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

    PubMed

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  6. Accelerated sea level rise and Florida Current transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, J.; Sweet, W.

    2015-04-01

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

  7. Accelerated sea level rise and Florida Current transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, J.; Sweet, W.

    2015-07-01

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

  8. 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. PMID:21141661

  9. Accelerated sea-level rise from West Antarctica.

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-01

    Recent aircraft and satellite laser altimeter surveys of the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica show that local glaciers are discharging about 250 cubic kilometers of ice per year to the ocean, almost 60% more than is accumulated within their catchment basins. This discharge is sufficient to raise sea level by more than 0.2 millimeters per year. Glacier thinning rates near the coast during 2002-2003 are much larger than those observed during the 1990s. Most of these glaciers flow into floating ice shelves over bedrock up to hundreds of meters deeper than previous estimates, providing exit routes for ice from further inland if ice-sheet collapse is under way. PMID:15388895

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1991-01-01

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

  11. Global sea level rise

    SciTech Connect

    Douglas, B.C. )

    1991-04-15

    Published values for the long-term, global mean sea level rise determined from tide gauge records exhibit considerable scatter, from about 1 mm to 3 mm/yr. This disparity is not attributable to instrument error; long-term trends computed at adjacent sites often agree to within a few tenths of a millimeter per year. Instead, the differing estimates of global sea level rise appear to be in large part due to authors' using data from gauges located at convergent tectonic plate boundaries, where changes of land elevation give fictitious sea level trends. In addition, virtually all gauges undergo subsidence or uplift due to postglacial rebound (PGR) from the last deglaciation at a rate comparable to or greater than the secular rise of sea level. Modeling PGR by the ICE-3G model of Tushingham and Peltier (1991) and avoiding tide gauge records in areas of converging tectonic plates produces a highly consistent set of long sea level records. The value for mean sea level rise obtained from a global set of 21 such stations in nine oceanic regions with an average record length of 76 years during the period 1880-1980 is 1.8 mm/yr {plus minus} 0.1. This result provides confidence that carefully selected long tide gauge records measure the same underlying trend of sea level and that many old tide gauge records are of very high quality.

  12. Accelerating sea-level rise and coastal marsh stability: Insights from an early Holocene stratigraphic record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y.; Tornqvist, T. E.; Kohl, B.; Kuykendall, J.

    2011-12-01

    The increasingly recognized economic and ecologic value of coastal ecosystems and growing concerns about the fate of coastal wetlands in the face of anticipated accelerating sea-level rise in the next century provide the impetus to understand coastal marsh stability under climate warming conditions. This problem is strikingly exemplified by the Mississippi Delta, where wetland loss rates are among the highest in the world. Direct field observations of marsh responses to rising seas are helpful to understand marsh stability over short (annual to decadal) timescales. However, knowledge about marsh stability over longer timescales is largely lacking. Here we present an early Holocene stratigraphic and foraminiferal record from the Mississippi Delta to examine marsh responses to relative sea-level (RSL) rise at rates within the range of what is commonly predicted for the latter portion of the 21st century. While field monitoring of modern marshes has suggested that they may survive rates of RSL rise on the order of 1 cm/yr, our results show that marshes can persist only for up to a century, and often much shorter, with rates of RSL rise of ~0.7 cm/yr. We therefore conclude that the tipping point beyond which coastal marshes in this region become unsustainable may be reached earlier than what previous studies have suggested. These findings may be instrumental in long-term planning and mitigating impacts of anticipated sea-level rise on coastal ecosystems.

  13. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. Accelerated sea level rise on Yap (Federated States of Micronesia): Cause for concern

    SciTech Connect

    Stahl, M.S. )

    1993-01-01

    The Army Corps of Engineers, Pacific Ocean Division, participated in the interagency case study of sea level rise for Yap State in the Federated States of Micronesia. The study, on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, was in support of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Engineering and environmental analyses indicate that resources within Yap State at risk from a 1.0 meter rise in sea level by the year 2100 are substantial, including coral reefs, sea grass beds, wetlands, native mangrove forests, groundwater, archaeological and cultural resources, and shoreline infrastructure. Severe constraints associated with land ownership patterns have helped prevent the potential for greater impact. Yet these same constraints will likely hinder future decisions regarding retreat, accommodation, or protection strategies. As a result, there are special institutional and cultural challenges that face Yap in developing and implementing appropriate responses to accelerated sea level rise. These are made more difficult with the many uncertainties associated with current predictions regarding the greenhouse effect.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, A.

    2016-03-01

    Contrary to what is claimed by reconstructions of the Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) indicating accelerating sea level rates of rise over the twentieth-century, the actual measurements at the tide gauges show the sea levels have not risen nor accelerated that much. The most recent estimation by Hay et al [1] of the twentieth-century global mean sea level (GMSL) rise is the last attempt to give exact reconstructions without having enough information of the state of the world oceans over a century where unfortunately the good measurements were not that many. The information on relative rates of rise at the tide gauges and land subsidence of global positioning system (GPS) domes suggest the relative rate of rise is about 0.25mm/year, without any detectable acceleration. [The naïve average of all the world tide gauges of sufficient quality and length of the Permanent Service to Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) data base], Both the relative rates of rise at the tide gauges and the land vertical velocity of GPS domes of the Système d'Observation du Niveau des Eaux Littorales (SONEL) data base are strongly variable in space and time to make a nonsense the GMSL estimation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, A.

    2016-03-01

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

  20. Probability of sea level rise

    SciTech Connect

    Titus, J.G.; Narayanan, V.K.

    1995-10-01

    The report develops probability-based projections that can be added to local tide-gage trends to estimate future sea level at particular locations. It uses the same models employed by previous assessments of sea level rise. The key coefficients in those models are based on subjective probability distributions supplied by a cross-section of climatologists, oceanographers, and glaciologists.

  1. 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.

  2. Sea Level Rise in Tuvalu

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, C. C.; Ho, C. R.; Cheng, Y. H.

    2012-04-01

    Most people, especially for Pacific Islanders, are aware of the sea level change which may caused by many factors, but no of them has deeper sensation of flooding than Tuvaluan. Tuvalu, a coral country, consists of nine low-lying islands in the central Pacific between the latitudes of 5 and 10 degrees south, has the average elevation of 2 meters (South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project, SPSLCMP report, 2006) up to sea level. Meanwhile, the maximum sea level recorded was 3.44m on February 28th 2006 that damaged Tuvaluan's property badly. Local people called the flooding water oozes up out of the ground "King Tide", that happened almost once or twice a year, which destroyed the plant, polluted their fresh water, and forced them to colonize to some other countries. The predictable but uncontrollable king tide had been observed for a long time by SPSLCMP, but some of the uncertainties which intensify the sea level rise need to be analyzed furthermore. In this study, a span of 18 years of tide gauge data accessed from Sea Level Fine Resolution Acoustic Measuring Equipment (SEAFRAME) are compared with the satellite altimeter data accessed from Archiving Validation and Interpretation of Satellite Data in Oceanography (AVISO). All above are processed under the limitation of same time and spatial range. The outcome revealed a 9.26cm difference between both. After the tide gauge data shifted to the same base as altimeter data, the results showed the unknown residuals are always positive under the circumstances of the sea level rise above 3.2m. Apart from uncertainties in observing, the residual reflected unknown contributions. Among the total case number of sea level rise above 3.2m is 23 times, 22 of which were recorded with oceanic warm eddy happened simultaneously. The unknown residual seems precisely matched with oceanic warm eddies and illustrates a clear future approach for Tuvaluan to care for.

  3. 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.

  4. Rapid sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cronin, Thomas M.

    2012-11-01

    Several global and regional factors contribute to observed sea-level change along any particular coast. Global processes include changes in ocean mass (glacio-eustasy from ice melt), ocean volume (steric effects), viscoelastic land movements (glacioisostatic adjustment GIA), and changes in terrestrial water storage. Regional processes, often connected to steric and glacial changes, include changes in ocean circulation (Meridional Overturning Circulation [MOC]), glacial melting, local GIA, regional subsidence and others. Paleoclimate, instrumental and modeling studies show that combinations of these factors can cause relatively rapid rates of sea-level rise exceeding 3 mm yr-1 over various timescales along particular coasts. This paper discusses patterns and causes of sea-level rise with emphasis on paleoclimatological records. It then addresses the hypothesis of late Holocene (pre-20th century) sea-level stability in light of paleoclimatic evidence, notably from reconstructions of sea-surface temperature and glacial activity, for significant climate and sea-level variability during this time. The practical difficulties of assessing regional sea-level (SL) patterns at submillennial timescales will be discussed using an example from the eastern United States.

  5. Understanding Sea-Level Rise and Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, John

    2011-05-01

    The debate about climate change lingers, fueled by the complexity of weather patterns around the Earth. The oceans filter spatial and temporal changes in temperature, yielding an undisputable record of warming and expansion that manifests as accelerated sea level rise. The rate of rise in historical time is nearly 6 times the average rate for the past 4000 years. Documentation of this accelerated rise, discussion of its causes and impacts, and descriptions of the methods used to measure sea level rise are provided in this compilation of 12 papers authored by some of the leading experts in the field. The book reads more like a textbook than an edited volume, a strategy seldom achieved in edited volumes.

  6. Dynamical suppression of sea level rise along the Pacific coast of North America: Indications for imminent acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bromirski, Peter D.; Miller, Arthur J.; Flick, Reinhard E.; Auad, Guillermo

    2011-07-01

    Long-term changes in global mean sea level (MSL) rise have important practical implications for shoreline and beach erosion, coastal wetlands inundation, storm surge flooding, and coastal development. Altimetry since 1993 indicates that global MSL rise has increased about 50% above the 20th century rise rate, from 2 to 3 mm yr-1. At the same time, both tide gauge measurements and altimetry indicate virtually no increase along the Pacific coast of North America during the satellite epoch. Here we show that the dynamical steric response of North Pacific eastern boundary ocean circulation to a dramatic change in wind stress curl, τxy, which occurred after the mid-1970s regime shift, can account for the suppression of regional sea level rise along this coast since 1980. Alarmingly, mean τxy over the North Pacific recently reached levels not observed since before the mid-1970s regime shift. This change in wind stress patterns may be foreshadowing a Pacific Decadal Oscillation regime shift, causing an associated persistent change in basin-scale τxy that may result in a concomitant resumption of sea level rise along the U.S. West Coast to global or even higher rates.

  7. 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., Jr.; Hansen, M.E.; Jaffe, B.E.

    1997-01-01

    The role of relative sea-level rise as a cause for the rapid erosion of Louisiana's barrier island coast is investigated through a numerical implementation of a modified Bruun rule that accounts for the low percentage of sand-sized sediment in the eroding Louisiana shoreface. Shore-normal profiles from 150 km of coastline west of the Mississippi delta are derived from bathymetric surveys conducted during the 1880s. 1930s and 1980s. An RMS difference criterion is employed to test whether an equilibrium profile form is maintained between survey years. Only about half the studied profiles meet the equilibrium Criterion this represents a significant limitation on the potential applicability of the Bruun rule. The profiles meeting the equilibrium criterion, along with measured rates of relative sea-level rise, are used to hindcast shoreline retreat rates at 37 locations within the study area. Modeled and observed shoreline retreat rates show no significant correlation. Thus in terms of the Bruun approach relative sea-level rise has no power for hindcasting (and presumably forecasting) rates of coastal erosion for the Louisiana barrier islands.

  8. 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).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hogarth, Peter

    2014-11-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Sea Level Rise 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. Overestimation of marsh vulnerability to sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. Subsidence and Relative Sea-level Rise in Threatened Deltas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Syvitski, J. P.; Higgins, S.

    2014-12-01

    In determining the risk lowland deltaic topography, as threatened by sea level rise and land subsidence, a number of important processes must be evaluated. Sea level rise is a global process but with local manifestations. Asian deltas have been experiencing higher rates of sea level rise due to the steric impact on dynamic (ocean) topography. Other large scale geophysical impacts on relative sea level at the local scale include the isostatic and flexural response to Holocene sea level history, Holocene sediment loads, and in former ice sheet zones --- glacial rebound. Tectonism does play a role on relative sea level rise, particularly in South America where the Eastern coastline, particularly Argentina, is rising relative to regional sea levels. Subsidence is impacted by both natural ground compaction, and accelerated compaction due to, for example, peat oxidation that often has a human driver (e.g. swamp reclammation). Subsidence is also impacted by the extraction of deeper deposits of petroleum and water. Rates of delta subsidence vary widely, depending on the magnitude of the anthropogenic driver, from a few mm/y to 100's of mm/y. Ground water withdrawal is the dominant reason behind much of the world's coastal subsidence, with important exceptions. On average subsidence rates (all causes) now contribute to local sea level innundations at rates four times faster then sea level is rising. New technologies, particularly InSAR and GPS methods, can often pin point the local cause (e.g. water withdrawl for agriculture versus for aquaculture). Subsurface soil or rock heterogeneity, and other very local geological patterns such as historical river pathways, also influence the temporal and spatial patterns associated with delta subsidence.

  18. Coastal subsidence and relative sea level rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ingebritsen, Steven E.; Galloway, Devin L.

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Hurricanes, sea level rise, and coastal change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sallenger,, Asbury H., Jr.

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Post-Cromerian rise in sea level

    SciTech Connect

    Olausson, E.

    1992-03-01

    The intensified cooling in the northern hemisphere during the Elsterian-Saalian ice ages (isotopic stages 22-6) resulted in a reduction of the Antarctic ice sheet by 10-15 x 106 km3, equal to a rise in sea level by about 40 m. This rise in sea level changed the hydrography of the Black Sea during the late Pleistocene warmer times, caused anoxic conditions in the eastern Mediterranean during the corresponding warming-up phases, and enhanced water transport of less saline water from the Pacific into the Arctic Ocean (the present sill depth of the Bering Strait is about 50 m). The increased supply of less saline water strengthened the halocline in the Arctic Ocean, increasing the sea ice there and, by higher albedo, its cooling effect on the adjacent continents.

  1. Accelerated flooding along the U.S. East Coast: On the impact of sea-level rise, tides, storms, the Gulf Stream, and the North Atlantic Oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ezer, Tal; Atkinson, Larry P.

    2014-08-01

    Recent studies identified the U.S. East Coast north of Cape Hatteras as a "hotspot" for accelerated sea-level rise (SLR), and the analysis presented here shows that the area is also a "hotspot for accelerated flooding." The duration of minor tidal flooding [defined as 0.3 m above MHHW (mean higher high water)] has accelerated in recent years for most coastal locations from the Gulf of Maine to Florida. The average increase in annual minor flooding duration was ˜20 h from the period before 1970 to 1971-1990, and ˜50 h from 1971-1990 to 1991-2013; spatial variations in acceleration of flooding resemble the spatial variations of acceleration in sea level. The increase in minor flooding can be predicted from SLR and tidal range, but the frequency of extreme storm surge flooding events (0.9 m above MHHW) is less predictable, and affected by the North Atlantic Oscillations (NAO). The number of extreme storm surge events since 1960 oscillates with a period of ˜15 year and interannual variations in the number of storms are anticorrelated with the NAO index. With higher seas, there are also more flooding events that are unrelated to storm surges. For example, it is demonstrated that week-long flooding events in Norfolk, VA, are often related to periods of decrease in the Florida Current transport. The results indicate that previously reported connections between decadal variations in the Gulf Stream (GS) and coastal sea level may also apply to short-term variations, so flood predictions may be improved if the GS influence is considered.

  2. Coastal flooding by tropical cyclones and sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Woodruff, Jonathan D; Irish, Jennifer L; Camargo, Suzana J

    2013-12-01

    The future impacts of climate change on landfalling tropical cyclones are unclear. Regardless of this uncertainty, flooding by tropical cyclones will increase as a result of accelerated sea-level rise. Under similar rates of rapid sea-level rise during the early Holocene epoch most low-lying sedimentary coastlines were generally much less resilient to storm impacts. Society must learn to live with a rapidly evolving shoreline that is increasingly prone to flooding from tropical cyclones. These impacts can be mitigated partly with adaptive strategies, which include careful stewardship of sediments and reductions in human-induced land subsidence. PMID:24305147

  3. Impact of sea-level rise assessed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coastal erosion, flooding of low-lying coastal areas, disruption of ecosystems, probable population relocation, and economic loss are some consequences of projected relative sea-level rise. The term includes both the rise anticipated to result from global warming and other factors, and the rise from local tectonic subsidence. Some specific sites were discussed at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held in Washington, D.C., February 14-19.In comparing the New York City and eastern Mediterranean coasts, Victor Goldsmith of Hunter College, New York, presented a case for stabilization versus retreat of coastal areas, dependent on the geologic terrane and on the degree of development. The 578-mile New York City coastline is considered “hard,” meaning some sort of cement structure, such as roads, jetties, or piers, separates the water from the coast. It is also an area of many beaches that are not natural, but that have been built up and maintained by the process of sand nourishment over the past 50 years. The Rockaway peninsula, for example, has received more than 12 million cubic yards of sand between 1926 and 1962 in response to the measured sea-level rise of 30 cm in the last 100 years from downwarping of the wide continental shelf, said Goldsmith. Because land is highly developed and expensive in this area, retreat is not a practical option. Goldsmith suggests that the effects of on-going sea-level rise, at rates of about 1 foot per century, can be offset by continued hardening of the New York City coastline and beach nourishment where necessary.

  4. Impact of sea-level rise assessed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coastal erosion, flooding of low-lying coastal areas, disruption of ecosystems, probable population relocation, and economic loss are some consequences of projected relative sea-level rise. The term includes both the rise anticipated to result from global warming and other factors, and the rise from local tectonic subsidence. Some specific sites were discussed at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held in Washington, D.C., February 14-19.In comparing the New York City and eastern Mediterranean coasts, Victor Goldsmith of Hunter College, New York, presented a case for stabilization versus retreat of coastal areas, dependent on the geologic terrane and on the degree of development. The 578-mile New York City coastline is considered "hard," meaning some sort of cement structure, such as roads, jetties, or piers, separates the water from the coast. It is also an area of many beaches that are not natural, but that have been built up and maintained by the process of sand nourishment over the past 50 years. The Rockaway peninsula, for example, has received more than 12 million cubic yards of sand between 1926 and 1962 in response to the measured sea-level rise of 30 cm in the last 100 years from downwarping of the wide continental shelf, said Goldsmith. Because land is highly developed and expensive in this area, retreat is not a practical option. Goldsmith suggests that the effects of on-going sea-level rise, at rates of about 1 foot per century, can be offset by continued hardening of the New York City coastline and beach nourishment where necessary.

  5. 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.

  6. Sea-level rise and coastal wetlands.

    PubMed

    Blankespoor, Brian; Dasgupta, Susmita; Laplante, Benoit

    2014-12-01

    This paper seeks to quantify the impact of a1-m sea-level rise on coastal wetlands in 86 developing countries and territories. It is found that approximately 68 % of coastal wetlands in these countries are at risk. A large percentage of this estimated loss is found in Europe and Central Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific, as well as in the Middle East and North Africa. A small number of countries will be severely affected. China and Vietnam(in East Asia and the Pacific), Libya and Egypt (in the Middle East and North Africa), and Romania and Ukraine (in Europe and Central Asia) will bear most losses. In economic terms, the loss of coastal wetlands is likely to exceed $703 million per year in 2000 US dollars. PMID:24659473

  7. Stochastic secular trends in sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ocaña, Victor; Zorita, Eduardo; Heimbach, Patrick

    2016-04-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Integrating Science and Management - Evaluation of a Collaborative Model to Accelerate the Transition of Sea Level Rise Research Results into Application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kidwell, D.; DeLorme, D.; Lewitus, A.

    2015-12-01

    The development and implementation of applied research programs that maximize stakeholder collaboration and utility is a well-documented struggle for funding agencies. In 2007, NOAA initiated multi-year stakeholder engagement process to develop a regional-scale, inter-disciplinary research project that resulted in a novel approach to accelerate the application of research results into management. This process culminated in a 2009 federal funding opportunity and resultant 6-year Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise-Northern Gulf of Mexico (EESLR-NGOM) project focused on the dynamic integration of biological models (wetlands and oysters) with inundation and storm surge models at three National Estuarine Research Reserves in Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. The project implemented a co-management approach between a traditional principle investigator (PI) and newly created applications co-PI that led a management advisory committee. Our goal was to provide the dedicated funding and infrastructure necessary to ensure the initial relevancy of the proposed project results, to guide ongoing research efforts, and to aid the efficient incorporation of key scientific results and tools into direct management application. As the project nears completion in 2016 and modeling applications reach maturity, this presentation will discuss the programmatic approach that resulted in EESLR-NGOM as well as an evaluation of nearly 6-years of collaborative science. This evaluation will focus on the funding agency perspective, with an emphasis on assessing the pros and cons of project implementation to establish lessons-learned for related collaborative science efforts. In addition, with increased attention in the Gulf of Mexico on projected sea level rise impacts to coastal ecosystem restoration and management, a core benchmark for this evaluation will be the use of project models and tools by coastal managers and planners at local, state, and/or federal agencies.

  10. Implications of Rising Sea Level on Everglades Restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wanless, H. R.

    2008-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-07-15

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

  12. Demographic responses to sea level rise in California

    SciTech Connect

    Constable, A. |; Van Arsdol, M.D. Jr.; Sherman, D.J.; Wang, J.; McMullin-Messier, P.A.; Rollin, L.

    1996-12-31

    Human consequences of sea level rise in California coastal counties reflect increasing population densities. Populations of coastal counties potentially affected by sea level rise are projected to increase from 26.2 million persons in 1990 to 63.3 million persons in 2040. Urbanization dominates Los Angeles and the South Coast and San Francisco Bay and Delta regions. California shoreline populations subject to potential disruption impacts of sea level rise are increasing rapidly. Enhanced risk zones for sea level rise are specified for the Oxnard Plain of Ventura County on the south coast of California. Four separate sea level rise scenarios are considered: (1) low (sea level rise only); (2) moderate (adding erosion); (3) high (adding erosion and storm surges); and (4) a maximum case, a 3 m enhanced risk zone. Population impacts are outlined for the 3 m zone. More serious impacts from storm surges are expected than from sea level rise and erosion. Stakeholders who support or oppose policies which may expose populations to sea level rise include energy, commercial, financial, industrial, public agency, private interest and governmental organizations. These organizations respond to extreme events from differing positions. Vested interests determine the degree of mitigation employed by stakeholders to defer impacts of sea level rise.

  13. Estuaries May Face Increased Parasitism as Sea Levels Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, JoAnna

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Probabilistic surface reconstruction of relative sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  15. Sea-Level Rise Impacts on Hudson River Marshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooks, A.; Nitsche, F. O.

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Lower bounds to future sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zecca, Antonio; Chiari, Luca

    2012-12-01

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

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. Responding to rising sea levels in the Mekong Delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smajgl, A.; Toan, T. Q.; Nhan, D. K.; Ward, J.; Trung, N. H.; Tri, L. Q.; Tri, V. P. D.; Vu, P. T.

    2015-02-01

    Vietnamese communities in the Mekong Delta are faced with the substantial impacts of rising sea levels and salinity intrusion. The construction of embankments and dykes has historically been the principal strategy of the Vietnamese government to mitigate the effects of salinity intrusion on agricultural production. A predicted sea-level rise of 30 cm by the year 2050 is expected to accelerate salinity intrusion. This study combines hydrologic, agronomic and behavioural assessments to identify effective adaptation strategies reliant on land-use change (soft options) and investments in water infrastructure (hard options). As these strategies are managed within different policy portfolios, the political discussion has polarized between choices of either soft or hard options. This paper argues that an ensemble of hard and soft policies is likely to provide the most effective results for people's livelihoods in the Mekong Delta. The consequences of policy deliberations are likely to be felt beyond the Mekong Delta as levels of rice cultivation there also affect national and global food security.

  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. Detecting anthropogenic footprints in sea level rise

    PubMed Central

    Dangendorf, Sönke; Marcos, Marta; Müller, Alfred; Zorita, Eduardo; Riva, Riccardo; Berk, Kevin; Jensen, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    While there is scientific consensus that global and local mean sea level (GMSL and LMSL) has risen since the late nineteenth century, the relative contribution of natural and anthropogenic forcing remains unclear. Here we provide a probabilistic upper range of long-term persistent natural GMSL/LMSL variability (P=0.99), which in turn, determines the minimum/maximum anthropogenic contribution since 1900. To account for different spectral characteristics of various contributing processes, we separate LMSL into two components: a slowly varying volumetric component and a more rapidly changing atmospheric component. We find that the persistence of slow natural volumetric changes is underestimated in records where transient atmospheric processes dominate the spectrum. This leads to a local underestimation of possible natural trends of up to ∼1 mm per year erroneously enhancing the significance of anthropogenic footprints. The GMSL, however, remains unaffected by such biases. On the basis of a model assessment of the separate components, we conclude that it is virtually certain (P=0.99) that at least 45% of the observed increase in GMSL is of anthropogenic origin. PMID:26220773

  3. Detecting anthropogenic footprints in sea level rise.

    PubMed

    Dangendorf, Sönke; Marcos, Marta; Müller, Alfred; Zorita, Eduardo; Riva, Riccardo; Berk, Kevin; Jensen, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    While there is scientific consensus that global and local mean sea level (GMSL and LMSL) has risen since the late nineteenth century, the relative contribution of natural and anthropogenic forcing remains unclear. Here we provide a probabilistic upper range of long-term persistent natural GMSL/LMSL variability (P=0.99), which in turn, determines the minimum/maximum anthropogenic contribution since 1900. To account for different spectral characteristics of various contributing processes, we separate LMSL into two components: a slowly varying volumetric component and a more rapidly changing atmospheric component. We find that the persistence of slow natural volumetric changes is underestimated in records where transient atmospheric processes dominate the spectrum. This leads to a local underestimation of possible natural trends of up to ∼1 mm per year erroneously enhancing the significance of anthropogenic footprints. The GMSL, however, remains unaffected by such biases. On the basis of a model assessment of the separate components, we conclude that it is virtually certain (P=0.99) that at least 45% of the observed increase in GMSL is of anthropogenic origin. PMID:26220773

  4. Detecting anthropogenic footprints in sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dangendorf, Sönke; Marcos, Marta; Müller, Alfred; Zorita, Eduardo; Riva, Riccardo; Berk, Kevin; Jensen, Jürgen

    2015-07-01

    While there is scientific consensus that global and local mean sea level (GMSL and LMSL) has risen since the late nineteenth century, the relative contribution of natural and anthropogenic forcing remains unclear. Here we provide a probabilistic upper range of long-term persistent natural GMSL/LMSL variability (P=0.99), which in turn, determines the minimum/maximum anthropogenic contribution since 1900. To account for different spectral characteristics of various contributing processes, we separate LMSL into two components: a slowly varying volumetric component and a more rapidly changing atmospheric component. We find that the persistence of slow natural volumetric changes is underestimated in records where transient atmospheric processes dominate the spectrum. This leads to a local underestimation of possible natural trends of up to ~1 mm per year erroneously enhancing the significance of anthropogenic footprints. The GMSL, however, remains unaffected by such biases. On the basis of a model assessment of the separate components, we conclude that it is virtually certain (P=0.99) that at least 45% of the observed increase in GMSL is of anthropogenic origin.

  5. 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.

  6. Holocene sequence stratigraphy and sea level rise, south Florida margin

    SciTech Connect

    Locker, S.D.; Hine, A.C.; Toscano, M.A. ); Shinn, E.A. )

    1993-03-01

    Fluctuation of late Quaternary sea level has been an important factor controlling erosional and depositional patterns on portions of the outer shelf and slope seaward of the lower-most Florida Keys. Studies in this area using high-resolution seismic, side scan sonar, bottom grab sampling, and submersible dives document a Holocene succession of lowstand wedge, transgressive, and highstand systems tract facies which have formed in response to sea level flooding the margin. The last lowstand of sea level is recorded by widespread scallop-like erosion along the slope front, occurring as deep as 150 m. Upslope from the erosional cuts, the transgressive systems tract includes a series of drowned shoreline (and reef) accumulations in the depth range 60--110 meters. Rocks recovered form paleoshorelines near 100 m water depth were submarine-cemented grainstones composed of early Holocene shallow-water carbonates. This transgressive section is partially buried by weakly laminated to reflection free fined-grained deposits of the highstand systems tract. These recent muddy silts reflect a sediment source initiated by flooding of the inner shelf platform and subsequent alongslope transport of fines exported offbank. Two very continuous, linear, and thin (< 5 m thick) paleoshorelines at 60--62 m and 66--68 m reflect a response to a change in rate of sea-level rise across a low gradient surface. The deeper shoreline deposits, ranging from 75--110 m below sea level are isolated features and occur on steeper slopes. The character of preserved transgressive deposits suggests the Holocene rate of rise is punctuated. The lowest stand of sea level produced distinctive erosional features. Accretional transgressive deposits formed during the sea-level rise. Interactions between antecedent topography, bottom currents, and changes in sediment supply, slope gradients, and rate of sea-level rise are key factors controlling facies patterns, accumulation rates, and depositional geometries.

  7. Developing a Coastal Risk Indicator for Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masters, D. S.; Nerem, R.

    2012-12-01

    Coastal sea level rise is one the most important potential environmental risks. Multiple satellite altimeters flying on the same repeat orbit track have allowed estimation of global mean sea level for the past 20 years, and the time series has yielded information about the average rate of sea level increase over that time. Due to the duration, consistency, and inter-calibration of the altimeter measurements, the time series is now considered a climate record. The time series has also shown the strong dependence of sea level on interannual signals such as the ENSO and the NAO. But the most important sea level effects of climate change will be felt on the regional and local scales. At these smaller scales, local effects due to topography, tides, earth deformation (glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), subsidence, etc.), and storm surges must also be considered when estimating the risks of sea level change to coastal communities. Recently, work has begun to understand the methods applicable to estimating the risks of expected sea level change to coastal communities (Strauss et al., 2012; Tebaldi et al., 2012). Tebaldi et al (2012) merged the expected global mean sea level increase from the semi-empirical model of Vermeer and Rahmstorf (2009) with historical local tide gauges to predict increases in storm surge risk posed by increasing sea level. In this work, we will further explore the currently available data and tools that can potentially be used to provide a sea level climate change indicator and local risk assessment along US coasts. These include global and regional sea level trends from the satellite altimetry climate record, in situ tide gauge measurements and the historical extremes at each location, local tide and storm surge models, topographic surveys of vulnerable coastlines, GIA models, and measurements of local subsidence and crustal deformation rates. We will also evaluate methods to estimate the increased risk to communities from sea level change

  8. 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.

  9. Accurately Determining the Risks of Rising Sea Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marbaix, Philippe; Nicholls, Robert J.

    2007-10-01

    With the highest density of people and the greatest concentration of economic activity located in the coastal regions, sea level rise is an important concern as the climate continues to warm. Subsequent flooding may potentially disrupt industries, populations, and livelihoods, particularly in the long term if the climate is not quickly stabilized [McGranahan et al., 2007; Tol et al., 2006]. To help policy makers understand these risks, a more accurate description of hazards posed by rising sea levels is needed at the global scale, even though the impacts in specific regions are better known.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:23379951

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galvin, C.

    2004-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  15. Global Sea Level Rise and the Earth's Energy Balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis, J.; Hobbs, W. R.

    2012-12-01

    As the oceans warm due to human-caused climate change, they contribute to both global and regional sea level rise. But the uptake of heat by the ocean also reflects the net radiative imbalance of the planet due to human interference with the climate. Global sea level rise and its components therefore provide a constraint on the Earth's Energy Balance, and vice versa. We will present an assessment of the sea level and energy budgets and their implications for the magnitude of deep ocean warming and net radiative forcing over the past decade. Observations from satellite altimeters and the GRACE gravity mission will be compared with in situ observations of ocean warming. In addition, we will consider observations from the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments to assess the Earth's net radiation balance. Finally, a new estimate of bias corrections for the XBT observations will be assessed and presented.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:26160951

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niemnil, Sommart

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Sea-Level Anomalies Facilitate Beach Erosion and Increase Barrier Island Vulnerability to Storms and Sea-Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theuerkauf, E. J.; Rodriguez, A. B.; Fegley, S. R.; Luettich, R. A., Jr.

    2014-12-01

    Sea-level anomalies are intra-seasonal (weeks to months) periods of high water level induced by oceanographic and meteorological processes, such as reduced Gulf Stream transport strength or persistent northeasterly winds. Although flooding associated with sea-level anomalies has been documented along continental coastlines (e.g. U.S. East Coast), these phenomena are not presently included in coastal models and management plans. We present the first measurements of beach erosion after a year with frequent sea-level anomalies. Erosion during this year, which was not impacted by large storms, was similar to a year with a hurricane, indicating that sea-level anomalies are important facilitators of coastal erosion. Beach erosion was measured at Onslow Beach, NC (OB) in a year with frequent sea-level anomalies (2009-2010) and compared to erosion during a year with no major events (2010-2011) and the year with Hurricane Irene (2011-2012). Sea-level anomalies were identified in water level data from a NOAA tide gauge in Wrightsville Beach, NC. From 2009-2010 anomalously high sea level occurred ~40% of the time, compared to ~8% from 2010-2011 and ~10% from 2011-2012. Significant wave heights, measured from an acoustic wave and current profiler and NOAA buoys offshore of OB, were not statistically different among these 3 years. The average backshore, high intertidal, and mid intertidal maximum depth of erosion for all sites along OB in the year with frequent sea-level anomalies were ~25, 50, and 55 cm, respectively. These values are greater than those measured after the year with no major events (~13, 29, and 32 cm) and similar to those measured after the year with Hurricane Irene (~27, 49, and 40 cm). OB has high along-strike variability in barrier island morphology, thus results apply to many beaches and barrier islands. Our results suggest that anomalies are important mechanisms of coastal change and likely amplify erosion in response to accelerated sea-level rise and

  3. Beach response to sea level rise along the Nile Delta Coast of Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frihy, Omran E.

    Dramatic erosion has occurred on some beaches of the Nile Delta. This erosion is greatest at the tips of the Nile promontories, with shoreline retreat up to 60 m/yr. Studies of the Nile Delta coast have indicated wide values of local subsidence ranging from 0.4 to 5.0 mm/yr. The relationship between sea level rise and shoreline retreat according to the "Bruun Rule" has been applied on the eroded stretches along the 275 km coast of the Nile Delta. The Bruun Rule was applied individually to 55 beach profile lines extending from Alexandria to 35 km east of Port Said. Projected future shoreline retreat is predicted using EPA sea level rise expectations for scenarios of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 m sea level rise. The predicted lower and higher sea level rise rates predicted by the EPA (5 mm and 30 mm/yr) would result in a 2 m rise in sea-level by the year 2400 or 2058, respectively. With these rise values, the coastal areas of the western part of Abu Quir Bay, the Lake Manzala and the western part of Tineh Bay might attain a maximum land loss of 1.7, 1.9 and 1.4 km, respectively. These regions appear to be the most vulnerable areas to sea level rise. The first region of Lake Manzala area lies on low-lying topography and the more rapidly subsiding area of the delta, while the other areas lie on a land surface of about one meter below MSL (mean sea level). The estimated shoreline retreat along the delta resulted from sea level rise combined with other major factors of sediment deficiency and coastal processes could accelerate coastal erosion, inundate wetlands and lowlands, and increase the salinity of lagoons and aquifers.

  4. 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. PMID:25629092

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cahoon, Donald R.

    1997-01-01

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

  11. Sea level rise in Louisiana and Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Ramsey, K.; Penland, S. )

    1989-09-01

    Data from two tide-gage networks in Louisiana and the northern Gulf of Mexico were analyzed to determine local and regional trends in relative sea level rise. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) maintains a network of 83 tide-gage stations throughout coastal Louisiana. Of these, 20 have records for two lunar nodal cycles or more, and some date back to 1933. The authors used the USACE data set to determine the local and regional character of relative sea level rise in Louisiana. The National ocean Survey (NOS) maintains nine tide gage stations throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. All of the records of these stations exceed two lunar nodal cycles, and some date back to 1908. The authors used the NOS data set to determine the character of relative sea level rise throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico. This investigation updates and extends the previous systematic regional tide gage analysis (which covered 1908-1983) to 1988.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuo, Chung-Yen

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  15. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Mangroves occur on upper intertidal shorelines in the tropics and subtropics. Complex hydrodynamic and salinity conditions, related primarily to elevation and hydroperiod, influence mangrove distributions; this review considers how these distributions change over time. Accumulation rates of allochthonous and autochthonous sediment, both inorganic and organic, vary between and within different settings. Abundant terrigenous sediment can form dynamic mudbanks, and tides redistribute sediment, contrasting with mangrove peat in sediment-starved carbonate settings. Sediments underlying mangroves sequester carbon but also contain paleoenvironmental records of adjustments to past sea-level changes. Radiometric dating indicates long-term sedimentation, whereas measurements made using surface elevation tables and marker horizons provide shorter perspectives, indicating shallow subsurface processes of root growth and substrate autocompaction. Many tropical deltas also experience deep subsidence, which augments relative sea-level rise. The persistence of mangroves implies an ability to cope with moderately high rates of relative sea-level rise. However, many human pressures threaten mangroves, resulting in a continuing decline in their extent throughout the tropics. PMID:26407146

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. 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. Copyright ASCE 2008.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. How much more global warming and sea level rise?

    PubMed

    Meehl, Gerald A; Washington, Warren M; Collins, William D; Arblaster, Julie M; Hu, Aixue; Buja, Lawrence E; Strand, Warren G; Teng, Haiyan

    2005-03-18

    Two global coupled climate models show that even if the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere had been stabilized in the year 2000, we are already committed to further global warming of about another half degree and an additional 320% sea level rise caused by thermal expansion by the end of the 21st century. Projected weakening of the meridional overturning circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean does not lead to a net cooling in Europe. At any given point in time, even if concentrations are stabilized, there is a commitment to future climate changes that will be greater than those we have already observed. PMID:15774757

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    Geoengineering has been proposed as a feasible way of mitigating anthropogenic climate change, especially increasing global temperatures in the 21st century. The two main geoengineering options are limiting incoming solar radiation, or modifying the carbon cycle. Here we examine the impact of five geoengineering approaches on sea level; SO2 aerosol injection into the stratosphere, mirrors in space, afforestation, biochar, and bioenergy with carbon sequestration. Sea level responds mainly at centennial time scales to temperature change, and has been largely driven by anthropogenic forcing since 1850. Making use a model of sea-level rise as a function of time-varying climate forcing factors (solar radiation, volcanism, and greenhouse gas emissions) we find that sea-level rise by 2100 will likely be 30 cm higher than 2000 levels despite all but the most aggressive geoengineering under all except the most stringent greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. The least risky and most desirable way of limiting sea-level rise is bioenergy with carbon sequestration. However aerosol injection or a space mirror system reducing insolation at an accelerating rate of 1 W m-2 per decade from now to 2100 could limit or reduce sea levels. Aerosol injection delivering a constant 4 W m-2 reduction in radiative forcing (similar to a 1991 Pinatubo eruption every 18 months) could delay sea-level rise by 40–80 years. Aerosol injection appears to fail cost-benefit analysis unless it can be maintained continuously, and damage caused by the climate response to the aerosols is less than about 0.6% Global World Product. PMID:20798055

  6. Impacts of sea level rise in the New York City metropolitan area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gornitz, Vivien; Couch, Stephen; Hartig, Ellen K.

    2001-12-01

    The greater New York City region, with over 2400 km of shoreline, will be vulnerable to accelerated sea level rise (SLR) due to anticipated climate warming. Accelerated SLR would exacerbate historic trends of beach erosion and attrition of highly productive coastal salt marshes. Coastal populations in the region have swelled by around 17% (av.) and over 100% in some localities between 1960 and 1995. The coastal zone will thus be increasingly at risk to episodic flood events superimposed on a more gradual rise in mean sea level. Projections of sea level rise based on a suite of climate change scenarios suggest that sea levels will rise by 18-60 cm by the 2050s, and 24-108 cm by the 2080s over late 20th century levels. The return period of the 100-yr storm flood could be reduced to 19-68 years, on average, by the 2050s, and 4-60 years by the 2080s. Around 50% of the land surface of salt marsh islands have disappeared in Jamaica Bay since 1900. While losses prior to stricter environmental protection starting in 1972 can largely be attributed to anthropogenic activities, such as landfilling, dredging, and urbanization, further investigation is needed to explain more recent shrinkage. Given projected rates of SLR, and plausible accretion rates, these wetlands may not keep pace with SLR beyond several decades, resulting in severe loss.

  7. Eco-technological management of Tuvalu against sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kayanne, H.

    2012-12-01

    Atoll island is formed and maintained by sand production, transportation and sedimentation process. Major component of sand in the Pacific atolls is foraminifera, which is produced on the ocean-side reef flat, and then transported from the ocean-side to the lagoon-side coast through channels between the islands. Sand is then transported along the lagoon-side coast by longshore current, and finally deposited to nourish sandy beach. At present, however, this natural process has been deteriorated by local human stresses. High production of foraminifera and corals are degraded by human waste. Transportation of sand from the ocean to the lagoon is blocked by a causeway, and longshore transportation and sedimentation along the lagoon coast is prevented by jetties, dredges and upright seawalls. All these local factors severely reduce natural resilience and increase vulnerability against the projected future sea level rise and the global changes. Countermeasure plans must be based on and must not conflict with the natural island formation process. We launched "Eco-technological management of Tuvalu against sea level rise" under Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development funded by JICA and JST. The goal of this project is to regenerate sandy beach along Fongafale Island, Funrafuti Atoll Tuvalu by rehabilitation of production, transportation and sedimentation process including establishing foraminifera culture system.; Fig. 1 Aerial view of Fongafale Is., Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu.

  8. 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.

  9. Vulnerability of the US to future sea level rise

    SciTech Connect

    Gornitz, V. . Goddard Inst. for Space Studies); White, T.W.; Cushman, R.M. )

    1991-01-01

    The differential vulnerability of the conterminous United States to future sea level rise from greenhouse climate warming is assessed, using a coastal hazards data base. This data contains information on seven variables relating to inundation and erosion risks. High risk shorelines are characterized by low relief, erodible substrate, subsidence, shoreline retreat, and high wave/tide energies. Very high risk shorelines on the Atlantic Coast (Coastal Vulnerability Index {ge}33.0) include the outer coast of the Delmarva Peninsula, northern Cape Hatteras, and segments of New Jersey, Georgia and South Carolina. Louisiana and sections of Texas are potentially the most vulnerable, due to anomalously high relative sea level rise and erosion, coupled with low elevation and mobile sediments. Although the Pacific Coast is generally the least vulnerable, because of its rugged relief and erosion-resistant substrate, the high geographic variability leads to several exceptions, such as the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta area, the barrier beaches of Oregon and Washington, and parts of the Puget Sound Lowlands. 31 refs., 2 figs., 3 tabs.

  10. 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.

  11. Effective sea-level rise and deltas: Causes of change and human dimension implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ericson, Jason P.; Vörösmarty, Charles J.; Dingman, S. Lawrence; Ward, Larry G.; Meybeck, Michel

    2006-02-01

    An assessment is made of contemporary effective sea-level rise (ESLR) for a sample of 40 deltas distributed worldwide. For any delta, ESLR is a net rate, defined by the combination of eustatic sea-level rise, the natural gross rate of fluvial sediment deposition and subsidence, and accelerated subsidence due to groundwater and hydrocarbon extraction. ESLR is estimated under present conditions using a digital data set of delta boundaries and a simple model of delta dynamics. The deltas in this study represent all major climate zones, levels of population density, and degrees of economic development. Collectively, the sampled deltas serve as the endpoint for river basins draining 30% of the Earth's landmass, and 42% of global terrestrial runoff. Nearly 300 million people inhabit these deltas. For the contemporary baseline, ESLR estimates range from 0.5 to 12.5 mm yr - 1 . Decreased accretion of fluvial sediment resulting from upstream siltation of artificial impoundments and consumptive losses of runoff from irrigation are the primary determinants of ESLR in nearly 70% of the deltas. Approximately 20% of the deltas show accelerated subsidence, while only 12% show eustatic sea-level rise as the predominant effect. Extrapolating contemporary rates of ESLR through 2050 reveals that 8.7 million people and 28,000 km 2 of deltaic area in the sample set of deltas could suffer from enhanced inundation and increased coastal erosion. The population and area inundated rise significantly when considering increased flood risk due to storm surge. This study finds that direct anthropogenic effects determine ESLR in the majority of deltas studied, with a relatively less important role for eustatic sea-level rise. Serious challenges to human occupancy of deltaic regions worldwide are thus conveyed by factors which to date have been studied less comprehensively than the climate change-sea-level rise question.

  12. Ice sheet sources of sea level rise and freshwater discharge during the last deglaciation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, Anders E.; Clark, Peter U.

    2012-12-01

    We review and synthesize the geologic record that constrains the sources of sea level rise and freshwater discharge to the global oceans associated with retreat of ice sheets during the last deglaciation. The Last Glacial Maximum (˜26-19 ka) was terminated by a rapid 5-10 m sea level rise at 19.0-19.5 ka, sourced largely from Northern Hemisphere ice sheet retreat in response to high northern latitude insolation forcing. Sea level rise of 8-20 m from ˜19 to 14.5 ka can be attributed to continued retreat of the Laurentide and Eurasian Ice Sheets, with an additional freshwater forcing of uncertain amount delivered by Heinrich event 1. The source of the abrupt acceleration in sea level rise at ˜14.6 ka (meltwater pulse 1A, ˜14-15 m) includes contributions of 6.5-10 m from Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, of which 2-7 m represents an excess contribution above that derived from ongoing ice sheet retreat. Widespread retreat of Antarctic ice sheets began at 14.0-15.0 ka, which, together with geophysical modeling of far-field sea level records, suggests an Antarctic contribution to this meltwater pulse as well. The cause of the subsequent Younger Dryas cold event can be attributed to eastward freshwater runoff from the Lake Agassiz basin to the St. Lawrence estuary that agrees with existing Lake Agassiz outlet radiocarbon dates. Much of the early Holocene sea level rise can be explained by Laurentide and Scandinavian Ice Sheet retreat, with collapse of Laurentide ice over Hudson Bay and drainage of Lake Agassiz basin runoff at ˜8.4-8.2 ka to the Labrador Sea causing the 8.2 ka event.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomson, Richard E.; Tabata, Susumu

    1989-06-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. An Adaptation Strategy to Address Sea Level Rise Along Coastal Developments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trivedi, D. R.

    2010-12-01

    Historic tidal records indicate that mean sea level in San Francisco Bay has risen at a rate of about 2 mm/yr over the past 100 years. Over the past 20 years, the annual rate has accelerated to about 3 mm/yr. Recent climate change studies related to greenhouse gas emissions indicate that sea levels could rise much faster than even this rate, which would have a significant effect on coastal communities. Several communities in the San Francisco Bay area, which were not mapped to be within a flood zone by FEMA, are now prone to flooding due to rising sea levels. There is a significant amount of uncertainty associated with quantifying the rate of sea level change because climate change science is still evolving and feedback loops such as temperature-ice melt, temperature-sea levels, and CO2-temperature are still under investigation. Therefore, the traditional engineering approach to solving a problem, which includes defining the problem, assessing existing conditions, analyzing data, and developing solutions is difficult when addressing climate change induced sea level change. This paper describes work completed for two major proposed communities in the City of San Francisco. Peer-reviewed literature included the body of work by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, US federal and state agencies, and scientific papers by academia. Rates of sea level rise were statistically analyzed using the end values and start or end rates specified in the studies. Probabilistic analyses of extreme values using Generalized Extreme Value Distributions (GEVD) and the Maximum Likelihood Approach were completed to develop extreme values for water levels including the effects of astronomical tides, storm events, ocean swell events, and tsunami events. These values were subsequently combined with sea level rise estimates, and various scenarios of required coastal improvements were developed for discussions with stakeholders and project developers. Based on the analysis and

  17. Holocene relative sea level rise and subsidence in northern Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Penland, S.; Suter, J.R.; Ramsey, K.E.; McBride, R.; Westphal, K.

    1988-02-01

    The analysis of more than 90 tidal gauge records, 10,000-km high resolution seismic profiles, 500 vibracores, and 250 radiocarbon dates led to the development of a new sea level history for the Louisiana coastal zone and adjacent continental shelf for the last 8000 years. Now re-interpreted, the original single delta plain is seen as actually two individual, imbricated shelf-phase delta plains deposited at different sea levels. Termed the modern and late Holocene, these two delta plains are separated by a regional shoreface refinement surface, which can be traced updip to the relict-transgressive Teche shoreline. The Late Holocene delta plain was deposited during a seal level stillstand 6 m below the present, 3000-7200 years ago. A 5 to 6-m eustatic-enhanced relative rise in sea level 2500-3000 years ago at a rate of 101.2 cm/yr led to the complete transgressive submergence of the lower late Holocene delta plain. Sea level reached its approximate position about 2500 years ago, and since then the Mississippi River has built the modern delta plain consisting of the abandoned St. Bernard and Lafourche delta complexes and the active Balize and Atchafalaya delta complexes. In the abandoned delta complexes, a subsidence-enhanced relative sea level rise between 0.60 and 0.65 cm/yr in young sediments (500-1000 years B.P.) and 0.30 and 0.35 cm/yr in older sediments (1000-2000 years B.P.) is occurring. These subsidence rates compare well to the relative sea level rise in rates of 0.25-0.55 cm/yr recorded by the Louisiana tide gauges between 1930 and 1960. Since 1960, these gauges have recorded a dramatic acceleration in the rate of relative sea level rise, on the order of 1.25-1.50 cm/yr. These rates are consistent with the EPA forecast of relative sea level rise acceleration due to global warming.

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

    PubMed

    Mariotti, Giulio; Fagherazzi, Sergio

    2013-04-01

    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

  19. Potential Inundation in the San Francisco Bay Region Due to Rising Sea Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knowles, N.

    2009-12-01

    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 near the Golden Gate Bridge. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. Contribution of Groundwater Depletion to Global Mean Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambinicio, A.; An, K.; Reager, J. T.; Druffel-Rodriguez, R. E.; Richey, A. S.; Famiglietti, J. S.; Rodell, M.

    2012-12-01

    The contribution of groundwater depletion to Global Mean Sea Level Rise (GMSLR) is an important topic and source of great uncertainty in the GMSLR budget. This research uses gridded GRACE Tellus satellite data to quantify changes in total land water storage, including those of groundwater. Global Land Data Assimilation System land components such as soil moisture, canopy moisture, and snow, are subtracted from the GRACE data to isolate the groundwater component. The resulting trends show that most continents are gaining in groundwater storage, which is consistent with GRACE-based estimates of zero-to-increasing changes in total land water. Results indicate a negative contribution to GMSLR for the GRACE time period, which is in contrast to the positive contribution identified in recent studies.

  3. 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.

  4. Hazard Risk to Near Sea-Level Populations due to Tropical Cyclone Intensification and Sea-Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montain, J.; Byrne, J. M.; Elsner, J.

    2010-12-01

    Tropical cyclone (TC) intensification has been well documented in the science literature. TC intensification combined with sea-level rise contributes to an enhanced risk to huge populations living near sea level around the world. This study will apply spatial analysis techniques to combine the best available TC intensification data on storm surge, wave height and wind speeds; with digital elevation models and global population density estimates, to provide a first level evaluation of the increasing risk to human life and health.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grinsted, Aslak; Jevrejeva, Svetlana; Riva, Riccardo; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe

    2015-04-01

    We calculate regional projections of 21st century sea level rise in Northern Europe, focusing on the British Isles, the Baltic, and the North Sea. The input to the regional sea level projection is a probabilistic projection of the major components global sea level budget. Local sea level rise is partly compensated by vertical land movement from glacial isostatic adjustment. We explore the uncertainties beyond the likely range provided by IPCC, including the risk and potential rate of marine ice sheet collapse.

  6. 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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. Building Stories about Sea Level Rise through Interactive Visualizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. A geological perspective on potential future sea-level rise

    PubMed Central

    Rohling, Eelco J.; Haigh, Ivan D.; Foster, Gavin L.; Roberts, Andrew P.; Grant, Katharine M.

    2013-01-01

    During ice-age cycles, continental ice volume kept pace with slow, multi-millennial scale, changes in climate forcing. Today, rapid greenhouse gas (GHG) increases have outpaced ice-volume responses, likely committing us to > 9 m of long-term sea-level rise (SLR). We portray a context of naturally precedented SLR from geological evidence, for comparison with historical observations and future projections. This context supports SLR of up to 0.9 (1.8) m by 2100 and 2.7 (5.0) m by 2200, relative to 2000, at 68% (95%) probability. Historical SLR observations and glaciological assessments track the upper 68% limit. Hence, modern change is rapid by past interglacial standards but within the range of ‘normal’ processes. The upper 95% limit offers a useful low probability/high risk value. Exceedance would require conditions without natural interglacial precedents, such as catastrophic ice-sheet collapse, or activation of major East Antarctic mass loss at sustained CO2 levels above 1000 ppmv. PMID:24336564

  9. Sea Level Rise and Land Subsidence Contributions to the Signals from the Tide Gauges of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, Albert

    2016-06-01

    The tide gauges measure the local oscillations of the sea level vs. the tide gauge instrument. The tide gauge instrument is generally subjected to the general subsidence or uplift of the nearby inland, plus some additional subsidence for land compaction and other localised phenomena. The paper proposes a non-linear model of the relative sea level oscillations including a long term trend for the absolute sea level rise, another term for the subsidence of the instrument, and finally a sinusoidal approximation for the cyclic oscillations of periodicities up to decades. This non-linear model is applied to the tide gauges of China. The paper shows that the limited information available for China does not permit to infer any proper trend for the relative rates of rise, as the tide gauge records are all short or incomplete and the vertical movement of the tide gauge instruments is unassessed. The only tide gauge record of sufficient length that may be assembled for China is obtained by combining the North Point and Quarry Bay tide gauges in Hong Kong (NPQB). This NQPB composite tide gauge record is shown to have similarities with the tide gauge records of Sydney, equally in the West pacific, and San Diego, in the east Pacific, oscillating about the longer term trend mostly determined by the local subsidence. As it is very well known that China generally suffers of land subsidence, and the tide gauge installations may suffer of additional subsidence vs. the inland, it may be concluded from the analysis of the other worldwide tide gauges that the sea levels of China are very likely rising about the same amount of the subsidence of the tide gauges, with the sea level acceleration component still negligible.

  10. 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

  11. Twenty-two Years of Sea Level Rise

    NASA Video Gallery

    This visualization shows total sea level change between the beginning of 1993 and the end of 2014, based on data collected from the TOPEX/Poisedon, Jason-1, and Jason-2 satellites. Blue regions are...

  12. Deglacial rapid sea level rises caused by ice-sheet saddle collapses.

    PubMed

    Gregoire, Lauren J; Payne, Antony J; Valdes, Paul J

    2012-07-12

    The last deglaciation (21 to 7 thousand years ago) was punctuated by several abrupt meltwater pulses, which sometimes caused noticeable climate change. Around 14 thousand years ago, meltwater pulse 1A (MWP-1A), the largest of these events, produced a sea level rise of 14-18 metres over 350 years. Although this enormous surge of water certainly originated from retreating ice sheets, there is no consensus on the geographical source or underlying physical mechanisms governing the rapid sea level rise. Here we present an ice-sheet modelling simulation in which the separation of the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets in North America produces a meltwater pulse corresponding to MWP-1A. Another meltwater pulse is produced when the Labrador and Baffin ice domes around Hudson Bay separate, which could be associated with the '8,200-year' event, the most pronounced abrupt climate event of the past nine thousand years. For both modelled pulses, the saddle between the two ice domes becomes subject to surface melting because of a general surface lowering caused by climate warming. The melting then rapidly accelerates as the saddle between the two domes gets lower, producing nine metres of sea level rise over 500 years. This mechanism of an ice 'saddle collapse' probably explains MWP-1A and the 8,200-year event and sheds light on the consequences of these events on climate. PMID:22785319

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Sea-level rise and coastal change: the past as a guide to the future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodroffe, Colin D.; Murray-Wallace, Colin V.

    2012-10-01

    There is a broader awareness than ever that we live in a changing environment. The spectre of climate change is of wide concern, and the observed trends and anticipated consequences of an acceleration of sea-level rise pose a series of threats for the future of people who live in coastal communities. Coastal geoscientists are able to reconstruct the position of former sea levels; they can also explain much of the geographical variation in relative sea-level history. Successive collaborative projects (many under the auspices of international programmes sponsored by IGCP and INQUA) derived local sea-level histories and compiled atlases of relative sea-level curves, and some addressed past coastal behaviour in response to these changes. The most recent International Geological Correlation programme project 588, 'Preparing for coastal change', continues this impressive lineage of projects that have laid the foundations for our understanding of sea-level behaviour over the late Quaternary. Today, these issues are a major focus in the debate about climate change, its impacts, and the need for adaptation on the most vulnerable shorelines. There is clearly a role for the palaeoenvironmental skillset honed through successive geoscientific projects. Investigations of past coastal environments have provided the tools for delineating past levels of the sea, but the stratigraphical and geochronological studies which were necessary to reconstruct the sea-level position also provide insights into where the shoreline lay and how the coast behaved as sea level changed. If the present is the key to the past, then the past, seen from the context of the present, can be a guide to the future. Collaborative projects and international co-operation between scientists from different disciplines can play important roles in future debates about how our world will change. First, the lessons learnt about the patterns of variation of relative sea level need to be more widely recognised by

  15. 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. PMID:26342160

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    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

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Glacier calving, dynamics, and sea-level rise. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Meier, M.F.; Pfeffer, W.T.; Amadei, B.

    1998-08-01

    The present-day calving flux from Greenland and Antarctica is poorly known, and this accounts for a significant portion of the uncertainty in the current mass balance of these ice sheets. Similarly, the lack of knowledge about the role of calving in glacier dynamics constitutes a major uncertainty in predicting the response of glaciers and ice sheets to changes in climate and thus sea level. Another fundamental problem has to do with incomplete knowledge of glacier areas and volumes, needed for analyses of sea-level change due to changing climate. The authors proposed to develop an improved ability to predict the future contributions of glaciers to sea level by combining work from four research areas: remote sensing observations of calving activity and iceberg flux, numerical modeling of glacier dynamics, theoretical analysis of the calving process, and numerical techniques for modeling flow with large deformations and fracture. These four areas have never been combined into a single research effort on this subject; in particular, calving dynamics have never before been included explicitly in a model of glacier dynamics. A crucial issue that they proposed to address was the general question of how calving dynamics and glacier flow dynamics interact.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

  5. 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

  6. Unabated global mean sea-level rise over the satellite altimeter era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, Christopher S.; White, Neil J.; Church, John A.; King, Matt A.; Burgette, Reed J.; Legresy, Benoit

    2015-06-01

    The rate of global mean sea-level (GMSL) rise has been suggested to be lower for the past decade compared with the preceding decade as a result of natural variability, with an average rate of rise since 1993 of +3.2 +/- 0.4 mm yr-1 (refs , ). However, satellite-based GMSL estimates do not include an allowance for potential instrumental drifts (bias drift). Here, we report improved bias drift estimates for individual altimeter missions from a refined estimation approach that incorporates new Global Positioning System (GPS) estimates of vertical land movement (VLM). In contrast to previous results (for example, refs , ), we identify significant non-zero systematic drifts that are satellite-specific, most notably affecting the first 6 years of the GMSL record. Applying the bias drift corrections has two implications. First, the GMSL rate (1993 to mid-2014) is systematically reduced to between +2.6 +/- 0.4 mm yr-1 and +2.9 +/- 0.4 mm yr-1, depending on the choice of VLM applied. These rates are in closer agreement with the rate derived from the sum of the observed contributions, GMSL estimated from a comprehensive network of tide gauges with GPS-based VLM applied (updated from ref. ) and reprocessed ERS-2/Envisat altimetry. Second, in contrast to the previously reported slowing in the rate during the past two decades, our corrected GMSL data set indicates an acceleration in sea-level rise (independent of the VLM used), which is of opposite sign to previous estimates and comparable to the accelerated loss of ice from Greenland and to recent projections, and larger than the twentieth-century acceleration.

  7. Modeling landscape dynamics and effects of sea-level rise on coastal wetlands of northwest Florida

    SciTech Connect

    Doyle, T.W.; Day, R.H.; Biagas, J.M.

    1997-06-01

    A research study to examine the ability to predict changes in coastal vegetation caused by sea level rise is very briefly summarized. A field survey was carried out on the northwest coast of Florida. A predictive elevation model was then generated from digitized US Geologic Survey 1:2400 hypsographic data using surface modeling techniques. Sea-level rise model simulations were generated to predict a likelihood index of habitat change and conversions under different scenarios. Maps were produced depicting location of the coastline and inland extent of salt marsh using a range of sea level rise rates through the year 2100. This modeling approach offers a technological tool to researchers and wetland managers for effective cumulative impact analysis of wetlands affected by sea-level rise.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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. PMID:22624702

  12. 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.

  13. A Hydro-marsh equilibrium model for marsh system response to Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alizad, K.; Hagen, S. C.; Morris, J. T.; Bacopoulos, P.

    2013-12-01

    In this study, an integrated model to assess the effect of sea level rise on salt marsh systems is presented. It is based on a coupled two-dimensional hydrodynamic model and a parametric marsh model. The model shows marsh productivity as a function of mean high water (MHW), mean low water (MLW), and the elevation of the marsh platform. MHW and MLW are the mean high and low water levels over a tidal record and the marsh platform elevation is the elevation of the thick and smooth piled up sediments and biomass that support the productivity of the marsh. MHW and MLW throughout a river and tidal creeks are determined by time varying tides resulting from the two-dimensional hydrodynamic model. In order to calculate accurate biomass productivity, and MHW and MLW elevations, a digital elevation model (DEM) representing the marsh table elevation and tidal creeks with high accuracy is necessary (Hagen et al., 2013). There are optimum ranges for relative sea level rise (RSLR), mean sea level (MSL), and depth of inundation for salt marshes to increase productivity. Because of the constantly changing MSL, the marsh always adjusts itself to a new equilibrium (Morris, et al., 2002). In the marsh model, the sediment accretion rate, which is a function of the marsh productivity, is considered. The tidal record is calculated by the hydrodynamic model and the DEM is adjusted by incorporating the accretion rate over a period of time, provided by the marsh model. Then, the new tidal record is assessed by running the hydrodynamic model, considering sea level rise with the new marsh table elevations. Using the new tidal record, the marsh productivity is simulated. This process can be divided into short time steps to capture changes in the rate of sea level rise. For example, a 68 cm sea level rise over 63 years can be split into five- or ten- year periods to have a linear trend for sea level rise in each period. The model is examined for the lower St. Johns River and Apalachicola River

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Sea Level Rise Scenarios and Predicted Impacts on New Hampshire's Hampton-Seabrook Estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haile, R.; Hale, S. R.; Rock, B. N.

    2008-12-01

    According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Union of Concerned Scientist, coastal areas could experience a rise in sea level from 0.3m (conservative) to 6m (extreme). Due in part to global warming, over the last 100 years mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coast sea level has risen approximately 0.1m more than the average global rise. GIS models illustrating future sea level rise (SLR) projections were generated to assess the potential impact on beaches and estuaries of Hampton and Seabrook, New Hampshire (NH). Limited, but important, tidal wetlands are particularly at risk from rising sea levels. A raster unsupervised landcover classification and a Digital Elevation Model of the southeastern NH coastal region were overlain in ARC/GIS v. 9.0. Sea level rise predictions greater than 1.2m will result in the inundation of greater than 50 percent of the emergent area of the Hampton/Seabrook estuary and urban development fringing the estuary will be prone to greater flooding from storm surges and high tides. An approximate 6m rise in sea level will inundate greater than 95 percent of the Hampton-Seabrook tidal marsh and greater than 95 percent of New Hampshire's existing sand dunes.

  6. 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

  7. Sea Level Rise and Decadal Variations in the Ligurian Sea Inferred from the Medimaremetre Measurements.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karpytchev, M.; Coulomb, A.; Vallee, M.

    2015-12-01

    Estimations of sea level rise over the last centuries are mostly based on the rare historical sea level records from tide gauge stations usually designed for navigational purposes. In this study, we examine the quality of sea level measurements performed by a mean sea level gauge operated in Nice from 1887 to 1909 and transferred to the nearby town of Villefranche-sur-Mer in 1913 where it stayed in operation untill 1974. The mean sea level gauges, called medimaremetres, were invented for geodetic studies and installed in many French ports since the end of the XIX century. By construction, the medimaremetre was connected to the sea through a porous porcelain crucible in order to filter out the tides and higher frequency sea level oscillations. Ucontrolled properties of the crucible and some systematic errors made the medimaremetre data to be ignored in the current sea level researches. We demonstrate that the Nice-Villefranche medimaremetre measurements are coherent with two available historical tide gauge records from Marseille and Genova and a new century-scale sea level series can be build up by combining the medimaremetre data with the those recorded by a tide gauge operating in Nice since the 1980s. We analyse the low frequency variabilities in Marseille, Nice-Villefranche and Genova and get new insights on the decadal sea level variations in the Ligurian Sea since the end of the XIX century.

  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. 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).

  10. 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.

  11. New Insights into Antarctic Ice-Sheet Retreat During the Last Sea-Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, M. E.; Kuhn, G.; Clark, P. U.; Sprenk, D.

    2010-12-01

    . The third phase relates to Meltwater Pulse 1A; the fourth phase falls roughly into period of the Younger Dryas. Since all four phases manifested at times when atmospheric temperature rise over East Antarctica accelerated, we interpret all phases as ice-sheet retreat signals. Since models can only produce a fraction of the required global meltwater from NH ice sheets, and most phases relate to prominent global meltwater pulses, there is also indication that Antarctica contributed a substantial amount of meltwater to global sea-level rise during the four phases, with the EAIS as a major contributor during the first three phases, and the WAIS contributing mainly to the last phase when the Antarctic Cold Reversal had ended. In any case, our study shows that the oceanic record in the Weddell and Scotia Seas, the atmospheric temperature development over East Antarctica, and global sea-level rise are closely related, with possibly severe impacts on future climate and ice-sheet modeling studies.

  12. The response of tropical Australian estuaries to a sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolanski, E.; Chappell, J.

    1996-02-01

    Estuaries in tropical Australia have a low sediment yield (about 5-20 tonnes km -2 yr -1). The estuaries formed when rising post-glacial sea level invaded coastal valleys 7 to 9000 years ago. Geomorphological and stratigraphic data show that mangrove swamps developed on the flooded plains and in some cases their substrate kept pace with the rising sea level. The bulk of the sediment originated from the sea. When sea level stabilised, 6000 years ago, the flood plains prograded seaward. The channels now are generally stable and in some cases are inherited from the progradation phase. The response of these estuaries to a sea level rise may be inferred both from their evolution during post glacial sea level rise and from hydrodynamics-sedimentological models calibrated against measurements of tidal processes. This was undertaken for Coral Creek, the South Alligator River and the Norman River in north Australia. Modelling indicates that a future sea level rise will generate changes in the dynamics and channel dimensions which mimic post glacial changes. In the macrotidal South Alligator the floodplain will revert to mangrove, the mouth region will widen and sediment will move upstream and onto the floodplain. In the mesotidal, diurnal Norman the channel will widen throughout and sediment will be transported seawards. In Coral Creek the mangrove will retreat landwards.

  13. Enhanced Atlantic sea-level rise relative to the Pacific under high carbon emission rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasting, J. P.; Dunne, J. P.; Stouffer, R. J.; Hallberg, R. W.

    2016-03-01

    Thermal expansion of the ocean in response to warming is an important component of historical sea-level rise. Observational studies show that the Atlantic and Southern oceans are warming faster than the Pacific Ocean. Here we present simulations using a numerical atmospheric-ocean general circulation model with an interactive carbon cycle to evaluate the impact of carbon emission rates, ranging from 2 to 25 GtC yr-1, on basin-scale ocean heat uptake and sea level. For simulations with emission rates greater than 5 GtC yr-1, sea-level rise is larger in the Atlantic than Pacific Ocean on centennial timescales. This basin-scale asymmetry is related to the shorter flushing timescales and weakening of the overturning circulation in the Atlantic. These factors lead to warmer Atlantic interior waters and greater thermal expansion. In contrast, low emission rates of 2 and 3 GtC yr-1 will cause relatively larger sea-level rise in the Pacific on millennial timescales. For a given level of cumulative emissions, sea-level rise is largest at low emission rates. We conclude that Atlantic coastal areas may be particularly vulnerable to near-future sea-level rise from present-day high greenhouse gas emission rates.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chua, Vivien P.; Xu, Ming

    2014-11-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:26912856

  5. Global sea level rise and the greenhouse effect: might they be connected

    SciTech Connect

    Peltier, W.R.; Tushingham, A.M.

    1989-03-21

    Secular sea level trends extracted from tide gauge records of appropriately long duration demonstrate that global sea level may be rising at a rate in excess of 1 millimeter per year. However, because global coverage of the oceans by the tide gauge network is highly nonuniform and the tide gauge data reveal considerable spatial variability, there has been a well-founded reluctance to interpret the observed secular sea level rise as representing a signal of global scale that might be related to the greenhouse effect. When the tide gauge data are filtered so as to remove the contribution of ongoing glacial isostatic adjustment to the local sea level trend at each location, then the individual tide gauge records reveal sharply reduced geographic scatter and suggest that there is a globally coherent signal of strength 2.4 {+-} 0.90 millimeters per year that is active in the system. This signal could constitute an indication of global climate warming.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:26466567

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  14. 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 mangroves1, 2. 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 growth3. The Indo-Pacific region holds most of the world’s mangrove forests4, but sediment delivery in this region is declining, owing to anthropogenic activities such as damming of rivers5. This decline is of particular concern because the Indo-Pacific region is expected to have variable, but high, rates of future sea-level rise6, 7. Here we analyse recent trends in mangrove surface elevation changes across the Indo-Pacific region using data from a network of surface elevation table instruments8, 9, 10. 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.

  15. Marsh accretion in Oregon estuaries using the marker horizon method and implications of sea level rise

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sea level rise and the ability of marshes to keep up with this rise have been extensively studied on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the US; however, there is limited information available for marshes in the Pacific Northwest. Our research focuses on measuring marsh sediment acc...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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 yr1 in this 2-year field study, an effect mediated by stimulation of below-ground plant productivity. Further, a companion greenhouse experiment revealed that the CO2 effect was enhanced under salinity and flooding conditions likely to accompany future SLR. Our results indicate that by stimulating biogenic contributions to marsh elevation, increases in the greenhouse gas, CO2, may paradoxically aid some coastal wetlands in counterbalancing rising seas.

  19. Sea level rise of semi-enclosed basins: deviation of Adriatic and Baltic sea level from the mean global value.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarascia, Luca; Lionello, Piero

    2015-04-01

    Future sea level rise (SL), which represents today one of the major threats that are caused by climate change, will not be uniform. Regional differences are crucial for 40% of the world population, which is located in the coastal zone. To explore the mechanisms linking regional SL to climate variables is very important in order to provide reliable future projections. This study focuses on two semi-enclosed basins, the Adriatic and Baltic Sea and investigates the deviation of their SL from the mean global value. In fact, past deviations of the SL of these two basins from the global value have been observed and can be attributed to large scale factors (such as teleconnections) and regional factors, such as the inverse barometric effect, the wind stress, the thermosteric and halosteric effects. The final goal of this work is to assess to which extent the Adriatic and Baltic SL will depart from the mean global value in the next decades and at the end of 21st century. This is achieved by analyzing deviations of the mean SL of the Baltic and Adriatic Sea from the global mean SL during the 20th century and investigating which factors can explain such deviations. A multivariate linear regression model is built and used to describe the link between three large scale climate variables which are used as predictors (mean sea level pressure, surface air temperature and precipitation), and the regional SL deviation (the predictand), computed as the difference between the regional and the global SL. At monthly scale this linear regression model provides a good reconstruction of the past variability in the cold season during which it explains 60%-70% of the variance. Summer reconstruction is substantially less successful and it represents presently the main limit of the model skill. This linear regression model, forced by predictors extracted from CMIP5 multi-model simulations, is used to provide projections of SL in the Adriatic and Baltic Sea. On the basis of the projections

  20. 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. PMID:15042085

  1. Relative outcomes of climate change mitigation related to global temperature versus sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meehl, Gerald A.; Hu, Aixue; Tebaldi, Claudia; Arblaster, Julie M.; Washington, Warren M.; Teng, Haiyan; Sanderson, Benjamin M.; Ault, Toby; Strand, Warren G.; White, James B.

    2012-08-01

    There is a common perception that, if human societies make the significant adjustments necessary to substantively cut emissions of greenhouse gases, global temperature increases could be stabilized, and the most dangerous consequences of climate change could be avoided. Here we show results from global coupled climate model simulations with the new representative concentration pathway mitigation scenarios to 2300 to illustrate that, with aggressive mitigation in two of the scenarios, globally averaged temperature increase indeed could be stabilized either below 2 °C or near 3 °C above pre-industrial values. However, even as temperatures stabilize, sea level would continue to rise. With little mitigation, future sea-level rise would be large and continue unabated for centuries. Though sea-level rise cannot be stopped for at least the next several hundred years, with aggressive mitigation it can be slowed down, and this would buy time for adaptation measures to be adopted.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Konikow, L.F.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Rapid early Holocene sea-level rise in Prydz Bay, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodgson, Dominic A.; Whitehouse, Pippa L.; De Cort, Gijs; Berg, Sonja; Verleyen, Elie; Tavernier, Ines; Roberts, Stephen J.; Vyverman, Wim; Sabbe, Koen; O'Brien, Philip

    2016-04-01

    Prydz Bay is one of the largest embayments on the East Antarctic coast and it is the discharge point for approximately 16% of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Geological constraints on the regional ice sheet history include evidence of past relative sea-level change at three sites; the Vestfold Hills, Rauer Islands and Larsemann Hills. In this paper we compile updated regional relative sea-level data from these sites. We compare these with a suite of relative sea-level predictions derived from glacial isostatic adjustment models and discuss the significance of departures between the models and the field evidence. The compiled geological data extend the relative sea-level curve for this region to 11,258 cal yr BP and include new constraints based on abandoned penguin colonies, new isolation basin data in the Vestfold Hills, validation of a submarine relative sea-level constraint in the Rauer Islands and recalibrated radiocarbon ages at all sites dating from 12,728 cal yr BP. The field data show rapid increases in rates of relative sea level rise of 12-48 mm/yr between 10,473 (or 9678) and 9411 cal yr BP in the Vestfold Hills and of 8.8 mm/yr between 8882 and 8563 cal yr BP in the Larsemann Hills. The relative sea-level high stands of ≥ 8.8 m from 9411 to after 7564 cal yr BP (Vestfold Hills) and ≥ 8 m at 8563 and 7066 cal yr BP (Larsemann Hills) are over-predicted by some of the glacial isostatic adjustment models considered here, suggesting that assumptions relating to the magnitude and timing of regional ice loss since the Last Glacial Maximum may need revising. In the Vestfold Hills and Rauer Islands the final deglacial sea-level rise was almost exactly cancelled out by local rebound between 9411 and 5967 cal yr BP and this was followed by a near exponential decay in relative sea-level. In the Larsemann Hills the sea-level data suggest that the rate of ice retreat in this region was not uniform throughout the Holocene. Swath bathymetric surveys of the benthic

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, Albert

    2016-03-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Effects of sea level rise on deltaic coastal marshlands, Mississippi River deltaic plain

    SciTech Connect

    Ramsey, K.E.; Penland, S. ); Roberts, H.H.; Coleman, J.M. )

    1990-05-01

    Low-relief deltaic coastal plains commonly experience land loss because of the cumulative effects of natural and human-induced processes. Although it is difficult to separate the individual factors within the overall process, interplay between these factors can result in a rate of relative sea level rise greater than the natural rate of coastal-plain aggradation that causes land loss. Between 1956 and 1978, about 11,400 and 2,490 ha of marsh were lost in east Texas and Mississippi, respectively. Louisiana's loss was 18,755 ha. Relative sea level rise over the last 65 yr has averaged 0.23 cm/yr in the Gulf and as much as 1-1.5 cm/yr in the delta plain. The Environmental Protection Agency predicts the rate of sea level rise to increase over the next century. Rates of relative sea level rise for the Gulf of Mexico are expected to increase from 0.23-1.5 cm/yr to 0.6-3.7 cm/yr. The current rate of relative sea level rise and land loss in the subsiding Mississippi delta is a response that can be expected for many US coastal areas over the next century. With the predicted change, the Mississippi River delta complex will experience dramatically increased rates of land loss. Isles Dernieres will disappear by the year 2000, and Plaquemines and Terrebonne marshes will be gone between 2020 and 2080. Based on the lowest predicted sea level rise rate, by the year 2100, the delta plain could be reduced from 150.9 {times} 10{sup 3} ha to 29.8 x 10{sup 3} ha or to 4.9 {times} 10{sup 3} ha if calculations are based on the highest rate.

  9. Tidal level response to sea-level rise in the yangtze estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Zheng; Zhang, Chang-kuan; Wan, Li-ming; Zuo, Jun-cheng

    2012-03-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. CLIVAR Exchanges No. 62: Sea Level Rise, Ocean/Ice Shelf Interactions and Ice Sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Pirani, Anna; Danabasoglu, Gokhan; Griffies, Stephen; Marsland, Simon

    2013-08-01

    This special issue of CLIVAR Exchanges is devoted to presenting a selection of the science contributed by both speakers and poster presenters at the CLIVAR Workshop on Sea Level Rise, Ocean/Ice Shelf Interactions and Ice Sheets at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research in Hobart, Australia, on 18-20 February 2013. The workshop brought together leading international scientists and early-career researchers from the ocean, ice-sheet, ice-shelf, and sea-level rise modelling and observational communities to explore the state-of-science and emerging pathways for development of the next generation of coupled climate models.

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexandrakis, G.; Poulos, S.

    2012-04-01

    , meeting a new state of equilibrium when land loss reaches the 68.67% of its initial width. Similarly, the beach zones of Ag. Petros (Isl. Andros), Korission Lagoon (Isl. Corfu), Marathon bay (Attica) and Alfios river delta (west Peloponnese) a reduced rate of retreat after the first 50 years, attaining a new state of equilibrium but when already have lost more than 85% of their current width. Bruun P., (1962). Sea level rise as a cause of shore erosion. Journal of the Waterways and Harbors Division, American Society of Civil Engineers, 88: 117-130. Ciavola, P., Corbau, C., 2002. Modeling the response of an intertidal bar to b medium energyQ events. Solutions to Coastal disasters '02. Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers, 526- 542. Nicholls, R.J., Leatherman, S.P. (Eds.), Potential Impacts of Accelerated Sea-Level Rise on Developing Countries, Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, vol. 14, 324 pp. Dean R.G. (1991). Equilibrium Beach Profiles: Characteristics and Applications. Journal of Coastal Research, Vol 7, No. 1, pp 53-84. Hellenic Hydrographic Service, 2004 Tidal data in Greek harbours. Hellenic Hydrographic Service pp 40 IPCC (Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change) (2007). The Regional Impacts of Climate Change: An Assessment of Vulnerability.

  16. New data on the Holocenic sea-level rise in NW Sicily (Central Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonioli, F.; Cremona, G.; Immordino, F.; Puglisi, C.; Romagnoli, C.; Silenzi, S.; Valpreda, E.; Verrubbi, V.

    2002-09-01

    The emerged and submerged coastal tracts of selected areas in NW Sicily (San Vito Lo Capo Promontory and Marettimo Island in the Egadi Archipelago) have been studied by means of an interdisciplinary approach (geomorphological and neotectonic surveys, palaeontological, depositional and petrographical observations) with the aim to characterize the coastal evolution of the sector over a wide time frame (Late Pleistocene and Holocene) and to recognize the geological indicators of relative sea-level fluctuations. Neotectonic studies performed all along the coastal sector through the check of the present-day height of marine notches and of the inner margin of marine terraces of Eutyrrhenian age allowed to assess the entity of post-Tyrrhenian differential crustal movements in the area. The calculated rates of uplift confirm the relative stability of the area in the last 125 ka and that the relative corrections introduced can be considered negligible in the reconstruction of sea-level rise in the last thousand years. On the base of these considerations, the sea-level rise curve which has been drawn for the Holocene through the radiometric dating ( 14C and U/Th) of submerged speleothems and Vermetid reefs is assumed to gain a regional significance and to represent a good reference datum for the Central-Southern Mediterranean Sea. In addition, the sea-level rise data are in good agreement with the predicted sea-level curves based on geophysical models previously applied to the same study areas.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Dynamical Suppression of Sea Level Rise Along the Eastern Boundary of the North Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bromirski, P. D.; Miller, A. J.; Flick, R. E.

    2011-12-01

    Long-term changes in global mean sea level (MSL) rise have important practical implications for shoreline and beach erosion, coastal wetlands inundation, storm-surge flooding, and coastal development. Altimetry since 1993 indicates that global MSL rise has increased about 50% above the 20th century rise rate, from 2 to 3 mm/yr. At the same time, both tide gauge measurements and altimetry indicate virtually no increase in mean sea level height (SLH) along the Pacific coast of North America during the satellite epoch. Analyses of wind stress patterns indicates that the dynamical steric response of North Pacific eastern boundary ocean circulation to a dramatic change in wind stress curl, that occurred after the mid-1970's regime shift, can account for the suppression of regional sea level rise along the U.S. West Coast since 1980, modulating the canonical SLH response expected along the eastern boundary during the warm phase of the PDO. Alarmingly, mean wind stress curl over the North Pacific recently reached levels not observed since before the mid-1970's regime shift. This change in wind stress patterns may be foreshadowing a PDO regime shift, causing an associated persistent change in wind stress curl that may result in a concomitant resumption of sea level rise along the West Coast to global rates.

  20. Tidally Adjusted Estimates of Susceptibility to Sea Level Rise for the Contiguous U.S

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strauss, B.; Ziemlinski, R.; Weiss, J. L.; Overpeck, J. T.

    2011-12-01

    As projections for sea level rise this century increase to 1 m or more, it is becoming increasingly important to understand what communities and assets may be most at risk. Here we present the first analysis of low-lying coastal land, housing and population covering the contiguous U.S. while accounting for local and regional differences in the elevation of mean high tides, which range from ~0-3 m above mean sea level. Previous work at this scale has implicitly equated land elevation with height relative to local high tides, leading to underestimated risk in areas with high-elevation high tides, and compromising comparisons of risk across regions with different tidal levels. Our refinement substantially increases the national estimate of land and population within 1-6 m of high tide; we also rank cities and states by their topographic susceptibility to sea level rise.

  1. Influence of sea level rise on the dynamics of salt inflows in the Baltic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hordoir, Robinson; Axell, Lars; Löptien, Ulrike; Dietze, Heiner; Kuznetsov, Ivan

    2015-10-01

    The Baltic Sea is a marginal sea, located in a highly industrialized region in Central Northern Europe. Saltwater inflows from the North Sea and associated ventilation of the deep exert crucial control on the entire Baltic Sea ecosystem. This study explores the impact of anticipated sea level changes on the dynamics of those inflows. We use a numerical oceanic general circulation model covering both the Baltic and the North Sea. The model successfully retraces the essential ventilation dynamics throughout the period 1961-2007. A suite of idealized experiments suggests that rising sea level is associated with intensified ventilation as saltwater inflows become stronger, longer, and more frequent. Expressed quantitatively as a salinity increase in the deep central Baltic Sea, we find that a sea level rise of 1 m triggers a saltening of more than 1 PSU. This substantial increase in ventilation is the consequence of the increasing cross section in the Danish Straits amplified by a reduction of vertical mixing.

  2. Contribution of the Patagonia Icefields of South America to sea level rise.

    PubMed

    Rignot, Eric; Rivera, Andrés; Casassa, Gino

    2003-10-17

    Digital elevation models of the Northern and Southern Patagonia Icefields of South America generated from the 2000 Shuttle Radar Topography Mission were compared with earlier cartography to estimate the volume change of the largest 63 glaciers. During the period 1968/1975-2000, these glaciers lost ice at a rate equivalent to a sea level rise of 0.042 +/- 0.002 millimeters per year. In the more recent years 1995-2000, average ice thinning rates have more than doubled to an equivalent sea level rise of 0.105 +/- 0.011 millimeters per year. The glaciers are thinning more quickly than can be explained by warmer air temperatures and decreased precipitation, and their contribution to sea level per unit area is larger than that of Alaska glaciers. PMID:14564005

  3. 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.

  4. 'Uncertainty explosion' in 21st century Greenland temperature change - implications for sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kodra, E. A.; Ganguly, A. R.

    2011-12-01

    Sea level rise is one of the most important consequences of anthropogenic climate change, carrying potentially catastrophic implications for coastal populations and ecosystems, and simultaneously one of the most uncertain. Greenland's ice sheet is considered a critical tipping point in the earth's system, where a mean temperature rise of more than 3 degrees Celsius may lead to unrecoverable ice sheet melt and hence sea level rise. However, assigning likelihood to such a tipping point is a difficult task, involving the consideration of many factors. An 'uncertainty explosion' representation of Greenland temperature change is developed here by considering step-by-step accumulation of uncertainty as factors are integrated which are progressively difficult to quantify. Factors considered include uncertainty related to structural differences in global climate models, initial condition runs, methods for assigning credibility to climate models, fossil fuel emissions trajectories, polar amplification of global average warming, and equilibrium climate sensitivity. Results suggest that exceeding the tipping point of 3 degrees change appears to be highly plausible. More broadly, strictly quantitative uncertainty characterization methods may fail to broadcast the true state of uncertainty and the degree of ignorance that is not captured by state-of-the-art numerical models, and thus such methods may understate or completely ignore high risk but low probability runaway warming and hence sea level rise. This work poses implications not only for sea level rise but for many other tasks involving uncertainty characterization, as well. Next steps may involve evaluating the cascade of uncertainty as sequential steps of sea level rise are considered in a similar, extended framework.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carless, Stacey; Green, Mattias; Wilmes, Sophie

    2015-04-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Modeling Tidal Marsh Distribution with Sea-Level Rise: Evaluating the Role of Vegetation, Sediment, and Upland Habitat in Marsh Resiliency

    PubMed Central

    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

  9. The Response of Spartina Alterniflora to Multiple Stressors of Eutrophication, Precipitation Changes, and Sea Level Rise

    EPA Science Inventory

    A four month experiment using greenhouse mesocosms was conducted to analyze the effects of eutrophication, sea level rise, and precipitation changes on the salt marsh plant Spartina alterniflora. Pots containing plants were placed in six 600L tanks that received seawater pumped f...

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. An assessment of the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to future sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geyer, M.; Melia, D. Salas y.

    2012-04-01

    We assess the order of magnitude of future sea level rise due to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. To this end, we forced GRISLI ice sheet model (LGGE, France) with output from climate simulations run with CNRM-CM5 in the framework of CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5). GRISLI is a 3D thermo-mechanically coupled ice sheet model which mixes shallow ice approximation and shallow shelf approximation. The horizontal resolution is 15km. We use surface mass balance modeled by CNRM-CM5 as a top boundary conditions. CNRM-CM5 is a global coupled climate model developed by CNRM/CERFACS (France). This new global coupled climate model is based on the ocean-atmosphere core formed by the most up-to-date versions of NEMO and ARPEGE-Climat. Surface-atmosphere exchanges, sea ice and river routing are respectively represented by SURFEX v5, Gelato v5 and TRIP models. The atmospheric component of CNRM-CM5 has 31 vertical levels and a horizontal resolution of 1.4°, and the ocean has 42 levels and a horizontal resolution of 1°. GRISLI was forced with the output of a preindustrial simulation run with CNRM-CM5 in order to generate an initial state for the ice sheet that is in near-equilibrium with the preindustrial climate. Then, GRISLI was forced with CNRM-CM5 data from a 1850-2005 historical experiment. From 2006, several scenario experiments run with CNRM-CM5 were run: RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 over 2006-2300. We estimate the additional sea level rise over the whole 21st century. It should be noted that for the RCP8.5 scenario the melting rate of Greenland accelerates very rapidly after the 21st century, which results in almost total melting of Greenland ice sheet before year 2800. This acceleration phenomenon is probably amplified by topographic changes induced by the shrinking of the ice sheet.

  16. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. The global warming 'hiatus' and its implications on future sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nieves, V.; Willis, J. K.; Patzert, W. C.

    2014-12-01

    Global sea level rise is one of the most direct and potentially costly impacts of human caused global warming. It is driven by both melting glaciers and ice sheets (which react to the warming atmosphere and ocean), and direct absorption of heat by the oceans. In fact, over 90 percent of the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gases warms the oceans, causing thermal expansion and sea level rise. For this reason the recent warming "hiatus", or slowdown in the rate of global surface temperature increase, may play an important role in ongoing and future sea level rise. Recent studies based on ocean reanalyses have suggested that the low rate of warming at the ocean surface (which is nearly identical to the rate of global surface temperature increase) is compensated by more rapid warming at depth. We analyzed ocean in situ observations and satellite measurements of sea level independently of these reanalyses, and compared the most recent decade with prior decades to determine whether warming at depth was faster in the past. We find little to no evidence for an increase of the rate of ocean warming at depth in the most recent decade. Our analysis suggests that a weaker external forcing trend might be a stronger key component than the interior exchange in the coupled feedback.

  5. Land subsidence and sea level rise on the Atlantic Coastal Plain of the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, George H.

    1987-06-01

    Land subsidence due to decline in head in confined aquifers, related to municipal and industrial water pumpage, is widespread in the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Although not a major engineering problem, subsidence greatly complicates adjustment of precise leveling and distorts prediction of future sea-level rise. When preconsolidation stress equivalent to about 20 m of head decline is exceeded compaction of fine-grained sediments of the aquifer system begins, and continues until a new head equilibrium is attained between fine and coarse units. The ratio subsidence/head decline is quite consistent, ranging from 0.0064 in southeastern Virginia to 0.0018 at Dover, Delaware and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Higher values are related to the occurrence of montmorillonite as the predominant clay mineral present. Review of tide gauge records indicates that gauges not affected by land subsidence or other local secular effects have been sinking relative to sea level since 1940 at rates averaging about 2.5 mm/yr, of which 0.6 mm/yr is ascribed to glacio-isostatic adjustment to unloading of North America resulting from melting of late Pleistocene glaciers, and about 0.9 mm/yr is ascribed to steric sea-level rise related to ocean warming. The residual 1 mm/yr of relative sea-level rise is not well understood, but may be related to regional tectonic subsidence of the Atlantic coast.

  6. Delaying future sea-level rise by storing water in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frieler, K.; Mengel, M.; Levermann, A.

    2016-03-01

    Even if greenhouse gas emissions were stopped today, sea level would continue to rise for centuries, with the long-term sea-level commitment of a 2 °C warmer world significantly exceeding 2 m. In view of the potential implications for coastal populations and ecosystems worldwide, we investigate, from an ice-dynamic perspective, the possibility of delaying sea-level rise by pumping ocean water onto the surface of the Antarctic ice sheet. We find that due to wave propagation ice is discharged much faster back into the ocean than would be expected from a pure advection with surface velocities. The delay time depends strongly on the distance from the coastline at which the additional mass is placed and less strongly on the rate of sea-level rise that is mitigated. A millennium-scale storage of at least 80 % of the additional ice requires placing it at a distance of at least 700 km from the coastline. The pumping energy required to elevate the potential energy of ocean water to mitigate the currently observed 3 mm yr-1 will exceed 7 % of the current global primary energy supply. At the same time, the approach offers a comprehensive protection for entire coastlines particularly including regions that cannot be protected by dikes.

  7. Coastal sea level rise in southern Europe and the nonclimate contribution of vertical land motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WöPpelmann, G.; Marcos, M.

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we extend the advanced approach of combining tide gauge and satellite altimetry data with supplemental equations from adjacent tide gauge records of at least 30 years of common data to investigate the relative importance of the nonclimate contribution of vertical land movement to the observed rates of sea level change along the coasts of southern Europe. The sensitivity tests proved that the advanced approach is robust and accurate at the submillimeter per year level of around 0.4 mm yr-1in estimating rates of vertical land movements. It enabled identifying stations displaying large rates of vertical land movements that must be taken into account when predicting future sea level rise and appraising the exposure to its impacts on populations and assets. The average rate of coastal climate-related sea level rise in the Mediterranean Sea was consequently revisited to be of 1.7 mm yr-1 over the past century, whereas the Atlantic northern Iberian coast revealed a significant high rate of sea level rise in excess of 3.4 mm yr-1 for the past 70 years. Future work should consider applying this powerful approach to other geographic contexts as a useful source of supplementary data for geodynamic studies.

  8. Coastal sea level rise in southern Europe and the nonclimate contribution of vertical land motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woppelmann, G.; Marcos, M.

    2012-04-01

    In this study, we extend the advanced approach of combining tide gauge and satellite altimetry data with supplemental equations from adjacent tide gauge records of at least 30 years of common data to investigate the relative importance of the nonclimate contribution of vertical land movement to the observed rates of sea level change along the coasts of southern Europe. The sensitivity tests proved that the advanced approach is robust and accurate at the submillimeter per year level of around 0.4 mm/yr in estimating rates of vertical land movements. It enabled identifying stations displaying large rates of vertical land movements that must be taken into account when predicting future sea level rise and appraising the exposure to its impacts on populations and assets. The average rate of coastal climate-related sea level rise in the Mediterranean Sea was consequently revisited to be of 1.7 mm/yr over the past century, whereas the Atlantic northern Iberian coast revealed a significant high rate of sea level rise in excess of 3.4 mm/yr for the past 70 years. Future work should consider applying this powerful approach to other geographic contexts as a useful source of supplementary data for geodynamic studies.

  9. 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.

  10. Delaying future sea-level rise by storing water on Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frieler, K.; Mengel, M.; Levermann, A.

    2015-10-01

    Even if greenhouse gas emissions were stopped today sea level would continue to rise for centuries with the long-term sea-level commitment of a two-degree-warmer world significantly exceeding 2 m. In view of the potential implications for coastal populations and ecosystems worldwide we investigate, from an ice-dynamic perspective, the possibility to delay sea-level rise by pumping ocean water onto the surface of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. We find that due to wave propagation ice is discharged much faster back into the ocean than would be expected from a pure advection with surface velocities. The delay time depends strongly on the distance from the coastline at which the additional mass is placed and less strongly on the rate of sea-level rise that is mitigated. A millennium-scale storage of at least 80 % of the additional ice requires placing it at a distance of at least 700 km from the coast line. The pumping energy required to elevate the potential energy of ocean water to mitigate the currently observed 3 mm yr-1 will exceed 7 % of the current global primary energy supply. At the same time the approach may be the only way to protect entire coastlines or specific regions that cannot be protected by dikes.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Lipscomb, William

    2012-06-19

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

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:23271694

  14. The effect of sea level rise on coastal plain estuaries, with examples from Chesapeake Bay

    SciTech Connect

    Colman, S.M. )

    1990-05-01

    Estuaries are geologically transitory features whose evolution depends on a delicate balance among relative sea level basin geometry, shoreline erosion, fluvial sediment discharge, littoral drift, and tidal exchange. Models of modern estuarine development require specific sea level scenarios; almost all assume a continuation of the decelerating sea level rise of the last few thousand years. However, under constant external conditions, estuaries are ephemeral because they rapidly fill with fluvial and marine sediment. The rate of filling changes with time, but only a few thousand years are required to fill most estuaries. The persistence of estuaries, therefore, requires that relative sea level rises at a rate sufficient to compensate for the inherent tendency of estuaries to fill with sediment. Coastal plain estuaries, of which Chesapeake Bay is a prime example, are often referred to as drowned river valleys. Although this description is appropriate for the first-order morphology of Chesapeake Bay, the implied passivity can be misleading, especially in the high-tidal-energy area of the bay mouth where dramatic spit progradation and channel migration have occurred in the last few thousand years. Holocene sediment accumulation rates are more irregular along the length of the estuary than most models would predict; but in general, sediment accumulation has been greater at the mouth and at the head of the bay and less along the middle reaches. If relative sea level were to stabilize, the estuary would fill with sediment from both ends within a few thousand years. Evidence for two previous generations of the bay is preserved as the estuarine fill of major fluvial valleys, demonstrating that estuarine episodes have been closely tied to cyclic sea level changes.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  17. Influence of sea level rise on iron diagenesis in an east Florida subterranean estuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roy, M.; Martin, J.B.; Cherrier, J.; Cable, J.E.; Smith, C.G.

    2010-01-01

    Subterranean estuary occupies the transition zone between hypoxic fresh groundwater and oxic seawater, and between terrestrial and marine sediment deposits. Consequently, we hypothesize, in a subterranean estuary, biogeochemical reactions of Fe respond to submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) and sea level rise. Porewater and sediment samples were collected across a 30-m wide freshwater discharge zone of the Indian River Lagoon (Florida, USA) subterranean estuary, and at a site 250. m offshore. Porewater Fe concentrations range from 0.5 ??M at the shoreline and 250. m offshore to about 286 ??M at the freshwater-saltwater boundary. Sediment sulfur and porewater sulfide maxima occur in near-surface OC-rich black sediments of marine origin, and dissolved Fe maxima occur in underlying OC-poor orange sediments of terrestrial origin. Freshwater SGD flow rates decrease offshore from around 1 to 0.1. cm/day, while bioirrigation exchange deepens with distance from about 10. cm at the shoreline to about 40. cm at the freshwater-saltwater boundary. DOC concentrations increase from around 75 ??M at the shoreline to as much as 700 ??M at the freshwater-saltwater boundary as a result of labile marine carbon inputs from marine SGD. This labile DOC reduces Fe-oxides, which in conjunction with slow discharge of SGD at the boundary, allows dissolved Fe to accumulate. Upward advection of fresh SGD carries dissolved Fe from the Fe-oxide reduction zone to the sulfate reduction zone, where dissolved Fe precipitates as Fe-sulfides. Saturation models of Fe-sulfides indicate some fractions of these Fe-sulfides get dissolved near the sediment-water interface, where bioirrigation exchanges oxic surface water. The estimated dissolved Fe flux is approximately 0.84 ??M Fe/day per meter of shoreline to lagoon surface waters. Accelerated sea level rise predictions are thus likely to increase the Fe flux to surface waters and local primary productivity, particularly along coastlines where

  18. Influence of sea level rise on iron diagenesis in an east Florida subterranean estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Moutusi; Martin, Jonathan B.; Cherrier, Jennifer; Cable, Jaye E.; Smith, Christopher G.

    2010-10-01

    Subterranean estuary occupies the transition zone between hypoxic fresh groundwater and oxic seawater, and between terrestrial and marine sediment deposits. Consequently, we hypothesize, in a subterranean estuary, biogeochemical reactions of Fe respond to submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) and sea level rise. Porewater and sediment samples were collected across a 30-m wide freshwater discharge zone of the Indian River Lagoon (Florida, USA) subterranean estuary, and at a site 250 m offshore. Porewater Fe concentrations range from 0.5 μM at the shoreline and 250 m offshore to about 286 μM at the freshwater-saltwater boundary. Sediment sulfur and porewater sulfide maxima occur in near-surface OC-rich black sediments of marine origin, and dissolved Fe maxima occur in underlying OC-poor orange sediments of terrestrial origin. Freshwater SGD flow rates decrease offshore from around 1 to 0.1 cm/day, while bioirrigation exchange deepens with distance from about 10 cm at the shoreline to about 40 cm at the freshwater-saltwater boundary. DOC concentrations increase from around 75 μM at the shoreline to as much as 700 μM at the freshwater-saltwater boundary as a result of labile marine carbon inputs from marine SGD. This labile DOC reduces Fe-oxides, which in conjunction with slow discharge of SGD at the boundary, allows dissolved Fe to accumulate. Upward advection of fresh SGD carries dissolved Fe from the Fe-oxide reduction zone to the sulfate reduction zone, where dissolved Fe precipitates as Fe-sulfides. Saturation models of Fe-sulfides indicate some fractions of these Fe-sulfides get dissolved near the sediment-water interface, where bioirrigation exchanges oxic surface water. The estimated dissolved Fe flux is approximately 0.84 μM Fe/day per meter of shoreline to lagoon surface waters. Accelerated sea level rise predictions are thus likely to increase the Fe flux to surface waters and local primary productivity, particularly along coastlines where groundwater

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  2. Global sea level rise and the greenhouse effect: Might they be connected

    SciTech Connect

    Peltier, W.R.; Tushingham, A.M. )

    1989-05-19

    Secular sea level trends extracted from tide gauge records of appropriately long duration demonstrate that global sea level may be rising at a rate in excess of 1 millimeter per year. However, because global coverage of the oceans by the tide gauge network is highly nonuniform and the tide gauge data reveal considerable spatial variability, there has been a well-founded reluctance to interpret the observed secular sea level rise as representing a signal of global scale that might be related to the greenhouse effect. When the tide gauge data are filtered so as to remove the contribution of ongoing glacial isostatic adjustement to the local sea level trend at each location, then the individual tide gauge records reveal sharply reduced geographic scatter and suggest that there is a globally coherent signal of strength 2.4 {plus minus} 0.90 millimeters per year that is active in the system. This signal could constitute an indication of global climate warming. 15 refs., 8 figs.

  3. Ice2sea - tackling uncertainty in projections of sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaughan, David

    2013-04-01

    The future security and prosperity of our growing coastal cities and survival of many unique coastal habitats requires scientists to deliver reliable sea-level projections, which will form the basis of protection and adaptation planning for vulnerable coastal regions. Most contributions to sea-level rise can now be predicted with some confidence; the greatest remaining uncertainty lies in the contribution of ice-loss from Antarctica and Greenland. An EU Framework-7 programme, ice2sea, is working to inform the IPCC Fifth Assessment, and provide policy-makers with reliable sea-level projections, taking account of the long response-times of ice sheets and the complex atmospheric and oceanic changes that impact them. The collective efforts of 24 partners in Europe and overseas to the ice2sea have produced projections of the contribution of global glaciers and ice sheets to sea-level rise, using process-based models tied to specific emissions scenarios. These projections are synthesised here, with identification of geographical areas and processes where uncertainty is significantly reduced, and others where potential for future reduction remain urgently required.

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

    PubMed

    Etkins, R; Epstein, E S

    1982-01-15

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Meiofauna Analyses of Sediment Cores to Investigate the Influence of Sea Level Rise on Saltmarsh Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radl, Michaela; Hughes, Rob G.; Horne, David J.

    2013-04-01

    The text-book explanation for the development of coastal saltmarshes is through increase in sediment elevation (with respect to sea level), mainly facilitated by plants leading to seaward progradation and succession from the lowest plant species to higher ones. An alternative hypothesis is that saltmarshes develop mainly by sea level rise leading to landward migration, where succession will be from the higher to lower species. These competing hypotheses are tested by comparing the assemblages of foraminifera in sediment cores with surface samples, in saltmarshes on isostatically rising (NW Scotland) and sinking coasts (SE England and Wales). The surface meiofauna assemblages differ with saltmarsh vertical zones and between saltmarshes. Ostracod abundance decreased with elevation at both sites and none were found in the high marsh (among sea couch grass Elytrigia atherica), limiting their use in some succession studies. The ratio of agglutinated foraminifera (e.g. Jadammina macrescens) to calcified species (e.g. Quinqueloculina spp.) increases with elevation. Geographical differences also occur which may be related to different sediment characteristics, particularly grain size, water content and plant species or grazing effects. For example, the domination of the mid-low saltmarsh by Cornuspira involuens on the sandier west coast in Wales and Quinqueloculina spp. in a muddier saltmarsh in SE England. Foraminifera assemblages throughout a 2.5 meter core in Tollesbury (SE England) were dominated by agglutinated species, indicating high marsh. The absence of lower marsh assemblages supports the hypothesis for the importance of sea level rise in saltmarsh development. In Loch Riddon (W Scotland) too there is no evidence of low marsh assemblages in the sediment strata (1 meter core). While there is no evidence of facilitation succession in this saltmarsh, sea level rise is unlikely to be responsible for its formation and development as it is on a rising coast.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, R.S.; Niering, W.A. )

    1993-01-01

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

  10. Vulnerable assessment by sea level rise in San Francisco Bay Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, C. J.; Suzuki, T.; Itoigawa, E.; Park, R. S.

    2011-12-01

    The San Francisco South Bay Area in California is home to approximately seven million people that consist of nine counties and the prosperous core area of IT technology industry in the West Coast of America, well known as Silicon Valley. Sea level rising due to Global Warming is becoming the main issue in this area. Furthermore, the extreme weather events including flash flooding are observing more frequently. Urban infrastructures are faced vulnerable at risk of long-term flooding. Sea level rise by global warming in this area is estimated that it could rise by up to 16 inches (40 cm) by mid of this century and 55 inches (140 cm) by the end of this century. By the impact of 55 inches of sea level rise, there could be 62 billion dollars loss and 270,000 people could be faced at risk of flooding. Nevertheless, urban areas are expecting to extend approximately 5,063.71 km2 by 2020 and 6,098.20 km2 by year 2050. Thus, the land use legislation need to be discussed following that the 213,000 acres that could be vulnerable to flooding by the end of this century. Adaptation strategies should be considered from various aspects including policy, empirical observations and academic approaches. In this paper, for promoting further discussions, vulnerable areas and its characteristics by flooding is assessed and the finding potential urban growth areas for urban rezoning is implemented using Geographic Information System.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Oceanic control of sea level rise patterns along the East Coast of the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Jianjun; Goddard, Paul B.

    2013-10-01

    the eastern seaboard of the U.S. from Florida to Maine, sea level rise (SLR) shows notable patterns and significant deviation from the global mean, which have been attributed to land subsidence. Consistent with several recent studies, we analyze various observation and modeling data, and find that ocean dynamics is also an important factor in explaining these coastal SLR patterns. Despite a southward shift since the 1990s, an overall northward shift of the Gulf Stream during the twentieth century contributed to the faster SLR in the Mid-Atlantic region (North Carolina to New Jersey). In response to the 21st century climatic forcing, the rise (fall) of the dynamic sea level north (south) of Cape Hatteras is mainly induced by the significant decline of ocean density contrast across the Gulf Stream. This baroclinic process is the likely cause of the recent switch of the coastal SLR to a pattern with faster (slower) rates north (south) of Cape Hatteras.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-17

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

  15. A flexible and national scale approach to coastal decision tools incorporating sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strauss, B.; Kulp, S. A.; Tebaldi, C.

    2014-12-01

    Climate science and sea level models constantly evolve. In this context, maps and analyses of exposure to sea level rise - or coastal flooding aggravated by rise - quickly fall out of date when based upon a specific model projection or projection set. At the same time, policy makers and planners prefer simple and stable risk assessments for their future planning. Here, using Climate Central's Surging Seas Risk Finder, we describe and illustrate a decision tool framework that separates the spatial and temporal dimensions of coastal exposure in order to help alleviate this tension. The Risk Finder presents local maps and exposure analyses simply as functions of a discrete set of local water levels. In turn, each water level may be achieved at different times, with different probabilities, according to different combinations of sea level change, storm surge and tide. This temporal dimension is expressed in a separate module of the Risk Finder, so that users may explore the probabilities and time frames of different water levels, as a function of different sea level models and emissions scenarios. With such an approach, decision-makers can quickly get a sense of the range of risks for each water level given current understanding. At the same time, the models and scenarios can easily be updated over time as the science evolves, while avoiding the labor of regenerating maps and exposure analyses. In this talk, we will also use the tool to highlight key findings from a new U.S. national assessment of sea level and coastal flood risk. For example, more than 2.5 million people and $500 billion dollars of property value sit on land less than 2 meters above the high tide line in Florida alone.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Törnqvist, Torbjörn E.; Hijma, Marc P.

    2012-09-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Reef-island topography and the vulnerability of atolls to sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodroffe, Colin D.

    2008-05-01

    Low-lying reef islands on the rim of atolls are perceived as particularly vulnerable to the impacts of sea-level rise. Three effects are inferred: erosion of the shoreline, inundation of low-lying areas, and saline intrusion into the freshwater lens. Regional reconstruction of sea-level trends, supplementing the short observational instrumental record, indicates that monthly mean sea level is rising in the eastern Indian and western Pacific Oceans. This paper reviews the morphology and substrate characteristics of reef islands on Indo-Pacific atolls, and summarises their topography. On most atolls across this region, there is an oceanward ridge built by waves to a height of around 3 m above MSL; in a few cases these are topped by wind-blown dunes. The prominence of these ridges, together with radiocarbon dating and multi-temporal studies of shoreline position, indicate net accretion rather than long-term erosion on most of these oceanward shores. Less prominent lagoonward ridges occur, but their morphology and continuity are atoll-specific, being a function of the processes operating in each lagoon. Low-lying central areas are a feature of many islands, often locally excavated for production of taro. These lower-lying areas are already subject to inundation, which seems certain to increase as the sea rises. Tropical storms play an important role in the geomorphology of reef islands in those regions where they are experienced. Topographical differences, as well as features such as emergence of the reef flat and the stability of the substrate, mean that islands differ in terms of their susceptibility to sea-level rise. Further assessment of variations in shoreline vulnerability based on topography and substrate could form the basis for enhancing the natural resilience of these islands.

  1. Using Projections of Tidal Marsh Ecosystem Response to Sea-Level Rise to Guide Adaptation Planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veloz, S.; Nur, N.; Salas, L. A.; Stralberg, D.; Jongsomjit, D.; Wood, J.; Liu, L.; Ballard, G.

    2011-12-01

    The large uncertainty associated with estimating the effects of sea-level rise and climate change on tidal marsh ecosystems exacerbates the difficulty in planning for their effective conservation. To address this uncertainty, we modeled the distribution and abundance of tidal marsh bird species in the San Francisco Estuary for the period 2010 to 2110 in relation to projected changes in sea-level rise, salinity, and sediment availability using four future scenarios with assumptions of low or high suspended sediment concentrations and low or high rates of sea-level rise (0.52 or 1.65 m/100 yr). We used the projections of bird populations the modeled uncertainty to develop spatially explicit priorities for conservation and restoration using Zonation conservation planning software. In our models, marsh bird population generally declined from current levels due to the conversion of high and mid-marsh habitat to low-marsh and mudflats and changes in spring and summer salinity. High sea-level rise scenarios had the biggest impact on bird populations, although the effects were muted under high sediment availability scenarios. There was considerable variation in bird population projections among the four future scenarios we tested and the uncertainty tended to increase from 2030 to 2110. Because so little tidal marsh habitat currently remains in the San Francisco Estuary, the spatial prioritization found that all areas currently open to tidal influence were high priorities for conservation. We repeated this prioritization exercise with all barriers to tidal flow (e.g. levees) removed and identified important locations in which restoration by breaching levees would most efficiently provide long-term benefit to tidal marsh bird populations. The projected species distributions and changes in tidal marsh elevations are available in the form of interactive maps and downloadable GIS layers at: www.prbo.org/sfbayslr. This website can help managers plan effective conservation and

  2. Snowfall-driven growth in East Antarctic ice sheet mitigates recent sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Davis, Curt H; Li, Yonghong; McConnell, Joseph R; Frey, Markus M; Hanna, Edward

    2005-06-24

    Satellite radar altimetry measurements indicate that the East Antarctic ice-sheet interior north of 81.6 degrees S increased in mass by 45 +/- 7 billion metric tons per year from 1992 to 2003. Comparisons with contemporaneous meteorological model snowfall estimates suggest that the gain in mass was associated with increased precipitation. A gain of this magnitude is enough to slow sea-level rise by 0.12 +/- 0.02 millimeters per year. PMID:15905362

  3. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. How Warming and Steric Sea Level Rise Relate to Cumulative Carbon Emissions After Many Centuries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, R. G.; Goodwin, P.; Ridgwell, A. J.

    2014-12-01

    Surface warming and steric sea level rise over the global ocean nearly linearly increase with cumulative carbon emissions for an atmosphere-ocean equilibrium, reached many centuries after emissions cease. Surface warming increases with cumulative emissions with a proportionality factor, ΔT2xCO2 /(IB ln 2), ranging from 0.8 to 1.9 K (1000 PgC)-1 for surface air temperature, depending on the climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2, ΔT2xCO2 (in degrees K), and the buffered carbon inventory, IB (in Pg of carbon). Steric sea level rise similarly increases with cumulative emissions and depends on the climate sensitivity of the bulk ocean, ranging from 0.4 K to 2.7 K; a factor 0.4±0.2 smaller than that for surface temperature based on diagnostics of two Earth System models. The implied steric sea level rise ranges from 0.7 m to 5 m for a cumulative emission of 5000 PgC, approached perhaps 500 years or more after emissions cease.

  7. Modelling the thermosteric contribution to global and regional sea-level rise during the last interglacial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singarayer, Joy; Stone, Emma; Whipple, Matthew; Lunt, Dan; Bouttes, Nathaelle; Gregory, Jonathan

    2014-05-01

    Global sea level during the last interglacial is likely to have been between 5.5 and 9m above present (Dutton and Lambeck, 2012). Recent calculations, taking into account latest NEEM ice core information, suggest that Greenland would probably not have contributed more than 2.2m to this (Stone et al, 2013), implying a considerable contribution from Antarctica. Previous studies have suggested a significant loss from the West Antarctic ice-sheet (e.g. Holden et al, 2010), which could be initiated following a collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) and resultant warming in the Southern Ocean. Here, model simulations with FAMOUS and HadCM3 have been performed of the last interglacial under various scenarios of reduced Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheet configurations, and with and without collapsed AMOC. Thermal expansion and changes in regional density structure (resulting from ocean circulation changes) can also influence sea level, in addition to ice mass effects discussed thus far. The HadCM3 and FAMOUS simulations will be used to estimate the contribution to global and regional sea level change in interglacials from the latter two factors using a similar methodology to the IPCC TAR/AR4 estimations of future sea level rise (Gregory and Lowe, 2000). The HadCM3 and FAMOUS both have a rigid lid in their ocean model, and consequently a fixed ocean volume. Thermal expansion can, however, be calculated as a volume change from in-situ density (a prognostic variable from the model). Relative sea surface topography will then be estimated from surface pressure gradients and changes in atmospheric pressure. Dutton A., and Lambeck K., 2013. Ice Volume and Sea Level During the Last Interglacial. Science, 337, 216-219 Gregory J.M. and Lowe J.A., 2000. Predictions of global and regional sea-level using AOGCMs with and without flux adjustment. GRL, 27, 3069-3072 Holden P. et al., 2010. Interhemispheric coupling, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and warm

  8. Climate downscaling: Local mean sea-level rise, surge and wave modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolf, J.; Lowe, J.; Howard, T.

    2012-04-01

    The investigation of future climate impacts at the coast requires sufficiently detailed projections for the nearshore waves and sea levels in both the present day and a future climate scenario, to provide an offshore boundary condition. Here we discuss the future changes in surge and wave climate forced by winds and pressures from a version of the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate model, for various greenhouse gas emission scenarios and for various climate model parameter choices. The local spatial variation in mean sea level is also taken into account, incorporating deviations from global mean sea level change caused by regional variations in ocean density and circulation. Some parts of the UK are still subject to glacial isostatic readjustment after the last ice age, counter-acting sea level rise, although this will be overwhelmed by the projected effects of sea level rise due to global warming in the 21st century, for most future emission scenarios. Model downscaling from the global coupled atmosphere-ocean model using a regional climate model is needed to provide more realistic and detailed wind simulations over the NW European continental shelf. There is large uncertainty in projected changes in storminess for the NE Atlantic region, with different climate models providing conflicting results for the future. Results from this study show that large increases in mean sea level (even up to 5 metres) have very little effect on the dynamics of extreme surge events, the primary effect being on the speed of propagation of tide and surge (Howard et al., 2010). Increasing storminess is expected to increase surge heights but more direct effects can be attributed directly to increased mean sea level. Based on the wave model results, seasonal mean and annual maximum wave heights are generally expected to increase to the SW of the UK, reduce to the north of the UK and experience little change in the southern North Sea or eastern Irish Sea. This pattern is consistent with a

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2014-03-01

    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. PMID:24596428

  11. 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."

  12. Extreme coastal flood risk with sea level rise: New definitions and analysis for the contiguous US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strauss, B.; Tebaldi, C.

    2013-12-01

    The '100-year flood' - formally defined as a flood with 0.01 annual probability - is a standard policy and regulatory benchmark for risk in the United States. However, there is increasing recognition that the traditional concept does not apply in a warming world. This is particularly the case with respect to coastal flooding, because at most locations, sea level rise is increasing the risk of flooding to any given height with each passing decade. Here we propose a flexible approach to defining extreme coastal flood height that employs different periods of interest and takes changing risks into account, while maintaining some consistency with the legacy definition. We note that in a stationary world, a 0.01 annual chance flood is equivalent to a flood with cumulative probability P(N) = 1 - 0.99^N over a period of N years. We compute P(N) for N=1 to 100 years, and then estimate the corresponding extreme coastal flood height H(N) for each period length, taking into account projected local sea level rise at each of 55 water level stations distributed throughout the contiguous US, and employing various sea level rise scenarios. In one result, employing a 50-yr interval and the high-intermediate global sea level scenario developed for the National Climate Assessment, we find that the height of extreme floods increases by an average of roughly 0.4 m or 40%, as compared to the traditional definition that assumes unchanging risk. Such discrepancies are compounded when we estimate extreme flood risk under the new approach as it would be calculated for periods beginning in future years, leading to rapid expansion of 100-year flood risk zones.

  13. Tidal regime and morphodynamic changes in estuarine systems as a function of sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mallinson, D. J.; Culver, S. J.; Mulligan, R.; Leorri, E.; Mitra, S.; Riggs, S. R.; Moran, K.

    2011-12-01

    Tidal amplitude and currents along coastlines will change in conjunction with sea-level rise, when certain geomorphic and bathymetric conditions are met. Under conditions of decreasing protection from barrier islands, associated with increased inlet activity or overstepping of islands, tidal amplitude can rapidly increase in estuaries and along mainland coastlines and significantly amplify the effects of a minor sea-level rise. Impacts to coastal systems may be economically and environmentally significant. Additionally, sea-level curves developed from areas where tidal regime change has occurred in the past must be evaluated carefully for the effects of tidal amplitude. The impacts of tidal amplitude changes in response to sea-level rise have been noted in the Minas Basin, Delaware Bay, and, in this study, the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine System of North Carolina. Our group is investigating the magnitude of changes in response to variations in geomorphic and bathymetric conditions, and past climate events. Methods include the use of seismic data, sedimentology, microfossil analysis, oxygen isotopes, Mg/Ca, black carbon, and radiocarbon ages to reconstruct paleobathymetry, paleoenvironments and paleoclimate conditions during the late Holocene. Paleobathymetric/paleogeomorphic models are being derived to enable hydrodynamic modeling using Delft3D software. Initial runs for the Pamlico Sound have been performed to reconstruct hydrodynamic conditions during a barrier break-down event associated with the Medieval Climate Anomaly (ca. 1000 cal yr BP). Likewise, models are being used to understand hydrodynamics in the Currituck Sound (a smaller lagoon in northeastern NC) in response to historical inlet activity. Results illustrate the potential for an eight-fold increase in tidal amplitude, with significant variations within the estuarine system, and large increases in tidal currents well into the estuaries, resulting in significant changes to salinity structures and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huss, Matthias; Hock, Regine

    2015-09-01

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

  15. Reconciling Observations of Global Sea Level Rise with Changes in the Earth's Energy Balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis, J.; Wong, T.; Hobbs, W. R.

    2011-12-01

    Ocean warming and the thermal expansion of seawater account for a sizable portion of global sea-level rise during the past two decades. The rate of ocean warming, however, carries additional climatic significance because the vast majority of any excess heat trapped in the Earth's climate system winds up warming the oceans. Thus in addition to the implications for sea level rise, ocean warming rates also provide a measure of the net radiative balance of the Earth as a whole. Despite its importance, the historical record of global ocean warming still contains large uncertainties. Prior to global deployment of the Argo array in about 2005, the historical record of ocean warming is dominated by data from eXpendable BathyThermographs (XBTs), which are known to contain sizable systematic errors. Global ocean warming during the transition period between XBT and Argo data therefore remains highly uncertain. In this study, we consider observations from the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments to assess the Earth's net radiation balance from 2000 to 2010. These observations provide an important constraint on ocean warming rates during the critical period from 2003 to 2005 when ocean temperature observations transitioned from XBT to Argo data. Observations of the net change in ocean mass from GRACE, as well as the net change in total sea level rise from altimetry will also be used to constrain ocean warming rates during this period. Given these constraints, we will assess the validity of different corrections for XBT biases and will assess both the global sea level budget and energy balance during the first decade of the 2000s.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24596428

  17. 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. PMID:16537141

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kont, Are; Jaagus, Jaak; Aunap, Raivo

    2003-03-01

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

  20. Increasing Risks to China's Coastal Cities with Its Expansion to Low-lying Seaward under Rising Sea level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Jing; Cheng, Xiao

    2014-05-01

    Global sea level rise has certainly accelerated through the 21st and far beyond the previous projections and will continue to rise, while the frequencies and strength of extreme events such like flood and storm will increase due to global warming. Coastal cities where always be with densely population and accumulated social wealth will be under enormous affects. Using Landsat TM/ETM+ satellite images (1990, 2010) to extract urban built-up area, 17 China's developed coastal cities, which account for only 1.2% of total land area but boast 18.3% of urban population and nearly 19.6% of GDP in 2010, are spotted a 550% increase of urban land from 1990 to 2010. Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) with 90m resolution data were used to calculate average elevation of extracted urban area. Then we found that these cities are all expanding seaward, occupying the most vulnerable neighborhoods, often in low-lying areas, alongside waterways prone to flooding. 11 cities show a reducing trend of mean elevations with the total average of more than 3 meters. Particularly, Shanghai, Tianjin and Ningbo in Delta area are most serious with the mean urban elevation less than 5 meters in 2010. The rapid expansion to seawards and accumulation of population and social wealth processed in coastal cities will increase the vulnerability and exposure, which will exacerbated the existing risks of rising sea level or extreme events. Referring to Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP/OLS) city-lights data and SRTM data, we built the Urban Vulnerability Index (UVI) to do semi-quantitative assessment on vulnerabilities of coastal cities. The UVI case study in GuangZhou showed the most vulnerability region concentrated at the low-lying south area where is with the much higher relative South Sea level than other sea area of China. With relative sea level rise of 1-1.5 m by 2100 and increased frequency of extreme sea level due to cyclone propagation, and weak urban drain-off system, Chinese

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    Since the Mid-Holocene, some 5000 years ago, coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean have been vertically constrained by sea level. Contemporary sea-level rise is releasing these constraints, providing accommodation space for vertical reef expansion. Here, we show that Porites microatolls, from reef-flat environments in Palau (western Pacific Ocean), are 'keeping up' with contemporary sea-level rise. Measurements of 570 reef-flat Porites microatolls at 10 locations around Palau revealed recent vertical skeletal extension (78±13 mm) over the last 6-8 years, which is consistent with the timing of the recent increase in sea level. We modelled whether microatoll growth rates will potentially 'keep up' with predicted sea-level rise in the near future, based upon average growth, and assuming a decline in growth for every 1°C increase in temperature. We then compared these estimated extension rates with rates of sea-level rise under four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). Our model suggests that under low-mid RCP scenarios, reef-coral growth will keep up with sea-level rise, but if greenhouse gas concentrations exceed 670 ppm atmospheric CO2 levels and with +2.2°C sea-surface temperature by 2100 (RCP 6.0 W m(-2)), our predictions indicate that Porites microatolls will be unable to keep up with projected rates of sea-level rise in the twenty-first century. PMID:26587277

  2. Investigating Sea-Level Acceleration Along the East Coast of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    A number of researchers have reported on accelerated sea level along the east coast of North America, particularly in the northeast. We have previously modeled sea-level rates and accelerations from the last half of the 20th and early 21st centuries inferred from tide gauges in this region using steric sea-level changes, gravitationally self-consistent sea-level changes that includes self-attraction and loading (SAL), and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). We have found that, whereas the spatial variability of sea-level rates is dominated by GIA, the observed accelerations are not explained by these processes. In this talk, we first further investigate the observed accelerations, which we took to be constant during the study period. We have found, however, some evidence that the accelerations began in the timeframe 1990-2000. For example, the figure below shows the root-mean-square (rms) residual after removing a best-fit model wherein the acceleration was zero before the indicated year, for the Boston tide gauge, having one of the longest tide-gauge records. The minimimum rms residual occurs in the year 2000. A Monte Carlo simulation (red curve) shows that no time-dependence is expected from white noise. Evaluation of the statistical significance of these results has been difficult, since the postfit residuals are dominated by interannual variability. We will utilize time-dependent models for dynamic sea-level changes (including steric changes), GIA. For the Greenland ice mass, we will combine estimates of Greenland ice-mass variability obtained from recent analyses of GRACE data with long-term climate models for Greenland (from, e.g., RACMO) to calculate long-term sea-level impact. Comparing these models with tide-gauge data will yield insights into the nature and timing of accelerated sea level in this region. We will also discuss the implciations of these models for long-term global sea-level change.

  3. 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...

  4. Future sea-level rise from Greenland's main outlet glaciers in a warming climate.

    PubMed

    Nick, Faezeh M; Vieli, Andreas; Andersen, Morten Langer; Joughin, Ian; Payne, Antony; Edwards, Tamsin L; Pattyn, Frank; van de Wal, Roderik S W

    2013-05-01

    Over the past decade, ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet increased as a result of both increased surface melting and ice discharge to the ocean. The latter is controlled by the acceleration of ice flow and subsequent thinning of fast-flowing marine-terminating outlet glaciers. Quantifying the future dynamic contribution of such glaciers to sea-level rise (SLR) remains a major challenge because outlet glacier dynamics are poorly understood. Here we present a glacier flow model that includes a fully dynamic treatment of marine termini. We use this model to simulate behaviour of four major marine-terminating outlet glaciers, which collectively drain about 22 per cent of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Using atmospheric and oceanic forcing from a mid-range future warming scenario that predicts warming by 2.8 degrees Celsius by 2100, we project a contribution of 19 to 30 millimetres to SLR from these glaciers by 2200. This contribution is largely (80 per cent) dynamic in origin and is caused by several episodic retreats past overdeepenings in outlet glacier troughs. After initial increases, however, dynamic losses from these four outlets remain relatively constant and contribute to SLR individually at rates of about 0.01 to 0.06 millimetres per year. These rates correspond to ice fluxes that are less than twice those of the late 1990s, well below previous upper bounds. For a more extreme future warming scenario (warming by 4.5 degrees Celsius by 2100), the projected losses increase by more than 50 per cent, producing a cumulative SLR of 29 to 49 millimetres by 2200. PMID:23657350

  5. Sea level rise impacts on rice production: The Ebro Delta as an example.

    PubMed

    Genua-Olmedo, Ana; Alcaraz, Carles; Caiola, Nuno; Ibáñez, Carles

    2016-11-15

    Climate change and sea level rise (SLR) are global impacts threatening the sustainability of coastal territories and valuable ecosystems such as deltas. The Ebro Delta is representative of the vulnerability of coastal areas to SLR. Rice cultivation is the main economic activity in the region. Rice fields occupy most of the delta (ca. 65%) and are vulnerable to accelerated SLR and consequent increase in soil salinity, the most important physical factor affecting rice production. We developed a model to predict the impacts of SLR on soil salinity and rice production under different scenarios predicted by the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by coupling data from Geographic Information Systems with Generalized Linear Models. Soil salinity data were measured in agricultural parcels and rice production from surveys among farmers. The correlation between observed and soil salinity predicted values was high and significant (Pearson's r=0.72, P<0.0001), thus supporting the predictive ability of the model. Soil salinity was directly related to distances to the river, to the delta inner border, and to the river old mouth, while clay presence, winter river flow and surface elevation were inversely related to it. Surface elevation was the most important variable in explaining soil salinity. Rice production was negatively influenced by soil salinity, thus the models predict a decrease from higher elevation zones close to the river to the shoreline. The model predicts a maximum reduction in normalized rice production index from 61.2% in 2010 to 33.8% by 2100 in the worst considered scenario (SLR=1.8m), with a decrease of profit up to 300 € per hectare. The model can be applied to other deltaic areas worldwide, and help rice farmers and stakeholders to identify the most vulnerable areas to SLR impacts. PMID:27481453

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:12804251

  8. 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.

  9. Coastal sea level rise and the non-climate contribution of vertical land motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcos, M.; Woppelmann, G.

    2012-12-01

    The rate of coastal sea level change and the relative importance of the non-climate contribution of vertical land movement in the Mediterranean Sea are investigated using an advanced approach of combining tide gauge and satellite altimetry data with supplemental equations from adjacent tide gauge records, suitable for enclosed basins. The sensitivity tests proved that the advanced approach is robust and accurate at the submillimeter per year level of around 0.4 mm/yr in estimating rates of vertical land movements. The average rate of coastal climate-related sea level rise in the Mediterranean Sea was consequently revisited to be of 1.7 mm/yr over the past century. The technique also enabled identifying stations displaying large rates of vertical land movements that must be taken into account when predicting future sea level rise and appraising the exposure to its impacts on populations and assets. Particular case studies will be discussed. An attempt to extend the methodology to the open ocean will be presented and the case of the North American east coast will be discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  11. Observational evidence for a differential sea-level rise between hemispheres over the past hundred years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woppelmann, G.; Marcos, M.; Santamaria-Gomez, A.; Martin Miguez, B.; Bouin, M.; Gravelle, M.

    2013-12-01

    The rate of global sea level change over the past hundred years has been considered a quantity of paramount importance in the context of climate change, as can be noted from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. The range of estimates published so far is relatively large, mostly between 1 and 2 mm/year. Some of them are, however, inconsistent with each other at the 95% confidence level of a few tenths of millimetre pear year (see Spada and Galassi 2012, and references therein). Tide gauge records remain the primary source of sea level information over multi-decadal to century timescales, precise satellite altimetry data being available only since the 1990s. A critical issue in using this type of data to determine climate-related contributions to sea level change concerns the vertical motion of the land upon which the gauges are grounded. To correct the data for this vertical motion, most previous studies have been based on models of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA); thus assuming that the other processes causing vertical displacements at the subset of tide gauge records selected are negligible and/or cancel out in the average. Here we use observations from the Global Positioning System (GPS) instead of GIA model predictions for the correction of vertical land motion at tide gauges. As a result, the spatial coherence in the rates of sea level change is substantially increased, ultimately revealing a clearly distinct behaviour between the northern and the southern hemispheres with estimates of 2.0 mm/year and 1.1 mm/year, respectively. Our findings underscore that vertical land movement at tide gauges is an important source of spatial variability in the rates of sea level change. It prevents from extracting climate-related fingerprints if not taken into account adequately. Furthermore, while our results somewhat challenge the widely accepted value of global sea level rise for the 20th century, they also reconcile the past estimates by

  12. Self-Organization of Coral Atolls and Their Response to Rising Sea Level and Ocean Acidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutmann, E. D.; Anderson, R. S.; Tucker, G. E.

    2009-12-01

    Coral atolls are stunning both for their beauty and for their geomorphic organization. In addition, these islands are home to hundreds of thousands of people, and are threatened by both rising sea level and increasing ocean acidification. However, it has been suggested that the same geomorphic processes that formed these islands may continue to provide sediment at a rate sufficient to keep them above a rising sea level. A quantitative assessment of this hypothesis requires a numerical model that must first pass the test of being able to simulate the fundamental geomorphic and sedimentary structural features of a classic atoll. Here we present the first unified landscape process and carbonate growth model to capture the key components of an atoll. The model includes carbonate growth functions modified by light limitation, ocean chemistry, and surf zone energy. It also includes a physically based wave model, erosion by wave action, as well as dissolution and sediment transport functions that serve to modify the subaerial landscape. The model is initialized with a bare volcanic island subsiding at a rate of 0.1mm/yr. We then run the model through multiple glacial - interglacial sea level cycles. This model generates a landscape that matches the following atoll features: an annular island of loose sediment surrounded by a reef, gaps in this ring that are more abundant and larger on atolls with larger diameters, and a deep interior lagoon filled with a combination of autochthonous sediments as well as material transported inward from the outer reef. In addition, the island symmetry shifts in response to predominant wind-wave directions — large islands build on the windward side; islands are small or non-existent in the lee. While this model is not yet suitable for predictions of the fate of specific islands, it does suggest some general rules. If no substantial changes to the system occur, some of these islands may be able to keep pace with rising sea level; however

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:26469052

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. GPS and Tide Gauge Constraints on Subsidence and Relative sea Level Rise Along the US East Coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Y.; Wdowinski, S.; Dixon, T. H.; Harrison, C. G.

    2007-12-01

    Relative sea level change has two distinct components, absolute sea level variation and movement of Earth's crust. The movement of the crust can sometimes bias estimation of absolute sea level change as inferred by tide gauge data. We employ high accuracy GPS measurements (Sella et al., 2007) to detect movement of the crust in eastern North America, primarily reflecting areas that are affected by Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA). In particular, these data define the collapse of the "peripheral bulge". We compare the GPS data to relative sea level change as recorded by tide gauges. We use all tide gauge stations along the east coast of North America that have more than 60 years of data, and estimate the rate of relative sea level rise using a model that accounts for annual, semi-annual and decadal signals in the time series. The GPS data show regions with subsidence rate > 2mm/year between Virginia and South Carolina, ~1900--2500km away from the uplift center in Hudson Bay. Tide gauge data in these areas show about 4mm/year relative sea level rise. The inferred global sea level rise rate is about 2mm/year. Thus, land subsidence in these regions effectively doubles the relative sea level rise rate and the corresponding natural hazard.

  4. 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

  5. Projections of Extreme Sea Level Rise Events along the Northeast Coast of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goddard, P.; Yin, J.; Griffies, S. M.; Zhang, S.

    2014-12-01

    By analyzing long-term tide gauge (TG) records, we find an extreme sea level rise (SLR) event during 2009-10 along the Northeast Coast of North America. Within a two-year period, the coastal sea level north of New York City (NYC) jumped by up to 128 mm. Despite significant year-to-year fluctuation, this magnitude of SLR is unprecedented during the entire history of the TG records. We show that this extreme SLR event is a combined effect of two factors: an observed 30% downturn of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) from April 2009 to March 2010, and an onshore/alongshore wind stress anomaly associated with the significant negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index. During the 21st century, state-of-the-art climate models project an increase in magnitude and frequency of extreme SLR events on the interannual time scale along this densely populated coast. An ensemble of 24 climate models demonstrates that AMOC strength is likely to decrease and extreme negative NAO indices are likely to increase over the next century. Our 2009-10 case study suggests that the combination of these two extreme dynamics causes exceptionally high sea levels from Cape Hatteras to the Southeast Coast of Canada.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deconto, Robert M.; Pollard, David

    2016-03-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. The record of sea level rise by tidal sand bodies of the English Channel

    SciTech Connect

    Berne, S; Lericolais, G. ); Lafont, F. )

    1990-05-01

    Improvements of very high resolution seismic reflection provide new information about internal structures of modern sand bodies. This allows us to reconstruct their recent history, which is related to the Holocene sea level rise. A major distinction is found between inner shelf sand bodies, dominated by autocyclic processes, and outer shelf sand bodies, where allocyclic processes are invoked to explain the apparent contradiction between internal structures and present-day dynamics. On the inner shelf, evidence of the migration of tidal dunes (sand waves) has been obtained by repeated surveys using accurate positioning systems. Major bounding surfaces are thought to result from the action of tidal current and/or from episodic storms. A rough estimation of the age of these sand bodies can be proposed. On the outer shelf, some dunes of the English Channel exhibit cross-beds indicative of a past net bed-load transport at the opposite of present days dynamics, inherited from different tidal conditions when sea level was between 20 and 40 m lower. Some large tidal sand banks (e.g., the Sark Bank near the Channel Islands) display a more complicated pattern. The upper part of the sand bank is the result of the migration of very large dunes climbing at positive angles, whereas the lower part shows major erosional surfaces, attributed to the action of storms during lower sea levels.

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

    PubMed

    DeConto, Robert M; Pollard, David

    2016-03-31

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

  10. Modeling ice dynamic contributions to sea level rise from the Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

    The future ice dynamical contribution to sea level rise (SLR) from 199 ice shelf nourishing drainage basins of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet is simulated, using the British Antarctic Survey Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet Model. Simulations of the grounded ice sheet include response to ice shelf collapse, estimated by tracking thermal ice shelf viability limits in 14 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change global climate models ensemble temperature projections. Grounding line retreat in response to ice shelf collapse is parameterized with a new multivariate linear regression model utilizing a range of glaciological and geometric predictor variables. Multimodel means project SLR up to 9.4 mm sea level equivalent (SLE) by 2200, and up to 19 mm SLE by 2300. Rates of SLR from individual drainage basins throughout the peninsula are similar to 2100, yet diverge between 2100 and 2300 due to individual basin characteristics. Major contributors to SLR are the outlet glaciers feeding southern George VI Ice Shelf, accounting for >75% of total SLR in some model runs. Ice sheet thinning induced by ice-shelf removal is large (up to ˜500 m), especially in Palmer Land in the southern Antarctic Peninsula, and may propagate as far as 135 km inland. These results emphasize the importance of the ice dynamical contribution to future sea level of the APIS on decadal to centennial timescales.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Estimating relative sea-level rise and submergence potential at a coastal wetland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cahoon, Donald R.

    2015-01-01

    A tide gauge records a combined signal of the vertical change (positive or negative) in the level of both the sea and the land to which the gauge is affixed; or relative sea-level change, which is typically referred to as relative sea-level rise (RSLR). Complicating this situation, coastal wetlands exhibit dynamic surface elevation change (both positive and negative), as revealed by surface elevation table (SET) measurements, that is not recorded at tide gauges. Because the usefulness of RSLR is in the ability to tie the change in sea level to the local topography, it is important that RSLR be calculated at a wetland that reflects these local dynamic surface elevation changes in order to better estimate wetland submergence potential. A rationale is described for calculating wetland RSLR (RSLRwet) by subtracting the SET wetland elevation change from the tide gauge RSLR. The calculation is possible because the SET and tide gauge independently measure vertical land motion in different portions of the substrate. For 89 wetlands where RSLRwet was evaluated, wetland elevation change differed significantly from zero for 80 % of them, indicating that RSLRwet at these wetlands differed from the local tide gauge RSLR. When compared to tide gauge RSLR, about 39 % of wetlands experienced an elevation rate surplus and 58 % an elevation rate deficit (i.e., sea level becoming lower and higher, respectively, relative to the wetland surface). These proportions were consistent across saltmarsh, mangrove, and freshwater wetland types. Comparison of wetland elevation change and RSLR is confounded by high levels of temporal and spatial variability, and would be improved by co-locating tide gauge and SET stations near each other and obtaining long-term records for both.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plag, H.; Bye, B.

    2011-12-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bezore, Rhiannon

    Using ArcGIS, a sea-level rise inundation comparison was conducted using four different techniques under five sea-level rise conditions for the Kauai, Hawaii, towns of Hanalei Bay, Kapa'a, and Waimea. Sea-level rise was mapped in 0.5 m increments from 0.0 m of rise to 2.0 m of rise. Datasets used in the analysis include a digital elevation model (DEM) layer, wave height data, tidal elevation data, and land cover data. The four techniques illustrating projected inundation serve as a comparison of passive versus dynamic models. The primary goals of this study were to not only compare passive and dynamic sea-level rise inundation models, but also to provide a realistic representation of what future sea-level rise will look like on Kauai, and which areas would be inundated at specific future water surface levels. The results of this analysis can be used to aid Kauai government officials in planning for the future and to aid in prioritizing where and what infrastructure and development will need to be considered before actual sea-level rise impacts occur.

  20. Exploring a morphodynamic modeling framework for reef island evolution under sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenzo Trueba, J.; Ashton, A. D.; Donnelly, J. P.

    2013-12-01

    Global sea-level rise rates have increased over the last century, with dramatic rate increases expected over the coming century and beyond. Not only are rates projected to approach those of the previous deglaciation, the actual increase in elevation by the end of the century (potentially 1m or more) will be significant in terms of the elevations of low-lying coastal landforms. Coral reef islands, often called 'cays' or 'motus', which generally comprise the subaerial portion of atolls, are particularly sensitive to sea-level rise. These landforms are typically low-lying (on the order of meters high), and are formed of wave-transported detrital sediment perched atop coralline rock. As opposed to barrier islands that can be supplied by offshore sediment from the shoreface, breakdown of corals and the shallow offshore lithology can serve as a source of sediment to reef islands, which can help build these islands as sea level rises. Here, we present a morphodynamic model to explore the combined effects of sea-level rise, sediment supply, and overwash processes on the evolution of reef islands. Model results demonstrate how reef islands are particularly sensitive to the offshore generation of sediment. When this onshore sediment supply is low, islands migrate lagoonward via storm overwash, Islands migrate over the proximal lagoonward regions, which tend to include a shallow (~2m) platform, until they reach the edge of a typically very deep lagoon (up to 60m or more). At the lagoon edge, reef islands stop their migration and eventually drown overwash sediment flux is lost to the lagoon. In contrast, a high sediment supply of offshore sediment can bulwark reef islands before reaching the lagoon edge. One possibility is that the island attains a ';static equilibrium' in which the overwash flux fills the top-barrier accommodation created by sea-level rise, and the island surface area is maintained. When the sediment supply is very high, however, the island can undergo rapid

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  2. A vulnerability assessment of 300 species in Florida: threats from sea level rise, land use, and climate change.

    PubMed

    Reece, Joshua Steven; Noss, Reed F; Oetting, Jon; Hoctor, Tom; Volk, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Species face many threats, including accelerated climate change, sea level rise, and conversion and degradation of habitat from human land uses. Vulnerability assessments and prioritization protocols have been proposed to assess these threats, often in combination with information such as species rarity; ecological, evolutionary or economic value; and likelihood of success. Nevertheless, few vulnerability assessments or prioritization protocols simultaneously account for multiple threats or conservation values. We applied a novel vulnerability assessment tool, the Standardized Index of Vulnerability and Value, to assess the conservation priority of 300 species of plants and animals in Florida given projections of climate change, human land-use patterns, and sea level rise by the year 2100. We account for multiple sources of uncertainty and prioritize species under five different systems of value, ranging from a primary emphasis on vulnerability to threats to an emphasis on metrics of conservation value such as phylogenetic distinctiveness. Our results reveal remarkable consistency in the prioritization of species across different conservation value systems. Species of high priority include the Miami blue butterfly (Cyclargus thomasi bethunebakeri), Key tree cactus (Pilosocereus robinii), Florida duskywing butterfly (Ephyriades brunnea floridensis), and Key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium). We also identify sources of uncertainty and the types of life history information consistently missing across taxonomic groups. This study characterizes the vulnerabilities to major threats of a broad swath of Florida's biodiversity and provides a system for prioritizing conservation efforts that is quantitative, flexible, and free from hidden value judgments. PMID:24260447

  3. A Vulnerability Assessment of 300 Species in Florida: Threats from Sea Level Rise, Land Use, and Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Reece, Joshua Steven; Noss, Reed F.; Oetting, Jon; Hoctor, Tom; Volk, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Species face many threats, including accelerated climate change, sea level rise, and conversion and degradation of habitat from human land uses. Vulnerability assessments and prioritization protocols have been proposed to assess these threats, often in combination with information such as species rarity; ecological, evolutionary or economic value; and likelihood of success. Nevertheless, few vulnerability assessments or prioritization protocols simultaneously account for multiple threats or conservation values. We applied a novel vulnerability assessment tool, the Standardized Index of Vulnerability and Value, to assess the conservation priority of 300 species of plants and animals in Florida given projections of climate change, human land-use patterns, and sea level rise by the year 2100. We account for multiple sources of uncertainty and prioritize species under five different systems of value, ranging from a primary emphasis on vulnerability to threats to an emphasis on metrics of conservation value such as phylogenetic distinctiveness. Our results reveal remarkable consistency in the prioritization of species across different conservation value systems. Species of high priority include the Miami blue butterfly (Cyclargus thomasi bethunebakeri), Key tree cactus (Pilosocereus robinii), Florida duskywing butterfly (Ephyriades brunnea floridensis), and Key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium). We also identify sources of uncertainty and the types of life history information consistently missing across taxonomic groups. This study characterizes the vulnerabilities to major threats of a broad swath of Florida’s biodiversity and provides a system for prioritizing conservation efforts that is quantitative, flexible, and free from hidden value judgments. PMID:24260447

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

    Surface melt on the Greenland ice sheet has shown increasing trends in areal extent and duration since the beginning of the satellite era. Records for melt were broken in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012. Much of the increased surface melt is occurring in the percolation zone, a region of the accumulation area that is perennially covered by snow and firn (partly compacted snow). The fate of melt water in the percolation zone is poorly constrained: some may travel away from its point of origin and eventually influence the ice sheet's flow dynamics and mass balance and the global sea level, whereas some may simply infiltrate into cold snow or firn and refreeze with none of these effects. Here we quantify the existing water storage capacity of the percolation zone of the Greenland ice sheet and show the potential for hundreds of gigatonnes of meltwater storage. We collected in situ observations of firn structure and meltwater retention along a roughly 85-kilometre-long transect of the melting accumulation area. Our data show that repeated infiltration events in which melt water penetrates deeply (more than 10 metres) eventually fill all pore space with water. As future surface melt intensifies under Arctic warming, a fraction of melt water that would otherwise contribute to sea-level rise will fill existing pore space of the percolation zone. We estimate the lower and upper bounds of this storage sink to be 322 ± 44 gigatonnes and  1,289(+388)(-252) gigatonnes, respectively. Furthermore, we find that decades are required to fill this pore space under a range of plausible future climate conditions. Hence, routing of surface melt water into filling the pore space of the firn column will delay expansion of the area contributing to sea-level rise, although once the pore space is filled it cannot quickly be regenerated. PMID:23135470

  6. Hydrodynamic response of a fringing coral reef to a rise in mean sea level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taebi, Soheila; Pattiaratchi, Charitha

    2014-07-01

    Ningaloo Reef, located along the northwest coast of Australia, is one of the longest fringing coral reefs in the world extending ~300 km. Similar to other fringing reefs, it consists of a barrier reef ~1-6 km offshore with occasional gaps, backed by a shallow lagoon. Wave breaking on the reef generates radiation stress gradients that produces wave setup across the reef and lagoon and mean currents across the reef. A section of Ningaloo Reef at Sandy Bay was chosen as the focus of an intense 6-week field experiment and numerical simulation using the wave model SWAN coupled to the three-dimensional circulation model ROMS. The physics of nearshore processes such as wave breaking, wave setup and mean flow across the reef was investigated in detail by examining the various momentum balances established in the system. The magnitude of the terms and the distance of their peaks from reef edge in the momentum balance were sensitive to the changes in mean sea level, e.g. the wave forces decreased as the mean water depth increased (and hence, wave breaking dissipation was reduced). This led to an increase in the wave power at the shoreline, a slight shift of the surf zone to the lee side of the reef and changes in the intensity of the circulation. The predicted hydrodynamic fields were input into a Lagrangian particle tracking model to estimate the transport time scale of the reef-lagoon system. Flushing time of the lagoon with the open ocean was computed using two definitions in renewal of semi-enclosed water basins and revealed the sensitivity of such a transport time scale to methods. An increase in the lagoon exchange rate at smaller mean sea-level rise and the decrease at higher mean sea-level rise was predicted through flushing time computed using both methods.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. A National Assessment of Sea Level Rise Exposure Using Lidar Elevation Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strauss, B.; Kulp, S. A.; Tebaldi, C.

    2014-12-01

    The Third National Climate Assessment addressed sea level rise and aggravated coastal flood exposure in all regions, but was completed before high quality lidar-based elevation data became available throughout the entire coastal United States (excluding Alaska). Here we present what we believe to be the first full national assessment incorporating these data. The assessment includes tabulation of land less than 1-6 m above the local high tide line, and of a wide range of features sitting on that land, including total population, socially vulnerable population, housing, property value, road miles, power plants, schools, hospitals, and a wide range of other infrastructure and critical facilities, as well as EPA-listed facilities that are potential sources of contamination during floods or permanent inundation. Tabulations span from zip code to national levels. Notable patterns include the strong concentration of exposure across multiple scales, with a small number of states accounting for most of the total national exposure; and a small number of zip codes accounting for a large proportion of the exposure within many states. Additionally, different features show different exposure patterns; in one example, land and road miles have relatively high exposure but population and property have relatively low exposure in North Carolina. The assessment further places this exposure analysis in the context of localized sea level rise projections integrated with coastal flood risk.

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

    PubMed

    Peterson, Jennifer M; Bell, Susan S

    2015-01-01

    Few studies have empirically examined the suite of mechanisms that underlie the distributional shifts displayed by organisms in response to changing climatic condition. Mangrove forests are expected to move inland as sea-level rises, encroaching on saltmarsh plants inhabiting higher elevations. Mangrove propagules are transported by tidal waters and propagule dispersal is likely modified upon encountering the mangrove-saltmarsh ecotone, the implications of which are poorly known. Here, using an experimental approach, we record landward and seaward dispersal and subsequent establishment of mangrove propagules that encounter biotic boundaries composed of two types of saltmarsh taxa: succulents and grasses. Our findings revealed that propagules emplaced within saltmarsh vegetation immediately landward of the extant mangrove fringe boundary frequently dispersed in the seaward direction. However, propagules moved seaward less frequently and over shorter distances upon encountering boundaries composed of saltmarsh grasses versus succulents. We uniquely confirmed that the small subset of propagules dispersing landward displayed proportionately higher establishment success than those transported seaward. Although impacts of ecotones on plant dispersal have rarely been investigated in situ, our experimental results indicate that the interplay between tidal transport and physical attributes of saltmarsh vegetation influence boundary permeability to propagules, thereby directing the initial phase of shifting mangrove distributions. The incorporation of tidal inundation information and detailed data on landscape features, such as the structure of saltmarsh vegetation at mangrove boundaries, should improve the accuracy of models that are being developed to forecast mangrove distributional shifts in response to sea-level rise. PMID:25760867

  12. Saltmarsh Boundary Modulates Dispersal of Mangrove Propagules: Implications for Mangrove Migration with Sea-Level Rise

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Jennifer M.; Bell, Susan S.

    2015-01-01

    Few studies have empirically examined the suite of mechanisms that underlie the distributional shifts displayed by organisms in response to changing climatic condition. Mangrove forests are expected to move inland as sea-level rises, encroaching on saltmarsh plants inhabiting higher elevations. Mangrove propagules are transported by tidal waters and propagule dispersal is likely modified upon encountering the mangrove-saltmarsh ecotone, the implications of which are poorly known. Here, using an experimental approach, we record landward and seaward dispersal and subsequent establishment of mangrove propagules that encounter biotic boundaries composed of two types of saltmarsh taxa: succulents and grasses. Our findings revealed that propagules emplaced within saltmarsh vegetation immediately landward of the extant mangrove fringe boundary frequently dispersed in the seaward direction. However, propagules moved seaward less frequently and over shorter distances upon encountering boundaries composed of saltmarsh grasses versus succulents. We uniquely confirmed that the small subset of propagules dispersing landward displayed proportionately higher establishment success than those transported seaward. Although impacts of ecotones on plant dispersal have rarely been investigated in situ, our experimental results indicate that the interplay between tidal transport and physical attributes of saltmarsh vegetation influence boundary permeability to propagules, thereby directing the initial phase of shifting mangrove distributions. The incorporation of tidal inundation information and detailed data on landscape features, such as the structure of saltmarsh vegetation at mangrove boundaries, should improve the accuracy of models that are being developed to forecast mangrove distributional shifts in response to sea-level rise. PMID:25760867

  13. 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. PMID:26587269

  14. Mass culturing of living sands (Baculogypsina sphaerulata) to protect island coasts against sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosono, Takashi; Lopati, Paeniu; Makolo, Filipo; Kayanne, Hajime

    2014-07-01

    Coral reef islands have a self-sustaining mechanism that expands and maintains the islands through the deposition of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) by marine organisms. However, the human societies established on such low-lying coral reef islands are vulnerable to rapid sea-level rises. Enhancing the self-sustaining mechanism of coral reefs will become one of the required sustainable countermeasures against sea-level rise. We examined the feasibility of mass culturing the large benthic foraminifera Baculogypsina sphaerulata, which is known as “living sand.” We developed a rearing system with the key components of an artificial lawn as a habitat and a stirring device to create vertical water currents. Batches of B. sphaerulata in two different size groups were reared to examine size growth and reproduction under the culture conditions. All culture batches reproduced asexually following generations over 6 months in culture. The small-sized group exhibited steady growth, whereas the large-sized group underwent a reduction in mean size because large individuals (> 1.5 mm2) died off. Similar traits of size structure between the culture batches and natural populations indicate that our culturing conditions can successfully reproduce environments similar to the habitat of this species. Reproduction, consistent size growth, and size structure similar to the natural population indicate that the examined rearing system is viable for culturing Foraminifera at a large scale.

  15. Rapid wastage of Alaska glaciers and their contribution to rising sea level.

    PubMed

    Arendt, Anthony A; Echelmeyer, Keith A; Harrison, William D; Lingle, Craig S; Valentine, Virginia B

    2002-07-19

    We have used airborne laser altimetry to estimate volume changes of 67 glaciers in Alaska from the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s. The average rate of thickness change of these glaciers was -0.52 m/year. Extrapolation to all glaciers in Alaska yields an estimated total annual volume change of -52 +/- 15 km3/year (water equivalent), equivalent to a rise in sea level (SLE) of 0.14 +/- 0.04 mm/year. Repeat measurements of 28 glaciers from the mid-1990s to 2000-2001 suggest an increased average rate of thinning, -1.8 m/year. This leads to an extrapolated annual volume loss from Alaska glaciers equal to -96 +/- 35 km3/year, or 0.27 +/- 0.10 mm/year SLE, during the past decade. These recent losses are nearly double the estimated annual loss from the entire Greenland Ice Sheet during the same time period and are much higher than previously published loss estimates for Alaska glaciers. They form the largest glaciological contribution to rising sea level yet measured. PMID:12130781

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blohm, A.

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Quantifying coastal inundation vulnerability of Turkey to sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Demirkesen, Ali C; Evrendilek, Fatih; Berberoglu, Suha

    2008-03-01

    The vulnerability of low-lying coastal areas in Turkey to inundation was quantified based on the sea-level rise scenarios of 1, 2, and 3 m by 2205. Through digital elevation model (DEM) acquired by the shuttle radar topography mission (SRTM), the extent and distribution of the high to low-risk coastal plains were identified. The spatio-temporal analysis revealed the inundated coastal areas of 545, 1,286, and 2,125 km2 at average rates of 5, 10, and 15 mm yr(-1) for 200 years, respectively. This is equivalent to minimum and maximum land losses by 2205 of 0.1-0.3% of the total area and of 1.3-5.2% of the coastal areas with elevations of less than 100 m in the country, respectively. This study provides an initial assessment of vulnerability to sea-level rise to help decision-makers, and other concerned stakeholders to develop appropriate public policies and land-use planning measures. PMID:17503205

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Modelling coastal marsh stability in response to sea level rise: a case study in coastal Louisiana, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chmura, G.L.; Costanza, R.; Kosters, E.C.

    1992-01-01

    In some regions coastal marsh stability is threatened by high rates of sea level rise. The deltaic plain of the Mississippi River is a natural laboratory for the study of marsh stability under conditions of rising sea level because it has been experiencing high rates of local submergence which cause relatively high rates of apparent sea level rise. We constructed a dynamic simulation model to study the relationship of accretion to three components of relative sea level rise: compaction, eustatic rise and submergence. The model is then used to project marsh stability under various future scenarios of sea level rise as well as enhancement of sediment supplies and marsh accretion. The model was calibrated to a 14C-dated sediment deposit which provides a long-term record of sediment accretion. Results indicate that an equilibrium between relative sea level and accretion rates can be attained, but that in this region of coastal Louisiana only the most optimistic assumptions yield coastal marshes that are stable in the long term. ?? 1992.

  2. 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.

  3. Rate of sea level rise as a control on physical versus biological sedimentation: examples from Holocene of south Florida

    SciTech Connect

    Parkinson, R.W.

    1987-05-01

    Decelerating late Holocene sea level rise over the south Florida platform has been accompanied by changes in sediment composition which reflect a transition from physically emplaced (allochthonous) sediment to biologically emplaced (autochthonous) sediment. This interpretation is based on a south Florida submergence curve which suggests that the rate of sea level rise has decreased from 26 cm/100 years, prior to 3200 y.B.P., to 3.5 cm/100 years thereafter. These compositional changes are recognizable within both mixed siliciclastic/carbonate and pure carbonate depositional systems. For example, mangrove islands located in the Ten Thousand Islands area of southwest Florida are overlain by a Holocene sediment sequence which consists of (in ascending order) (1) thin basal mangrove peat, (2) thin oyster zone, (3) shelly quartz packstone, (4) oyster or vermetid packstone to boundstone, and (5) mangrove peat. The lower sequence (units 1 through 3) reflects an early deepening phase which accompanied a rapid rise in sea level. Biological sediment production was not rapid enough to keep up with rising sea level and, as such, the mangrove-fringed shoreline was overstepped. The overlying subtidal shelly quartz packstones reflect local reworking of Pleistocene quartz sands and, later, the introduction of quartz sand by suspension from offshore. As sea level rise slowed, biological sediment production and accumulation began to exceed rates of sea level rise and subsequently deposits built up to and kept pace with rising sea level (units 4 and 5). Carbon-14 dates confirm this interpretation as the thin basal peats date at 4000 y.B.P. (rapid rise) and oysters at the base of unit 4 date at 1000 y.B.P. (slow rise).

  4. 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

  5. Potential sea-level rise from Antarctic ice-sheet instability constrained by observations.

    PubMed

    Ritz, Catherine; Edwards, Tamsin L; Durand, Gaël; Payne, Antony J; Peyaud, Vincent; Hindmarsh, Richard C A

    2015-12-01

    Large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet lying on bedrock below sea level may be vulnerable to marine-ice-sheet instability (MISI), a self-sustaining retreat of the grounding line triggered by oceanic or atmospheric changes. There is growing evidence that MISI may be underway throughout the Amundsen Sea embayment (ASE), which contains ice equivalent to more than a metre of global sea-level rise. If triggered in other regions, the centennial to millennial contribution could be several metres. Physically plausible projections are challenging: numerical models with sufficient spatial resolution to simulate grounding-line processes have been too computationally expensive to generate large ensembles for uncertainty assessment, and lower-resolution model projections rely on parameterizations that are only loosely constrained by present day changes. Here we project that the Antarctic ice sheet will contribute up to 30 cm sea-level equivalent by 2100 and 72 cm by 2200 (95% quantiles) where the ASE dominates. Our process-based, statistical approach gives skewed and complex probability distributions (single mode, 10 cm, at 2100; two modes, 49 cm and 6 cm, at 2200). The dependence of sliding on basal friction is a key unknown: nonlinear relationships favour higher contributions. Results are conditional on assessments of MISI risk on the basis of projected triggers under the climate scenario A1B (ref. 9), although sensitivity to these is limited by theoretical and topographical constraints on the rate and extent of ice loss. We find that contributions are restricted by a combination of these constraints, calibration with success in simulating observed ASE losses, and low assessed risk in some basins. Our assessment suggests that upper-bound estimates from low-resolution models and physical arguments (up to a metre by 2100 and around one and a half by 2200) are implausible under current understanding of physical mechanisms and potential triggers. PMID:26580020

  6. Understanding sea level rise along the Mississippi sector of the US Gulf Coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milne, G. A.; Wolstencroft, M.; Shen, Z.; Tornqvist, T. E.; Kulp, M.; Love, R.

    2013-12-01

    The Mississippi Delta (MD) and the adjacent US Gulf Coast host a significant population,extensive economic activity, and critical ecosystem goods and services. The characteristic rate of 20th century relative sea level rise in the MD is ~10 mm/yr [e.g., Penland and Ramsey, 1990], which is about five times the global mean value. This regional amplification, thought to be dominated by land subsidence, makes this part of the Gulf Coast particularly vulnerable to catastrophic events (e.g., storm surges associated with tropical cyclones) as well as more chronic environmental degradation such as wetland loss from a range of largely human influences [Day et al., 2007]. This paper focuses on improving our understanding of land subsidence in this region via a modelling analysis that considers the influence of sediment loading as well as glacial isostatic adjustment (ice and ocean loading). A number of studies have suggested that sediment isostatic adjustment (SIA) and/or active tectonics are primary contributors to the present-day subsidence of this region [e.g. Dokka et al., 2006; Ivins et al., 2007] and thus contribute several mm/yr of regional basement subsidence. Our model sensitivity analysis considers key components of the regional sediment loading history as well as a range of plausible Earth model parameters. Results indicate that rates due to SIA are likely less that 0.5 mm/yr and those due to GIA can be up to ~2 mm/yr and so the latter plays a more important role. Model output was found to be compatible with both paleo (e.g. relative sea level) and geodetic (Global Positioning System) observations. We therefore conclude that processes other than SIA and GIA, such as sediment compaction in the Holocene sediments, most likely dominate the high rates of sea level change (~10 mm/yr) measured along this part of the Gulf Coast.

  7. Potential sea-level rise from Antarctic ice-sheet instability constrained by observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritz, Catherine; Edwards, Tamsin L.; Durand, Gaël; Payne, Antony J.; Peyaud, Vincent; Hindmarsh, Richard C. A.

    2015-12-01

    Large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet lying on bedrock below sea level may be vulnerable to marine-ice-sheet instability (MISI), a self-sustaining retreat of the grounding line triggered by oceanic or atmospheric changes. There is growing evidence that MISI may be underway throughout the Amundsen Sea embayment (ASE), which contains ice equivalent to more than a metre of global sea-level rise. If triggered in other regions, the centennial to millennial contribution could be several metres. Physically plausible projections are challenging: numerical models with sufficient spatial resolution to simulate grounding-line processes have been too computationally expensive to generate large ensembles for uncertainty assessment, and lower-resolution model projections rely on parameterizations that are only loosely constrained by present day changes. Here we project that the Antarctic ice sheet will contribute up to 30 cm sea-level equivalent by 2100 and 72 cm by 2200 (95% quantiles) where the ASE dominates. Our process-based, statistical approach gives skewed and complex probability distributions (single mode, 10 cm, at 2100; two modes, 49 cm and 6 cm, at 2200). The dependence of sliding on basal friction is a key unknown: nonlinear relationships favour higher contributions. Results are conditional on assessments of MISI risk on the basis of projected triggers under the climate scenario A1B (ref. 9), although sensitivity to these is limited by theoretical and topographical constraints on the rate and extent of ice loss. We find that contributions are restricted by a combination of these constraints, calibration with success in simulating observed ASE losses, and low assessed risk in some basins. Our assessment suggests that upper-bound estimates from low-resolution models and physical arguments (up to a metre by 2100 and around one and a half by 2200) are implausible under current understanding of physical mechanisms and potential triggers.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Climate Change and Sea Level Rise: A Challenge to Science and Society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plag, H.

    2009-12-01

    Society is challenged by the risk of an anticipated rise of coastal Local Sea Level (LSL) as a consequence of future global warming. Many low-lying and often subsiding and densely populated coastal areas are under risk of increased inundation, with potentially devastating consequences for the global economy, society, and environment. Faced with a trade-off between imposing the very high costs of coastal protection and adaptation upon today's national economies and leaving the costs of potential major disasters to future generations, governments and decision makers are in need of scientific support for the development of mitigation and adaptation strategies for the coastal zone. Low-frequency to secular changes in LSL are the result of many interacting Earth system processes. The complexity of the Earth system makes it difficult to predict Global Sea Level (GSL) rise and, even more so, LSL changes over the next 100 to 200 years. Humans have re-engineered the planet and changed major features of the Earth surface and the atmosphere, thus ruling out extrapolation of past and current changes into the future as a reasonable approach. The risk of rapid changes in ocean circulation and ice sheet mass balance introduces the possibility of unexpected changes. Therefore, science is challenged with understanding and constraining the full range of plausible future LSL trajectories and with providing useful support for informed decisions. In the face of largely unpredictable future sea level changes, monitoring of the relevant processes and development of a forecasting service on realistic time scales is crucial as decision support. Forecasting and "early warning" for LSL rise would have to aim at decadal time scales, giving coastal managers sufficient time to react if the onset of rapid changes would require an immediate response. The social, environmental, and economic risks associated with potentially large and rapid LSL changes are enormous. Therefore, in the light of the

  12. Remote Sensing of Vegetation Parameters for Modeling Coastal Marsh Response to Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrd, K. B.; Windham-Myers, L.; Warzecha, B.; Crowe, R.; Vasey, M. C.; Ferner, M.

    2014-12-01

    Coastal planners are seeking ways to prepare for the potential impacts of future climate change, particularly sea level rise though management of future risks is complicated by uncertainty in the timing, distribution and extent of these impacts. Sea level rise impacts will be most evident at the regional level where decisions related to climate change adaptation including those related to land use planning and habitat management typically occur. To aid coastal managers with decision-making we are integrating remote sensing data with the marsh equilibrium model (MEM3) to project coastal marsh habitat response to future sea level rise. MEM3 is a 1-dimentional, calibrated Excel-based model that incorporates both physical and biological feedbacks to changing relative elevations. Modeled future elevations are then distributed at the regional scale with LiDAR DEMs to project changes to coastal habitats and dependent wildlife. Because plant biomass and structure influence both organic and inorganic accretion, MEM3 includes multiple vegetation input variables. Deriving these variables, including maximum and minimum elevations of marsh vegetation, peak aboveground biomass, and elevation at peak biomass from remote sensing will enable the model to have spatially variable inputs across sites. We are evaluating 30m Landsat 8 and 2m World View-2 (WV2) satellite data for mapping peak biomass at Rush Ranch, a highly diverse brackish marsh in the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The high spatial resolution of WV2 produces greater variability in plant reflectance at the pixel scale than Landsat 8. Initial results show the need for plant community-specific biomass models with WV2 to account for differences in plant structure and canopy architecture. When removing plots dominated by Salicornia pacifica and Lepidium latifolium, peak biomass is best estimated with an NDVI-type vegetation index based on WV2 near infrared bands 7 and 8 (R2 = 0.21, RMSE = 318 g/m2

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kidwell, D. M.

    2012-12-01

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

  14. What are the Potential Implications of Sea Level Rise on Carbon Stored in Coastal Freshwater Peatlands?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, E.

    2015-12-01

    Freshwater peatlands can be dense carbon stores and are ecologically diverse with many specialised organisms. Climate-related threats to carbon storage include increases in rates of oxidation and methanogenesis, increases in drainage and dissolved organic carbon export from run off. Due to their lowland locations, coastal freshwater peatlands are at increasing risk from sea level rise and is expected to result in ecosystem shifts with impacts on carbon stores and species diversity. Fed by a network of rivers and lakes in close proximity to the coast, the Broads, UK, is a series of freshwater peatlands at risk of increased incursion of saline water coupled with increased frequency and intensity of flooding events due to an anticipated sea level rise of 3-5 cm decade-1 compounded by a predicted isotactic sinking of 0.055 cm yr-1. This study attempts to unravel the risks posed by sea level rise to carbon stored in coastal freshwater peatlands. Near surface cores (~50 cm long) collected from three sites were analysed for bulk density and carbon content, and dated radiometrically (lead-210, cesium-137) to ascertain carbon accumulation. To understand loss by leaching and microbial decomposition, mass loss from litterbags was measured over one year. Results indicated that recent carbon accumulation rate (since 1964) was significantly higher (p < 0.001) at the site inundated for the longest period throughout the year (94 ± 0.17 g C m-2 yr-1) and lowest at the least inundated site (79 ± 0.17 g C m-2 yr-1). Accretion rates over the last two years were highest in the site with the most fluctuating water table (0.55 ± 0.13 cm yr-1) and lowest at the driest site (0.25 ± 0.04 cm yr-1). Proportion of mass loss was significantly different between sites for both leaves (p < 0.001) and stems (p < 0.001). Overall, this research has shown that extent of inundation can influence recent accumulation rate and proportion of mass loss.

  15. Adaptation to the impact of sea level rise in the Northeastern Nile Delta, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mabrouk, Badr; Farhat Abd-Elhamid, Hany; Badr, Marmar; Ludwig, Ralf

    2013-04-01

    Northeastern Delta is one of the most promising developmental areas in Egypt. This area is characterized by a prominent watershed having abundant water resources (especially groundwater). Currently, this area undergoes a rapid environmental degradation, such as land subsidence, water and soil salinaization. It accommodates about 60% of the total arable lands of the Delta, and inhabited by about 45 % of its total population. In addition, the northern part of this area comprises about 25% of the total Mediterranean wetlands. In this area a number of desalination plants were installed to desalinate brackish water and inject the brine to the aquifer using deep wells. This work aims to evaluate the environmental impact of injecting brine water on groundwater quality. Also, the impact of climate change and sea level rise are considered. The work is a combination of field work and simulation processes of groundwater flow and seawater intrusion using numerical models. The field work was used to collect and analyze data, information pertaining to the groundwater resources, interpretation of aerial photos and satellite images and preparation of ground water potential maps has. This was followed by detailed test boring wells as chemical analysis of seawater intrusion detection and pollution flow mapping were done. Numerical models (MODFLOW and MT3D) were used to evaluate both current and future situation of the groundwater flow and seawater intrusion in the Nile Delta aquifer in the studied area. The aquifer in the studied area is divided into five barrier beds according to its hydrological characteristics. The increase in extraction rates of brackish water and increasing the salinity of groundwater were experienced in details. Different scenarios to mitigate the severe salinity effect of injected brine water of high salinity rejected from desalination process. The brine water is assumed to be injected into deep wells to different depths and observation of changes in salinity

  16. Sea level rise and tidal power plants in the Gulf of Maine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelling, Holly E.; Mattias Green, J. A.

    2013-06-01

    The response of the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine to large-scale tidal power plants and future sea-level rise is investigated using an established numerical tidal model. Free stream tidal turbines were simulated within the Bay of Fundy by implementing an additional bed friction term, Kt. The present-day maximum tidal power output was determined to be 7.1 GW, and required Kt = 0.03. Extraction at this level would lead to large changes in the tidal amplitudes across the Gulf of Maine. With future SLR implemented, the energy available for extraction increases with 0.5-1 GW per m SLR. SLR simulations without tidal power extraction revealed that the response of the semidiurnal tides to SLR is highly dependent on how changes in sea level are implemented in the model. When extensive flood defenses are assumed at the present-day coast line, the response to SLR is far larger than when land is allowed to (permanently) flood. For example, within the Bay of Fundy itself, the M2 amplitude increases with nearly 0.12 m per m SLR without flooding, but it changes with only 0.03 m per m SLR with flooding. We suggest that this is due to the flooding of land cells changing the resonant properties of the basin.

  17. Rates of sediment supply and sea-level rise in a large coastal lagoon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morton, R.A.; Ward, G.H.; White, W.A.

    2000-01-01

    Laguna Madre, Texas, is 3-7 km wide and more than 190 km long, making it one of the longest lagoons in the world. The lagoon encompasses diverse geologic and climatic regions and it is an efficient sediment trap that accumulates clastic sediments from upland, interior, and oceanic sources. The semi-arid climate and frequent tropical cyclones historically have been responsible for the greatest volume of sediment influx. On an average annual basis, eolian transport, tidal exchange, storm washover, mainland runoff, interior shore erosion, and authigenic mineral production introduce approximately one million m3 of sediments into the lagoon. Analyses of these sediment transport mechanisms and associated line sources and point sources of sediment provide a basis for: (1) estimating the long-term average annual sediment supply to a large lagoon; (2) calculating the average net sedimentation rate; (3) comparing introduced sediment volumes and associated aggradation rates with observed relative sea-level change; and (4) predicting future conditions of the lagoon. This comparison indicates that the historical average annual accumulation rate in Laguna Madre (<1 mm/yr) is substantially less than the historical rate of relative sea-level rise (~4 mm/yr). Lagoon submergence coupled with erosion of the western shore indicates that Laguna Madre is being submerged slowly and migrating westward rather than filling, as some have suggested.

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

    PubMed

    Whittle, Alex; Gallego-Sala, Angela V

    2016-01-01

    Freshwater peatlands are carbon accumulating ecosystems where primary production exceeds organic matter decomposition rates in the soil, and therefore perform an important sink function in global carbon cycling. Typical peatland plant and microbial communities are adapted to the waterlogged, often acidic and low nutrient conditions that characterise them. Peatlands in coastal locations receive inputs of oceanic base cations that shift conditions from the environmental optimum of these communities altering the carbon balance. Blanket bogs are one such type of peatlands occurring in hyperoceanic regions. Using a blanket bog to coastal marsh transect in Northwest Scotland we assess the impacts of salt intrusion on carbon accumulation rates. A threshold concentration of salt input, caused by inundation, exists corresponding to rapid acidophilic to halophilic plant community change and a carbon accumulation decline. For the first time, we map areas of blanket bog vulnerable to sea-level rise, estimating that this equates to ~7.4% of the total extent and a 0.22 Tg yr(-1) carbon sink. Globally, tropical peatlands face the proportionally greatest risk with ~61,000 km(2) (~16.6% of total) lying ≤5 m elevation. In total an estimated 20.2 ± 2.5 GtC is stored in peatlands ≤5 m above sea level, which are potentially vulnerable to inundation. PMID:27354088

  19. The coastal area of Togo: A space vulnerable to sea level rise hotly disputed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adjoussi, P. D.

    2015-12-01

    Abstract Erosion caused in the coastal area of Togo especially in the cell to the east of the harbor of Lomé some reorganization of space and a reallocation of tasks functions of the importance of existing issues. This reorganization is an important race against time between the various stakeholders which paradoxically make this area a very dynamic environment. In spite of the disaster situation in the area, it is changing. This mutation has been observed for a decade in many ways. Fishing is a traditional activity disappears causing the emergence of new activities such as the extraction of gravel, the gardening, the informal trade of any kind, installing hotels, etc.. At the socio-economic transformation is associated with a beach in state of deficit causing the decline of the coastline that reaches approximately 500 m over a few kilometers according to the old marks missing. The decline of the coastline is by undermining the beach by the waves at high tide. These issues are reshaping the land use map that passes a distribution of fishing villages on the coast in 1980 to a suburban area exposed to sea level rise corollary to anticipated climate change. Keywords: Space, Reorganization, Vulnerability, Stakeholders, Sea Level, Fishing

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

    PubMed Central

    Whittle, Alex; Gallego-Sala, Angela V.

    2016-01-01

    Freshwater peatlands are carbon accumulating ecosystems where primary production exceeds organic matter decomposition rates in the soil, and therefore perform an important sink function in global carbon cycling. Typical peatland plant and microbial communities are adapted to the waterlogged, often acidic and low nutrient conditions that characterise them. Peatlands in coastal locations receive inputs of oceanic base cations that shift conditions from the environmental optimum of these communities altering the carbon balance. Blanket bogs are one such type of peatlands occurring in hyperoceanic regions. Using a blanket bog to coastal marsh transect in Northwest Scotland we assess the impacts of salt intrusion on carbon accumulation rates. A threshold concentration of salt input, caused by inundation, exists corresponding to rapid acidophilic to halophilic plant community change and a carbon accumulation decline. For the first time, we map areas of blanket bog vulnerable to sea-level rise, estimating that this equates to ~7.4% of the total extent and a 0.22 Tg yr−1 carbon sink. Globally, tropical peatlands face the proportionally greatest risk with ~61,000 km2 (~16.6% of total) lying ≤5 m elevation. In total an estimated 20.2 ± 2.5 GtC is stored in peatlands ≤5 m above sea level, which are potentially vulnerable to inundation. PMID:27354088

  1. Coastal Vertebrate Exposure to Predicted Habitat Changes Due to Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, Elizabeth A.; Nibbelink, Nathan P.; Alexander, Clark R.; Barrett, Kyle; Mengak, Lara F.; Guy, Rachel K.; Moore, Clinton T.; Cooper, Robert J.

    2015-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) may degrade habitat for coastal vertebrates in the Southeastern United States, but it is unclear which groups or species will be most exposed to habitat changes. We assessed 28 coastal Georgia vertebrate species for their exposure to potential habitat changes due to SLR using output from the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model and information on the species' fundamental niches. We assessed forecasted habitat change up to the year 2100 using three structural habitat metrics: total area, patch size, and habitat permanence. Almost all of the species ( n = 24) experienced negative habitat changes due to SLR as measured by at least one of the metrics. Salt marsh and ocean beach habitats experienced the most change (out of 16 categorical land cover types) across the three metrics and species that used salt marsh extensively (rails and marsh sparrows) were ranked highest for exposure to habitat changes. Species that nested on ocean beaches (Diamondback Terrapins, shorebirds, and terns) were also ranked highly, but their use of other foraging habitats reduced their overall exposure. Future studies on potential effects of SLR on vertebrates in southeastern coastal ecosystems should focus on the relative importance of different habitat types to these species' foraging and nesting requirements. Our straightforward prioritization approach is applicable to other coastal systems and can provide insight to managers on which species to focus resources, what components of their habitats need to be protected, and which locations in the study area will provide habitat refuges in the face of SLR.

  2. Estimating the sources of global sea level rise with data assimilation techniques

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    A rapidly melting ice sheet produces a distinctive geometry, or fingerprint, of sea level (SL) change. Thus, a network of SL observations may, in principle, be used to infer sources of meltwater flux. We outline a formalism, based on a modified Kalman smoother, for using tide gauge observations to estimate the individual sources of global SL change. We also report on a series of detection experiments based on synthetic SL data that explore the feasibility of extracting source information from SL records. The Kalman smoother technique iteratively calculates the maximum-likelihood estimate of Greenland ice sheet (GIS) and West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) melt at each time step, and it accommodates data gaps while also permitting the estimation of nonlinear trends. Our synthetic tests indicate that when all tide gauge records are used in the analysis, it should be possible to estimate GIS and WAIS melt rates greater than ∼0.3 and ∼0.4 mm of equivalent eustatic sea level rise per year, respectively. We have also implemented a multimodel Kalman filter that allows us to account rigorously for additional contributions to SL changes and their associated uncertainty. The multimodel filter uses 72 glacial isostatic adjustment models and 3 ocean dynamic models to estimate the most likely models for these processes given the synthetic observations. We conclude that our modified Kalman smoother procedure provides a powerful method for inferring melt rates in a warming world. PMID:22543163

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whittle, Alex; Gallego-Sala, Angela V.

    2016-06-01

    Freshwater peatlands are carbon accumulating ecosystems where primary production exceeds organic matter decomposition rates in the soil, and therefore perform an important sink function in global carbon cycling. Typical peatland plant and microbial communities are adapted to the waterlogged, often acidic and low nutrient conditions that characterise them. Peatlands in coastal locations receive inputs of oceanic base cations that shift conditions from the environmental optimum of these communities altering the carbon balance. Blanket bogs are one such type of peatlands occurring in hyperoceanic regions. Using a blanket bog to coastal marsh transect in Northwest Scotland we assess the impacts of salt intrusion on carbon accumulation rates. A threshold concentration of salt input, caused by inundation, exists corresponding to rapid acidophilic to halophilic plant community change and a carbon accumulation decline. For the first time, we map areas of blanket bog vulnerable to sea-level rise, estimating that this equates to ~7.4% of the total extent and a 0.22 Tg yr‑1 carbon sink. Globally, tropical peatlands face the proportionally greatest risk with ~61,000 km2 (~16.6% of total) lying ≤5 m elevation. In total an estimated 20.2 ± 2.5 GtC is stored in peatlands ≤5 m above sea level, which are potentially vulnerable to inundation.

  4. Estimating the sources of global sea level rise with data assimilation techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

    A rapidly melting ice sheet produces a distinctive geometry, or fingerprint, of sea level (SL) change. Thus, a network of SL observations may, in principle, be used to infer sources of meltwater flux. We outline a formalism, based on a modified Kalman smoother, for using tide gauge observations to estimate the individual sources of global SL change. We also report on a series of detection experiments based on synthetic SL data that explore the feasibility of extracting source information from SL records. The Kalman smoother technique iteratively calculates the maximum-likelihood estimate of Greenland ice sheet (GIS) and West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) melt at each time step, and it accommodates data gaps while also permitting the estimation of nonlinear trends. Our synthetic tests indicate that when all tide gauge records are used in the analysis, it should be possible to estimate GIS and WAIS melt rates greater than ∼0.3 and ∼0.4 mm of equivalent eustatic sea level rise per year, respectively. We have also implemented a multimodel Kalman filter that allows us to account rigorously for additional contributions to SL changes and their associated uncertainty. The multimodel filter uses 72 glacial isostatic adjustment models and 3 ocean dynamic models to estimate the most likely models for these processes given the synthetic observations. We conclude that our modified Kalman smoother procedure provides a powerful method for inferring melt rates in a warming world.

  5. Coastal Vertebrate Exposure to Predicted Habitat Changes Due to Sea Level Rise.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Elizabeth A; Nibbelink, Nathan P; Alexander, Clark R; Barrett, Kyle; Mengak, Lara F; Guy, Rachel K; Moore, Clinton T; Cooper, Robert J

    2015-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) may degrade habitat for coastal vertebrates in the Southeastern United States, but it is unclear which groups or species will be most exposed to habitat changes. We assessed 28 coastal Georgia vertebrate species for their exposure to potential habitat changes due to SLR using output from the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model and information on the species' fundamental niches. We assessed forecasted habitat change up to the year 2100 using three structural habitat metrics: total area, patch size, and habitat permanence. Almost all of the species (n = 24) experienced negative habitat changes due to SLR as measured by at least one of the metrics. Salt marsh and ocean beach habitats experienced the most change (out of 16 categorical land cover types) across the three metrics and species that used salt marsh extensively (rails and marsh sparrows) were ranked highest for exposure to habitat changes. Species that nested on ocean beaches (Diamondback Terrapins, shorebirds, and terns) were also ranked highly, but their use of other foraging habitats reduced their overall exposure. Future studies on potential effects of SLR on vertebrates in southeastern coastal ecosystems should focus on the relative importance of different habitat types to these species' foraging and nesting requirements. Our straightforward prioritization approach is applicable to other coastal systems and can provide insight to managers on which species to focus resources, what components of their habitats need to be protected, and which locations in the study area will provide habitat refuges in the face of SLR. PMID:26163199

  6. Coastal vertebrate exposure to predicted habitat changes due to sea level rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, Elizabeth A.; Nibbelink, Nathan P.; Alexander, Clark R.; Barrett, Kyle; Mengak, Lara F.; Guy, Rachel; Moore, Clinton; Cooper, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) may degrade habitat for coastal vertebrates in the Southeastern United States, but it is unclear which groups or species will be most exposed to habitat changes. We assessed 28 coastal Georgia vertebrate species for their exposure to potential habitat changes due to SLR using output from the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model and information on the species’ fundamental niches. We assessed forecasted habitat change up to the year 2100 using three structural habitat metrics: total area, patch size, and habitat permanence. Almost all of the species (n = 24) experienced negative habitat changes due to SLR as measured by at least one of the metrics. Salt marsh and ocean beach habitats experienced the most change (out of 16 categorical land cover types) across the three metrics and species that used salt marsh extensively (rails and marsh sparrows) were ranked highest for exposure to habitat changes. Species that nested on ocean beaches (Diamondback Terrapins, shorebirds, and terns) were also ranked highly, but their use of other foraging habitats reduced their overall exposure. Future studies on potential effects of SLR on vertebrates in southeastern coastal ecosystems should focus on the relative importance of different habitat types to these species’ foraging and nesting requirements. Our straightforward prioritization approach is applicable to other coastal systems and can provide insight to managers on which species to focus resources, what components of their habitats need to be protected, and which locations in the study area will provide habitat refuges in the face of SLR.

  7. Diving In To Sea Level Rise Using The Polar Explorer ';App'

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    The vast majority of our lifetime is spent learning outside the classroom, yet the major emphasis in developing climate change instructional materials has been the traditional K16 school environment. The Polar Learning and Responding (PoLAR) project of the National Science Foundation supported Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) program chose to move beyond the classroom to focus on lifelong learners, in order to engage the adult population in building public understanding about climate change. Yet reaching individuals who make their own decisions about what and how they choose to learn requires a very different approach to developing educational materials. With an adult audience how we deliver content can be as critical as what we deliver. Using materials and platforms that are readily available and familiar to the user is important. With a significant segment of our time spent connected to smart phones and tablets, employing these platforms to deliver content makes sense. Whether at work, home or in transit, portable devices are critical companions and trusted tools in providing information on everything from the latest news to the daily weather. The world of Apps is equally as familiar to the adult user, so developing an engaging climate App for a portable device offers a successful strategy. The 'Polar Explorer - Sea Level Rise (SLR) App', is one of the new interactive products developed as part of the PoLAR project. Modeled after Columbia's Earth Observer App, a data exploration and data visualization tool, the Polar Explorer SLR App includes a wide range of real Earth data from ocean and atmospheric temperatures to depth of ice layers, underlying topography and human impacts. The Polar Explorer SLR App is grounded in the concept that scientists gain insights into climate change and climate processes through directly examining data. With some scaffolding, the public can gain similar insights using the same data. Structured to be 'question driven' the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, Stephen; Pearce, Darren

    2015-11-01

    A teaching laboratory experiment is described that uses Archimedes’ principle to precisely investigate the effect of global warming on the oceans. A large component of sea level rise is due to the increase in the volume of water due to the decrease in water density with increasing temperature. Water close to 0 °C is placed in a beaker and a glass marble hung from an electronic balance immersed in the water. As the water warms, the weight of the marble increases as the water is less buoyant due to the decrease in density. In the experiment performed in this paper a balance with a precision of 0.1 mg was used with a marble 40.0 cm3 and mass of 99.3 g, yielding water density measurements with an average error of -0.008 ± 0.011%.

  9. Barrier transition from regressive to transgressive with decelerating sea-level rise, Bogue Banks, North Carolina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Timmons, E. A.; Rodriguez, A. B.

    2009-12-01

    Erosion of the estuarine shoreline along barrier islands (the back-barrier shoreline) is a prevalent but often overlooked mechanism of island narrowing. In response to sea-level rise and storms, back-barrier shorelines of all barrier types erode, and without wash-over to replenish losses the island will narrow. Typically, the most seaward dune ridge on a progradational barrier is at the highest elevation, which may prevent overwash for millennia, contributing to high rates of erosion along the back-barrier. Upon continued narrowing, regressive barriers may reach a critical width when wash-over occurs, causing the island to become transgressive. This conceptual model suggests that the transition of a barrier from regressive to transgressive may have a threshold response to forcing mechanisms, namely sediment supply, climate variation, underlying geologic framework, rate of sea-level rise and anthropogenic influence. The study area is Bogue Banks, North Carolina, because this barrier has two wide regressive segments separated by a narrow center segment that we show was regressive in the past. Boomer seismic data collected offshore reveal the presence of multiple paleochannels that spatially correlate to the regressive portions of the island. Vibracore transects taken from the center portion of the back-barrier exhibit shoreface sand overlain by lagoonal muddy sand. These two units are separated by a bay-ravinement surface. Long Island, located in the lagoon along the central segment of the island is interpreted as a remnant beach ridge. Samples for optically stimulated luminescence dating and radiocarbon dating were taken to identify the age of barrier development and subsequent erosion of the central segment, respectively. Regression started along Bogue Banks ~3000 cal yr. BP, as the rate of relative sea-level rise slowed to ~0.8 mm/ yr. Reworked fluvial sediment from offshore paleochannels was an important sediment source. Regression continued to ~1100 cal yr. BP

  10. Impact of Cretaceous sea level rise and anoxic events on the Mesozoic carbonate platform of Yugoslavia

    SciTech Connect

    Jenkyns, H.C. )

    1991-06-01

    The Adriatic/Dinaric carbonate platform of Yugoslavia was influenced by rapid sea level rise and an oceanic anoxic event during the Cenomanian-Turonian. Open-marine biota such as planktonic foraminifera, radiolarians, and locally even ammonites, associated with and bracketed by successions of typical shallow-water carbonates, indicate partial drowning of substantial areas of the platform during this time, suggestive furthermore that the rate of increase of water depth was locally great enough to outpace carbonate production. The presence of carbon-rich and fish-bearing platy limestones, commonly cherty, as an associated coeval facies indicates the development of anoxic or euxinic environments, and the stromatolitic laminations in such rocks are attributed to the action of bacterial mats. It is suggested that an extensive column of deoxygenated water developed in the neighboring Marche-Umbrian-Adriatic deep-water basin and was carried on to the carbonate platform during the Cenomanian-Turonian transgression.

  11. Impact of climate change and sea level rise on a coastal aquifer, Central Vietnam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beyen, Ine; Batelaan, Okke; Thanh Tam, Vu

    2014-05-01

    The Gio Linh district in the Quang Tri province, Central Vietnam has, like many other coastal areas in the world, to deal with negative impacts of Global Climate Change (GCC) and sea level rise (SLR). This research aims at investigating the impact of GCC/SLR and designing an adaptive water use plan till the year 2030 for the 150,000 local residents of the Gio Linh district and the city of Dong Ha. The coastal plain covers an area of about 450 km2 between the rivers Ben Hai in the North and Thach Han in the South. The area has a tropical monsoon climate which is characterized by an average precipitation of 1500 to 2700 mm in nearly 180 days from August to April. GCC/SLR scenarios are built and assessed for estimating the changes in hydrometeorological conditions of the study area. Depending on the level of gas emission the sea level is expected to rise 7-9 cm by 2020 and around 11-14 cm by 2030 for low to high gas emission respectively. The salt-freshwater interface is expected to experience an inland shift due to SLR, affecting the amount of exploitable groundwater for drinking and irrigation water production. Water production mainly comes from shallow aquifers in unconsolidated Quarternary coastal formations. These geological formations have a highly heterogeneous lithology. A 3D groundwater model is built to study possible seawater intrusion under the changing conditions. Data from meteorological stations over a period of about 30 years and some data from 63 boreholes in and around the Gio Linh district are available. Geophysical measurements have been carried out recently and in the past and are used to support the model.

  12. Impact of climate change and sea level rise on a coastal aquifer, Central Vietnam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beyen, Ine; Batelaan, Okke; Thanh Tam, Vu

    2013-04-01

    The Gio Linh district in the Quang Tri province, Central Vietnam has, like many other coastal areas in the world, to deal with negative impacts of Global Climate Change (GCC) and sea level rise (SLR). This research aims at investigating the impact of GCC/SLR and designing an adaptive water use plan till the year 2030 for the local residents of the Gio Linh district. This coastal plain covers an area of about 450 km2 and is situated between the rivers Ben Hai in the North and Thach Han in the South. The elevation varies from 0.5 m at the seaside in the East to 19.5 m further inland. During the rainy season from August to April the precipitation is on average 2000 to 2700 mm. GCC/SLR scenarios are built and assessed for estimating the changes in hydrometeorological conditions of the study area. Depending on the level of gas emission the sea level is expected to rise 7-9 cm by 2020 and around 11-14 cm by 2030 for low to high gas emission respectively. The salt-freshwater interface is expected to experience an inland shift due to SLR, affecting the amount of exploitable groundwater for drinking and irrigation water production. Drinking water production mainly comes from shallow aquifers in unconsolidated Quarternary coastal formations. A SEAWAT groundwater model will be built to study the effects on the groundwater system. Data from meteorological stations over a period of about 30 years and data from 63 boreholes in and around the Gio Linh district are available. Historical production records of an operational groundwater production well-field are available to be used for validation of the model. Finally, to achieve a sustainable integrated water resources management in the Gio Linh district different adaptive scenarios will be developed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masciopinto, Costantino; Liso, Isabella S.

    2015-04-01

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

  14. Practical Tips and Techniques on the Process of Transdisciplinary Sea Level Rise Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    There is increasing awareness of the need for transdisciplinary science to address complex climate change issues, yet practical guidance is lacking. This presentation describes the iterative planning, implementation, and evaluation process of an ongoing transdisciplinary sea level rise (SLR) research project. Observations, reflections, and recommendations from firsthand experience are shared, illustrated with examples, and placed within a transdisciplinary research framework. The NOAA-sponsored project, Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (EESLR-NGOM) is a six-year regional study involving a team of biology, ecology, civil/coastal engineering, and communication scholars working with government agency personnel and industry professionals; supervising students and post-doctoral researchers; and engaging a group of non-academic stakeholders (i.e., coastal resource managers). EESLR-NGOM's focus is on detailed assessment and process-based modeling to project SLR impacts on northern Gulf of Mexico coastal wetland habitats and flood plains. This presentation highlights collaboration, communication, and project management considerations, and explains knowledge co-production from a dynamic combination of natural and social scientific methods (secondary data analysis, computer modeling, field observations, field and laboratory experiments, focus group interviews, surveys) and interrelated stakeholder engagement mechanisms (advisory committee, project flow chart, workshops, focus groups, webinars) infused throughout the EESLR-NGOM project to improve accessibility and utility of the scientific results and products. Attention is also given to project evaluation including monitoring, multiple quantitative and qualitative measures, and recognition of challenges and limitations. This presentation should generate productive dialogue and direction for similar endeavors to find transformative solutions to pressing problems of climate change.

  15. Sea Level Rise Modifies Biogeochemical Cycles in Winyah Bay, South Carolina Wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chow, A. T.; Conner, W.; Rhew, R. C.; Suhre, D.; Wang, J.

    2013-12-01

    Rising sea level along the relatively flat southeastern US coastal plain significantly changes both vegetation composition and salinity of coastal wetlands, eventually modifying ecosystem functions and biogeochemical processes of these wetlands. We conducted a two-year study to evaluate the dynamics and relationships among aboveground productivity, greenhouse and halocarbon gas emissions, nutrients, and dissolved organic matter of a freshwater forested wetland, a salt-impacted and degraded forested wetland, and a salt marsh in Winyah Bay, South Carolina, representing the salinity gradient and the transition from freshwater forested wetland to salt marsh due to sea level rise. The degraded forested wetland had significantly lower above-ground productivity with annual stem growth of 102 g/m^2/yr and litterfall of 392 g/m^2/yr compared to the freshwater forested wetland (230 and 612 g/m^2/yr, respectively). High methane emission [> 50 mmol/m2/day, n = 4] was only observed in the freshwater-forested wetland but there was a strong smell of sulfide noticed in the salt marsh, suggesting that different redox processes control the decomposition of natural organic matter along the salinity gradient. In addition, the largest CHCl3 [209 × 183 nmol/m2/day, n = 4] emission was observed in the degraded forested wetland, but net CH3Cl [257 × 190 nmol/m2/day, n = 4] and CH3Br [28 × 20 nmol/m2/day, n = 4] emissions were only observed in the salt marsh, suggesting different mechanisms in response to salt intrusion at that sites. The highest DOC concentration (28 - 42 mg/L) in monthly water samples was found in degraded forest wetland, followed by the freshwater forested wetland (19 - 38 mg/L) and salt marsh (9 - 18 mg/L). Results demonstrate that the salt-impacted degraded wetland has unique biogeochemical cycles that differ from unaltered freshwater forested wetland and salt marsh.

  16. Vulnerability of terrestrial island vertebrates to projected sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Wetzel, Florian T; Beissmann, Helmut; Penn, Dustin J; Jetz, Walter

    2013-07-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) from global warming may have severe consequences for biodiversity; however, a baseline, broad-scale assessment of the potential consequences of SLR for island biodiversity is lacking. Here, we quantify area loss for over 12 900 islands and over 3000 terrestrial vertebrates in the Pacific and Southeast Asia under three different SLR scenarios (1 m, 3 m and 6 m). We used very fine-grained elevation information, which offered >100 times greater spatial detail than previous analyses and allowed us to evaluate thousands of hitherto not assessed small islands. Depending on the SLR scenario, we estimate that 15-62% of islands in our study region will be completely inundated and 19-24% will lose 50-99% of their area. Overall, we project that between 1% and 9% of the total island area in our study region may be lost. We find that Pacific species are 2-3 times more vulnerable than those in the Indomalayan or Australasian region and risk losing 4-22% of range area (1-6 m SLR). Species already listed as threatened by IUCN are particularly vulnerable compared with non-threatened species. Under a simple area loss-species loss proportionality assumption, we estimate that 37 island group endemic species in this region risk complete inundation of their current global distribution in the 1 m SLR scenario that is widely anticipated for this century (and 118 species under 3 m SLR). Our analysis provides a first, broad-scale estimate of the potential consequences of SLR for island biodiversity and our findings confirm that islands are extremely vulnerable to sea-level rise even within this century. PMID:23504764

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Characterizing impact of local sea level rise through changes in extreme storm surges along the US coasts. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tebaldi, C.; Strauss, B.; Zervas, C.

    2010-12-01

    Over the time scale of centuries gradual sea level rise will carry significant impacts for all human infrastructures and natural ecosystems that lie close to mean sea level at present. But for the next few decades another aspect of sea level rise will likely pack the stronger punch. Even at present, episodic storm surges may create significant damage, and consideration of their return levels for long periods (50/100 years) have to be taken into account when planning structures or protecting pre-existing valuables, both within artificial and natural systems. When these same return levels are combined with the expected sea level rise in the next few decades it is very likely that the risk assessment will have to change, since the return period of damaging events is going to be in all cases shortened, and in many cases substantially so. We present an analysis of mid-term projections of changes in return levels/return periods in storm surges for a network of gauges along the coasts of the US lower 48. Our study starts by assessing a measure of gauge-specific, i.e., local, sea level rise, in light of which we propose to downscale future global sea level rise projections at each location. We then detrend and subtract the tidal and seasonal cycle from each gauge record, and perform an analysis of the maximum seasonal values of the residuals, representing our best estimates of current storm surge statistics. After determining return levels for a number of representative periods we add in projections of sea level rise. The latter we derive from a semi-empirical model recently proposed in the literature by Vermeer and Rahmstorf (2009). The analysis combines best estimates and ranges of uncertainty for each of the components into an overall assessment of the possible range of outcomes.

  1. 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. PMID:21115518

  2. Global coastal wetland change under sea-level rise and related stresses: The DIVA Wetland Change Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spencer, Thomas; Schuerch, Mark; Nicholls, Robert J.; Hinkel, Jochen; Lincke, Daniel; Vafeidis, A. T.; Reef, Ruth; McFadden, Loraine; Brown, Sally

    2016-04-01

    The Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment Wetland Change Model (DIVA_WCM) comprises a dataset of contemporary global coastal wetland stocks (estimated at 756 × 103 km2 (in 2011)), mapped to a one-dimensional global database, and a model of the macro-scale controls on wetland response to sea-level rise. Three key drivers of wetland response to sea-level rise are considered: 1) rate of sea-level rise relative to tidal range; 2) lateral accommodation space; and 3) sediment supply. The model is tuned by expert knowledge, parameterised with quantitative data where possible, and validated against mapping associated with two large-scale mangrove and saltmarsh vulnerability studies. It is applied across 12,148 coastal segments (mean length 85 km) to the year 2100. The model provides better-informed macro-scale projections of likely patterns of future coastal wetland losses across a range of sea-level rise scenarios and varying assumptions about the construction of coastal dikes to prevent sea flooding (as dikes limit lateral accommodation space and cause coastal squeeze). With 50 cm of sea-level rise by 2100, the model predicts a loss of 46-59% of global coastal wetland stocks. A global coastal wetland loss of 78% is estimated under high sea-level rise (110 cm by 2100) accompanied by maximum dike construction. The primary driver for high vulnerability of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise is coastal squeeze, a consequence of long-term coastal protection strategies. Under low sea-level rise (29 cm by 2100) losses do not exceed ca. 50% of the total stock, even for the same adverse dike construction assumptions. The model results confirm that the widespread paradigm that wetlands subject to a micro-tidal regime are likely to be more vulnerable to loss than macro-tidal environments. Countering these potential losses will require both climate mitigation (a global response) to minimise sea-level rise and maximisation of accommodation space and sediment supply (a regional

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakada, Masao; Inoue, Hiroshi

    2005-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  7. COREDAR: COmmunicating Risk of sea level rise and Engaging stakeholDers in framing community based Adaptation stRategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amsad Ibrahim Khan, S. K.; Chen, R. S.; de Sherbinin, A. M.; Andimuthu, R.; Kandasamy, P.

    2015-12-01

    Accelerated sea-level rise (SLR) is a major long term outcome of climate change leading to increased inundation of low-lying areas. Particularly, global cities that are located on or near the coasts are often situated in low lying areas and these locations put global cities at greater risk to SLR. Localized flooding will profoundly impact vulnerable communities located in high-risk urban areas. Building community resilience and adapting to SLR is increasingly a high priority for cities. On the other hand, Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change addresses the importance of climate change communication and engaging stakeholders in decision making process. Importantly, Community Based Adaptation (CBA) experiences emphasize that it is important to understand a community's unique perceptions of their adaptive capacities to identify useful solutions and that scientific and technical information on anticipated coastal climate impacts needs to be translated into a suitable language and format that allows people to be able to participate in adaptation planning. To address this challenge, this study has put forth three research questions from the lens of urban community engagement in SLR adaptation, (1) What, if any, community engagement in addressing SLR occurring in urban areas; (2) What information do communities need and how does it need to be communicated, in order to be better prepared and have a greater sense of agency? and (3) How can government agencies from city to federal levels facilitate community engagement and action?. To answer these questions this study has evolved a framework "COREDAR" (COmmunicating Risk of sea level rise and Engaging stakeholDers in framing community based Adaptation StRategies) to communicate and transfer complex climate data and information such as projected SLR under different scenarios of IPCC AR5, predicted impact of SLR, prioritizing vulnerability, etc. to concerned stakeholders and local communities

  8. 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.

    2016-07-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Quantifying the effect of sea level rise and flood defence - apoint process perspective on coastal flood damage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boettle, M.; Rybski, D.; Kropp, J. P.

    2015-10-01

    In contrast to recent advances in projecting sea levels, estimations about the economic impact of sea level rise are vague. Nonetheless, they are of great importance for policy making with regard to adaptation and greenhouse-gas mitigation. Since the damage is mainly caused by extreme events, we propose a stochastic framework to estimate the monetary losses from coastal floods in a confined region. For this purpose, we follow a Peak-over-Threshold approach employing a Poisson point process and the Generalised Pareto Distribution. By considering the effect of sea level rise as well as potential adaptation scenarios on the involved parameters, we are able to study the development of the annual damage. An application to the city of Copenhagen shows that a doubling of losses can be expected from a mean sea level increase of only 11 cm. In general, we find that for varying parameters the expected losses can be well approximated by one of three analytical expressions depending on the extreme value parameters. These findings reveal the complex interplay of the involved parameters and allow conclusions of fundamental relevance. For instance, we show that the damage always increases faster than the sea level rise itself. This in turn can be of great importance for the assessment of sea level rise impacts on the global scale. Our results are accompanied by an assessment of uncertainty, which reflects the stochastic nature of extreme events. While the uncertainty of flood damage increases with rising sea levels, we find that the error of our estimations in relation to the expected damage decreases.

  11. Quantifying the effect of sea level rise and flood defence - a point process perspective on coastal flood damage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boettle, M.; Rybski, D.; Kropp, J. P.

    2016-02-01

    In contrast to recent advances in projecting sea levels, estimations about the economic impact of sea level rise are vague. Nonetheless, they are of great importance for policy making with regard to adaptation and greenhouse-gas mitigation. Since the damage is mainly caused by extreme events, we propose a stochastic framework to estimate the monetary losses from coastal floods in a confined region. For this purpose, we follow a Peak-over-Threshold approach employing a Poisson point process and the Generalised Pareto Distribution. By considering the effect of sea level rise as well as potential adaptation scenarios on the involved parameters, we are able to study the development of the annual damage. An application to the city of Copenhagen shows that a doubling of losses can be expected from a mean sea level increase of only 11 cm. In general, we find that for varying parameters the expected losses can be well approximated by one of three analytical expressions depending on the extreme value parameters. These findings reveal the complex interplay of the involved parameters and allow conclusions of fundamental relevance. For instance, we show that the damage typically increases faster than the sea level rise itself. This in turn can be of great importance for the assessment of sea level rise impacts on the global scale. Our results are accompanied by an assessment of uncertainty, which reflects the stochastic nature of extreme events. While the absolute value of uncertainty about the flood damage increases with rising mean sea levels, we find that it decreases in relation to the expected damage.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-05-01

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

  13. Global DEM Errors Underpredict Coastal Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise and Flooding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulp, Scott; Strauss, Benjamin

    2016-04-01

    Elevation data based on NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) have been widely used to evaluate threats from global sea level rise, storm surge, and coastal floods. However, SRTM data are known to include large vertical errors in densely urban or densely vegetated areas. The errors may propagate to derived land and population exposure assessments. We compare assessments based on SRTM data against references employing high-accuracy bare-earth elevation data generated from lidar data available for coastal areas of the United States. We find that both 1-arcsecond and 3-arcsecond horizontal resolution SRTM data systemically underestimate exposure across all assessed spatial scales and up to at least 10m above the high tide line. At 3m, 1-arcsecond SRTM underestimates U.S. population exposure by more than 60%, and under-predicts population exposure in 90% of coastal states, 87% of counties, and 83% of municipalities. These fractions increase with elevation, but error medians and variability fall to lower levels, with national exposure underestimated by just 24% at 10m. Results using 3-arcsecond SRTM are extremely similar. Coastal analyses based on SRTM data thus appear to greatly underestimate sea level and flood threats, especially at lower elevations. However, SRTM-based estimates may usefully be regarded as providing lower bounds to actual threats. We additionally assess the performance of NOAA's Global Land One-km Base Elevation Project (GLOBE), another publicly-available global DEM, but do not reach any definitive conclusion because of the spatial heterogeneity in its quality.

  14. Detailed Flood Modeling and Hazard Assessment from Storm Tides, Rainfall and Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orton, P. M.; Hall, T. M.; Georgas, N.; Conticello, F.; Cioffi, F.; Lall, U.; Vinogradov, S. V.; Blumberg, A. F.

    2014-12-01

    A flood hazard assessment has been conducted for the Hudson River from New York City to Troy at the head of tide, using a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model and merging hydrologic inputs and storm tides from tropical and extra-tropical cyclones, as well as spring freshet floods. Our recent work showed that neglecting freshwater flows leads to underestimation of peak water levels at up-river sites and neglecting stratification (typical with two-dimensional modeling) leads to underestimation all along the Hudson. The hazard assessment framework utilizes a representative climatology of over 1000 synthetic tropical cyclones (TCs) derived from a statistical-stochastic TC model, and historical extra-tropical cyclones and freshets from 1950-present. Hydrodynamic modeling is applied with seasonal variations in mean sea level and ocean and estuary stratification. The model is the Stevens ECOM model and is separately used for operational ocean forecasts on the NYHOPS domain (http://stevens.edu/NYHOPS). For the synthetic TCs, an Artificial Neural Network/ Bayesian multivariate approach is used for rainfall-driven freshwater inputs to the Hudson, translating the TC attributes (e.g. track, SST, wind speed) directly into tributary stream flows (see separate presentation by Cioffi for details). Rainfall intensity has been rising in recent decades in this region, and here we will also examine the sensitivity of Hudson flooding to future climate warming-driven increases in storm precipitation. The hazard assessment is being repeated for several values of sea level, as projected for future decades by the New York City Panel on Climate Change. Recent studies have given widely varying estimates of the present-day 100-year flood at New York City, from 2.0 m to 3.5 m, and special emphasis will be placed on quantifying our study's uncertainty.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    More than 18 million seabirds nest on 58 Pacific islands protected within vast U.S. Marine National Monuments (1.9 million km2). However, most of these seabird colonies are on low-elevation islands and sea-level rise (SLR) and accompanying high-water perturbations are predicted to escalate with climate change. To understand how SLR may impact protected islands and insular biodiversity, we modeled inundation and wave-driven flooding of a globally important seabird rookery in the subtropical Pacific. We acquired new high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and used the Delft3D wave model and ArcGIS to model wave heights and inundation for a range of SLR scenarios (+0.5, +1.0, +1.5, and +2.0 m) at Midway Atoll. Next, we classified vegetation to delineate habitat exposure to inundation and identified how breeding phenology, colony synchrony, and life history traits affect species-specific sensitivity. We identified 3 of 13 species as highly vulnerable to SLR in the Hawaiian Islands and quantified their atoll-wide distribution (Laysan albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis; black-footed albatross, P. nigripes; and Bonin petrel, Pterodroma hypoleuca). Our models of wave-driven flooding forecast nest losses up to 10% greater than passive inundation models at +1.0 m SLR. At projections of + 2.0 m SLR, approximately 60% of albatross and 44% of Bonin petrel nests were overwashed displacing more than 616,400 breeding albatrosses and petrels. Habitat loss due to passive SLR may decrease the carrying capacity of some islands to support seabird colonies, while sudden high-water events directly reduce survival and reproduction. This is the first study to simulate wave-driven flooding and the combined impacts of SLR, groundwater rise, and storm waves on seabird colonies. Our results highlight the need for early climate change planning and restoration of higher elevation seabird refugia to prevent low-lying protected islands from becoming ecological traps in the face of rising

  16. How does a tidal embayment morphodynamically react on sea level rise?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Wegen, Mick

    2010-05-01

    Conditions for (assumed) equilibrium in tidal embayments have been studied extensively in the past years with morphodynamic 1D models (Van Dongeren and De Vriend, 1994; Schuttelaars and de Swart, 1996, 2000; Lanzoni and Seminara, 2002) and 2D models (Hibma et al. [2003], Van der Wegen and Roelvink [2008]) Van der Wegen et al 2008). The current research addresses the impact of sea level rise on tidal embayments. Although effects of sea level rise may only become apparent after decades, the character of the embayment can change considerably. Examples are the (dis)appearance or re-allocation of intertidal flats, increased tidal resonance, shift from sediment export to import, deepening of channel area and other related (ecological) parameters. The research applies a 2D morphodynamic model (Delft3D) in an idealized environment. The model is based on the 2 D shallow water equations, the Engelund -Hansen transport formula and includes bed slope effects, drying and flooding procedures and an advanced morphodynamic update scheme (Roelvink 2006). The initial condition of the bathymetry is generated by 3000 years of morphodynamic calculations in a 80 km long and 2.5 km wide rectangular tidal embayment under constant M2 tidal forcing conditions (Van der Wegen and Roelvink [2008]). After this period sea level rise gradually developing towards a rate of 0.4 m/century is added to the boundary conditions. Model results describe development towards less intertidal area and a transition from an exporting system to a importing system. Model results are evaluated in terms of M2, M4 and M6 tidal constituents as well as against Vs/Vc (shoal volume over channel volume) versus a/h (amplitude over water depth) relationship as proposed by Friedrichs and Aubrey (1988). Although the model describes morphodynamic development in a strongly idealized environment the results can provide an excellent tool to systematically study the impact of sea level rise in tidal embayments as well as the time

  17. A review of trend models applied to sea level data with reference to the "acceleration-deceleration debate"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Visser, Hans; Dangendorf, Sönke; Petersen, Arthur C.

    2015-06-01

    Global sea levels have been rising through the past century and are projected to rise at an accelerated rate throughout the 21st century. This has motivated a number of authors to search for already existing accelerations in observations, which would be, if present, vital for coastal protection planning purposes. No scientific consensus has been reached yet as to how a possible acceleration could be separated from intrinsic climate variability in sea level records. This has led to an intensive debate on its existence and, if absent, also on the general validity of current future projections. Here we shed light on the controversial discussion from a methodological point of view. To do so, we provide a comprehensive review of trend methods used in the community so far. This resulted in an overview of 30 methods, each having its individual mathematical formulation, flexibilities, and characteristics. We illustrate that varying trend approaches may lead to contradictory acceleration-deceleration inferences. As for statistics-oriented trend methods, we argue that checks on model assumptions and model selection techniques yield a way out. However, since these selection methods all have implicit assumptions, we show that good modeling practices are of importance too. We conclude at this point that (i) several differently characterized methods should be applied and discussed simultaneously, (ii) uncertainties should be taken into account to prevent biased or wrong conclusions, and (iii) removing internally generated climate variability by incorporating atmospheric or oceanographic information helps to uncover externally forced climate change signals.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Potential vulnerability implications of coastal inundation due to sea level rise for the coastal zone of Semarang city, Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marfai, Muh Aris; King, Lorenz

    2008-05-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) as a result of global warming has an impact on the increasing inundation on the coastal area. Nowadays, Semarang coastal area in Indonesia is already subject to coastal hazard due to tidal inundation and land subsidence. The impact of the inundation is predicted to be even more severe with the scenario of sea level rise. This paper concentrates on the risk assessment to the population, land use, and monetary losses as a result of coastal inundation under enhanced sea level rise. This paper uses the scenario of the depth of inundation to generate coastal inundation model using GIS-Technology. Anticipatory issues including methodology development for hazard assessment would be necessary for Semarang coastal area, and therefore, geo-information technology can be considered as a useful tool to rapidly assess the impact of the coastal hazard and evaluate the economic losses.

  1. Regional scenarios of sea level rise and impacts on Basque (Bay of Biscay) coastal habitats, throughout the 21st century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chust, Guillem; Caballero, Ainhoa; Marcos, Marta; Liria, Pedro; Hernández, Carlos; Borja, Ángel

    2010-03-01

    Global climate models have predicted a rise on mean sea level of between 0.18 m and 0.59 m by the end of the 21st Century, with high regional variability. The objectives of this study are to estimate sea level changes in the Bay of Biscay during this century, and to assess the impacts of any change on Basque coastal habitats and infrastructures. Hence, ocean temperature projections for three climate scenarios, provided by several atmosphere-ocean coupled general climate models, have been extracted for the Bay of Biscay; these are used to estimate thermosteric sea level variations. The results show that, from 2001 to 2099, sea level within the Bay of Biscay will increase by between 28.5 and 48.7 cm, as a result of regional thermal expansion and global ice-melting, under scenarios A1B and A2 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A high-resolution digital terrain model, extracted from LiDAR, data was used to evaluate the potential impact of the estimated sea level rise to 9 coastal and estuarine habitats: sandy beaches and muds, vegetated dunes, shingle beaches, sea cliffs and supralittoral rock, wetlands and saltmarshes, terrestrial habitats, artificial land, piers, and water surfaces. The projected sea level rise of 48.7 cm was added to the high tide level of the coast studied, to generate a flood risk map of the coastal and estuarine areas. The results indicate that 110.8 ha of the supralittoral area will be affected by the end of the 21st Century; these are concentrated within the estuaries, with terrestrial and artificial habitats being the most affected. Sandy beaches are expected to undergo mean shoreline retreats of between 25% and 40%, of their width. The risk assessment of the areas and habitats that will be affected, as a consequence of the sea level rise, is potentially useful for local management to adopt adaptation measures to global climate change.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alothman, Abdulaziz; Ayhan, Mehmet

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

  3. Evidence for post last-glacial-maximum punctuated sea level rise found on the eastern Mediterranean coast of Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katz, Oded; Goodman-Tchernov, Beverly

    2015-04-01

    The eustatic sea level curve for the eastern Mediterranean presents a general trend characterized by rapid post last-glacial-maximum rise (20,000 years ago), slowing approximately 6000 years ago and stabilizing at current sea-level 4000 years ago. Sea level evidence from portions of the Israeli coastline, suggest minimal to no hydro-glacio-isostatic influence on the local relative sea level curve, and no tectonic offsets for at least the past two thousand years. Recently, a submerged series of relict wave cut notches and erosional pits were identified along a sequence of coastal sites located approximately 20 km from one another (Michmoret, Olga, Caesarea, Dor) at 3 m and 6 m water depths. The features were carved into an upper-Pleistocene to Holocene eolianite sandstone, the age of which was previously constrained by OSL measurements to MIS 1-3. Elsewhere, similar features are widely used as sea-level markers. In this study, at some of the sites, we found a coinciding 3 m to 6 m submerged cliff with overhanging upper part, morphology that is comparable to the morphology of the modern coastal cliff. These submerged features should either suggest a tectonic offset, which is not favorable for the study area, or they might suggest that sea level rise has not been gradual, but rather punctuated, exhibiting pulses of sea level rise followed by periods of sea level stagnation. For the study site, the last stagnation took place at a few meters below current sea-level and enabled the development of the observed wave induced morphology within the eolianite. At present sea level, similar features exist and are being actively formed within the same host rock. At some of the sites, artificially-cut archaeological features from about the last 2000 years present with notches or erosional pits thereby providing insight into the period of time required for their creation due to their archaeological associations. Sea level rise might impacts the coastline significantly, with

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