up with sea level rise. We found variability in surface elevation gains, with sandy areas in the eastern bay having the highest surface elevation gains in both mangrove and salt marsh (5.9 and 1.9 mm y-1) whereas in the muddier western bay rates of surface elevation gain were lower (1.4 and -0.3 mm y-1 in mangrove and salt marsh, respectively). Both sides of the bay had similar rates of surface accretion (~7–9 mm y-1 in the mangrove and 1–3 mm y-1 in the salt marsh), but mangrove soils in the western bay were subsiding at a rate of approximately 8 mm y-1, possibly due to compaction of organic sediments. Over the study surface elevation increments were sensitive to position in the intertidal zone (higher when lower in the intertidal) and also to variation in mean sea level (higher at high sea level). Although surface accretion was the most important process for keeping up with sea level rise in the eastern bay, subsidence largely negated gains made through surface accretion in the western bay indicating a high vulnerability to sea level rise in these forests.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  20. Model projections of rapid sea-level rise on the northeast coast of the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Jianjun; Schlesinger, Michael E.; Stouffer, Ronald J.

    2009-04-01

    Human-induced climate change could cause global sea-level rise. Through the dynamic adjustment of the sea surface in response to a possible slowdown of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, a warming climate could also affect regional sea levels, especially in the North Atlantic region, leading to high vulnerability for low-lying Florida and western Europe. Here we analyse climate projections from a set of state-of-the-art climate models for such regional changes, and find a rapid dynamical rise in sea level on the northeast coast of the United States during the twenty-first century. For New York City, the rise due to ocean circulation changes amounts to 15, 20 and 21cm for scenarios with low, medium and high rates of emissions respectively, at a similar magnitude to expected global thermal expansion. Analysing one of the climate models in detail, we find that a dynamic, regional rise in sea level is induced by a weakening meridional overturning circulation in the Atlantic Ocean, and superimposed on the global mean sea-level rise. We conclude that together, future changes in sea level and ocean circulation will have a greater effect on the heavily populated northeastern United States than estimated previously.

  1. Model Projections of Rapid Sea-Level Rise on the Northeast Coast of the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, J.; Schlesinger, M.; Stouffer, R. J.

    2009-12-01

    Human-induced climate change could cause global sea-level rise. Through the dynamic adjustment of the sea surface in response to a possible slowdown of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, a warming climate could also affect regional sea levels, especially in the North Atlantic region, leading to high vulnerability for low-lying Florida and western Europe. In the present study, we analyse climate projections from a set of state-of-the-art climate models for such regional changes, and find a rapid dynamical rise in sea level on the northeast coast of the United States during the twenty-first century. For New York City, the rise due to ocean circulation changes amounts to 15, 20 and 21 cm for scenarios with low, medium and high rates of emissions respectively, at a similar magnitude to expected global thermal expansion. Analysing one of the climate models in detail, we find that a dynamic, regional rise in sea level is induced by a weakening meridional overturning circulation in the Atlantic Ocean, and superimposed on the global mean sea level rise. We conclude that together, future changes in sea level and ocean circulation will have a greater effect on the heavily populated northeastern United States than estimated previously.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  3. Global Coastal Exposure due to Sea-level Rise beyond Tipping Points with Multiple Warming Pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tawatari, R.; Iseri, Y.; Kiguchi, M.; Kanae, S.

    2016-12-01

    Sea-level is observed and estimated to continue rising. In the future, the rise could be abrupt and irreversible in century to millennial timescale even if we conduct strong reduction of greenhouse gas emission. Greenland ice sheet and West Antarctic ice sheet are considered as attributable climate systems which would significantly enhance presently-projected sea-level rise by several meters if global mean temperature passes certain "Tipping points" which would exist around +1-5 degree Celsius above present temperature (1980-1999 average). Therefore, vulnerable coastal low-lying area, especially small islands, deltas or poor developing countries, would suffer from semi-permanent inundation and forced to counteract due to the enhanced sea-level rise. This study estimate range of sea-level rise until the year 2300 and 3000 considering excess of tipping points with using multiple levels of temperature scenarios which consist of excess tipping points and non-excess tipping points pathways. We extract state-of-the-art knowledge of tipping elements from paper reviewing to express reasonable relationship between temperature and abruptly-changing sea-level transition across the ages. This study also calculate coastal exposure globally as affected population, area and asset below the estimated sea-level for each countries with overlaying 30 arc-second gridded topography, population distribution and the sea-level. The result indicates which country would be critically affected if we follow overshooting pathways. Furthermore, this study visualize uncertain coastal exposure due to sea-level rise in the future from the multiple warming pathways. This estimation of possible future beyond tipping point would be useful information for decision-makers to establish new planning of defense, migration or mitigation for the future societies.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis, J. K.

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Implications of Sea Level Rise on Coastal Flood Hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schannwell, C.; Barrand, N. E.; Radic, V.

    2016-12-01

    Iceberg calving and increased ice discharge from ice-shelf tributary glaciers contribute significant amounts to global sea-level rise (SLR) from the Antarctic Peninsula (AP). Owing to ongoing ice dynamical changes (collapse of buttressing ice shelves), these contributions have accelerated in recent years. As the AP is one of the fastest warming regions on Earth, further ice dynamical adjustment (increased ice discharge) is expected over the next two centuries. Here the first regional SLR projection of the AP from both iceberg calving and increased ice discharge from ice-shelf tributary glaciers in response to ice-shelf collapse is presented. The British Antarctic Survey Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet Model (BAS-APISM), previously shown to be suitable for the unique topographic setting from the AP, is forced by temperature output from 13 global climate models (GCMs) from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). In response to the high greenhouse gas emission scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP)8.5), simulations project contribution to SLR of 28±16 to 32±16 mm by 2300, partitioned approximately equally between contributions from tidewater glaciers and ice-shelf tributary glaciers. In the RCP4.5 scenario, sea-level rise projections to 2300 are dominated by tidewater glaciers ( ˜8-18 mm). In this cooler scenario, 2.4±1 mm is added to global sea levels from ice-shelf tributary drainage basins as fewer ice-shelves are projected to collapse. Sea-level projections from ice-shelf tributary glaciers are dominated by drainage basins feeding George VI Ice Shelf, accounting for ˜70% of simulated SLR. Combined total ice dynamical SLR projections to 2300 from the AP vary between 11±2 and 32±16 mm sea-level equivalent (SLE), depending on the emission scenario used. These simulations suggest that omission of tidewater glaciers could lead to a substantial underestimation of the ice-sheet's contribution to regional SLR. Iceberg calving and

  8. Sea-level rise in New Jersey over the past 5000 years: Implications to anthropogenic changes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Kenneth G.; Sugarman, Peter J.; Browning, James V.; Horton, Benjamin P.; Stanley, Alissa; Kahn, Alicia; Uptegrove, Jane; Aucott, Michael

    2009-01-01

    We present a mid to late Holocene sea-level record derived from drilling the New Jersey coast that shows a relatively constant rise of 1.8??mm/yr from ~ 5000 to 500 calibrated calendar years before present (yrBP). This contrasts with previous New Jersey estimates that showed only 0.5??mm/yr rise since 2000??yrBP. Comparison with other Mid-Atlantic sea-level records (Delaware to southern New England) indicates surprising uniformity considering different proximities to the peripheral bulge of the Laurentide ice sheet, with a relative rise throughout the region of ~ 1.7-1.9??mm/yr since ~ 5000??yrBP. This regional sea-level rise includes both: 1) global sea-level (eustatic) rise; and 2) far-field geoidal subsidence (estimated as ~ 0.8-1.4??mm/yr today) due to removal of the Laurentide ice sheet and water loading. Correcting for geoidal subsidence, the U.S. east coast records suggest a global sea-level (eustatic) rise of ~ 0.4-1.0??mm/yr (with a best estimate of 0.7 ?? 0.3??mm/yr) since 5000??yrBP. Comparison with other records provides a best estimate of pre-anthropogenic global sea-level rise of < 1.0??mm/yr from 5000 until ~ 200??yrBP. Tide gauge data indicate a 20th century rate of eustatic rise of 1.8??mm/yr, whereas both tide gauge and satellite data suggest an increase in the rate of rise to ~ 3.3??mm/yr from 1993-2006 AD. This indicates that the modern rise (~ 3.3??mm/yr) is significantly higher than the pre-anthropogenic rise (0.7 ?? 0.3??mm/yr). ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  11. Parasites and Holocene sea-level rise: Recurrent upsurges in trematode infestation linked to repeated flooding events in the Adriatic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarponi, Daniele; Azzarone, Michele; Kowalewski, Michał; Huntley, John Warren

    2017-04-01

    The accelerating increase in global temperature and concomitant sea level rise may result in an increased prevalence (i.e. infestation frequency) of many pathogens and parasites. Using the Holocene brackish deposits of the Po Plain, we evaluate this issue from a historical perspective by documenting temporal changes in trematode infestation of mollusk hosts during high-frequency (102-103 yrs) sea-level fluctuations that took place over the most recent millennia. During that time interval, the dominant bivalve species, Abra segmentum, was frequently infested by trematodes. Median body size was significantly larger in infested individuals (p = 2.21*10-34), likely reflecting accumulation of parasites with ontogenetic age. Prevalence estimates were significantly elevated (p < 0.01) in samples of A. segmentum associated with flooding surfaces and significantly depressed (p < 0.01) in intervening samples. In contrast, temporal trends in host body size, host availability, salinity, diversity, turnover, and community structure did not correlate significantly with parasite prevalence. The results reported here reinforce the recently proposed hypothesis that increasing trematode prevalence is linked to flooding events, a pattern now documented in shallow marine and estuarine settings on two continents, in both modern and fossil taxa. Consequently, the ongoing anthropogenic warming and sea-level rise is expected to trigger a significant upsurge in trematode prevalence, resulting in suppressed fecundity of common benthic organisms and negative impacts on marine ecosystems and ecosystem services.

  12. Extreme sea levels on the rise along Europe's coasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vousdoukas, Michalis I.; Mentaschi, Lorenzo; Voukouvalas, Evangelos; Verlaan, Martin; Feyen, Luc

    2017-03-01

    Future extreme sea levels (ESLs) and flood risk along European coasts will be strongly impacted by global warming. Yet, comprehensive projections of ESL that include mean sea level (MSL), tides, waves, and storm surges do not exist. Here, we show changes in all components of ESLs until 2100 in view of climate change. We find that by the end of this century, the 100-year ESL along Europe's coastlines is on average projected to increase by 57 cm for Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP)4.5 and 81 cm for RCP8.5. The North Sea region is projected to face the highest increase in ESLs, amounting to nearly 1 m under RCP8.5 by 2100, followed by the Baltic Sea and Atlantic coasts of the UK and Ireland. Relative sea level rise (RSLR) is shown to be the main driver of the projected rise in ESL, with increasing dominance toward the end of the century and for the high-concentration pathway. Changes in storm surges and waves enhance the effects of RSLR along the majority of northern European coasts, locally with contributions up to 40%. In southern Europe, episodic extreme events tend to stay stable, except along the Portuguese coast and the Gulf of Cadiz where reductions in surge and wave extremes offset RSLR by 20-30%. By the end of this century, 5 million Europeans currently under threat of a 100-year ESL could be annually at risk from coastal flooding under high-end warming. The presented dataset is available through this link: http://data.jrc.ec.europa.eu/collection/LISCOAST.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  17. Relative sea-level rise as indicated by gage data along the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coasts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Wilson, K.

    2004-01-01

    Global warming, or the increasing of earth's temperatures, leads to rising sea level as polar ice caps and mountain glaciers melt and ocean water undergoes thermal expansion. Tidal records collected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), Mobile District, at Gulfport, Biloxi, and Pascagoula, Mississippi, and at Mobile, Alabama, indicate trends of water-surface elevations increasing with time (relative sea-level rise). The trends indicated by the COE data were compared to relative sea-level trends indicated by the National Ocean Survey gages in the Gulf of Mexico. The average global rate of sea level rise has been suggested to approach about 2 mm/yr (0.007 ft/yr). Some leading scientists have suggested rates of sea level rise that are greater than 2 mm/yr, when accounting for effects of greenhouse gas emissions. As the sea level rises and inundates the coastal plain, structures along the existing coast and structures located in the back bays of estuaries will be even more adversely affected by future flooding. Also, if the land surface adjacent to the water also sinks due to soil compaction and other geologic processes (collectively call subsidence), additional land will be inundated. Copyright ASCE 2004.

  18. Can salt marshes survive sea level rise ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  19. 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

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. 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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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; Lane, Robert R.; Mckee, Karen L.; Mendelssohn, Irving A.; Middleton, Beth A.; Moon, Jena A.; Piazza, Sarai; Rankin, Nicole M.; Sklar, Fred H.; Steyer, Gregory D.; Swanson, Kathleen M.; Swarzenski, Christopher M.; Vervaeke, William; Willis, Jonathan M; Van Wilson, K.

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. Developing a Learning Progression for Sea Level Rise, a Major Impact of Climate Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Breslyn, Wayne; McGinnis, J. Randy; McDonald, R. Christopher; Hestness, Emily

    2016-01-01

    We present research from an investigation on developing a learning progression (LP) for sea level rise (SLR), a major effect of global climate change. We began our research by drafting a hypothetical LP for sea level rise, informed by extant knowledge of the topic in the scientific community, in science education literature, and in science…

  5. Observed mean sea level changes around the North Sea coastline from 1800 to present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wahl, T.; Haigh, I. D.; Woodworth, P. L.; Albrecht, F.; Dillingh, D.; Jensen, J.; Nicholls, R. J.; Weisse, R.; Wöppelmann, G.

    2013-09-01

    This paper assesses historic changes in mean sea level around the coastline of the North Sea, one of the most densely populated coasts in the world. Typically, such analyses have been conducted at a national level, and detailed geographically wider analyses have not been undertaken for about 20 years. We analyse long records (up to 200 years) from 30 tide gauge sites, which are reasonably uniformly distributed along the coastline, and: (1) calculate relative sea level trends; (2) examine the inter-annual and decadal variations; (3) estimate regional geocentric (sometimes also referred to as 'absolute') sea level rise throughout the 20th century; and (4) assess the evidence for regional acceleration of sea-level rise. Relative sea level changes are broadly consistent with known vertical land movement patterns. The inter-annual and decadal variability is partly coherent across the region, but with some differences between the Inner North Sea and the English Channel. Data sets from various sources are used to provide estimates of the geocentric sea level changes. The long-term geocentric mean sea level trend for the 1900 to 2011 period is estimated to be 1.5 ± 0.1 mm/yr for the entire North Sea region. The trend is slightly higher for the Inner North Sea (i.e. 1.6 ± 0.1 mm/yr), and smaller but not significantly different on the 95% confidence level for the English Channel (i.e. 1.2 ± 0.1 mm/yr). The uncertainties in the estimates of vertical land movement rates are still large, and the results from a broad range of approaches for determining these rates are not consistent. Periods of sea level rise acceleration are detected at different times throughout the last 200 years and are to some extent related to air pressure variations. The recent rates of sea level rise (i.e. over the last two to three decades) are high compared to the long-term average, but are comparable to those which have been observed at other times in the late 19th and 20th century.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chadwick, B.; Flick, Reinhard; Helly, J.; Nishikawa, Tracy; Pei, Fang Wang; O'Reilly, W.; Guza, R.; Bromirski, Peter; Young, A.; Crampton, W.; Wild, B.; Canner, I.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  11. 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.

    PubMed

    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

  12. Effects of sea-level rise on salt water intrusion near a coastal well field in southeastern Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  13. Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2017-01-01

    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).

  14. Modeling Costal Zone Responses to Sea-Level Rise Using MoCCS: A Model of Complex Coastal System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, H.; Niedoroda, A. W.; Ye, M.; Saha, B.; Donoghue, J. F.; Kish, S.

    2011-12-01

    Large-scale coastal systems consisting of several morphological components (e.g. beach, surf zone, dune, inlet, shoreface, and estuary) can be expected to exhibit complex and interacting responses to changes in the rate of sea level rise and storm climate. We have developed a numerical model of complex coastal systems (MoCCS), derived from earlier morphdynamic models, to represent the large-scale time-averaged physical processes that shape each component and govern the component interactions. These control the ongoing evolution of the barrier islands, beach and dune erosion, shoal formation and sand withdrawal at tidal inlets, depth changes in the bay, and changes in storm flooding. The model has been used to study the response of an idealized coastal system with physical characteristics and storm climatology similar to Santa Rosa Island on the Florida Panhandle coast. Five SLR scenarios have been used, covering the range of recently published projections for the next century. Each scenario has been input with a constant and then a time-varying storm climate. The results indicate that substantial increases in the rate of beach erosion are largely due to increased sand transfer to inlet shoals with increased rates of sea level rise. The barrier island undergoes cycles of dune destruction and regrowth, leading to sand deposition. This largely maintains island freeboard but is progressively less effective in offsetting bayside inundation and marsh habitat loss at accelerated sea level rise rates.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rozum, J. S.; Marcy, D.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  18. Geomagnetic South Atlantic Anomaly and global sea level rise: A direct connection?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Santis, A.; Qamili, E.; Spada, G.; Gasperini, P.

    2012-01-01

    We highlight the existence of an intriguing and to date unreported relationship between the surface area of the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) of the geomagnetic field and the current trend in global sea level rise. These two geophysical variables have been growing coherently during the last three centuries, thus strongly suggesting a causal relationship supported by some statistical tests. The monotonic increase of the SAA surface area since 1600 may have been associated with an increased inflow of radiation energy through the inner Van Allen belt with a consequent warming of the Earth's atmosphere and finally global sea level rise. An alternative suggestive and original explanation is also offered, in which pressure changes at the core-mantle boundary cause surface deformations and relative sea level variations. Although we cannot establish a clear connection between SAA dynamics and global warming, the strong correlation between the former and global sea level supports the idea that global warming may be at least partly controlled by deep Earth processes triggering geomagnetic phenomena, such as the South Atlantic Anomaly, on a century time scale.

  19. Sea level change since 2005: importance of salinity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Llovel, W.; Purkey, S.; Meyssignac, B.; Kolodziejczyk, N.; Blazquez, A.; Bamber, J. L.

    2017-12-01

    Sea level rise is one of the most important consequences of the actual global warming. Global mean sea level has been rising at a faster rate since 1993 (over the satellite altimetry era) than previous decades. This rise is expected to accelerate over the coming decades and century. At global scale, sea level rise is caused by a combination of freshwater increase from land ice melting and land water changes (mass component) and ocean warming (thermal expansion). Estimating the causes is of great interest not only to understand the past sea level changes but also to validate projections based on climate models. In this study, we investigate the global mass contribution to recent sea level changes with an alternative approach by estimating the global ocean freshening. For that purpose, we consider the unprecedented amount of salinity measurements from Argo floats for the past decade (2005-2015). We compare our results to the ocean mass inferred by GRACE data and based on a sea level budget approach. Our results bring new constrains on the global water cycle (ocean freshening) and energy budget (ocean warming) as well as on the global ocean mass directly inferred from GRACE data.

  20. Impacts of sea-level rise on the Moroccan coastal zone: Quantifying coastal erosion and flooding in the Tangier Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snoussi, Maria; Ouchani, Tachfine; Khouakhi, Abdou; Niang-Diop, Isabelle

    2009-06-01

    As part of a broad assessment of climate change impacts in Morocco, an assessment of vulnerability and adaptation of coastal zones to sea-level rise was conducted. Tangier Bay which is the most important socio-economic pole in Northern Morocco represents one of the cases studies. Using a GIS-based inundation analysis and an erosion modelling approach, the potential physical vulnerability to accelerated sea-level rise was investigated, and the most vulnerable socio-economic sectors were assessed. Results indicate that 10% and 24% of the area will be at risk of flooding respectively for minimum (4 m) and maximum (11 m) inundation levels. The most severely impacted sectors are expected to be the coastal defences and the port, the urban area, tourist coastal infrastructures, the railway, and the industrial area. Shoreline erosion would affect nearly 20% and 45% of the total beach areas respectively in 2050 and 2100. Potential response strategies and adaptation options identified include: sand dune fixation, beach nourishment and building of seawalls to protect the urban and industrial areas of high value. It was also recommended that an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan for the region, including upgrading awareness, building regulation and urban growth planning should be the most appropriate tool to ensure a long-term sustainable development, while addressing the vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, Denise

    2010-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pendleton, E.A.; Barras, J.A.; Williams, S.J.; Twichell, D.C.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebert, Karin; Ekstedt, Karin; Jarsjö, Jerker

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 <100 km from the coast. The results suggest that the occurrence of continental slope 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golledge, Nicholas R.; Kowalewski, Douglas E.; Naish, Timothy R.; Levy, Richard H.; Fogwill, Christopher J.; Gasson, Edward G. W.

    2016-04-01

    Atmospheric warming is projected to increase global mean surface temperatures by 0.3 to 4.8 degrees Celsius above present values by the end of this century (Collins et al., 2013). If anthropogenic emissions continue unchecked, the warming increase may reach 8-10 degrees Celsius by 2300 (Rogelj et al., 2012). 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 (Collins et al., 2013). 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. Effect of sea-level rise on salt water intrusion near a coastal well field in southeastern Florida.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Two Sea-Level Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galvin, C.

    2008-12-01

    "No place on the sandy ocean shores of the world has been shown to be eroding because of sea level rise." This statement appeared nearly 19 years ago in bold print at the top of the page in a brief article published in Shore and Beach (Galvin,1990). The term "sea level rise" was defined in 1990 as follows: "In this statement, "sea level rise" has the meaning that the average person on the street usually attaches to that term. That is, sea level is rising; not, as in some places like the Mississippi River delta, land level is sinking." While still a subject of controversy, it is now (2008) increasingly plausible (Tornqvist et al,2008) that damage from Hurricane Katrina was significantly worse on the Mississippi River delta because floodwaters exploited wetlands and levees whose elevations had been lowered by decades of compaction in the underlying soil. (1) "Sea level" commonly appears in the literature as "relative sea level rise", occurring that way in 711 publications between 1980 and 2009 (GeoRef database on 8 Sep 08). "Relative sea level rise" does not appear in the 2005 AGI Glossary. The nearest Glossary term is "relative change in sea level", but that term occurs in only 12 publications between 1980 and 2009. The Glossary defines this term in a sequence stratigraphy sense, which infers that "relative sea level rise" is the sum of bottom subsidence and eustatic sea level rise. In plain English, "relative sea level rise" means "water depth increase". For present day coastal environments, "relative sea level rise" is commonly used where eustatic sea level rise is less than subsidence, that is, where the magnitude of actual sea level rise is smaller than the magnitude of subsidence. In that situation, "relative sea level rise" misleads both the average person and the scientist who is not a coastal geologist. Thus, the first challenge is to abandon "relative sea level rise" in favor of "water depth increase", in order that the words accurately descibe what happens

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

    PubMed

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

    2018-07-01

    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.

  14. Anticipating Future Sea Level Rise and Coastal Storms in New York City (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horton, R. M.; Gornitz, V.; Bader, D.; Little, C. M.; Oppenheimer, M.; Patrick, L.; Orton, P. M.; Rosenzweig, C.; Solecki, W.

    2013-12-01

    Hurricane Sandy caused 43 fatalities in New York City and 19 billion in damages. Mayor Michael Bloomberg responded by convening the second New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC2), to provide up-to-date climate information for the City's Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR). The Mayor's proposed 20 billion plan aims to strengthen the City's resilience to coastal inundation. Accordingly, the NPCC2 scientific and technical support team generated a suite of temperature, precipitation, and sea level rise and extreme event projections through the 2050s. The NPCC2 sea level rise projections include contributions from ocean thermal expansion, dynamic changes in sea surface height, mass changes in glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets, and land water storage. Local sea level changes induced by changes in ice mass include isostatic, gravitational, and rotational effects. Results are derived from CMIP5 model-based outputs, expert judgment, and literature surveys. Sea level at the Battery, lower Manhattan, is projected to rise by 7-31 in (17.8-78.7cm) by the 2050s relative to 2000-2004 (10 to 90 percentile). As a result, flood heights above NAVD88 for the 100-year storm (stillwater plus waves) would rise from 15.0 ft (0.71 m) in the 2000s to 15.6-17.6 ft (4.8-5.4 m) by the 2050s (10-90 percentile). The annual chance of today's 100-year flood would increase from 1 to 1.4-5.0 percent by the 2050s.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  16. A High School Project Seminar on Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seitz, M.; Bosch, W.

    2012-04-01

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

  17. Synthesizing long-term sea level rise projections - the MAGICC sea level model v2.0

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nauels, Alexander; Meinshausen, Malte; Mengel, Matthias; Lorbacher, Katja; Wigley, Tom M. L.

    2017-06-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) is one of the major impacts of global warming; it will threaten coastal populations, infrastructure, and ecosystems around the globe in coming centuries. Well-constrained sea level projections are needed to estimate future losses from SLR and benefits of climate protection and adaptation. Process-based models that are designed to resolve the underlying physics of individual sea level drivers form the basis for state-of-the-art sea level projections. However, associated computational costs allow for only a small number of simulations based on selected scenarios that often vary for different sea level components. This approach does not sufficiently support sea level impact science and climate policy analysis, which require a sea level projection methodology that is flexible with regard to the climate scenario yet comprehensive and bound by the physical constraints provided by process-based models. To fill this gap, we present a sea level model that emulates global-mean long-term process-based model projections for all major sea level components. Thermal expansion estimates are calculated with the hemispheric upwelling-diffusion ocean component of the simple carbon-cycle climate model MAGICC, which has been updated and calibrated against CMIP5 ocean temperature profiles and thermal expansion data. Global glacier contributions are estimated based on a parameterization constrained by transient and equilibrium process-based projections. Sea level contribution estimates for Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are derived from surface mass balance and solid ice discharge parameterizations reproducing current output from ice-sheet models. The land water storage component replicates recent hydrological modeling results. For 2100, we project 0.35 to 0.56 m (66 % range) total SLR based on the RCP2.6 scenario, 0.45 to 0.67 m for RCP4.5, 0.46 to 0.71 m for RCP6.0, and 0.65 to 0.97 m for RCP8.5. These projections lie within the range of the latest IPCC SLR

  18. An examination of land use impacts of flooding induced by sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Jie; Fu, Xinyu; Gu, Yue; Deng, Yujun; Peng, Zhong-Ren

    2017-03-01

    Coastal regions become unprecedentedly vulnerable to coastal hazards that are associated with sea level rise. The purpose of this paper is therefore to simulate prospective urban exposure to changing sea levels. This article first applied the cellular-automaton-based SLEUTH model (Project Gigalopolis, 2016) to calibrate historical urban dynamics in Bay County, Florida (USA) - a region that is greatly threatened by rising sea levels. This paper estimated five urban growth parameters by multiple-calibration procedures that used different Monte Carlo iterations to account for modeling uncertainties. It then employed the calibrated model to predict three scenarios of urban growth up to 2080 - historical trend, urban sprawl, and compact development. We also assessed land use impacts of four policies: no regulations; flood mitigation plans based on the whole study region and on those areas that are prone to experience growth; and the protection of conservational lands. This study lastly overlaid projected urban areas in 2030 and 2080 with 500-year flooding maps that were developed under 0, 0.2, and 0.9 m sea level rise. The calibration results that a substantial number of built-up regions extend from established coastal settlements. The predictions suggest that total flooded area of new urbanized regions in 2080 would be more than 25 times that under the flood mitigation policy, if the urbanization progresses with few policy interventions. The joint model generates new knowledge in the domain between land use modeling and sea level rise. It contributes to coastal spatial planning by helping develop hazard mitigation schemes and can be employed in other international communities that face combined pressure of urban growth and climate change.

  19. Vulnerability assessment of the impact of sea-level rise and flooding on the Moroccan coast: The case of the Mediterranean eastern zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snoussi, Maria; Ouchani, Tachfine; Niazi, Saïda

    2008-04-01

    The eastern part of the Mediterranean coast of Morocco is physically and socio-economically vulnerable to accelerated sea-level rise, due to its low topography and its high ecological and touristic value. Assessment of the potential land loss by inundation has been based on empirical approaches using a minimum inundation level of 2 m and a maximum inundation level of 7 m, where scenarios for future sea-level rise range from 200 to 860 mm, with a 'best estimate' of 490 mm. The socio-economic impacts have been based on two possible alternative futures: (1) a 'worst-case' scenario, obtained by combining the 'economic development first' scenario with the maximum inundation level; and (2) a 'best-case' scenario, by combining the 'sustainability first' scenario with the minimum inundation level. Inundation analysis, based on Geographical Information Systems and a modelling approach to erosion, has identified both locations and the socioeconomic sectors that are most at risk to accelerated sea-level rise. Results indicate that 24% and 59% of the area will be lost by flooding at minimum and maximum inundation levels, respectively. The most severely impacted sectors are expected to be the residential and recreational areas, agricultural land, and the natural ecosystem. Shoreline erosion will affect 50% and 70% of the total area in 2050 and 2100, respectively. Potential strategies to ameliorate the impact of seawater inundation include: wetland preservation; beach nourishment at tourist resorts; and the afforestation of dunes. As this coast is planned to become one of the most developed tourist resorts in Morocco by 2010, measures such as building regulation, urban growth planning and development of an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan, are recommended for the region.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  4. Consideration of vertical uncertainty in elevation-based sea-level rise assessments: Mobile Bay, Alabama case study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Interactions between sea-level rise and wave exposure on reef island dynamics in the Solomon Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albert, Simon; Leon, Javier X.; Grinham, Alistair R.; Church, John A.; Gibbes, Badin R.; Woodroffe, Colin D.

    2016-05-01

    Low-lying reef islands in the Solomon Islands provide a valuable window into the future impacts of global sea-level rise. Sea-level rise has been predicted to cause widespread erosion and inundation of low-lying atolls in the central Pacific. However, the limited research on reef islands in the western Pacific indicates the majority of shoreline changes and inundation to date result from extreme events, seawalls and inappropriate development rather than sea-level rise alone. Here, we present the first analysis of coastal dynamics from a sea-level rise hotspot in the Solomon Islands. Using time series aerial and satellite imagery from 1947 to 2014 of 33 islands, along with historical insight from local knowledge, we have identified five vegetated reef islands that have vanished over this time period and a further six islands experiencing severe shoreline recession. Shoreline recession at two sites has destroyed villages that have existed since at least 1935, leading to community relocations. Rates of shoreline recession are substantially higher in areas exposed to high wave energy, indicating a synergistic interaction between sea-level rise and waves. Understanding these local factors that increase the susceptibility of islands to coastal erosion is critical to guide adaptation responses for these remote Pacific communities.

  8. Sea Level Rise Induced Arsenic Release from Historically Contaminated Coastal Soils.

    PubMed

    LeMonte, Joshua J; Stuckey, Jason W; Sanchez, Joshua Z; Tappero, Ryan; Rinklebe, Jörg; Sparks, Donald L

    2017-06-06

    Climate change-induced perturbations in the hydrologic regime are expected to impact biogeochemical processes, including contaminant mobility and cycling. Elevated levels of geogenic and anthropogenic arsenic are found along many coasts around the world, most notably in south and southeast Asia but also in the United States, particularly along the Mid-Atlantic coast. The mechanism by and the extent to which arsenic may be released in contaminated coastal soils due to sea level rise are unknown. Here we show a series of data from a coastal arsenic-contaminated soil exposed to sea and river waters in biogeochemical microcosm reactors across field-validated redox conditions. We find that reducing conditions lead to arsenic release from historically contaminated coastal soils through reductive dissolution of arsenic-bearing mineral oxides in both sea and river water inundations, with less arsenic release from seawater scenarios than river water due to inhibition of oxide dissolution. For the first time, we systematically display gradation of solid phase soil-arsenic speciation across defined redox windows from reducing to oxidizing conditions in natural waters by combining biogeochemical microcosm experiments and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Our results demonstrate the threat of sea level rise stands to impact arsenic release from contaminated coastal soils by changing redox conditions.

  9. Sea Level Rise Induced Arsenic Release from Historically Contaminated Coastal Soils

    DOE PAGES

    LeMonte, Joshua J.; Stuckey, Jason W.; Sanchez, Joshua Z.; ...

    2017-05-04

    Climate change-induced perturbations in the hydrologic regime are expected to impact biogeochemical processes, including contaminant mobility and cycling. Elevated levels of geogenic and anthropogenic arsenic are found along many coasts around the world, most notably in south and southeast Asia but also in the United States, particularly along the Mid-Atlantic coast. The mechanism by and the extent to which arsenic may be released in contaminated coastal soils due to sea level rise are unknown. Here we show a series of data from a coastal arsenic-contaminated soil exposed to sea and river waters in biogeochemical microcosm reactors across field-validated redox conditions.more » We find that reducing conditions lead to arsenic release from historically contaminated coastal soils through reductive dissolution of arsenic-bearing mineral oxides in both sea and river water inundations, with less arsenic release from seawater scenarios than river water due to inhibition of oxide dissolution. For the first time, we systematically display gradation of solid phase soil-arsenic speciation across defined redox windows from reducing to oxidizing conditions in natural waters by combining biogeochemical microcosm experiments and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Here, our results demonstrate the threat of sea level rise stands to impact arsenic release from contaminated coastal soils by changing redox conditions.« less

  10. Sea Level Rise Induced Arsenic Release from Historically Contaminated Coastal Soils

    SciTech Connect

    LeMonte, Joshua J.; Stuckey, Jason W.; Sanchez, Joshua Z.

    Climate change-induced perturbations in the hydrologic regime are expected to impact biogeochemical processes, including contaminant mobility and cycling. Elevated levels of geogenic and anthropogenic arsenic are found along many coasts around the world, most notably in south and southeast Asia but also in the United States, particularly along the Mid-Atlantic coast. The mechanism by and the extent to which arsenic may be released in contaminated coastal soils due to sea level rise are unknown. Here we show a series of data from a coastal arsenic-contaminated soil exposed to sea and river waters in biogeochemical microcosm reactors across field-validated redox conditions.more » We find that reducing conditions lead to arsenic release from historically contaminated coastal soils through reductive dissolution of arsenic-bearing mineral oxides in both sea and river water inundations, with less arsenic release from seawater scenarios than river water due to inhibition of oxide dissolution. For the first time, we systematically display gradation of solid phase soil-arsenic speciation across defined redox windows from reducing to oxidizing conditions in natural waters by combining biogeochemical microcosm experiments and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Here, our results demonstrate the threat of sea level rise stands to impact arsenic release from contaminated coastal soils by changing redox conditions.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  12. Marshes to mudflats—Effects of sea-level rise on tidal marshes along a latitudinal gradient in the Pacific Northwest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thorne, Karen M.; Dugger, Bruce D.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Freeman, Chase M.; Janousek, Christopher N.; Powelson, Katherine W.; Gutenspergen, Glenn R.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2015-11-17

    In the Pacific Northwest, coastal wetlands support a wealth of ecosystem services including habitat provision for wildlife and fisheries and flood protection. The tidal marshes, mudflats, and shallow bays of coastal estuaries link marine, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats, and provide economic and recreational benefits to local communities. Climate change effects such as sea-level rise are altering these habitats, but we know little about how these areas will change over the next 50–100 years. Our study examined the effects of sea-level rise on nine tidal marshes in Washington and Oregon between 2012 and 2015, with the goal of providing scientific data to support future coastal planning and conservation. We compiled physical and biological data, including coastal topography, tidal inundation, vegetation structure, as well as recent and historical sediment accretion rates, to assess and model how sea-level rise may alter these ecosystems in the future. Multiple factors, including initial elevation, marsh productivity, sediment availability, and rates of sea-level rise, affected marsh persistence. Under a low sea-level rise scenario, all marshes remained vegetated with little change in the present configuration of communities of marsh plants or gradually increased proportions of middle-, high-, or transition-elevation zones of marsh vegetation. However, at most sites, mid sea-level rise projections led to loss of habitat of middle and high marshes and a gain of low marshes. Under a high sea-level rise scenario, marshes at most sites eventually converted to intertidal mudflats. Two sites (Grays Harbor and Willapa) seemed to have the most resilience to a high rate of rise in sea-level, persisting as low marsh until at least 2110. Our main model finding is that most tidal marsh study sites are resilient to sea-level rise over the next 50–70 years, but that sea-level rise will eventually outpace marsh accretion and drown most habitats of high and middle marshes by

  13. Final project memorandum: sea-level rise modeling handbook: resource guide for resource managers, engineers, and scientists

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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

  14. Relative and Geocentric Sea Level Rise Along the U.S. West Coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgette, R. J.; Watson, C. S.

    2015-12-01

    The rate of sea level change relative to the land along the West Coast of the U.S. varies over a range of +5 to -2 mm/yr, as observed across the set of long-running tide gauges. We analyze tide gauge data in a network approach that accounts for temporal and spatial correlations in the time series of water levels observed at the stations. This analysis yields a set of rate estimates and realistic uncertainties that are minimally affected by varying durations of observations. The analysis has the greatest impact for tide gauges with short records, as the adjusted rate uncertainties for 2 to 3 decade duration tide gauges approach those estimated from unadjusted century-scale time series. We explore the sources of the wide range of observed relative sea level rates through comparison with: 1) estimated vertical deformation rates derived from repeated leveling and GPS, 2) relative sea level change predicted from models of glacial isostatic adjustment, and 3) geocentric sea level rates estimated from satellite altimetry and century-scale reconstructions. Tectonic deformation is the dominant signal in the relative sea level rates along the Cascadia portion of the coast, and is consistent with along-strike variation in locking behavior on the plate interface. Rates of vertical motion are lower along the transform portion of the plate boundary and include anthropogenic effects, but there are significant tectonic signals, particularly in the western Transverse Ranges of California where the crust is shortening across reverse faults. Preliminary analysis of different strategies of estimating the magnitude of geocentric sea level rise suggest significant discrepancies between approaches. We will examine the implications of these discrepancies for understanding the process of regional geocentric sea level rise in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, and associated projected impacts.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  17. Using time lapse cameras to monitor shoreline changes due to sea level rise.

    DOT National Transportation Integrated Search

    2017-01-01

    Shoreline habitats and infrastructure are currently being affected by sea level rise (SLR) and as : global temperatures continue to rise, will continue to get worse for millennia. Governments : and individuals decisions to adapt to SLR could ha...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Zhaoqing; Wang, Taiping; Voisin, Nathalie

    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 themore » 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.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26587277

  4. On the rate and causes of twentieth century sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Miller, Laury; Douglas, Bruce C

    2006-04-15

    Both the rate and causes of twentieth century global sea-level rise (GSLR) have been controversial. Estimates from tide-gauges range from less than one, to more than two millimetre yr(-1). In contrast, values based on the processes mostly responsible for GSLR-mass increase (from mountain glaciers and the great high latitude ice masses) and volume increase (expansion due to ocean warming)-fall below this range. Either the gauge estimates are too high, or one (or both) of the component estimates is too low. Gauge estimates of GSLR have been in dispute for several decades because of vertical land movements, especially due to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). More recently, the possibility has been raised that coastal tide-gauges measure exaggerated rates of sea-level rise because of localized ocean warming. Presented here are two approaches to a resolution of these problems. The first is morphological, based on the limiting values of observed trends of twentieth century relative sea-level rise as a function of distance from the centres of the ice loads at last glacial maximum. This observational approach, which does not depend on a geophysical model of GIA, supports values of GSLR near 2 mm yr(-1). The second approach involves an analysis of long records of tide-gauge and hydrographic (in situ temperature and salinity) observations in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. It was found that sea-level trends from tide-gauges, which reflect both mass and volume change, are 2-3 times higher than rates based on hydrographic data which reveal only volume change. These results support those studies that put the twentieth century rate near 2 mm yr(-1), thereby indicating that mass increase plays a much larger role than ocean warming in twentieth century GSLR.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  6. Modeling barrier island response to sea-level rise in the Outer Banks, North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

    An 8500-year Holocene simulation developed in GEOMBEST provides a possible scenario to explain the evolution of barrier coast between Rodanthe and Cape Hatteras, NC. Sensitivity analyses suggest that in the Outer Banks, the rate of sea-level rise is the most important factor in determining how barrier islands evolve. The Holocene simulation provides a basis for future simulations, which suggest that if sea level rises up to 0.88 m by AD 2100, as predicted by the highest estimates of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the barrier in the study area may migrate on the order of 2.5 times more rapidly than at present. If sea level rises beyond IPCC predictions to reach 1.4–1.9 m above modern sea level by AD 2100, model results suggest that barrier islands in the Outer Banks may become vulnerable to threshold collapse, disintegrating during storm events, by the end of the next century. Consistent with sensitivity analyses, additional simulations indicate that anthropogenic activities, such as increasing the rate of sediment supply through beach nourishment, will only slightly affect barrier island migration rates and barrier island vulnerability to collapse.

  7. Incorporating Tsunami Projections to Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessments -A Case Study for Midway Atoll-

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gica, E.; Reynolds, M.

    2012-12-01

    Recent global models predict a rise of approximately one meter in global sea level by 2100, with potentially larger increases in areas of the Pacific Ocean. If current climate change trends continue, low-lying islands across the globe may become inundated over the next century, placing island biodiversity at risk. Adding to the risk of inundation due to sea level rise is the occurrence of cyclones and tsunamis. This combined trend will affect the low-lying islands of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and it is therefore important to assess its impact since these islands are critical habitats to many endangered endemic species and support the largest tropical seabird rookery in the world. The 11 March 2011 Tohoku (Mw=8.8) earthquake-tsunami affected the habitat of many endangered endemic species in Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge because all three islands (Sand, Eastern and Spit) were inundated by tsunami waves. At present sea level, some tsunamis from certain source regions would not affect Midway Atoll. For example, the previous earthquake-tsunamis such as the 15 November 2006 Kuril (Mw=8.1) and 13 February 2007 Kuril (Mw=7.9) were not significant enough to affect Midway Atoll. But at higher sea levels, tsunamis with similar characteristics could pose a threat to such terrestrial habitats and wildlife. To visualize projected impacts to vegetation composition, wildlife habitat, and wildlife populations, we explored and analyzed inundation vulnerability for a range of possible sea level rise and tsunami scenarios at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Studying the combined threat of tsunamis and sea level rise can provide more accurate and comprehensive assessments of the vulnerability of the unique natural resources on low-lying islands. A passive sea level rise model was used to determine how much inundation will occur at different sea level rise values for the three islands of Midway Atoll and each scenario was coupled with NOAA Center for Tsunami

  8. Infrastructure effects on estuarine wetlands increase their vulnerability to sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, Jose; Saco, Patricia; Sandi, Steven; Saintilan, Neil; Riccardi, Gerardo

    2017-04-01

    At the regional and global scales, coastal management and planning for future sea level rise scenarios is typically supported by modelling tools that predict the expected inundation extent. These tools rely on a number of simplifying assumptions that, in some cases, may result in important miscalculation of the inundation effects. One of such cases is estuarine wetlands, where vegetation strongly depends on both the magnitude and the timing of inundation. Many coastal wetlands display flow restrictions due to infrastructure or drainage works, which produce alterations to the inundation patterns that can not be captured by conventional models. In this contribution we explore the effects of flow restrictions on inundation patterns under sea level rise conditions in estuarine wetlands. We use a spatially-distributed dynamic wetland ecogeomorphological model that not only incorporates the effects of flow restrictions due to culverts, bridges and weirs as well as vegetation, but also considers that vegetation changes as a consequence of increasing inundation. We also consider the ability of vegetation to capture sediment and produce accretion. We apply our model to an estuarine wetland in Australia and show that our model predicts a much faster wetland loss due to sea level rise than conventional approaches.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Assessing the Effects of Sea Level Rise on Plum Island Estuary Marshes Using a Hydrodynamic-marsh Modeling Tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) can significantly impact both human and ecological habitats in coastal and inland regions. Studies show that coastal estuaries and marsh systems are at the risk of losing their productivity under increasing rates of SLR (Donnelly and Bertness, 2001; Warren and Niering, 1993). The integrated hydrodynamic-marsh model (Hagen et al., 2013 & Alizad et al., 2015) uses a set of parameters and conditions to simulate tidal flow through the salt marsh of Plum Island Estuary, Massachusetts. The hydrodynamic model computes mean high water (MHW) and mean low water (MLW) and is coupled to the zero-dimensional Marsh Equilibrium Model (Morris et al. 2002) to estimate changes in biomass productivity and accretion. The coupled hydrodynamic-marsh model was used to examine the effects of different scenarios of SLR (Parris et al., 2012) on salt marsh productivity for the year 2100 in the Plum Island Estuary. In this particular study, responses of salt marsh production for different scenarios of SLR were compared. The study shows higher productivity of salt marsh under a low SLR scenario and lower productivity under the higher SLR. The study also demonstrates the migration of salt marshes under higher SLR scenarios. References: Alizad, K., S. C. Hagen, Morris, J.T., Bacopoulos, P., Bilskie, M.V., and John, F.W. 2015. A coupled, two-dimensional hydrodynamic-marsh model with biological feedback. Limnology and Oceanography, In review. Donnelly, J.P., and M.D. Bertness. 2001. Rapid shoreward encroachment of salt marsh cordgrass in response to accelerated sea-level rise. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98: 14218-14223.Hagen, S.C., J.T. Morris, P. Bacopoulos, and J. Weishampel. 2013. Sea-Level Rise Impact on a Salt Marsh System of the Lower St. Johns River. ASCE Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering, Vol. 139, No. 2, March/April 2013, pp. 118-125.Morris, J.T., P.V. Sundareshwar, C.T. Nietch, B. Kjerfve, and D.R. Cahoon. 2002. Responses

  12. Coastal Vulnerability Due to Sea-level Rise Hazard in the Bangladesh Delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shum, Ck; Ballu, Valérie; Calmant, Stéphane; Duan, Jianbin; Guo, Junyi; Hossain, Fasial; Jenkins, Craig; Haque Khan, Zahirul; Kim, Jinwoo; Kuhn, Michael; Kusche, Jürgen; Papa, Fabrice; Tseng, Kuohsin; Wan, Junkun

    2014-05-01

    Approximately half of the world's population or 3.2 billion people lives within 200 km of coastlines and many of them in the world's deltaic plains. Sea-level rise, widely recognized as one of consequences resulting from anthropogenic climate change, has induced substantial coastal vulnerability globally and in particular, in the deltaic regions, such as coastal Bangladesh, and Yangtze Delta. Bangladesh, a low-lying, one of the most densely populated countries in the world located at the Bay of Bengal, is prone to transboundary monsoonal flooding, potentially aggravated by more frequent and intensified cyclones resulting from anthropogenic climate change. Sea-level rise, along with tectonic, sediment load and groundwater extraction induced land uplift/subsidence, have exacerbated Bangladesh's coastal vulnerability. Here we describe the physical science component of the integrated approach based on both physical and social sciences to address the adaption and potential mitigation of coastal Bangladesh vulnerability. The objective is to quantify the estimates of spatial varying sea-level trend separating the vertical motion of the coastal regions using geodetic and remote-sensing measurements (tide gauges, 1950-current; satellite altimetry, 1992-present, GRACE, 2003-present, Landsat/MODIS), reconstructed sea-level trends (1950-current), and GPS and InSAR observed land subsidence. Our goal is to conduct physically based robust projection of relative sea-level change at the end of the 21st century for the Bangladesh Delta to enable quantitative measures of social science based adaption and possible mitigation.

  13. On the relationship between sea level and Spartina alterniflora production

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirwan, Matthew L.; Christian, Robert R.; Blum, Linda K.; Brinson, Mark M.

    2012-01-01

    A positive relationship between interannual sea level and plant growth is thought to stabilize many coastal landforms responding to accelerating rates of sea level rise. Numerical models of delta growth, tidal channel network evolution, and ecosystem resilience incorporate a hump-shaped relationship between inundation and plant primary production, where vegetation growth increases with sea level up to an optimum water depth or inundation frequency. In contrast, we use decade-long measurements of Spartina alterniflora biomass in seven coastal Virginia (USA) marshes to demonstrate that interannual sea level is rarely a primary determinant of vegetation growth. Although we find tepid support for a hump-shaped relationship between aboveground production and inundation when marshes of different elevation are considered, our results suggest that marshes high in the intertidal zone and low in relief are unresponsive to sea level fluctuations. We suggest existing models are unable to capture the behavior of wetlands in these portions of the landscape, and may underestimate their vulnerability to sea level rise because sea level rise will not be accompanied by enhanced plant growth and resultant sediment accumulation.

  14. Impacts and responses to sea-level rise: a global analysis of the SRES scenarios over the twenty-first century.

    PubMed

    Nicholls, Robert J; Tol, Richard S J

    2006-04-15

    Taking the Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) climate and socio-economic scenarios (A1FI, A2, B1 and B2 'future worlds'), the potential impacts of sea-level rise through the twenty-first century are explored using complementary impact and economic analysis methods at the global scale. These methods have never been explored together previously. In all scenarios, the exposure and hence the impact potential due to increased flooding by sea-level rise increases significantly compared to the base year (1990). While mitigation reduces impacts, due to the lagged response of sea-level rise to atmospheric temperature rise, impacts cannot be avoided during the twenty-first century by this response alone. Cost-benefit analyses suggest that widespread protection will be an economically rational response to land loss due to sea-level rise in the four SRES futures that are considered. The most vulnerable future worlds to sea-level rise appear to be the A2 and B2 scenarios, which primarily reflects differences in the socio-economic situation (coastal population, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and GDP/capita), rather than the magnitude of sea-level rise. Small islands and deltaic settings stand out as being more vulnerable as shown in many earlier analyses. Collectively, these results suggest that human societies will have more choice in how they respond to sea-level rise than is often assumed. However, this conclusion needs to be tempered by recognition that we still do not understand these choices and significant impacts remain possible. Future worlds which experience larger rises in sea-level than considered here (above 35 cm), more extreme events, a reactive rather than proactive approach to adaptation, and where GDP growth is slower or more unequal than in the SRES futures remain a concern. There is considerable scope for further research to better understand these diverse issues.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    The Yangtze Delta in China is vital economic hubs in terms of settlement, industry, agriculture, trade and tourism as well as of great environmental significance. In recent decades, the prospect of climate change, in particular sea level rise and its effects on low lying coastal areas have generated worldwide attention to coastal ecosystems. Coastal wetlands, as important parts of coastal ecosystem, are particularly sensitive to sea level rise. To study the responses of coastal wetlands to climate change, assess the impacts of climate change on coastal wetlands and formulate feasible and practical mitigation strategies are the important prerequisites for securing the coastal zone ecosystems. In this study, taking the coastal wetlands in the Yangtze Estuary as a case study, the potential impacts of sea-level rise to coastal wetlands habitat were analyzed by the Source-Pathway-Receptor-Consequence (SPRC) model. The key indicators, such as the sea-level rise rate, subsidence rate, elevation, daily inundation duration of habitat and sedimentation rate, were selected to build a vulnerability assessment system according to the IPCC definition of vulnerability, i.e. the aspects of exposure, sensitivity and adaptation. A quantitatively spatial assessment method on the GIS platform was established by quantifying each indicator, calculating the vulnerability index and grading the vulnerability. The vulnerability assessment on the coastal wetlands in the Yangtze Estuary under the sea level rise rate of the present trend and IPCC A1F1 scenario were performed for three sets of projections of short-term (2030s), mid-term (2050s) and long-term (2100s). The results showed that at the present trend of sea level rise rate of 0.26 cm/a, 92.3 % of the coastal wetlands in the Yangtze Estuary was in the EVI score of 0 in 2030s, i.e. the impact of sea level rise on habitats/species of coastal wetlands was negligible. While 7.4 % and 0.3 % of the coastal wetlands were in the EVI score of

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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”.

  17. A Framework For Analysis Of Coastal Infrastructure Vunerabilty To Global Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obrien, P. S.; White, K. D.; Veatch, W.; Marzion, R.; Moritz, H.; Moritz, H. R.

    2017-12-01

    Recorded impacts of global sea rise on coastal water levels have been documented over the past 100 to 150 years. In the recent 40 years the assumption of hydrologic stationarity has been recognized as invalid. New coastal infrastructure designs must recognize the paradigm shift from hydrologic stationarity to non-stationarity in coastal hydrology. A framework for the evaluation of existing coastal infrastructure is proposed to effectively assess design vulnerability. Two data sets developed from existing structures are chosen to test a proposed framework for vunerabilty to global sea level rise, with the proposed name Climate Preparedness and Resilience Register (CPRR). The CPRR framework consists of four major elements; Datum Adjustment, Coastal Water Levels, Scenario Projections and Performance Thresholds.

  18. Detection time for global and regional sea level trends and accelerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordà, G.

    2014-10-01

    Many studies analyze trends on sea level data with the underlying purpose of finding indications of a long-term change that could be interpreted as the signature of anthropogenic climate change. The identification of a long-term trend is a signal-to-noise problem where the natural variability (the "noise") can mask the long-term trend (the "signal"). The signal-to-noise ratio depends on the magnitude of the long-term trend, on the magnitude of the natural variability, and on the length of the record, as the climate noise is larger when averaged over short time scales and becomes smaller over longer averaging periods. In this paper, we evaluate the time required to detect centennial sea level linear trends and accelerations at global and regional scales. Using model results and tide gauge observations, we find that the averaged detection time for a centennial linear trend is 87.9, 76.0, 59.3, 40.3, and 25.2 years for trends of 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 5.0, and 10.0 mm/yr, respectively. However, in regions with large decadal variations like the Gulf Stream or the Circumpolar current, these values can increase up to a 50%. The spatial pattern of the detection time for sea level accelerations is almost identical. The main difference is that the length of the records has to be about 40-60 years longer to detect an acceleration than to detect a linear trend leading to an equivalent change after 100 years. Finally, we have used a new sea level reconstruction, which provides a more accurate representation of interannual variability for the last century in order to estimate the detection time for global mean sea level trends and accelerations. Our results suggest that the signature of natural variability in a 30 year global mean sea level record would be less than 1 mm/yr. Therefore, at least 2.2 mm/yr of the recent sea level trend estimated by altimetry cannot be attributed to natural multidecadal variability. This article was corrected on 19 NOV 2014. See the end of the full text

  19. Fingerprints of Sea Level Rise on Changing Tides in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Andrew C.; Najjar, Raymond G.; Li, Ming; Lee, Serena Blyth; Zhang, Fan; Liu, Wei

    2017-10-01

    Secular tidal trends are present in many tide gauge records, but their causes are often unclear. This study examines trends in tides over the last century in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. Statistical models show negative M2 amplitude trends at the mouths of both bays, while some upstream locations have insignificant or positive trends. To determine whether sea level rise is responsible for these trends, we include a term for mean sea level in the statistical models and compare the results with predictions from numerical and analytical models. The observed and predicted sensitivities of M2 amplitude and phase to mean sea level are similar, although the numerical model amplitude is less sensitive to sea level. The sensitivity occurs as a result of strengthening and shifting of the amphidromic system in the Chesapeake Bay and decreasing frictional effects and increasing convergence in the Delaware Bay. After accounting for the effect of sea level, significant negative background M2 and S2 amplitude trends are present; these trends may be related to other factors such as dredging, tide gauge errors, or river discharge. Projected changes in tidal amplitudes due to sea level rise over the 21st century are substantial in some areas, but depend significantly on modeling assumptions.

  20. Relative sea-level rise around East Antarctica during Oligocene glaciation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stocchi, Paolo; Escutia, Carlota; Houben, Alexander J. P.; Vermeersen, Bert L. A.; Bijl, Peter K.; Brinkhuis, Henk; Deconto, Robert M.; Galeotti, Simone; Passchier, Sandra; Pollard, David; Brinkhuis, Henk; Escutia, Carlota; Klaus, Adam; Fehr, Annick; Williams, Trevor; Bendle, James A. P.; Bijl, Peter K.; Bohaty, Steven M.; Carr, Stephanie A.; Dunbar, Robert B.; Flores, Jose Abel; Gonzàlez, Jhon J.; Hayden, Travis G.; Iwai, Masao; Jimenez-Espejo, Francisco J.; Katsuki, Kota; Kong, Gee Soo; McKay, Robert M.; Nakai, Mutsumi; Olney, Matthew P.; Passchier, Sandra; Pekar, Stephen F.; Pross, Jörg; Riesselman, Christina; Röhl, Ursula; Sakai, Toyosaburo; Shrivastava, Prakash Kumar; Stickley, Catherine E.; Sugisaki, Saiko; Tauxe, Lisa; Tuo, Shouting; van de Flierdt, Tina; Welsh, Kevin; Yamane, Masako

    2013-05-01

    During the middle and late Eocene (~ 48-34Myr ago), the Earth's climate cooled and an ice sheet built up on Antarctica. The stepwise expansion of ice on Antarctica induced crustal deformation and gravitational perturbations around the continent. Close to the ice sheet, sea level rose despite an overall reduction in the mass of the ocean caused by the transfer of water to the ice sheet. Here we identify the crustal response to ice-sheet growth by forcing a glacial-hydro isostatic adjustment model with an Antarctic ice-sheet model. We find that the shelf areas around East Antarctica first shoaled as upper mantle material upwelled and a peripheral forebulge developed. The inner shelf subsequently subsided as lithosphere flexure extended outwards from the ice-sheet margins. Consequently the coasts experienced a progressive relative sea-level rise. Our analysis of sediment cores from the vicinity of the Antarctic ice sheet are in agreement with the spatial patterns of relative sea-level change indicated by our simulations. Our results are consistent with the suggestion that near-field processes such as local sea-level change influence the equilibrium state obtained by an ice-sheet grounding line.

  1. Evidence for a substantial West Antarctic ice sheet contribution to meltwater pulses and abrupt global sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogwill, C. J.; Turney, C. S.; Golledge, N. R.; Etheridge, D. M.; Rubino, M.; Thornton, D.; Woodward, J.; Winter, K.; van Ommen, T. D.; Moy, A. D.; Curran, M. A.; Rootes, C.; Rivera, A.; Millman, H.

    2015-12-01

    During the last deglaciation (21,000 to 7,000years ago) global sea level rise was punctuated by several abrupt meltwater spikes triggered by the retreat of ice sheets and glaciers world-wide. However, the debate regarding the relative timing, geographical source and the physical mechanisms driving these rapid increases in sea level has catalyzed debate critical to predicting future sea level rise and climate. Here we present a unique record of West Antarctic Ice Sheet elevation change derived from the Patriot Hills blue ice area, located close to the modern day grounding line of the Institute Ice Stream in the Weddell Sea Embayment. Combined isotopic signatures and gas volume analysis from the ice allows us to develop a record of local ice sheet palaeo-altitude that is assessed against independent regional high-resolution ice sheet modeling studies, allowing us to demonstrate that past ice sheet elevations across this sector of the WSE were considerably higher than those suggested by current terrestrial reconstructions. We argue that ice in the WSE had a significant influence on both pre and post LGM sea level rise including MWP-1A (~14.6 ka) and during MWP-1B (11.7-11.6 ka), reconciling past sea level rise and demonstrating for the first time that this sector of the WAIS made a significant and direct contribution to post LGM sea level rise.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horn, D. P.; Cousins, A.

    2015-12-01

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

  5. Sea-level rise induced amplification of coastal protection design heights.

    PubMed

    Arns, Arne; Dangendorf, Sönke; Jensen, Jürgen; Talke, Stefan; Bender, Jens; Pattiaratchi, Charitha

    2017-01-06

    Coastal protection design heights typically consider the superimposed effects of tides, surges, waves, and relative sea-level rise (SLR), neglecting non-linear feedbacks between these forcing factors. Here, we use hydrodynamic modelling and multivariate statistics to show that shallow coastal areas are extremely sensitive to changing non-linear interactions between individual components caused by SLR. As sea-level increases, the depth-limitation of waves relaxes, resulting in waves with larger periods, greater amplitudes, and higher run-up; moreover, depth and frictional changes affect tide, surge, and wave characteristics, altering the relative importance of other risk factors. Consequently, sea-level driven changes in wave characteristics, and to a lesser extent, tides, amplify the resulting design heights by an average of 48-56%, relative to design changes caused by SLR alone. Since many of the world's most vulnerable coastlines are impacted by depth-limited waves, our results suggest that the overall influence of SLR may be greatly underestimated in many regions.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  8. Evaluating coastal landscape response to sea-level rise in the northeastern United States: approach and methods

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  9. Evaluating Coastal Landscape Response to Sea-Level Rise in the Northeastern United States - Approach and Methods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  13. Communicating uncertainties in assessments of future sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    Sea-level rise is a major factor in wetland loss worldwide, and inmuch of Chesapeake Bay (USA) the rate of sea-level rise is higher than the current global rate of 3.2 mmyr -1 due to regional subsidence.Marshes along estuarine salinity gradients differ in vegetation composition, productivity, decomposition pathways, and sediment dynamics, andmay 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 tidalmore » 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 mmyr -1 in elevation on average, at least 5 mmyr -1 below that needed to keep pace with global sea-level rise. Elevation change rates did not significantly differ among themarshes studied, and ranged from-9.8 ± 6.9 to 4.5 ± 4.3 mmyr -1. Surface accretion of depositedmineral and organic matter was uniformly high across the estuary (~9–15 mmyr -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. In conclusion, previous studies have focused on surface elevation change inmarshes of uniformsalinity (e.g., salt marshes); however, our findings highlight the need for elevation studies inmarshes 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.« less

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-07-28

    Sea-level rise is a major factor in wetland loss worldwide, and inmuch of Chesapeake Bay (USA) the rate of sea-level rise is higher than the current global rate of 3.2 mmyr -1 due to regional subsidence.Marshes along estuarine salinity gradients differ in vegetation composition, productivity, decomposition pathways, and sediment dynamics, andmay 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 tidalmore » 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 mmyr -1 in elevation on average, at least 5 mmyr -1 below that needed to keep pace with global sea-level rise. Elevation change rates did not significantly differ among themarshes studied, and ranged from-9.8 ± 6.9 to 4.5 ± 4.3 mmyr -1. Surface accretion of depositedmineral and organic matter was uniformly high across the estuary (~9–15 mmyr -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. In conclusion, previous studies have focused on surface elevation change inmarshes of uniformsalinity (e.g., salt marshes); however, our findings highlight the need for elevation studies inmarshes 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.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  19. Incorporating Infrastructure and Vegetation Effects on Sea Level Rise Predictions in Low-Gradient Coastal Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, J. F.; Sandi Rojas, S.; Trivisonno, F.; Saco, P. M.; Riccardi, G.

    2015-12-01

    At the regional and global scales, coastal management and planning for future sea level rise scenarios is typically supported by modelling tools that predict the expected inundation extent. These tools rely on a number of simplifying assumptions that, in some cases, may result in important overestimation or underestimation of the inundation extent. One of such cases is coastal wetlands, where vegetation strongly affects both the magnitude and the timing of inundation. Many coastal wetlands display other forms of flow restrictions due to, for example, infrastructure or drainage works, which also alters the inundation patterns. In this contribution we explore the effects of flow restrictions on inundation patterns under sea level rise conditions in coastal wetlands. We use a dynamic wetland evolution model that not only incorporates the effects of flow restrictions due to culverts, bridges and weirs as well as vegetation, but also considers that vegetation changes as a consequence of increasing inundation. We apply our model to a coastal wetland in Australia and compare predictions of our model to predictions using conventional approaches. We found that some restrictions accentuate detrimental effects of sea level rise while others moderate them. We also found that some management strategies based on flow redistribution that provide short term solution may result more damaging in the long term if sea level rise is considered.

  20. Climate change and Sea level rise: Potential impact on the coast of the Edremit Plain, NW Turkey.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curebal, Isa; Efe, Recep; Soykan, Abdullah; Sonmez, Suleyman

    2015-04-01

    Over the past century, most of the world's mountain glaciers and the ice sheets have lost mass due to global warming. When the temperature exceeds a particular level, glaciers and polar ice caps will continue to lose mass. Recent studies report that low-lying coastal areas will be seriously affected by sea level rise. Changes in the amount of natural and anthropogenic greenhouse gases and aerosols had a warming effect on the global climate during last century. Thus, the pace of melting of ice sheets increased, and, accordingly, sea level began to rise faster. Rise in sea level between 1961 and 2003 was equal to 1.8 mm/year while it was 3.1 mm/year between 1993 and 2003. The total rise in the 20th century is estimated to be between 17 and 19 cm. The models based on the sea level change indicate that the average global temperature at the end of the 21st century will increase by 0.3°C - 6.4°C. Global sea level is projected to rise 8-25 cm by 2030, relative to 2000 levels, 18-48 cm by 2050, and 50-140 cm by 20110. The Edremit Plain lies between Mount Madra and the Kaz Mountains on the coast of Aegean Sea in NW Turkey. It is lowland with an area of 141 km2. The widest part of the plain is 16 km along the E - W direction. The N - S direction amounts to a width of 15 km. The plain is covered with alluvial deposits that settled in the Quaternary Period. The elevation ranges from 0 to 50 m a.s.l. in the plain. This study aims to determine how the low-lying coastal land areas of the Edremit Plain may be affected by possible changes in sea level. Elevation dataset is based on the digital elevation model (DEM) of Landsat ETM + satellite images. To that end, satellite images were used to draw the current coastline. Curves of 2.5, 5, and 10 m were drawn through the use of maps with a scale of 1/25.000. Later on, the areas of the fields between these points were calculated. Current estimates show that 2.5 m rise in sea level will cause sea water to cover an area of 8.6 km2 (%14

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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."

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 <1 cm, roughly equivalent to 1-2 years of sea level rise under the A1 scenario. SLR 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 (<1 m2) in response to SLR and associated wave action inundation of marshes and infrastructure. We demonstrate the method with networks of cameras in 2 coastal states (CA and GA), using web-informatics and services to 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.

  5. Influence of potential sea level rise on societal vulnerability to hurricane storm-surge hazards, Sarasota County, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Frazier, T.G.; Wood, N.; Yarnal, B.; Bauer, D.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. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Influence of potential sea level rise on societal vulnerability to hurricane storm-surge hazards, Sarasota County, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  7. Coastal flood damage and adaptation costs under 21st century sea-level rise.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-04

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  9. Sea-level rise impacts on the tides of the European Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Idier, Déborah; Paris, François; Cozannet, Gonéri Le; Boulahya, Faiza; Dumas, Franck

    2017-04-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) can modify not only total water levels, but also tidal dynamics. Several studies have investigated the effects of SLR on the tides of the western European continental shelf (mainly the M2 component). We further investigate this issue using a modelling-based approach, considering uniform SLR scenarios from -0.25 m to +10 m above present-day sea level. Assuming that coastal defenses are constructed along present-day shorelines, the patterns of change in high tide levels (annual maximum water level) are spatially similar, regardless of the magnitude of sea-level rise (i.e., the sign of the change remains the same, regardless of the SLR scenario) over most of the area (70%). Notable increases in high tide levels occur especially in the northern Irish Sea, the southern part of the North Sea and the German Bight, and decreases occur mainly in the western English Channel. These changes are generally proportional to SLR, as long as SLR remains smaller than 2 m. Depending on the location, they can account for +/-15% of regional SLR. High tide levels and the M2 component exhibit slightly different patterns. Analysis of the 12 largest tidal components highlights the need to take into account at least the M2, S2, N2, M4, MS4 and MN4 components when investigating the effects of SLR on tides. Changes in high tide levels are much less proportional to SLR when flooding is allowed, in particular in the German Bight. However, some areas (e.g., the English Channel) are not very sensitive to this option, meaning that the effects of SLR would be predictable in these areas, even if future coastal defense strategies are ignored. Physically, SLR-induced tidal changes result from the competition between reductions in bed friction damping, changes in resonance properties and increased reflection at the coast, i.e., local and non-local processes. A preliminary estimate of tidal changes by 2100 under a plausible non-uniform SLR scenario (using the RCP4.5 scenario) is

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-07-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2018-05-01

    Earth’s most severe climate changes occurred during global-scale “snowball Earth” glaciations, which profoundly altered the planet’s atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere. Extreme rates of glacioeustatic sea level rise are predicted by the snowball Earth hypothesis, but supporting geologic evidence has been lacking. We use paleohydraulic analysis of wave ripples and tidal laminae in the Elatina Formation, Australia—deposited after the Marinoan glaciation ~635 million years ago—to show that water depths of 9 to 16 meters remained nearly constant for ~100 years throughout 27 meters 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 to 0.27 meters per year). Our results substantiate a fundamental prediction of snowball Earth models of rapid deglaciation during the early transition to a supergreenhouse climate.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-08-01

    Since the late 1990s, rising sea levels around the Torres Islands (north Vanuatu, southwest Pacific) have caused strong local and international concern. In 2002-2004, a village was displaced due to increasing sea incursions, and in 2005 a United Nations Environment Programme press release referred to the displaced village as perhaps the world's first climate change "refugees." We show here that vertical motions of the Torres Islands themselves dominate the apparent sea-level rise observed on the islands. From 1997 to 2009, the absolute sea level rose by 150 + /-20 mm. But GPS data reveal that the islands subsided by 117 + /-30 mm over the same time period, almost doubling the apparent gradual sea-level rise. Moreover, large earthquakes that occurred just before and after this period caused several hundreds of mm of sudden vertical motion, generating larger apparent sea-level changes than those observed during the entire intervening period. Our results show that vertical ground motions must be accounted for when evaluating sea-level change hazards in active tectonic regions. These data are needed to help communities and governments understand environmental changes and make the best decisions for their future.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-09

    Since the late 1990s, rising sea levels around the Torres Islands (north Vanuatu, southwest Pacific) have caused strong local and international concern. In 2002-2004, a village was displaced due to increasing sea incursions, and in 2005 a United Nations Environment Programme press release referred to the displaced village as perhaps the world's first climate change "refugees." We show here that vertical motions of the Torres Islands themselves dominate the apparent sea-level rise observed on the islands. From 1997 to 2009, the absolute sea level rose by 150 + /-20 mm. But GPS data reveal that the islands subsided by 117 + /-30 mm over the same time period, almost doubling the apparent gradual sea-level rise. Moreover, large earthquakes that occurred just before and after this period caused several hundreds of mm of sudden vertical motion, generating larger apparent sea-level changes than those observed during the entire intervening period. Our results show that vertical ground motions must be accounted for when evaluating sea-level change hazards in active tectonic regions. These data are needed to help communities and governments understand environmental changes and make the best decisions for their future.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2018-02-01

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  2. Global Sea Level Rise and its Impact Estimation Model by Beach Mechanics, GDP, and Shoreline Length using Big Data Approach.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, A. A.

    2016-12-01

    Existing research has shown consistent increase in global sea levels due to warming of the climate; since 1870, average global sea level has risen by about 20 cm. There are processes that scientists and coastal engineers can follow to estimate the erosion and flooding risk impacts for specific locations based on historical data. However, there are no methods available to assess the risk impacts for locations where little research has been conducted. In this study, we introduce a prototype to better predict sea level change and land loss using big data technology. Our approach combines cluster analysis and artificial intelligence to classify and calculate impacts for locations worldwide. Data from 235 locations (89 countries) on sea level change was gathered from NOAA data investigations and other research organizations, including beach profile data, shoreline length data, and GDP data. The rate of sea level rise varies from -18 to 21 mm/yr. We divide the data into 4 groups (Group A: +0 to 9mm, Group B: +10 to +20mm, Group C: -0 to -9mm, and Group D:-10 to -20mm). Our research focuses on types A and B only since both reflect increase on sea level rise. We find the correlation between the sea level rise and factors such as the economic parameter (α), sea level rise height (h), beach breaker wave (Hb), gravitational constant (g), period of wave (T), foreshore slope (i), and sand sizes (D). We conclude the sea level rise impact ($ lost) can be more scientifically and precisely predicted using our model.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Applegate, Patrick J.; Keller, Klaus

    2015-08-01

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

  4. Modeling Holocene Barrier Island Morphodynamics and Potential Future Response to Sea- Level Rise, Outer Banks, North Carolina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, L. J.; List, J. H.; Williams, S. J.; Stolper, D.

    2006-12-01

    A morphological-behavior model, GEOMBEST, which simulates the evolution of coastal morphology and stratigraphy resulting from changes in sea level and sediment supply provides insight into how barriers evolve over time scales ranging from decades to millenia. The model is based upon behavior rules originating from "Bruun rule" concepts, with additional parameters to allow simulation of more complex real-world scenarios. Morphological evolution in the model is driven by disequilibrium between the shoreface and a user-specified theoretical equilibrium profile that maintains its vertical position relative to sea level. As sea level continues rising to an estimated 48 cm above current MSL by AD 2100 (IPCC 2001) and hurricanes of potentially greater intensity impact the coast, barrier islands will respond either by transgressing across underlying strata or by disintegrating and ultimately submerging. Recent studies suggest that some barriers along the U.S. East Coast will break up and become submerged within decades. Other studies show that barriers in Louisiana have already submerged while others are in the process of narrowing in place and submerging. Several factors determine barrier island response to sea-level rise. These include initial topography and morphology of the barrier, underlying geologic framework, availability and supply of sediment, rate of sea-level rise, frequency and intensity of coastal storms, and anthropogenic modifications to the coast. Sensitivity analyses conducted in GEOMBEST suggest that of these factors, barrier-island response is most sensitive to the rate of sea-level rise. The Holocene evolution of the Outer Banks and potential future responses to sea-level rise are explored for a 25-km stretch of coast between Rodanthe and Cape Hatteras, NC using GEOMBEST. An 8500-year hindcast simulation for the study area reproduces closely the morphology and stratigraphy of the modern barrier with approximately 5 x 109 m3 excavated from the

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Since the late 1990s, rising sea levels around the Torres Islands (north Vanuatu, southwest Pacific) have caused strong local and international concern. In 2002–2004, a village was displaced due to increasing sea incursions, and in 2005 a United Nations Environment Programme press release referred to the displaced village as perhaps the world’s first climate change “refugees.” We show here that vertical motions of the Torres Islands themselves dominate the apparent sea-level rise observed on the islands. From 1997 to 2009, the absolute sea level rose by 150 + /-20 mm. But GPS data reveal that the islands subsided by 117 + /-30 mm over the same time period, almost doubling the apparent gradual sea-level rise. Moreover, large earthquakes that occurred just before and after this period caused several hundreds of mm of sudden vertical motion, generating larger apparent sea-level changes than those observed during the entire intervening period. Our results show that vertical ground motions must be accounted for when evaluating sea-level change hazards in active tectonic regions. These data are needed to help communities and governments understand environmental changes and make the best decisions for their future. PMID:21795605

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  8. Sea level rise may increase extinction risk of a saltmarsh ontogenetic habitat specialist.

    PubMed

    Johnson, David Samuel; Williams, Bethany L

    2017-10-01

    Specialist species are more vulnerable to environmental change than generalist species. For species with ontogenetic niche shifts, specialization may occur at a particular life stage making those stages more susceptible to environmental change. In the salt marshes in the northeast U.S., accelerated sea level rise is shifting vegetation patterns from flood-intolerant species such as Spartina patens to the flood-tolerant Spartina alterniflora . We tested the potential impact of this change on the coffee bean snail, Melampus bidentatus , a numerically dominant benthic invertebrate with an ontogenetic niche shift. From a survey of eight marshes throughout the northeast U.S., small snails were found primarily in S. patens habitats, and large snails were found primarily in stunted S. alterniflora habitats. When transplanted into stunted S. alterniflora , small snails suffered significantly higher mortality relative to those in S. patens habitats; adult snail survivorship was similar between habitats. Because other habitats were not interchangeable with S. patens for young snails, these results suggest that Melampus is an ontogenetic specialist where young snails are habitat specialists and adult snails are habitat generalists. Temperature was significantly higher and relative humidity significantly lower in stunted S. alterniflora than in S. patens . These data suggest that thermal and desiccation stress restricted young snails to S. patens habitat, which has high stem density and a layer of thatch that protects snails from environmental stress. Other authors predict that if salt marshes in the northeast U.S. are unable to migrate landward, sea level rise will eliminate S. patens habitats. We suggest that if a salt marsh loses its S. patens habitats, it will also lose its coffee bean snails. Our results demonstrate the need to consider individual life stages when determining a species' vulnerability to global change.

  9. Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) ‐ New functionality for predicting changes in distribution of submerged aquatic vegetation in response to sea level rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee II, Henry; Reusser, Deborah A.; Frazier, Melanie R; McCoy, Lee M; Clinton, Patrick J.; Clough, Jonathan S.

    2014-01-01

    The “Sea‐Level Affecting Marshes Model” (SLAMM) is a moderate resolution model used to predict the effects of sea level rise on marsh habitats (Craft et al. 2009). SLAMM has been used extensively on both the west coast (e.g., Glick et al., 2007) and east coast (e.g., Geselbracht et al., 2011) of the United States to evaluate potential changes in the distribution and extent of tidal marsh habitats. However, a limitation of the current version of SLAMM, (Version 6.2) is that it lacks the ability to model distribution changes in seagrass habitat resulting from sea level rise. Because of the ecological importance of SAV habitats, U.S. EPA, USGS, and USDA partnered with Warren Pinnacle Consulting to enhance the SLAMM modeling software to include new functionality in order to predict changes in Zostera marina distribution within Pacific Northwest estuaries in response to sea level rise. Specifically, the objective was to develop a SAV model that used generally available GIS data and parameters that were predictive and that could be customized for other estuaries that have GIS layers of existing SAV distribution. This report describes the procedure used to develop the SAV model for the Yaquina Bay Estuary, Oregon, appends a statistical script based on the open source R software to generate a similar SAV model for other estuaries that have data layers of existing SAV, and describes how to incorporate the model coefficients from the site‐specific SAV model into SLAMM to predict the effects of sea level rise on Zostera marina distributions. To demonstrate the applicability of the R tools, we utilize them to develop model coefficients for Willapa Bay, Washington using site‐specific SAV data.

  10. Risks of Sea Level Rise to Disadvantaged Communities in the United States

    EPA Science Inventory

    In this paper, we apply a new analytic tool to identify geographic areas in the contiguous United States that may be more likely to experience disproportionate impacts of sea level rise (SLR), and to determine if and where socially vulnerable populations would bear disproportiona...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayhan, M. E.; Alothman, A.

    2009-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  16. Potential impact of predicted sea level rise on carbon sink function of mangrove ecosystems with special reference to Negombo estuary, Sri Lanka

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perera, K. A. R. S.; De Silva, K. H. W. L.; Amarasinghe, M. D.

    2018-02-01

    Unique location in the land-sea interface makes mangrove ecosystems most vulnerable to the impacts of predicted sea level rise due to increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Among others, carbon sink function of these tropical ecosystems that contribute to reduce rising atmospheric CO2 and temperature, could potentially be affected most. Present study was undertaken to explore the extent of impact of the predicted sea level rise for the region on total organic carbon (TOC) pools of the mangrove ecosystems in Negombo estuary located on the west coast of Sri Lanka. Extents of the coastal inundations under minimum (0.09 m) and maximum (0.88 m) sea level rise scenarios of IPCC for 2100 and an intermediate level of 0.48 m were determined with GIS tools. Estimated total capacity of organic carbon retention by these mangrove areas was 499.45 Mg C ha- 1 of which 84% (418.98 Mg C ha- 1) sequestered in the mangrove soil and 16% (80.56 Mg C ha- 1) in the vegetation. Total extent of land area potentially affected by inundation under lowest sea level rise scenario was 218.9 ha, while it was 476.2 ha under intermediate rise and 696.0 ha with the predicted maximum sea level rise. Estimated rate of loss of carbon sink function due to inundation by the sea level rise of 0.09 m is 6.30 Mg C ha- 1 y- 1 while the intermediate sea level rise indicated a loss of 9.92 Mg C ha- 1 y- 1 and under maximum sea level rise scenario, this loss further increases up to 11.32 Mg C ha- 1 y- 1. Adaptation of mangrove plants to withstand inundation and landward migration along with escalated photosynthetic rates, augmented by changing rainfall patterns and availability of nutrients may contribute to reduce the rate of loss of carbon sink function of these mangrove ecosystems. Predictions over change in carbon sequestration function of mangroves in Negombo estuary reveals that it is not only affected by oceanographic and hydrological alterations associated with sea level rise but also by anthropogenic

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  19. Sea level driven marsh expansion in a coupled model of marsh erosion and migration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirwan, Matthew L.; Walters, David C.; Reay, William G.; Carr, Joel

    2016-01-01

    Coastal wetlands are among the most valuable ecosystems on Earth, where ecosystem services such as flood protection depend nonlinearly on wetland size and are threatened by sea level rise and coastal development. Here we propose a simple model of marsh migration into adjacent uplands and couple it with existing models of seaward edge erosion and vertical soil accretion to explore how ecosystem connectivity influences marsh size and response to sea level rise. We find that marsh loss is nearly inevitable where topographic and anthropogenic barriers limit migration. Where unconstrained by barriers, however, rates of marsh migration are much more sensitive to accelerated sea level rise than rates of edge erosion. This behavior suggests a counterintuitive, natural tendency for marsh expansion with sea level rise and emphasizes the disparity between coastal response to climate change with and without human intervention.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  1. Dynamics of sea level rise and coastal flooding on a changing landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bilskie, M. V.; Hagen, S. C.; Medeiros, S. C.; Passeri, D. L.

    2014-02-01

    Standard approaches to determining the impacts of sea level rise (SLR) on storm surge flooding employ numerical models reflecting present conditions with modified sea states for a given SLR scenario. In this study, we advance this paradigm by adjusting the model framework so that it reflects not only a change in sea state but also variations to the landscape (morphologic changes and urbanization of coastal cities). We utilize a numerical model of the Mississippi and Alabama coast to simulate the response of hurricane storm surge to changes in sea level, land use/land cover, and land surface elevation for past (1960), present (2005), and future (2050) conditions. The results show that the storm surge response to SLR is dynamic and sensitive to changes in the landscape. We introduce a new modeling framework that includes modification of the landscape when producing storm surge models for future conditions.

  2. On the regional characteristics of past and future sea-level change (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Timmermann, A.; McGregor, S.

    2010-12-01

    Global sea-level rise due to the thermal expansion of the warming oceans and freshwater input from melting glaciers and ice-sheets is threatening to inundate low-lying islands and coast-lines worldwide. At present global mean sea level rises at 3.1 ± 0.7 mm/yr with an accelerating tendency. However, the magnitude of recent decadal sea-level trends varies greatly spatially attaining values of up to 10 mm/yr in some areas of the western tropical Pacific. Identifying the causes of recent regional sea-level trends and understanding the patterns of future projected sea-level change is of crucial importance. Using a wind-forced simplified dynamical ocean model, we show that the regional features of recent decadal and multidecadal sea-level trends in the tropical Indo-Pacific can be attributed to changes in the prevailing wind-regimes. Furthermore it is demonstrated that within an ensemble of ten state-of-the art coupled general circulation models, forced by increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the next century, wind-induced re-distributions of upper-ocean water play a key role in establishing the spatial characteristics of projected regional sea-level rise. Wind-related changes in near- surface mass and heat convergence near the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Cook Islands and French Polynesia oppose, but can not cancel the regional signal of global mean sea-level rise.

  3. Simulated changes in salinity in the York and Chickahominy Rivers from projected sea-level rise in Chesapeake Bay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rice, Karen C.; Bennett, Mark; Shen, Jian

    2011-01-01

    As a result of climate change and variability, sea level is rising throughout the world, but the rate along the east coast of the United States is higher than the global mean rate. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Newport News, Virginia, conducted a study to evaluate the effects of possible future sea-level rise on the salinity front in two tributaries to Chesapeake Bay, the York River, and the Chickahominy/James River estuaries. Numerical modeling was used to represent sea-level rise and the resulting hydrologic effects. Estuarine models for the two tributaries were developed and model simulations were made by use of the Three-Dimensional Hydrodynamic-Eutrophication Model (HEM-3D), developed by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. HEM-3D was used to simulate tides, tidal currents, and salinity for Chesapeake Bay, the York River and the Chickahominy/James River. The three sea-level rise scenarios that were evaluated showed an increase of 30, 50, and 100 centimeters (cm). Model results for both estuaries indicated that high freshwater river flow was effective in pushing the salinity back toward Chesapeake Bay. Model results indicated that increases in mean salinity will greatly alter the existing water-quality gradients between brackish water and freshwater. This will be particularly important for the freshwater part of the Chickahominy River, where a drinking-water-supply intake for the City of Newport News is located. Significant changes in the salinity gradients for the York River and Chickahominy/James River estuaries were predicted for the three sea-level rise scenarios. When a 50-cm sea-level rise scenario on the York River during a typical year (2005) was used, the model simulation showed a salinity of 15 parts per thousand (ppt) at river kilometer (km) 39. During a dry year (2002), the same salinity (15 ppt) was simulated at river km 45, which means that saltwater was shown to migrate 6 km farther upstream during a dry year

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  6. Combined effects of projected sea level rise, storm surge, and peak river flows on water levels in the Skagit Floodplain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hamman, Josheph J; Hamlet, Alan F.; Fuller, Roger; Grossman, Eric E.

    2016-01-01

    Current understanding of the combined effects of sea level rise (SLR), storm surge, and changes in river flooding on near-coastal environments is very limited. This project uses a suite of numerical models to examine the combined effects of projected future climate change on flooding in the Skagit floodplain and estuary. Statistically and dynamically downscaled global climate model scenarios from the ECHAM-5 GCM were used as the climate forcings. Unregulated daily river flows were simulated using the VIC hydrology model, and regulated river flows were simulated using the SkagitSim reservoir operations model. Daily tidal anomalies (TA) were calculated using a regression approach based on ENSO and atmospheric pressure forcing simulated by the WRF regional climate model. A 2-D hydrodynamic model was used to estimate water surface elevations in the Skagit floodplain using resampled hourly hydrographs keyed to regulated daily flood flows produced by the reservoir simulation model, and tide predictions adjusted for SLR and TA. Combining peak annual TA with projected sea level rise, the historical (1970–1999) 100-yr peak high water level is exceeded essentially every year by the 2050s. The combination of projected sea level rise and larger floods by the 2080s yields both increased flood inundation area (+ 74%), and increased average water depth (+ 25 cm) in the Skagit floodplain during a 100-year flood. Adding sea level rise to the historical FEMA 100-year flood resulted in a 35% increase in inundation area by the 2040's, compared to a 57% increase when both SLR and projected changes in river flow were combined.

  7. Quantifying Land and People Exposed to Sea-Level Rise with No Mitigation and 1.5°C and 2.0°C Rise in Global Temperatures to Year 2300

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, S.; Nicholls, R. J.; Goodwin, P.; Haigh, I. D.; Lincke, D.; Vafeidis, A. T.; Hinkel, J.

    2018-03-01

    We use multiple synthetic mitigation sea-level scenarios, together with a non-mitigation sea-level scenario from the Warming Acidification and Sea-level Projector model. We find sea-level rise (SLR) continues to accelerate post-2100 for all but the most aggressive mitigation scenarios indicative of 1.5°C and 2.0°C. Using the Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment modeling framework, we project land and population exposed in the 1 in 100 year coastal flood plain under SLR and population change. In 2000, the flood plain is estimated at 540 × 103 km2. By 2100, under the mitigation scenarios, it ranges between 610 × 103 and 640 × 103 km2 (580 × 103 and 700 × 103 km2 for the 5th and 95th percentiles). Thus differences between the mitigation scenarios are small in 2100. However, in 2300, flood plains are projected to increase to between 700 × 103 and 960 × 103 km2 in 2300 (610 × 103 and 1290 × 103 km2) for the mitigation scenarios, but 1630 × 103 km2 (1190 × 103 and 2220 × 103 km2) for the non-mitigation scenario. The proportion of global population exposed to SLR in 2300 is projected to be between 1.5% and 5.4% (1.2%-7.6%) (assuming no population growth after 2100) for the aggressive mitigation and the non-mitigation scenario, respectively. Hence over centennial timescales there are significant benefits to climate change mitigation and temperature stabilization. However, sea-levels will continue to rise albeit at lower rates. Thus potential impacts will keep increasing necessitating adaptation to existing coastal infrastructure and the careful planning of new coastal developments.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Zhaoqing; Wang, Taiping; Leung, Lai-Yung R.

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

  11. Sensitivity analysis of sea level rise contribution depending on external forcing: A case study of Victoria Land, East Antarctica.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, I. W.; Lee, S. H.; Lee, W. S.; Lee, C. K.; Lee, K. K.

    2017-12-01

    As global mean temperature increases, it affects increase in polar glacier melt and thermal expansion of sea, which contributed to global sea level rise. Unlike large sea level rise contributors in Western Antarctica (e. g. Pine island glacier, Thwaites glacier), glaciers in East Antarctica shows relatively stable and slow ice velocity. However, recent calving events related to increase of supraglacier lake in Nansen ice shelf arouse the questions in regards to future evolution of ice dynamics at Victoria Land, East Antarctica. Here, using Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), a series of numerical simulations were carried out to investigate ice dynamics evolution (grounding line migration, ice velocity) and sea level rise contribution in response to external forcing conditions (surface mass balance, floating ice melting rate, and ice front retreat). In this study, we used control method to set ice dynamic properties (ice rigidity and friction coefficient) with shallow shelf approximation model and check each external forcing conditions contributing to sea level change. Before 50-year transient simulations were conducted based on changing surface mass balance, floating ice melting rate, and ice front retreat of Drygalski ice tongue and Nansen ice shelf, relaxation was performed for 10 years to reduce non-physical undulation and it was used as initial condition. The simulation results showed that sea level rise contribution were expected to be much less compared to other fast glaciers. Floating ice melting rate was most sensitive parameter to sea level rise, while ice front retreat of Drygalski tongue was negligible. The regional model will be further updated utilizing ice radar topography and measured floating ice melting rate.

  12. SeaRISE: A Multidisciplinary Research Initiative to Predict Rapid Changes in Global Sea Level Caused by Collapse of Marine Ice Sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bindschadler, Robert A. (Editor)

    1990-01-01

    The results of a workshop held to discuss the role of the polar ice sheets in global climate change are reported. The participants agreed that the most important aspect of the ice sheets' involvement in climate change is the potential of marine ice sheets to cause a rapid change in global sea level. To address this concern, a research initiative is called for that considers the full complexity of the coupled atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere-lithosphere system. This initiative, called SeaRISE (Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution) has the goal of predicting the contribution of marine ice sheets to rapid changes in global sea level in the next decade to few centuries. To attain this goal, a coordinated program of multidisciplinary investigations must be launched with the linked objectives of understanding the current state, internal dynamics, interactions, and history of this environmental system. The key questions needed to satisfy these objectives are presented and discussed along with a plan of action to make the SeaRISE project a reality.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carbognin, Laura; Teatini, Pietro; Tomasin, Alberto; Tosi, Luigi

    2010-11-01

    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.

  15. Numerical modeling of the impact of sea-level rise on fringing coral reef hydrodynamics and sediment transport

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Storlazzi, C.D.; Elias, E.; Field, M.E.; Presto, M.K.

    2011-01-01

    Most climate projections suggest that sea level may rise on the order of 0.5-1.0 m by 2100; it is not clear, however, how fluid flow and sediment dynamics on exposed fringing reefs might change in response to this rapid sea-level rise. Coupled hydrodynamic and sediment-transport numerical modeling is consistent with recent published results that suggest that an increase in water depth on the order of 0.5-1.0 m on a 1-2 m deep exposed fringing reef flat would result in larger significant wave heights and setup, further elevating water depths on the reef flat. Larger waves would generate higher near-bed shear stresses, which, in turn, would result in an increase in both the size and the quantity of sediment that can be resuspended from the seabed or eroded from adjacent coastal plain deposits. Greater wave- and wind-driven currents would develop with increasing water depth, increasing the alongshore and offshore flux of water and sediment from the inner reef flat to the outer reef flat and fore reef where coral growth is typically greatest. Sediment residence time on the fringing reef flat was modeled to decrease exponentially with increasing sea-level rise as the magnitude of sea-level rise approached the mean water depth over the reef flat. The model results presented here suggest that a 0.5-1.0 m rise in sea level will likely increase coastal erosion, mixing and circulation, the amount of sediment resuspended, and the duration of high turbidity on exposed reef flats, resulting in decreased light availability for photosynthesis, increased sediment-induced stress on the reef ecosystem, and potentially affecting a number of other ecological processes.

  16. Characterizing and minimizing the effects of noise in tide gauge time series: relative and geocentric sea level rise around Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgette, Reed J.; Watson, Christopher S.; Church, John A.; White, Neil J.; Tregoning, Paul; Coleman, Richard

    2013-08-01

    .8 mm yr-1, respectively. While the temporal pattern of the rate estimates is consistent with acceleration in sea level rise, it may not be significant, as the uncertainties for the shorter analysis periods may not capture the full range of temporal variation. Analysis of the available continuous GPS records that have been collected within 80 km of Australian tide gauges suggests that rates of vertical crustal motion are generally low, with the majority of sites showing motion statistically insignificant from zero. A notable exception is the significant component of vertical land motion that contributes to the rapid rate of relative sea level change (>4 mm yr-1) at the Hillarys site in the Perth area. This corresponds to crustal subsidence that we estimate in our GPS analysis at a rate of -3.1 ± 0.7 mm yr-1, and appears linked to groundwater withdrawal. Uncertainties on the rates of vertical displacement at GPS sites collected over a decade are similar to what we measure in several decades of tide gauge data. Our results motivate continued observations of relative sea level using tide gauges, maintained with high-accuracy terrestrial and continuous co-located satellite-based surveying.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  19. Response of Spartina Alterniflora to Sea Level Rise, Changing Precipitation Patterns, and Eutrophication

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sea level rise, precipitation, and eutrophication (3 X 3 X 2 factorial design) were simulated in tidal mesocosms in the US EPA Narragansett greenhouse. Each precipitation treatment (storm, drought, ambient rain) was represented in one of two tanks (control, fertilized). The contr...

  20. Mudflat morphodynamics and the impact of sea level rise in South San Francisco Bay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van der Wegen, Mick; Jaffe, Bruce E.; Foxgrover, Amy C.; Roelvink, Dano

    2017-01-01

    Estuarine tidal mudflats form unique habitats and maintain valuable ecosystems. Historic measurements of a mudflat in San Fancsico Bay over the past 150 years suggest the development of a rather stable mudflat profile. This raises questions on its origin and governing processes as well as on the mudflats’ fate under scenarios of sea level rise and decreasing sediment supply. We developed a 1D morphodynamic profile model (Delft3D) that is able to reproduce the 2011 measured mudflat profile. The main, schematised, forcings of the model are a constant tidal cycle and constant wave action. The model shows that wave action suspends sediment that is transported landward during flood. A depositional front moves landward until landward bed levels are high enough to carry an equal amount of sediment back during ebb. This implies that, similar to observations, the critical shear stress for erosion is regularly exceeded during the tidal cycle and that modelled equilibrium conditions include high suspended sediment concentrations at the mudflat. Shear stresses are highest during low water, while shear stresses are lower than critical (and highest at the landward end) along the mudflat during high water. Scenarios of sea level rise and decreasing sediment supply drown the mudflat. In addition, the mudflat becomes more prone to channel incision because landward accumulation is hampered. This research suggests that sea level rise is a serious threat to the presence of many estuarine intertidal mudflats, adjacent salt marshes and their associated ecological values.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  2. Magnitude and timing of episodic sea-level rise during the last deglaciation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Locker, S.D.; Hine, A.C.; Tedesco, L.P.; Shinn, E.A.

    1996-01-01

    A succession of elevated ridge deposits on the south Florida margin was mapped using high-resolution seismic and side-scan sonar imaging in water depths ranging from 50 to 124 m. The ridges are interpreted to be subtidal shoal complexes and paleoshorelines (eolian dune or beach) formed during the last sea-level transgression. Oolitic and skeletal grainstones and mixed skeletal-peloidal-ooid packstones were recovered using a research submersible. All of the grains are of shallow-water or intertidal origin, and both marine and nonmarine cements were identified. Formation and preservation of these features are attributed to episodic and rapid changes in the rate of the deglacial sea-level rise at the onset of the termination 1A ??18O excursion. This high-resolution record of sea-level change appears to be related to deglacial processes operating on submillennial time scales and supports increasing evidence of rapid episodic fluctuations in ice volume, climate, and ocean-circulation patterns during glacialinterglacial transitions.

  3. Increasing extreme water level flood risk as a result of future sea-level rise: A case study on a coastal city in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, A.; Wu, S.

    2016-12-01

    Extreme water levels, caused by the joint occurrence of storm surges and high tides, always lead to super floods along coastlines. In the context of climate change, this study explored the impact of future sea-level rise on the flood risk of extreme water levels. Using Rongcheng City in Shandong Province, China as a case study, flooded area, expected direct damage losses, and affected population and GDP were assessed for 2050 and 2100 under three greenhouse gas concentration Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) scenarios, 2.6, 4.5, and 8.5. Results indicate that, as a result of sea-level rise induced by climate change, the flooded areas of Rongcheng City would increase by 3.23% to 10.64% in 2050 and by as much as 4.98% to 19.87% in 2100, compared with current recurrence periods. Residential land and farmland are at greatest risk of flooding in terms of exposure and losses than other land-use types, and under a high degree RCP 8.5 scenario, expected damage losses would be between 59.84 billion and 86.45 billion in 2050. Results show that the increase in total direct damage losses would reach an average of 60% in 2100 as a result of a 0.82 m sea-level rise. Similarly, affected population and GDP would increase by between 4.95% and 13.87% and between 3.66% and 10.95% in 2050, and by as much as 7.69% to 29.01% and 5.30% to 20.50% in 2100. This study shows that sea-level rise significantly shortens recurrence periods of extreme water levels, makes extreme flood events more frequent, and exacerbates the risk of future flooding. Our results suggest that, if there is no adaptation, sea-level rise will greatly increase the risk of flooding and severely impact human habitability along coastlines.

  4. Contemporary Arctic Sea Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cazenave, A. A.

    2017-12-01

    During recent decades, the Arctic region has warmed at a rate about twice the rest of the globe. Sea ice melting is increasing and the Greenland ice sheet is losing mass at an accelerated rate. Arctic warming, decrease in the sea ice cover and fresh water input to the Arctic ocean may eventually impact the Arctic sea level. In this presentation, we review our current knowledge of contemporary Arctic sea level changes. Until the beginning of the 1990s, Arctic sea level variations were essentially deduced from tide gauges located along the Russian and Norwegian coastlines. Since then, high inclination satellite altimetry missions have allowed measuring sea level over a large portion of the Arctic Ocean (up to 80 degree north). Measuring sea level in the Arctic by satellite altimetry is challenging because the presence of sea ice cover limits the full capacity of this technique. However adapted processing of raw altimetric measurements significantly increases the number of valid data, hence the data coverage, from which regional sea level variations can be extracted. Over the altimetry era, positive trend patterns are observed over the Beaufort Gyre and along the east coast of Greenland, while negative trends are reported along the Siberian shelf. On average over the Arctic region covered by satellite altimetry, the rate of sea level rise since 1992 is slightly less than the global mea sea level rate (of about 3 mm per year). On the other hand, the interannual variability is quite significant. Space gravimetry data from the GRACE mission and ocean reanalyses provide information on the mass and steric contributions to sea level, hence on the sea level budget. Budget studies show that regional sea level trends over the Beaufort Gyre and along the eastern coast of Greenland, are essentially due to salinity changes. However, in terms of regional average, the net steric component contributes little to the observed sea level trend. The sea level budget in the Arctic

  5. Is there a signal of sea-level rise in Chesapeake Bay salinity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilton, T. W.; Najjar, R. G.; Zhong, L.; Li, M.

    2008-09-01

    We evaluate the hypothesis that sea-level rise over the second half of the 20th century has led to detectable increases in Chesapeake Bay salinity. We exploit a simple, statistical model that predicts monthly mean salinity as a function of Susquehanna River flow in 23 segments of the main stem Chesapeake Bay. The residual (observed minus modeled) salinity exhibits statistically significant linear (p < 0.05) trends between 1949 and 2006 in 13 of the 23 segments of the bay. The salinity change estimated from the trend line over this period varies from -2.0 to 2.2, with 10 of the 13 cells showing positive changes. The mean and median salinity changes over all 23 cells are 0.47 and 0.72; over the 13 cells with significant trends they are 0.71 and 1.1. We ran a hydrodynamic model of the bay under present-day and reduced sea level conditions and found a bay-average salinity increase of about 0.5, which supports the hypothesis that the salinity residual trends have a significant component due to sea-level rise. Uncertainties remain, however, due to the spatial and temporal extent of historical salinity data and the infilling of the bay due to sedimentation. The salinity residuals also exhibit interannual variability, with peaks occurring at intervals of roughly 7 to 9 years, which are partially explained by Atlantic Shelf salinity, Potomac River flow and the meridional component of wind stress.

  6. Simulations of Sea Level Rise Effects on Complex Coastal Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niedoroda, A. W.; Ye, M.; Saha, B.; Donoghue, J. F.; Reed, C. W.

    2009-12-01

    It is now established that complex coastal systems with elements such as beaches, inlets, bays, and rivers adjust their morphologies according to time-varying balances in between the processes that control the exchange of sediment. Accelerated sea level rise introduces a major perturbation into the sediment-sharing systems. A modeling framework based on a new SL-PR model which is an advanced version of the aggregate-scale CST Model and the event-scale CMS-2D and CMS-Wave combination have been used to simulate the recent evolution of a portion of the Florida panhandle coast. This combination of models provides a method to evaluate coefficients in the aggregate-scale model that were previously treated as fitted parameters. That is, by carrying out simulations of a complex coastal system with runs of the event-scale model representing more than a year it is now possible to directly relate the coefficients in the large-scale SL-PR model to measureable physical parameters in the current and wave fields. This cross-scale modeling procedure has been used to simulate the shoreline evolution at the Santa Rosa Island, a long barrier which houses significant military infrastructure at the north Gulf Coast. The model has been used to simulate 137 years of measured shoreline change and to extend these to predictions of future rates of shoreline migration.

  7. Birth of the modern Chesapeake Bay estuary between 7.4 and 8.2 ka and implications for global sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bratton, John F.; Colman, Steven M.; Thieler, E. Robert; Seal, Robert R.

    2002-12-01

    Two major pulses of sea-level rise are thought to have taken place since the last glacial maximum — meltwater pulses (mwp) 1A (12 cal ka) and 1B (9.5 cal ka). Between mwp 1B and about 6 cal ka, many of the complex coastal ecosystems which ring the world's oceans began to form. Here we report data for rhenium, carbon isotopes, total organic carbon, and fossil oysters from Chesapeake Bay which span the transition from fresh to brackish water conditions in the bay in the mid-Holocene. These data constrain sea-level change and resulting environmental change in the bay. They indicate that the transition was rapid, and that it was produced by (1) a third pulse of rapid eustatic sea-level rise, or (2) a geometry of the prehistoric Chesapeake Bay basin which predisposed it to a nonlinear response to a steadily rising sea level. Similar nonlinear changes in vulnerable coastal environments are likely to take place in the future due to polar warming, regardless of the timing or rate of sea-level rise.

  8. Birth of the modern Chesapeake Bay estuary between 7.4 and 8.2 ka and implications for global sea-level rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bratton, John F.; Colman, Steven M.; Thieler, E. Robert; Seal, Robert R.

    2003-01-01

    Two major pulses of sea-level rise are thought to have taken place since the last glacial maximum — meltwater pulses (mwp) 1A (12 cal ka) and 1B (9.5 cal ka). Between mwp 1B and about 6 cal ka, many of the complex coastal ecosystems which ring the world’s oceans began to form. Here we report data for rhenium, carbon isotopes, total organic carbon, and fossil oysters from Chesapeake Bay which span the transition from fresh to brackish water conditions in the bay in the mid-Holocene. These data constrain sea-level change and resulting environmental change in the bay. They indicate that the transition was rapid, and that it was produced by (1) a third pulse of rapid eustatic sea-level rise, or (2) a geometry of the prehistoric Chesapeake Bay basin which predisposed it to a nonlinear response to a steadily rising sea level. Similar nonlinear changes in vulnerable coastal environments are likely to take place in the future due to polar warming, regardless of the timing or rate of sea-level rise.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Masciopinto, Costantino; Liso, Isabella Serena

    2016-11-01

    An assessment of sea intrusion into coastal aquifers as a consequence of local sea-level rise (LSLR) due to climate change was carried out at Murgia and Salento in southern Italy. The interpolation of sea-level measurements at three tide-gauge stations was performed during the period of 2000 to 2014. The best fit of measurements shows an increasing rate of LSLR ranging from 4.4mm/y to 8.8mm/y, which will result in a maximum LSLR of approximately 2m during the 22nd century. The local rate of sea-level rise matches recent 21st and 22nd century projections of mean global sea-level rise determined by other researchers, which include increased melting rates of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, the effect of ocean thermal expansion, the melting of glaciers and ice caps, and changes in the quantity of stored land water. Subsequently, Ghyben-Herzberg's equation for the freshwater/saltwater interface was rewritten in order to determine the decrease in groundwater discharge due to the maximum LSLR. Groundwater flow simulations and ArcGIS elaborations of digital elevation models of the coast provided input data for the Ghyben-Herzberg calculation under the assumption of head-controlled systems. The progression of seawater intrusion due to LSLR suggests an impressive depletion of available groundwater discharge during the 22nd century, perhaps as much as 16.1% of current groundwater pumping for potable water in Salento. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Sea-level variability over the Common Era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopp, Robert; Horton, Benjamin; Kemp, Andrew; Engelhart, Simon; Little, Chris

    2017-04-01

    climate model simulations forced with sustained NAO-like heat fluxes. Changes in the wind-driven ocean circulation may also contribute to alongshore sea level variability over the CE. To reveal global mean sea level variability, we combine the salt-marsh data from North American Atlantic coast with tide-gauge records and other high resolution proxies from the northern and southern hemispheres. All reconstructions are from coasts that are tectonically stable and are based on four types of proxy archives (archaeological indicators, coral microatolls, salt marsh sediments and vermetid [mollusk] bioconstructions) that are best capable of capturing submeter-scale RSL changes. The database consists of reconstructions from Australasia (n = 2), Europe (n=5), Greenland (n = 3), North America (n = 6), the northern Gulf of Mexico (n = 3), the Mediterranean (n = 1), South Africa (n = 2), South America (n =2) and the South Pacific (n =3). We apply a noisy-input Gaussian process spatio-temporal modeling framework, which identifies a long-term falling global mean sea-level, interrupted in the middle of the 19th century by an acceleration yielding a 20th century rate of rise extremely likely (probability P = 0:95) faster than any previous century in the CE.

  12. Committed sea-level rise for the next century from Greenland ice sheet dynamics during the past decade.

    PubMed

    Price, Stephen F; Payne, Antony J; Howat, Ian M; Smith, Benjamin E

    2011-05-31

    We use a three-dimensional, higher-order ice flow model and a realistic initial condition to simulate dynamic perturbations to the Greenland ice sheet during the last decade and to assess their contribution to sea level by 2100. Starting from our initial condition, we apply a time series of observationally constrained dynamic perturbations at the marine termini of Greenland's three largest outlet glaciers, Jakobshavn Isbræ, Helheim Glacier, and Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier. The initial and long-term diffusive thinning within each glacier catchment is then integrated spatially and temporally to calculate a minimum sea-level contribution of approximately 1 ± 0.4 mm from these three glaciers by 2100. Based on scaling arguments, we extend our modeling to all of Greenland and estimate a minimum dynamic sea-level contribution of approximately 6 ± 2 mm by 2100. This estimate of committed sea-level rise is a minimum because it ignores mass loss due to future changes in ice sheet dynamics or surface mass balance. Importantly, > 75% of this value is from the long-term, diffusive response of the ice sheet, suggesting that the majority of sea-level rise from Greenland dynamics during the past decade is yet to come. Assuming similar and recurring forcing in future decades and a self-similar ice dynamical response, we estimate an upper bound of 45 mm of sea-level rise from Greenland dynamics by 2100. These estimates are constrained by recent observations of dynamic mass loss in Greenland and by realistic model behavior that accounts for both the long-term cumulative mass loss and its decay following episodic boundary forcing.

  13. Committed sea-level rise for the next century from Greenland ice sheet dynamics during the past decade

    PubMed Central

    Price, Stephen F.; Payne, Antony J.; Howat, Ian M.; Smith, Benjamin E.

    2011-01-01

    We use a three-dimensional, higher-order ice flow model and a realistic initial condition to simulate dynamic perturbations to the Greenland ice sheet during the last decade and to assess their contribution to sea level by 2100. Starting from our initial condition, we apply a time series of observationally constrained dynamic perturbations at the marine termini of Greenland’s three largest outlet glaciers, Jakobshavn Isbræ, Helheim Glacier, and Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier. The initial and long-term diffusive thinning within each glacier catchment is then integrated spatially and temporally to calculate a minimum sea-level contribution of approximately 1 ± 0.4 mm from these three glaciers by 2100. Based on scaling arguments, we extend our modeling to all of Greenland and estimate a minimum dynamic sea-level contribution of approximately 6 ± 2 mm by 2100. This estimate of committed sea-level rise is a minimum because it ignores mass loss due to future changes in ice sheet dynamics or surface mass balance. Importantly, > 75% of this value is from the long-term, diffusive response of the ice sheet, suggesting that the majority of sea-level rise from Greenland dynamics during the past decade is yet to come. Assuming similar and recurring forcing in future decades and a self-similar ice dynamical response, we estimate an upper bound of 45 mm of sea-level rise from Greenland dynamics by 2100. These estimates are constrained by recent observations of dynamic mass loss in Greenland and by realistic model behavior that accounts for both the long-term cumulative mass loss and its decay following episodic boundary forcing. PMID:21576500

  14. The Climate Science Special Report: Rising Seas and Changing Oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopp, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    GMSL has risen by about 16-21 cm since 1900. Ocean heat content has increased at all depths since the 1960s, and global mean sea-surface temperature increased 0.7°C/century between 1900 to 2016. Human activity contributed substantially to generating a rate of GMSL rise since 1900 faster than during any preceding century in at least 2800 years. A new set of six sea-level rise scenarios, spanning a range from 30 cm to 250 cm of 21st century GMSL rise, were developed for the CSSR. The lower scenario is based on linearly extrapolating the past two decades' rate of rise. The upper scenario is informed by literature estimates of maximum physically plausible values, observations indicating the onset of marine ice sheet instability in parts of West Antarctica, and modeling of ice-cliff and ice-shelf instability mechanisms. The new scenarios include localized projections along US coastlines. There is significant variability around the US, with rates of rise likely greater than GMSL rise in the US Northeast and the western Gulf of Mexico. Under scenarios involving extreme Antarctic contributions, regional rise would be greater than GMSL rise along almost all US coastlines. Historical sea-level rise has already driven a 5- to 10-fold increase in minor tidal flooding in several US coastal cities since the 1960s. Under the CSSR's Intermediate sea-level rise scenario (1.0 m of GMSL rise in 2100) , a majority of NOAA tide gauge locations will by 2040 experience the historical 5-year coastal flood about 5 times per year. Ocean changes are not limited to rising sea levels. Ocean pH is decreasing at a rate that may be unparalleled in the last 66 million years. Along coastlines, ocean acidification can be enhanced by changes in the upwelling (particularly along the US Pacific Coast); by episodic, climate change-enhanced increases in freshwater input (particularly along the US Atlantic Coast); and by the enhancement of biological respiration by nutrient runoff. Climate models project