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Sample records for accelerate sea-level rise

  1. 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

    2014-04-14

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

  2. 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

    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

  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. Is the detection of accelerated sea level rise imminent?

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-10

    Global mean sea level rise estimated from satellite altimetry provides a strong constraint on climate variability and change and is expected to accelerate as the rates of both ocean warming and cryospheric mass loss increase over time. In stark contrast to this expectation however, current altimeter products show the rate of sea level rise to have decreased from the first to second decades of the altimeter era. Here, a combined analysis of altimeter data and specially designed climate model simulations shows the 1991 eruption of Mt Pinatubo to likely have masked the acceleration that would have otherwise occurred. This 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Donnelly, Jeffrey P.; Bertness, Mark D.

    2001-01-01

    The distribution of New England salt marsh communities is intrinsically linked to the magnitude, frequency, and duration of tidal inundation. Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) exclusively inhabits the frequently flooded lower elevations, whereas a mosaic of marsh hay (Spartina patens), spike grass (Distichlis spicata), and black rush (Juncus gerardi) typically dominate higher elevations. Monitoring plant zonal boundaries in two New England salt marshes revealed that low-marsh cordgrass rapidly moved landward at the expense of higher-marsh species between 1995 and 1998. Plant macrofossils from sediment cores across modern plant community boundaries provided a 2,500-year record of marsh community composition and documented the migration of cordgrass into the high marsh. Isotopic dating revealed that the initiation of cordgrass migration occurred in the late 19th century and continued through the 20th century. The timing of the initiation of cordgrass migration is coincident with an acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise recorded by the New York tide gauge. These results suggest that increased flooding associated with accelerating rates of sea-level rise has stressed high-marsh communities and promoted landward migration of cordgrass. If current rates of sea-level rise continue or increase slightly over the next century, New England salt marshes will be dominated by cordgrass. If climate warming causes sea-level rise rates to increase significantly over the next century, these cordgrass-dominated marshes will likely drown, resulting in extensive losses of coastal wetlands. PMID:11724926

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

    PubMed

    Donnelly, J P; Bertness, M D

    2001-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-07

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

  16. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  2. Is sea level rise accelerating in the Chesapeake Bay? A demonstration of a novel new approach for analyzing sea level data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ezer, Tal; Corlett, William Bryce

    2012-10-01

    Sea level data from the Chesapeake Bay are used to test a novel new analysis method for studies of sea level rise (SLR). The method, based on Empirical Mode Decomposition and Hilbert-Huang Transformation, separates the sea level trend from other oscillating modes and reveals how the mean sea level changes over time. Bootstrap calculations test the robustness of the method and provide confidence levels. The analysis shows that rates of SLR have increased from ˜1-3 mm y-1 in the 1930s to ˜4-10 mm y-1 in 2011, an acceleration of ˜0.05-0.10 mm y-2 that is larger than most previous studies, but comparable to recent findings by Sallenger and collaborators. While land subsidence increases SLR rates in the bay relative to global SLR, the acceleration results support Sallenger et al.'s proposition that an additional contribution to SLR from climatic changes in ocean circulation is affecting the region.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Recurrence flooding in Miami Beach as an indicator of accelerating rates of sea level rise along the US Atlantic coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wdowinski, S.; Bray, R. L.; Kirtman, B. P.; Wu, Z.

    2014-12-01

    Since 2006, the coastal community of Miami Beach has experienced an increasing rate of flooding, which caused severe property damage and significant disruptions to daily life. To evaluate the flooding frequency and its causes, we conducted a temporal analysis of tide gauge, rain, media report, insurance claim, and photo records from Miami Beach of the past 16 years. The analysis shows that most flooding events occur after heavy rain (> 80 mm) during high tide conditions, but also after the fall equinox tides regardless of rain events. In 2013, a "clear sky" flooding event also occurred just before the spring equinox. We also evaluated changes in flooding frequency over the past 16 years. Our analysis reveals that since 2006, rain-induced events increased by 33% and tide-induced events quadrupled, from 2 events during 1998-2005 to 8-16 events in 2006-2013. In order to understand the causes for the observed increase in flooding frequency, we analyzed the the nearby Virginia Key tide gauge record. We used the Ensemble Emperical Mode Decomposition (EEMD) technique to evaluate trend change in the record and found a significant acceleration in the rate of sea level rise (SLR) since 2006. The average rate of SLR since 2006 is 9±4 mm/yr, which is significantly higher than the global average rate of 3.2±0.4 mm/yr. We also have looked how SLR in the Miami area relates to the large-scale ocean circulation from a very high resolution global climate model simulation. The model results indicate that a weakening of the entire Gulf Stream system (decrease in kinetic energy) is correlated with increasing sea level in the Miami area. Our results support the hypothesis postulated by previous studies that accelerating rate of SLR along the US Atlantic coast are cause by the weakening of the Gulf Stream (e.g., Ezer et al., 2013).

  8. Storminess helps coastal marshes withstand sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2013-03-01

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

  9. Scientific reticence and sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, J. E.

    2007-04-01

    I suggest that a 'scientific reticence' is inhibiting the communication of a threat of a potentially large sea level rise. Delay is dangerous because of system inertias that could create a situation with future sea level changes out of our control. I argue for calling together a panel of scientific leaders to hear evidence and issue a prompt plain-written report on current understanding of the sea level change issue.

  10. 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.

  11. Sea-level rise and its impact on coastal zones.

    PubMed

    Nicholls, Robert J; Cazenave, Anny

    2010-06-18

    Global sea levels have risen through the 20th century. These rises will almost certainly accelerate through the 21st century and beyond because of global warming, but their magnitude remains uncertain. Key uncertainties include the possible role of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets and the amplitude of regional changes in sea level. In many areas, nonclimatic components of relative sea-level change (mainly subsidence) can also be locally appreciable. Although the impacts of sea-level rise are potentially large, the application and success of adaptation are large uncertainties that require more assessment and consideration.

  12. 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.

  13. Sea Level Rise Impacts On Infrastructure Vulnerability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Shoreline retreat and sediment release in response to accelerating sea level rise: Measuring and modelling cliffline dynamics on the Suffolk Coast, UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, S. M.; Spencer, T.

    2012-01-01

    Contemporary and historic data for shoreline retreat are used to evaluate and test a range of models that predict shoreline response to accelerating sea level rise. Models are tested against the known record of sea level rise acceleration over the twentieth century on the cliffline position of a series of soft rock cliffs located along the Suffolk Coast, UK. These cliffs have experienced high retreat rates throughout the twentieth century (between 2 and 4.5 m a - 1 ). The shoreline response model most suited to such an assessment is the SCAPE model, with a close fit between actual and modelled shoreline positions. Retreating shorelines also have associated changes in alongshore elevation, an aspect of shoreline retreat that has attracted little attention. Recently acquired IfSar data now permit detailed and accurate assessment of ground elevation from which the elevation of future clifflines can be derived. Combining elevation data with future shoreline retreat, also predicted using the SCAPE model, enables future sediment release from the cliffs to be evaluated. The methodology has the ability to take into account alongshore variability in retreat rates, where previously most studies focus upon a single rate for a given shoreline. This paper thereby identifies behaviour based around "switching on", "no change" and "switching off" in cliff systems. Volumes of sediment released in the twenty first century in response to accelerating sea level rise are likely to be considerable (up to 300 000 m 3 a - 1 ) for the Suffolk study area, and around an order of magnitude above the sediment release estimates for the early twentieth century under lower rates of sea level rise. The implications for shoreline protection offered from additional sediment in the nearshore zone are discussed.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. Recent Global Sea Level Acceleration Started Over 200 Years Ago?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jevrejeva, S.; Moore, J.; Grinsted, A.; Woodworth, P.

    2008-12-01

    We present a reconstruction of global sea level (GSL) since 1700 calculated from tide gauge records and analyse the evolution of global sea level acceleration during the past 300 years. We provide observational evidence that sea level acceleration up to the present has been about 0.01 mm/yr2 and appears to have started at the end of the 18th century. Sea level rose by 6 cm during the 19th century and 19 cm in the 20th century. Superimposed on the long-term acceleration are quasi-periodic fluctuations with a period of about 60 years. If the conditions that established the acceleration continue, then sea level will rise 34 cm over the 21st century. Long time constants in oceanic heat content and increased ice sheet melting imply that the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates of sea level are probably too low.

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. Hurricanes, sea level rise, and coastal change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Global coastal hazards from future sea level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gornitz, Vivien

    1991-03-01

    A rise of sea level between 0.3 and 0.9 m by the end of the next century, caused by predicted greenhouse climate warming, would endanger human populations, cities, ports, and wetlands in low-lying coastal areas, through inundation, erosion and salinization. The consequences of a global sea level rise would be spatially non-uniform because of local or regional vertical crustal movements, differential resistance to erosion, varying wave climates, and changeable longshore currents. Although many factors can influence sea level, leading to a noisy record, various studies utilizing tide-gauge data find an average global rate of sea level rise of 1-2 mm/yr, over the last 100 years. This trend is part of a general rise over the last 300 years, since the low point of the Little Ice Age. Sea level rise may accelerate 3-8 times over present rates, within the next century. The permanently inundated coastal zone would extend to a depth equivalent to the vertical rise in sea level. Major river deltas, coastal wetlands and coral islands would be most affected. Episodic flooding by storm waves and surges would penetrate even farther inland. Beach and cliff erosion will be accentuated. Saltwater penetration into coastal aquifers and estuaries could contaminate urban water supplies and affect agricultural production. Research on relative risks and impacts of sea level rise on specific localities is still at an early stage. Development of a global coastal hazards data base, intended to provide an overview of the relative vulnerabilities of the world's coastlines, is described in this paper. To date, information on seven variables, associated with inundation and erosion hazards, has been compiled for the U.S., and parts of Canada and Mexico. A coastal vulnerability index (CVI) has been designed to flag high risk coastal segments. Preliminary results are presented for the eastern United States, as a test case.

  8. 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.

  9. Coastal Impacts Due to Sea-Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitzgerald, Duncan M.; Fenster, Michael S.; Argow, Britt A.; Buynevich, Ilya V.

    2008-05-01

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007) recently estimated that global sea level will rise from 0.18 to 0.59 m by the end of this century. Rising sea level not only inundates low-lying coastal regions but also contributes to the redistribution of sediment along sandy coasts. Over the long term, sea-level rise (SLR) causes barrier islands to migrate landward while conserving mass through offshore and onshore sediment transport. Under these conditions, coastal systems adjust to SLR dynamically while maintaining a characteristic geometry that is unique to a particular coast. Coastal marshes are susceptible to accelerated SLR because their vertical accretion rates are limited and they may drown. As marshes convert to open water, tidal exchange through inlets increases, which leads to sand sequestration in tidal deltas and erosion of adjacent barrier shorelines.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Pacific Sea Level Rise Pattern and Global Warming Hiatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peyser, C.; Yin, J.; Landerer, F. W.

    2015-12-01

    We investigate the linkage between two notable features of climate change and sea level rise during the past decades: a slowdown in global warming (hiatus) and an east-west seesaw pattern of SLR in the Pacific. During the hiatus, the subsurface layer of the Pacific shows significant increase in ocean heat content along with a strong east-west gradient that is reflected in the seesaw pattern of Pacific SLR through the thermosteric effect. Control simulations from 38 climate models indicate that during periods of negative trend in global mean surface temperature (analogous to hiatus decades in a warming world), dynamic sea level increases in the western Pacific and decreases in the eastern Pacific. The opposite occurs during periods of positive temperature trends. Using a regression analysis of the model simulations along with sea-level measurements from satellite altimetry, we find that the recent change in the Pacific Ocean heat storage has suppressed potential surface warming since 1998. Our results suggest that a flip of the Pacific SLR seesaw would imply a resumption of surface warming and SLR acceleration along the U.S. West Coast.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. [Book review] Sea level rise: history and consequences

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grossman, Eric E.

    2004-01-01

    Review of: Sea level Rise: history and consequences. Bruce Douglas, Michael S. Kearney and Stephen P. Leatherman (eds), Sand Diego: Academic Press, 2001, 232 pp. plus CD-RIM, US$64.95, hardback. ISBN 0-12-221345-9.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Climate change. How fast are sea levels rising?

    PubMed

    Church, J A

    2001-10-26

    Sea levels are rising as a result of global warming, but assessing the rate of the rise is proving difficult. In his Perspective, Church highlights the report by Cabanes et al., who have reassessed observational data and find that it is closer to model estimates than previously found. However, observational data are still limited and models disagree in their regional projections. With present data and models, regional sea-level changes cannot be predicted with confidence.

  11. The rising tide: Global warming and world sea levels

    SciTech Connect

    Edgerton, L.T.

    1991-01-01

    The author presents a broad-based and well-written approach to the impacts of sea level rise. Besides chapters on global warming, sources of sea level variability and the future, the effects on coastal nations, the book contains an important action-oriented discussion of proposed legislation and guidelines for planning and management aimed at reducing loss and damage produced by sea-level rise. The list of acknowledgements includes all the leading practitioners in the field. The references and information are current; reports and information from 1989 and 1990 meetings are included.

  12. Present-day sea level rise: A synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cazenave, Anny; Lombard, Alix; Llovel, William

    2008-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donner, S. D.

    2012-12-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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].

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Field, M.E.; Ogston, A.S.; Storlazzi, C.D.

    2011-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. How mangrove forests adjust to rising sea level

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. The Impacts of Sea Level Rise on California's Coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gleick, P.; Heberger, M.; Cooley, H.

    2008-12-01

    Climate change will have a wide range of impacts on California, but among the most severe will be the implications of sea level rise for coastal ecosystems, developments, and human populations. As part of a comprehensive set of studies done for the State of California, we present here the results of a detailed analysis of the risks of climate-induced sea-level rise for economic structures, populations, and natural ecosystems. Using a combination of high-resolution digital mapping and data sets of the value and type of property and land uses, we develop quantitative estimates of the value of property at risk of inundation over the next century under different sea-level rise scenarios. We also evaluate the number of people at risk of flooding, among other indices of vulnerability. The final phase of the project also looks at the costs of building different levels of coastal protection. The approaches developed here can be applied in any coastal region, but our assessment also points out the need for improvements in data collection and mapping.

  20. How mangrove forests adjust to rising sea level.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. *

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Effects of sea level rise on rugged coasts

    SciTech Connect

    Belknap, D.F. )

    1990-05-01

    Rugged coasts are usually rock framed, with more or less discontinuous unconsolidated sediment supply. Evolution of rugged coasts with respect to rising sea level is locally variable, involving rapid changes in facies over short distances and times. Glaciated and tectonic coasts are common examples. Three aspects of coastal evolution dominate rugged coasts during rising sea level: (1) drowning of resistant rocky shores, (2) bluff erosion in sediments or cliff erosion in less resistant rocks, involving marine abrasion as well as terrestrial processes and control by rock structures, and (3) larger scale structural control creating indentations and salients. The third aspect results in embayed coasts that may evolve as estuarine, fjord, or barrier-backbarrier systems. Of overriding concern for stratigraphic interpretation are paleogeography and sediment sources. The Maine coast and nearshore are classic examples of drowned shoreline, and record the effects of glaciation and rapid relative sea level changes over the past 14,000 yr. Offshore at {minus}60 m is a lowstand shoreline (approximately 10,000 yr B.P.), which ranges from cliff to barrier split( ). The inner shelf has evolved through drowning of shelf valleys and peninsulas, bluff erosion and formation of local transgressive barrier-backbarrier systems. Often short-term steady state equilibrium is established until a threshold is reached followed by rapid reorganization at a new location. This occurs in barrier systems, by overtopping of sills in estuaries, and in variable bluff and cliff erosion sites. Preservation potential is high only in valley axes and at sea level stillstand positions.

  10. Implications of Sea Level Rise on Coastal Flood Hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

    Elevated CO2 and nitrogen (N) addition directly affect plant productivity and the mechanisms that allow tidal marshes to maintain a constant elevation relative to sea level, but it remains unknown how these global change drivers modify marsh plant response to sea level rise. Here we manipulated factorial combinations of CO2 concentration (two levels), N availability (two levels) and relative sea level (six levels) using in situ mesocosms containing a tidal marsh community composed of a sedge, Schoenoplectus americanus, and a grass, Spartina patens. Our objective is to determine, if elevated CO2 and N alter the growth and persistence of these plants in coastal ecosystems facing rising sea levels. After two growing seasons, we found that N addition enhanced plant growth particularly at sea levels where plants were most stressed by flooding (114% stimulation in the + 10 cm treatment), and N effects were generally larger in combination with elevated CO2 (288% stimulation). N fertilization shifted the optimal productivity of S. patens to a higher sea level, but did not confer S. patens an enhanced ability to tolerate sea level rise. S. americanus responded strongly to N only in the higher sea level treatments that excluded S. patens. Interestingly, addition of N, which has been suggested to accelerate marsh loss, may afford some marsh plants, such as the widespread sedge, S. americanus, the enhanced ability to tolerate inundation. However, if chronic N pollution reduces the availability of propagules of S. americanus or other flood-tolerant species on the landscape scale, this shift in species dominance could render tidal marshes more susceptible to marsh collapse. PMID:23504873

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Pacific sea level rise patterns and global surface temperature variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peyser, Cheryl E.; Yin, Jianjun; Landerer, Felix W.; Cole, Julia E.

    2016-08-01

    During 1998-2012, climate change and sea level rise (SLR) exhibit two notable features: a slowdown of global surface warming (hiatus) and a rapid SLR in the tropical western Pacific. To quantify their relationship, we analyze the long-term control simulations of 38 climate models. We find a significant and robust correlation between the east-west contrast of dynamic sea level (DSL) in the Pacific and global mean surface temperature (GST) variability on both interannual and decadal time scales. Based on linear regression of the multimodel ensemble mean, the anomalously fast SLR in the western tropical Pacific observed during 1998-2012 indicates suppression of a potential global surface warming of 0.16° ± 0.06°C. In contrast, the Pacific contributed 0.29° ± 0.10°C to the significant interannual GST increase in 1997/1998. The Pacific DSL anomalies observed in 2015 suggest that the strong El Niño in 2015/2016 could lead to a 0.21° ± 0.07°C GST jump.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaughan, D. G.; Ice2sea Consortium

    2009-04-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Assessment of global coastal hazards from sea level rise

    SciTech Connect

    Gornitz, V.; Kanciruk, P.

    1989-01-01

    A global coastal hazards data base that contains topographic, geologic, geomorphic, erosional and subsidence information is being developed in order to predict the coastal segments at greatest risk to a rise in sea level caused by future climate warming. High risk areas are characterized by low coastal relief, an erodible substrate, past and present evidence of subsidence, extensive shoreline retreat and high wave/tide energies. Data have been assembled for the USA and are being extended to the rest of North America. Several high risk areas have been tentatively identified and include the central Gulf Coast, South Florida, the North Carolina Outer Banks, southern Delmarva peninsula, and the San Francisco Bay area. 24 refs., 3 figs., 4 tabs.

  19. Scientific Reticence and Sea Level Rise (Invited Talk)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    Caution is an essential ingredient in scientific investigations, as success in science depends on objective skepticism. In some cases a cultural resistance to scientific discovery has seemed to exist and there are other factors that can contribute to scientific reticence. In a case such as ice sheet instability and sea level rise there is a danger that excessive caution might serve to lock in future disasters. I discussed these issues almost a decade ago (in Environ. Res. Lett., 2, 024002, 2007, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/2/2/024002), but given all that has transpired since then, this topic has become even more relevant and urgent. I will discuss the status of this dilemma as I see it.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Geodesy for Evaluating the Impact of Sea Level Rise on NASA Centers and Facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, L. J.; Nerem, R.; Masters, D. S.; Meertens, C. M.

    2012-12-01

    Sea level is rising in response to climate change. Currently the global mean rate is a little over 3 mm/year, but it is expected to accelerate significantly over this century. This will have a profound impact on coastal populations and infrastructure, including NASA centers and facilities. A detailed study proposed by the University of Colorado's Center for Astrodynamics Research on the impact of sea level rise on a few of NASA's most vulnerable facilities was recently funded by NASA. Individual surveys at several high-risk NASA centers will be conducted and used as case studies for a broader investigation that needs to be done for coastal infrastructure around the country. The first year of the study will include implementing and conducting a terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) and GPS survey at Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, and potentially at Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia, and Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia. We will use a broad array of geodetic tools to perform this study - much of which has been developed over the last few decades by NASA and its investigators. We will use airborne lidar data and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) data to construct detailed digital elevation models (DEMs) of the facilities that we assess. We will use GPS data to assess the rate of vertical land movement at the facilities and to tie the DEM to tide gauges and other reference points. We will use satellite altimeter data from TOPEX, Jason-1, and Jason-2 to assess the sea level changes observed near these NASA facilities over the last 20 years to see if it offers clues for the future. We will also use GRACE satellite gravity observations to predict the regional changes in sea level caused by the melting of ice complexes around the world. We will use these datasets along with sea level projections from global climate models (GCMs) and semi-empirical projections to make detailed maps of sea level inundation for the years 2050 and 2100 for

  2. Sea level rise, hydrologic runoff, and the flooding of Venice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rinaldo, A.; Nicótina, L.; Alessi Celegon, E.; Beraldin, F.; Botter, G.; Carniello, L.; Cecconi, G.; Defina, A.; Settin, T.; Uccelli, A.; D'Alpaos, L.; Marani, M.

    2008-12-01

    This paper deals with hydrologic studies relevant to the works engineered for the protection of the city of Venice (Italy) from major flooding under significant climate change scenarios. Such works foresee the temporary closure of the lagoon surrounding the city to tidal exchanges with the Adriatic Sea in times of sea storm surges via the operation of a set of mobile gates. A general hydrologic model of the ˜2000 km2 mainland contributing runoff to the lagoon of Venice is coupled in time and space with a 2-D finite element model of the relevant tidal hydrodynamics to forecast maximum lagoonal surges in times of closure. We also study the impacts of run-through discharges bypassing the mobile gates and wind setups at time scales comparable to the foreseen closures (from a few to tens of hours). Climate change scenarios are recapitulated by up to +50 cm relative sea level rises by 2100 (the projected lifetime of the current protection works). Possible flooding of the city due to residual fluxes entering the lagoon during prolonged closures is examined. A probabilistic framework is also proposed for computing the statistics of maximum lagoon rises and stage-rise durations. Our studies suggest the adequacy of the design of temporary closures with respect to flooding and provide methods for general exercises in assessing the impact of regional climate change scenarios.

  3. Analysis of Sea Level Rise and Variability: On the Connections Between Observed Coastal Sea Level and Climatic Changes in Ocean Circulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ezer, T.

    2012-12-01

    Relative sea level rise (SLR) rates obtained from coastal tide gauge data show considerable spatial variations. These variations are partly related to land subsidence/uplifting, but additional contributions due to changes in ocean dynamics are not well understood. For example, sea level in the Chesapeake Bay and the Mid-Atlantic region has been rising 2-3 times faster than the global SLR, and until recently this has been attributed mostly to land subsidence. However, recent studies suggest that a significant contribution to local SLR along the US east coast between Cape Hatteras and Cape Code may be due to climate-related weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Some model studies in fact found correlations between variations in the strength of the Gulf Stream and coastal sea level. A new analysis of sea level data is introduced. The method is based on Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) and Hilbert-Huang Transformation (HHT), which separates the SLR trend from other oscillating modes and shows how the SLR changes with time. Bootstrap calculations were used to test the robustness of the method and obtain confidence levels. The analysis tries to overcome problems associated with sea level records that are not long enough to obtain accurate SLR acceleration or deceleration and separate trends from decadal and multi-decadal global and basin-scale oscillations. The results show for example, an accelerated SLR in the Chesapeake Bay that is larger than global estimates, but comparable to recent findings that propose that such acceleration may be due to changes in ocean dynamics. The various modes of sea level variability found by the analysis are compared with other data, such as the Gulf Stream transport and its location, in order to investigate the time-scales and mechanisms which connect variations in local sea level with large-scale ocean circulation.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-08-24

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

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spada, Giorgio

    2016-08-01

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

  10. Sea level rise Contribution from High Mountain Asia by 20150

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Liyun; Moore, John; Ding, Ran

    2015-04-01

    We estimate individual area and volume change by 2050 of all 83,460 glaciers of high mountain Asia (HMA), with a total area of 118,263 km2, delineated in the Randolph Glacier Inventory version 4.0 which separates glacier complexes in its previous version into individual glaciers. We used the 25 km resolution regional climate model RegCM 3.0 temperature and precipitation change projections forced by the IPCC A1B scenario. Glacier simulations were based on a novel surface mass balance-altitude parameterization fitted to observational data, and various volume-area scaling approaches using Shuttle Radar Topography Mission surface topography of each individual glacier. We generate mass balance-altitude relations for all the glaciers by region using nearest available glacier measurements. Two method are used to model the Equilibrium line altitude (ELA) variation. One is to use ELA sensitivities to temperature and precipitation change vary by region based on the relative importance of sublimation and melting processes. The other is solved ELA implicitly for every year using the temperature at ELA and Degree Day model. We project total glacier area loss in high mountain Asia in 2050 to be 22% of their extent in 2000, and they will contribute 5-8 mm to global sea level rise.

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

    PubMed

    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

  12. Increased Future Sea Level Rise due to Rapid Decay of the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greve, R.

    2008-12-01

    In the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an increase of the mean global sea level by 18-59 cm for the 21st century is projected for the six SRES marker scenarios B1, B2, A1B, A1T, A2 and A1FI. The main causes for this sea level rise are thermal expansion of sea water and melting of glaciers and small ice caps, and to a lesser extent changes of the surface mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. However, recent observations suggest that ice flow dynamics could lead to additional sea level rise, and this problem is explicitly stated in the AR4. These conjectured dynamical processes are (i) surface-meltwater-induced acceleration of basal sliding, and (ii) increased ice discharge due to reduced buttressing from surrounding ice shelves. The former process is probably more relevant for the Greenland ice sheet, whereas the latter may affect the stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet. On the observational side, recent results from satellite gravity measurements for the period 2002-2005 indicate surprisingly large mass losses of 239±23 km3 a-1 (0.66± 0.06 mm a-1 sea level equivalent) for the Greenland ice sheet. Furthermore, major outlet glaciers (Jacobshavn ice stream, Kangerdlugssuaq and Helheim glaciers) have sped up drastically during the last 15 years. It is attempted to quantify the range of uncertainty of future sea level rise due to dynamical processes of the Greenland ice sheet by numerical simulations with a high-resolution version of the 3-D dynamic/thermodynamic model SICOPOLIS. Results suggest that ice-dynamical processes can speed up the decay of the Greenland ice sheet significantly, but not catastrophically, in the 21st century and beyond.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Kirwan, Matthew L; Megonigal, J Patrick

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-11

    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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Assessing impacts of sea level rise on river salinity in the Gorai river network, Bangladesh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhuiyan, Md. Jabed Abdul Naser; Dutta, Dushmanta

    2012-01-01

    Coastal zones are particularly vulnerable to climate change effects. Over the last century, sea level rose on average by 10-12 cm per decade and did so at much higher rates in some coastal areas due to land subsidence. The 4th IPCC report highlights the increased vulnerability of the coastal zones around the world due to sea level rises in 21st Century. Key concerns due to sea level rise include flooding and salinisation and its implications for water resources. Rising sea level increases the salinity of both surface water and ground water through salt water intrusion. It is important to determine the impacts of sea level rise on salinity to devise suitable adaptation and mitigation measures and reduce impacts of salinity intrusion in coastal cities. The paper presents the outcomes of a study conducted in the coastal area of Gorai river network in the South West region of Bangladesh for developing a comprehensive understanding of the possible effects of sea level rise with the aid of a hydrodynamic model. A newly developed salinity flux model has been integrated with an existing hydrodynamic model in order to simulate flood and salinity in the complex waterways in the coastal zone of Gorai river basin. The integrated model has been calibrated and validated by numerous comparisons with measurements (tide, salinity). The model has been applied for future scenarios with sea level rise and the results obtained indicate the risk and changes in salinity. Due to sea level rise, the salinity has increased in the river and salinity intrusion length has also increased. Sea level rise of 59 cm produced a change of 0.9 ppt at a distance of 80 km upstream of river mouth, corresponding to a climatic effect of 1.5 ppt per meter sea level rise.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Mimura, Nobuo

    2013-01-01

    Sea-level rise is a major effect of climate change. It has drawn international attention, because higher sea levels in the future would cause serious impacts in various parts of the world. There are questions associated with sea-level rise which science needs to answer. To what extent did climate change contribute to sea-level rise in the past? How much will global mean sea level increase in the future? How serious are the impacts of the anticipated sea-level rise likely to be, and can human society respond to them? This paper aims to answer these questions through a comprehensive review of the relevant literature. First, the present status of observed sea-level rise, analyses of its causes, and future projections are summarized. Then the impacts are examined along with other consequences of climate change, from both global and Japanese perspectives. Finally, responses to adverse impacts will be discussed in order to clarify the implications of the sea-level rise issue for human society.(Communicated by Kiyoshi HORIKAWA, M.J.A.).

  12. Closing the Global Sea Level Rise Budget with GRACE, Argo, and Altimetry Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leuliette, E. W.; Miller, L.

    2008-12-01

    An important goal of climate studies is to determine the relative contribution of steric (heating and salinty) and eustatic (melting ice, runoff) sea level rise and to understand how and why these contributions vary. Concurrent measurements from the Argo array of profiling floats and the GRACE gravity mission, which respectively measure steric and eustatic changes, provide an independent measure of total sea level change. An analysis of the steric and ocean mass components of sea level shows that the sea level rise budget for the period January 2004 to December 2007 can be closed. Using corrected and verified Jason-1 and Envisat altimetry observations of total sea level, upper ocean steric sea level from the Argo array, and ocean mass variations inferred from GRACE gravity mission observations, we find that the sum of steric sea level and the ocean mass component has a trend of 1.5 ± 1.5 mm/year over the period, in agreement with the total sea level rise observed by either Jason-1 (2.2 ± 1.6 mm/year) or Envisat (1.7 ± 1.8 mm/year). This provides verification that the altimeters, Argo buoys, and GRACE are providing consistent results and opens the way to routine monitoring of the major components of sea level rise.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  14. Sea Level Rise in Long Island Sound Over the Last Millennium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, E.; Varekamp, J. C.

    2002-12-01

    Salt marshes along the north coast of Long Island Sound carry a detailed paleoenvironmental record, with information on relative sea level rise, climate and anthropogenic impacts (e.g., metal pollution). We studied fourteen salt marsh cores along the Sound, and here present data on cores from marsh islands in the mouth of the Connecticut River (Great Island) and the Housatonic River (Knells Island). Both are largely high-marsh environments, with a tidal range of 1.7 m at Great Island, 2 m at Knells Island. Cores are sliced in 2 cm intervals, dated with 210Pb, 137Cs and 14C, and benthic foraminifera are used as paleo sea level indicators. The records go back 600 years (Great Island) and 1500 years (Knells Island). Both locations show evidence for enhanced fresh water discharge around 1900 and 1950 AD, well-documented wet periods in the climate history of Connecticut. The relative sea level rise (RSLR) curve from Knells Island shows little change between 500 and 1000 AD, then the rate of RSLR accelerates until ~1600 AD to about 2.5 mm/year. From 1600 to 1700 AD, the curve is flat, then rises to about 1.7 mm/year, with an acceleration to 3 mm/year in the last 100 years. The Great Island RSLR curve shows a rate of 1.7 mm/year from 1400 AD on, with a short slow-down at ~1700 AD, and a slightly faster rate of 2.3 mm/year in the last 300 years. These data are similar to those in our other RSLR curves from the Long Island Sound marshes: RSLR rates are variable over the last 1000 years (~1 mm/year on average), and accelerate in the last 200-300 years to about 2.5-3 mm/year. The exact date of the beginning of the recent acceleration remains to be determined because it falls in the dating gap between viable 210Pb and 14C ages. Many curves show a slight decrease in rate of relative sea level rise around 1500-1600 AD, which we correlate with the coldest stretch of the Little Ice Age. The Knells Island core appears to show an acceleration around 1000 AD, which may correlate with

  15. 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.

  16. Modeling the transient response of saline intrusion to rising sea-levels.

    PubMed

    Webb, Matt D; Howard, Ken W F

    2011-01-01

    Sea levels are expected to rise as a result of global temperature increases, one implication of which is the potential exacerbation of sea water intrusion into coastal aquifers. Given that approximately 70% of the world's population resides in coastal regions, it is imperative to understand the interaction between fresh groundwater and sea water intrusion in order to best manage available resources. For this study, controlled investigation has been carried out concerning the temporal variation in sea water intrusion as a result of rising sea levels. A series of fixed inland head two-dimensional sea water intrusion models were developed with SEAWAT in order to assess the impact of rising sea levels on the transient migration of saline intrusion in coastal aquifers under a range of hydrogeological property conditions. A wide range of responses were observed for typical hydrogeological parameter values. Systems with a high ratio of hydraulic conductivity to recharge and high effective porosity lagged behind the equilibrium sea water toe positions during sea-level rise, often by many hundreds of meters, and frequently taking several centuries to equilibrate following a cease in sea-level rise. Systems with a low ratio of hydraulic conductivity to recharge and low effective porosity did not develop such a large degree of disequilibrium and generally stabilized within decades following a cease in sea-level rise. This study provides qualitative initial estimates for the expected rate of intrusion and predicted degree of disequilibrium generated by sea-level rise for a range of hydrogeological parameter values.

  17. 21st century Mediterranean sea level rise: Steric and atmospheric pressure contributions from a regional model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsimplis, Michael N.; Marcos, Marta; Somot, Samuel

    2008-09-01

    An Atmosphere-Ocean Regional Climate Model coupled over the Mediterranean basin and forced by river runoff and influxes from the Atlantic Ocean and the Black Sea is used to obtain estimates of sea level rise in the region during the 21st century. Changes in temperature and salinity under the A2 emission scenario, which corresponds to a high level of anthropogenic gas concentration in the atmosphere, are investigated in the different sub-basins and are used to compute the steric sea level change in the region. Significant spatial variability is observed. This model projects a maximum steric sea level rise of 25 cm. The mean steric sea level rise value predicted is around 13 cm with lower values in the eastern Mediterranean and higher values at the western Mediterranean. Coastal sea level rise values are found to be smaller, although this is partly due to the smaller range of vertical integration in the computation of sea level changes. Warming and salinification of the intermediate waters are also predicted to occur simultaneously thus partly compensating each other. The effects of atmospheric pressure changes are added to the steric sea level obtained from the model giving up to 2 mbars and thus also compensating some of the thermal expansion. Circulation changes will in certain areas also add up to 6 cm of sea level rise. There is no predicted seasonal bias in the sea level rise indicating that the seasonal cycles will remain unaffected. These results are derived from a single model and therefore can only been seen as part of a methodological study. Similar investigations should be applied to a range of models and scenarios in order to obtain a range of the future sea level change in the Mediterranean basin and its associated uncertainties.

  18. Relative sea-level rise hazards: The case of Bangladesh Delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, M.; Calmant, S.; Papa, F.; Delebecque, C.; Islam, A. S.; Karpytchev, M.; Ballu, V.; Shum, C. K.; Khan, Z. H.

    2015-12-01

    In Bangladesh, the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna Rivers come together to form the largest river delta in the world. This low-lying region of the Bay of Bengal is one of the most densely populated in the world and is prone to monsoonal flooding, potentially aggravated by intensified cyclones due to climate change. In this context, sea-level rise, along with tectonic, sediment load and groundwater extraction induced land uplift/subsidence, significantly exacerbate the Bangladesh's coastal vulnerability. Here we present the goals and results of a Belmont Forum/IGFA-funded project, BanD-AID (http://Belmont-SeaLevel.org). For the last 5 decades, we analyze the decadal / multi-decadal sea level in this region. To do this, we use a reconstruction of sea level past variations over the past 50 years based on the joint statistical analysis of tide gauge records and grids of sea level from a ocean circulation model. We also determine the relative sea level trend, which reflects the sea level change felt by the population locally, by combining space geodetic observations, including satellite altimetry and GPS, together with tide gauges, and different reconstructed sea-level approaches. This unique combination of different techniques offers the possibility to better quantify the major contributions to the relative sea-level rise at the Bangladesh delta, towards addressing its coastal vulnerability and future sustainability.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kirwan, Matthew L; Megonigal, J Patrick

    2013-12-01

    Coastal populations and wetlands have been intertwined for centuries, whereby humans both influence and depend on the extensive ecosystem services that wetlands provide. Although coastal wetlands have long been considered vulnerable to sea-level rise, recent work has identified fascinating feedbacks between plant growth and geomorphology that allow wetlands to actively resist the deleterious effects of sea-level rise. Humans alter the strength of these feedbacks by changing the climate, nutrient inputs, sediment delivery and subsidence rates. Whether wetlands continue to survive sea-level rise depends largely on how human impacts interact with rapid sea-level rise, and socio-economic factors that influence transgression into adjacent uplands. PMID:24305148

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Paleoclimatic evidence for future ice-sheet instability and rapid sea-level rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Overpeck, J.T.; Otto-Bliesner, B. L.; Miller, G.H.; Muhs, D.R.; Alley, R.B.; Kiehl, J.T.

    2006-01-01

    Sea-level rise from melting of polar ice sheets is one of the largest potential threats of future climate change. Polar warming by the year 2100 may reach levels similar to those of 130,000 to 127,000 years ago that were associated with sea levels several meters above modern levels; both the Greenland Ice Sheet and portions of the Antarctic Ice Sheet may be vulnerable. The record of past ice-sheet melting indicates that the rate of future melting and related sea-level rise could be faster than widely thought.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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 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.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Warming water and melting land ice have raised global mean sea level 4.5 centimeters (1.7 inches) from 1993 to 2008. But the rise is by no means uniform. This image, created with sea surface height data from the Topex/Poseidon and Jason-1 satellites, shows exactly where sea level has changed during this time and how quickly these changes have occurred.

    It's also a road map showing where the ocean currently stores the growing amount of heat it is absorbing from Earth's atmosphere and the heat it receives directly from the Sun. The warmer the water, the higher the sea surface rises. The location of heat in the ocean and its movement around the globe play a pivotal role in Earth's climate.

    Light blue indicates areas in which sea level has remained relatively constant since 1993. White, red, and yellow are regions where sea levels have risen the most rapidly up to 10 millimeters per year and which contain the most heat. Green areas have also risen, but more moderately. Purple and dark blue show where sea levels have dropped, due to cooler water.

    The dramatic variation in sea surface heights and heat content across the ocean are due to winds, currents and long-term changes in patterns of circulation. From 1993 to 2008, the largest area of rapidly rising sea levels and the greatest concentration of heat has been in the Pacific, which now shows the characteristics of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), a feature that can last 10 to 20 years or even longer.

    In this 'cool' phase, the PDO appears as a horseshoe-shaped pattern of warm water in the Western Pacific reaching from the far north to the Southern Ocean enclosing a large wedge of cool water with low sea surface heights in the eastern Pacific. This ocean/climate phenomenon may be caused by wind-driven Rossby waves. Thousands of kilometers long, these waves move from east to west on either side of the equator changing the distribution of water mass and heat.

    This image of sea level

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, J. T.

    2010-12-01

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

  3. 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).

  4. 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

  5. How does sea-level rise affect stratification and circulation in Chesapeake Bay?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, M.; Li, Y.; Najjar, R.

    2008-12-01

    Despite the potentially large impacts of climate change on the physical state of estuaries, very little research has been conducted on this topic, particularly with regard to sea-level rise, one of the most certain consequences of climate change. Global sea level rose at a rate of 1.8 ± 0.5 mm/yr from 1961 to 2003. Climate models project that the rate of sea-level rise will further increase in the 21st century, with projected global mean increases by 2100 of 0.5 to 1.4 m, depending on the greenhouse gas scenario. Chesapeake Bay is particularly vulnerable because relative sea-level rise there during the past 50 years is large (2.7 - 4.5 mm/yr) compared to the global average. This is due to land subsidence as well as the greater rate of absolute sea-level rise in the middle latitudes of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. We have conducted process- oriented modeling experiments to investigate the response of Chesapeake Bay to an abrupt increase in the offshore mean sea level. It is found that the sea-level rise affects estuarine salinity distribution and circulation in a variety of interesting and unexpected ways. Sea-level rise causes stronger salt intrusion, which may produce stronger stratification in the estuary. However, sea-level rise also increases the tidal range. In Chesapeake Bay, a 1-m rise in mean sea level moves diurnal tides into the resonant band, amplifying the tides inside the Bay. Larger tides produce stronger mixing and reduce stratification. The net effect of sea- level rise on estuarine stratification thus depends on the competition between these two opposing forces, which is explored by the numerical model. The classic steady-state theory by Hansen and Rattray predicts that neither the residual velocity nor the stratification depends on the vertical mixing rate. We use the numerical model to test this theoretical prediction and examine the hypothesis that the horizontal salinity gradient and vertical mixing work in opposition to produce the relative

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buddemeier, R. W.; Smith, S. V.

    1988-05-01

    Coral reef growth is intimately linked to sea level. It has been postulated that over the next century, sea level will rise at a probable average rate of 15 mm/year, in response to fossil fuel emissions, heating, and melting of the Antarctic ice cap. This predicted rate of sea level rise is five times the present modal rate of vertical accretion on coral reef flats and 50% greater than the maximum vertical accretion rates apparently attained by coral reefs. We use these predictions and observations to offer the following hypothesis for reef growth over the next century. The vertical accretion rates of protected reef flats will accelerate from the present modal rate up to the maximum rate, in response to the more rapidly rising sea level. This more rapid vertical accretion rate will be insufficient to keep up with sea level rise, if present predictions prove to be correct. Less protected reef flats will slow their rate of growth as they become inundated and subjected to erosion by progressively larger waves. This projected sea level rise and postulated reef response will provide an opportunity for long-term studies of the response of coral reef systems to a predictable and measurable forcing function. If the scientific benefits from this uncontrolled global experiment are to be maximized, it will be necessary to establish a permanent international coordinating body to assist with the identification and preservation of long-term study sites and to provide guidelines for baseline data surverys, methods selection and comparison, and other procedures and decisions.

  7. A semi-empirical approach to projecting future sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Rahmstorf, Stefan

    2007-01-19

    A semi-empirical relation is presented that connects global sea-level rise to global mean surface temperature. It is proposed that, for time scales relevant to anthropogenic warming, the rate of sea-level rise is roughly proportional to the magnitude of warming above the temperatures of the pre-Industrial Age. This holds to good approximation for temperature and sea-level changes during the 20th century, with a proportionality constant of 3.4 millimeters/year per degrees C. When applied to future warming scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this relationship results in a projected sea-level rise in 2100 of 0.5 to 1.4 meters above the 1990 level.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Werner, Adrian D; Simmons, Craig T

    2009-01-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Werner, Adrian D; Simmons, Craig T

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Uncertainty in future regional sea level rise due to internal climate variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Aixue; Deser, Clara

    2013-06-01

    level rise (SLR) is an inescapable consequence of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, with potentially harmful effects on human populations in coastal and island regions. Observational evidence indicates that global sea level has risen in the 20th century, and climate models project an acceleration of this trend in the coming decades. Here we analyze rates of future SLR on regional scales in a 40-member ensemble of climate change projections with the Community Climate System Model Version 3. This unique ensemble allows us to assess uncertainty in the magnitude of 21st century SLR due to internal climate variability alone. We find that simulated regional SLR at mid-century can vary by a factor of 2 depending on location, with the North Atlantic and Pacific showing the greatest range. This uncertainty in regional SLR results primarily from internal variations in the wind-driven and buoyancy-driven ocean circulations.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Sea-level rise induced by climate change may have significant impacts on the ecosystem functions and ecosystem services provided by intertidal sediment ecosystems. Accelerated sea-level rise is expected to lead to steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure, with consequent impacts on intertidal ecosystems. We examined the relationships between abundance, biomass, and community metabolism of benthic fauna with beach slope, particle size and exposure, using samples across a range of conditions from three different locations in the UK, to determine the significance of sediment particle size beach slope and wave exposure in affecting benthic fauna and ecosystem function in different ecological contexts. Our results show that abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption of intertidal macrofauna and meiofauna are affected significantly by interactions among sediment particle size, beach slope and wave exposure. For macrofauna on less sloping beaches, the effect of these physical constraints is mediated by the local context, although for meiofauna and for macrofauna on intermediate and steeper beaches, the effects of physical constraints dominate. Steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure generally result in decreases in abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption, but these relationships are complex and non-linear. Sea-level rise is likely to lead to changes in ecosystem structure with generally negative impacts on ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. However, the impacts of sea-level rise will also be affected by local ecological context, especially for less sloping beaches. PMID:23861863

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Sea-level rise induced by climate change may have significant impacts on the ecosystem functions and ecosystem services provided by intertidal sediment ecosystems. Accelerated sea-level rise is expected to lead to steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure, with consequent impacts on intertidal ecosystems. We examined the relationships between abundance, biomass, and community metabolism of benthic fauna with beach slope, particle size and exposure, using samples across a range of conditions from three different locations in the UK, to determine the significance of sediment particle size beach slope and wave exposure in affecting benthic fauna and ecosystem function in different ecological contexts. Our results show that abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption of intertidal macrofauna and meiofauna are affected significantly by interactions among sediment particle size, beach slope and wave exposure. For macrofauna on less sloping beaches, the effect of these physical constraints is mediated by the local context, although for meiofauna and for macrofauna on intermediate and steeper beaches, the effects of physical constraints dominate. Steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure generally result in decreases in abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption, but these relationships are complex and non-linear. Sea-level rise is likely to lead to changes in ecosystem structure with generally negative impacts on ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. However, the impacts of sea-level rise will also be affected by local ecological context, especially for less sloping beaches.

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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 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.

    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.

  7. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sterner, E.; Johansson, D. J.

    2013-12-01

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

  10. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Washburn, P.M.

    1991-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Low sea level rise projections from mountain glaciers and icecaps under global warming.

    PubMed

    Raper, Sarah C B; Braithwaite, Roger J

    2006-01-19

    The mean sea level has been projected to rise in the 21st century as a result of global warming. Such projections of sea level change depend on estimated future greenhouse emissions and on differing models, but model-average results from a mid-range scenario (A1B) suggests a 0.387-m rise by 2100 (refs 1, 2). The largest contributions to sea level rise are estimated to come from thermal expansion (0.288 m) and the melting of mountain glaciers and icecaps (0.106 m), with smaller inputs from Greenland (0.024 m) and Antarctica (- 0.074 m). Here we apply a melt model and a geometric volume model to our lower estimate of ice volume and assess the contribution of glaciers to sea level rise, excluding those in Greenland and Antarctica. We provide the first separate assessment of melt contributions from mountain glaciers and icecaps, as well as an improved treatment of volume shrinkage. We find that icecaps melt more slowly than mountain glaciers, whose area declines rapidly in the 21st century, making glaciers a limiting source for ice melt. Using two climate models, we project sea level rise due to melting of mountain glaciers and icecaps to be 0.046 and 0.051 m by 2100, about half that of previous projections.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

    Tidal wetlands experiencing increased rates of sea-level rise (SLR) must increase rates of soil elevation gain to avoid permanent conversion to open water. The maximal rate of SLR that these ecosystems can tolerate depends partly on mineral sediment deposition, but the accumulation of organic matter is equally important for many wetlands. Plant productivity drives organic matter dynamics and is sensitive to global change factors, such as rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. It remains unknown how global change will influence organic mechanisms that determine future tidal wetland viability. Here, we present experimental evidence that plant response to elevated atmospheric [CO2] stimulates biogenic mechanisms of elevation gain in a brackish marsh. Elevated CO2 (ambient + 340 ppm) accelerated soil elevation gain by 3.9 mm yr−1in this 2-year field study, an effect mediated by stimulation of below-ground plant productivity. Further, a companion greenhouse experiment revealed that the CO2 effect was enhanced under salinity and flooding conditions likely to accompany future SLR. Our results indicate that by stimulating biogenic contributions to marsh elevation, increases in the greenhouse gas, CO2, may paradoxically aid some coastal wetlands in counterbalancing rising seas.

  5. Impact of sea level rise on the sedimentology and stratigraphy of estuarine systems

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, R.F.; Kearney, M.S.

    1988-01-01

    Drowned-river valley estuaries are characteristic features of trailing-edge continental margins, as exemplified by the United States Atlantic Coast. During marine transgressions, the classic cycle of estuarine development is one of initial submergence and subsequent infilling, with the latter stages marked by extensive accumulations of fine-grained sediments in expanding marshes, deltas, and floodplains. Seismic surveys, vibracoring, and radiocarbon dating in the estuarine tributaries in middle Chesapeake Bay (The largest estuary along the Atlantic Coast), indicate that thick accumulations (>25 m) of organic-rich fine-grained sediments have been deposited since the middle Holocene. However, studies of recent accretion rate (based on pollen and radionuclide analyses) suggest the marshes, which represent a near-end member of the estuarine depositional sequence, may no longer be accumulating significant volumes of sediment. Relatively rapid crustal subsidence plus eustatic sea level rise produces a local submergence of approx. 4 mm/yr. Although marsh accretion rates in the upper estuarine tributaries approach 1 cm/yr, marsh accretion rates in the middle and lower reaches are significantly less (<2 mm/yr) than submergence. Here, numerous marshes are converting to open water as they become increasingly flooded by the tides. This change in depositional regime is also reflected in the carbon content (decreasing) and grain size (coarsening) of the marsh sediments and tidal channel migrations. In the coming decades, the rate of the world sea level rise is projected to increase significantly. This acceleration in the global eustatic trend together with lower sediment inputs from surrounding watersheds may reverse the historic trend of estuarine infilling.

  6. Impact of sea level rise don the sedimentology and stratigraphy of estuarine systems

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, L.G.; Kearney, M.S.

    1988-02-01

    Drowned-river valley estuaries are characteristic features of trailing-edge continental margins, as exemplified by the US Atlantic Coast. During marine transgressions, the classic cycle of estuarine development is one of the initial submergence and subsequent infilling, with the latter stages marked by extensive accumulations of fine-grained sediments in expanding marshes, deltas, and floodplains. Seismic surveys, vibracoring, and radiocarbon dating in the estuarine tributaries in middle Chesapeake Bay (the largest estuary along the Atlantic Coast) indicate that thick accumulations (> 25 m) of organic-rich fine-grained sediments have been deposited since the middle Holocene. However, studies of recent accretion rates (based on pollen and radionuclide analyses) suggest the marshes, which represent a near-end member of the estuarine depositional sequence, may no longer be accumulating significant volumes of sediment. Relatively rapid crustal subsidence plus eustatic sea level rise produces a local submergence of /approximately/4 mm/yr. Although marsh accretion rates in the upper eustarine tributaries approach 1 cm/yr, marsh accretion rates in the middle and lower reaches are significantly less (< 2 mm/yr) than submergence. Here, numerous marshes are converting to open water as they become increasingly flooded by the tides. This change in depositional regime is also reflected in the carbon content (decreasing) and grain size (coarsening) of the marsh sediments and tidal channel migrations. In the coming decades, the rate of the world sea level rise is projected to increase significantly. This acceleration in the global eustatic trend together with lower sediment inputs from surrounding watersheds may reverse the historic trend of estuarine infilling.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Recent contributions of glaciers and ice caps to sea level rise.

    PubMed

    Jacob, Thomas; Wahr, John; Pfeffer, W Tad; Swenson, Sean

    2012-02-08

    Glaciers and ice caps (GICs) are important contributors to present-day global mean sea level rise. Most previous global mass balance estimates for GICs rely on extrapolation of sparse mass balance measurements representing only a small fraction of the GIC area, leaving their overall contribution to sea level rise unclear. Here we show that GICs, excluding the Greenland and Antarctic peripheral GICs, lost mass at a rate of 148 ± 30 Gt yr(-1) from January 2003 to December 2010, contributing 0.41 ± 0.08 mm yr(-1) to sea level rise. Our results are based on a global, simultaneous inversion of monthly GRACE-derived satellite gravity fields, from which we calculate the mass change over all ice-covered regions greater in area than 100 km(2). The GIC rate for 2003-2010 is about 30 per cent smaller than the previous mass balance estimate that most closely matches our study period. The high mountains of Asia, in particular, show a mass loss of only 4 ± 20 Gt yr(-1) for 2003-2010, compared with 47-55 Gt yr(-1) in previously published estimates. For completeness, we also estimate that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, including their peripheral GICs, contributed 1.06 ± 0.19 mm yr(-1) to sea level rise over the same time period. The total contribution to sea level rise from all ice-covered regions is thus 1.48 ± 0.26 mm (-1), which agrees well with independent estimates of sea level rise originating from land ice loss and other terrestrial sources.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Salt marsh equilibrium states and transient dynamics in response to changing rates of sea level rise and sediment supply

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Alpaos, A.; Mudd, S. M.; Carniello, L.

    2012-12-01

    Understanding and predicting the response of salt-marsh bio-geomorphic systems to changes in the rate of sea level rise and sediment supply is an issue of paramount importance due to the crucial role exerted by salt marshes within the tidal landscape. Salt-marsh platforms, in fact, buffer coastlines against storms, filter nutrients and pollutants from tidal waters, provide nursery areas for coastal biota, and serve as a sink for organic carbon. Observations of marsh degradation worldwide and the acceleration in the rate of global sea level rise highlight the importance of improving our understanding of the chief processes which control salt-marsh response to current natural climate changes and to the effects of variations in sediment supply. The results of our analytical model of salt-marsh bio-morphodynamic evolution in the vertical plane, accounting for two-way interactions between ecological and geomorphological processes, show that marshes are more resilient to a step decrease in the rate of relative sea level rise rather than to a step increase of the same magnitude. Interestingly, marshes respond more rapidly to an increase in sediment load or vegetation productivity, rather than to a decrease (of the same amount) in sediment load or vegetation productivity. Model results also suggest that marsh stability is positively correlated with tidal range: marshes with high tidal ranges respond more slowly to changes in the environmental forcings and therefore are less likely to be affected by perturbations than their counterparts in low tidal ranges. Finally, the model suggests that, in the case of a oscillating rate of sea level rise, marsh stratigraphy will be unable to fully record short term fluctuations in relative mean sea level, whereas it will be able to capture long term fluctuations particularly in sediment rich, microtidal settings.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis, J. K.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  6. Complexities in Barrier Island Response to Sea-Level Rise: Insights from Model Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    As sea level rises, a barrier island will respond either by migrating landward across the underlying substrate to higher elevations or by disintegrating if there is no longer sufficient sand volume and relief above sea level to prevent inundation during storms. Using the morphological-behavior model GEOMBEST, we investigate the sea-level rise response of a complex coastal environment to changes in variety of factors, thus yielding insights into barrier island evolution. Our base case is a simplified Holocene run which simulates a possible scenario for the evolution of a 25-km stretch of the North Carolina Outer Banks over the last 8500 years. Varying one parameter at a time, we explore the degree to which changes in sea-level rise rate, sediment supply/loss rate, offshore limits to sediment transport, substrate erodibility, substrate composition and depth- dependent response rate produce changes in average landward barrier island migration rate, average depth of substrate erosion, and final barrier island volume. As expected, sensitivity analyses reveal that within the range of possible values for the North Carolina coast, sea-level rise rate, followed by sediment supply rate, is the most important factor in determining barrier island response to sea-level rise. More surprisingly, the analyses in aggregate indicate that barrier island evolution is highly sensitive to the range of substrate slopes encountered throughout landward migration (i.e., the slope history); as a barrier encounters a continually changing substrate slope, island volume constantly changes, moving toward equilibrium with the current average slope. Through this process, steeper average slope histories produce smaller barrier islands while shallower average slope histories produce larger barrier islands. In both cases, secondary effects on substrate erosion depth and migration rate also result. Notably, similar geometric effects explain an insensitivity of simulation results to changes in offshore

  7. An inflection in the rate of early mid-Holocene eustatic sea-level rise: A new sea-level curve from Singapore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bird, M. I.; Fifield, L. K.; Teh, T. S.; Chang, C. H.; Shirlaw, N.; Lambeck, K.

    2007-02-01

    This study presents a sea-level curve from ˜9500 to ˜6500 cal BP for the farfield location of Singapore, on the Sunda Shelf in southeast Asia. The curve is based on more than 50 radiocarbon dates from elevations of +1.43 m to -15.09 m representing sea-level index points in intertidal mangrove and shallow marine sediments deposited by sea-level rise accompanying deglaciation. The results indicate that mean sea level rose rapidly from around -17 m at 9500 cal BP to around -3 m by 8000 cal BP. After this time, the data suggest (but do not unequivocally prove) that the rate of sea-rise slowed for a period of 300-500 years centred on ˜7700 cal BP, shortly after the cessation of meltwater input to the oceans from the northern hemisphere. Renewed sea-level rise amounting to 3-5 m began around 7400 cal BP and was complete by 7000 cal BP. The existence of an inflection in the rate of sea-level rise, with a slow-down centred on ˜7700 cal BP, is broadly consistent with other available sea-level curves over this interval and is supported by evidence of stable shorelines and delta initiation elsewhere at this time, as well as evidence of comparatively rapid retreat of the West Antarctic ice sheet beginning around 7500 cal BP. 'Stepped' sea-level rise occurring shortly after 7500 cal BP and also earlier during deglaciation may have served to focus significant post-glacial episodes of human maritime/coastal dispersal, into comparatively narrow time intervals.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. '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.

  11. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-06-01

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

  10. The effect of rising sea level on the hydrology of coastal watersheds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nuttle, William K.

    1992-06-01

    Rising sea level will increase surface runoff and decrease groundwater discharge from low-lying coastal areas by raising the water table and thus saturating the soil. As a result, there will be increased upland flooding by freshwater and changes in the productive intertidal and near-shore ecosystems that depend on the lowered salinities and nutrients provided by groundwater discharge. This paper compares these effects of future increases in sea level with the present variation in runoff and groundwater discharge caused by interannual variations in precipitation and evaporation. The analysis relies on a water balance model calibrated using data from a small watershed on Cape Cod (USA). Interannual variation of runoff and groundwater discharge is estimated by driving the model with 40 years of historical weather data. The results indicate that a 20 cm rise in sea level will double the mean surface runoff and reduce groundwater discharge by half. These conditions are significantly different than the present mean hydrologic conditions. The variability of surface runoff also increases with rising sea level.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  15. Surface Elevation, Carbon Sequestration Potential and Rising sea Levels in Estuarine Wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez, J. F.; Howe, A.; Saco, P. M.

    2007-12-01

    rise and has the potential to sequester carbon. Saltmarsh exhibited a similar potential for carbon sequestration, but low resilience to rising sea level, particularly in areas with steep or urbanised landward topography. Incorporation of these findings into general models of wetland hydrodynamics will inform strategies for adaptive management of estuarine wetlands in response to future climate change.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Sea water intrusion by sea-level rise: scenarios for the 21st century.

    PubMed

    Loáiciga, Hugo A; Pingel, Thomas J; Garcia, Elizabeth S

    2012-01-01

    This study presents a method to assess the contributions of 21st-century sea-level rise and groundwater extraction to sea water intrusion in coastal aquifers. Sea water intrusion is represented by the landward advance of the 10,000 mg/L iso-salinity line, a concentration of dissolved salts that renders groundwater unsuitable for human use. A mathematical formulation of the resolution of sea water intrusion among its causes was quantified via numerical simulation under scenarios of change in groundwater extraction and sea-level rise in the 21st century. The developed method is illustrated with simulations of sea water intrusion in the Seaside Area sub-basin near the City of Monterey, California (USA), where predictions of mean sea-level rise through the early 21st century range from 0.10 to 0.90 m due to increasing global mean surface temperature. The modeling simulation was carried out with a state-of-the-art numerical model that accounts for the effects of salinity on groundwater density and can approximate hydrostratigraphic geometry closely. Simulations of sea water intrusion corresponding to various combinations of groundwater extraction and sea-level rise established that groundwater extraction is the predominant driver of sea water intrusion in the study aquifer. The method presented in this work is applicable to coastal aquifers under a variety of other scenarios of change not considered in this work. For example, one could resolve what changes in groundwater extraction and/or sea level would cause specified levels of groundwater salinization at strategic locations and times.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Relative Importance of Mass and Volume Changes to Global Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    Sea level is an integrated indicator of climate variability, reflecting changes in the dynamic and thermodynamic in atmosphere, ocean and cryosphere. The rate of sea level rise and its causes is a topic of active debate. We examine the relationship between 50 year long records of global sea level (GSL) calculated from 1023 tide gauge stations and global ocean heat content (GOHC), glacier and ice sheet melting. The lack of consistent correlation between changes in GOHC and GSL during the period 1955-2003 argues against GOHC being the dominant factor in GSL as is often thought. We provide clear evidence of the substantial and increasing role in GSL from the eustatic component (47 per cent) compared with the contribution from increasing heat content (25 per cent), suggesting that the primary role is being played by the melting glaciers and ice sheets. There remains about 23 per cent of GSL rise unaccounted for by the best estimates of both eustatic and thermosteric effects. This fraction also exhibits large variability that is not readily associated with known causes of sea level variability. The most likely explanation of this unknown fraction is underestimated melting, climate- driven changes in terrestrial storage components and decadal time scale variability in global water cycle. This argues for a concerted effort to quantify changes in these reservoirs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmith, Torben; Thejll, Peter; Johansen, Søren

    2016-04-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. An increase in the rate of global mean sea level rise since 2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, Shuang; Sun, Wenke; Heki, Kosuke; Qian, An

    2015-05-01

    The global mean sea level (GMSL) was reported to have dropped 5 mm due to the 2010/2011 La Niña and have recovered in 1 year. With longer observations, it is shown that the GMSL went further up to a total amount of 11.6 mm by the end of 2012, excluding the 3.0 mm/yr background trend. A reconciled sea level budget, based on observations by Argo project, altimeter, and gravity satellites, reveals that the true GMSL rise has been masked by El Niño-Southern Oscillation-related fluctuations and its rate has increased since 2010. After extracting the influence of land water storage, it is shown that the GMSL has been rising at a rate of 4.4 ± 0.5 mm/yr for more than 3 years, due to an increase in the rate of both land ice loss and steric change.

  20. Could We Ignore the Impacts of Sea-Level Rise on Saltwater Intrusion?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clement, P.; Chang, S.

    2011-12-01

    Could we ignore the impacts of sea-level rise on saltwater intrusion? A simple answer to this question we raised in the title of this abstract is-yes, in some idealistic confined aquifers! In this presentation, we will explain this rather non-intuitive answer by developing a mechanistic understanding for certain natural processes that are expected to minimize the impacts of sea-level rise on saltwater intrusion. Developing such an understanding is important since global warming is expected to increase the sea level and hence there is a clear need to predict the hydrological consequences of this increase. Currently, it is widely assumed that rising seas would have an adverse impact on saltwater intrusion processes in coastal aquifers. In this discussion we will present the details of a numerical study (Chang et al. 2011), completed using the MODFLOW-family computer code SEAWAT, which provide a fundamental understanding of the interaction between sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion. Using the model results, we have identified a "lifting process" that has a potential to reverse intrusion effects (Chang et al. 2011). We have completed simulations to understand the effects of this lifting process in both confined and unconfined systems. The steady-state results show that, in an idealistic (homogeneous aquifer with a vertical coastal boundary) constant recharge confined system, the sea-level rise will have no long-term impact (i.e., the steady-state salt wedge will not move). Transient confined-flow simulation results show a self-reversal mechanism where the wedge initially intruding into the formation, due to the sea-level rise, would be naturally driven back to the original position. In unconfined systems, this lifting process would have a lesser influence due to changes in effective transmissivity values. A detailed sensitivity study was also completed to understand the sensitivity of this self-reversal effect to various aquifer parameters. It is important to note

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. Holocene deglaciation of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet and Implications for Late-Glacial Sea-Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuzzone, J. K.; Clark, P. U.; Marcott, S. A.; Carlson, A. E.; Ullman, D. J.; Lunkka, J. P.; Wohlfarth, B.; Caffee, M. W.

    2014-12-01

    Establishing records of past ice-sheet retreat provides a critical constraint in identifying sources of past sea-level rise while also providing insight into the possible responses of present-day ice sheets to a warming climate. Here we present 86 new 10Be cosmogenic exposure dates that constrain the final deglaciation of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet (SIS) during the latest Pleistocene and early Holocene. Our dates come from three transects spanning southern to northern Sweden and Finland. All transects begin around previously dated or inferred Younger Dryas ice margins and converge in northwestern Sweden, where ages suggest final deglaciation of the SIS at 10±0.3 ka. The individual transects reveal an asymmetric pattern for the deglaciation of the SIS, with near-instantaneous retreat occurring in southeastern Finland during the end of the Younger Dryas (ages range from 11.9±0.4 ka to 12.1±0.4 ka). Although not as rapid, deglaciation in northern Finland occurs during the later portion of the Younger Dryas (12.1±0.4 ka to 11.9±0.8 ka), with the majority of the retreat occurring in response to warming after the Younger Dryas. In southern Sweden, retreat during the Younger Dryas is much slower (~63 m/yr) than in Finland, but accelerates rapidly northward in response to warming out of the Younger Dryas (574 m/yr). As the ice margin retreated onto the Swedish highlands, retreat remains steady along transects at ~280 m/yr, before terminating at 10±0.3 ka. Combining this new chronology with existing ages constraining the deglaciation of the SIS from the Last Glacial Maximum position allows for a determination of SIS sensitivity to warming throughout the last deglaciation, while providing constraints on the SIS sea level rise contribution. When combined with recent constraints on Laurentide Ice Sheet retreat during the Holocene, we provide an estimate of residual sea-level rise as the difference between the combined SIS and LIS contributions and a new estimate of

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Predicting the impacts of future sea-level rise on an endangered lagomorph.

    PubMed

    LaFever, David H; Lopez, Roel R; Feagin, Rusty A; Silvy, Nova J

    2007-09-01

    Human-induced global climate change presents a unique and difficult challenge to the conservation of biodiversity. Despite increasing attention on global climate change, few studies have assessed the projected impacts of sea-level rise to threatened and endangered species. Therefore, we estimated the impacts of rising sea levels on the endangered Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) across its geographic distribution under scenarios of current conditions, low (0.3-m), medium (0.6-m), and high (0.9-m) sea-level rise. We also investigated the impacts of allowing vegetation to migrate upslope and not allowing migration and of two land-use planning decisions (protection and abandonment of human-dominated areas). Not surprisingly, under all simulations we found a general trend of decreasing total potential LKMR habitat with increasing sea-level rise. Not allowing migration and protecting human-dominated areas both tended to decrease potential LKMR habitat compared with allowing migration and abandoning human-dominated areas. In conclusion, conservation strategies at multiple scales need to be implemented in order to reduce the impact of global climate change on biodiversity and endangered species. At the regional level, managers must consider land-use planning needs that take into account the needs of both humans and biodiversity. Finally, at the local scale those agencies that are in charge of endangered species conservation and ecosystem management need to rethink static approaches to conservation or else stand by and watch ecosystems degrade and species go extinct. This can be accomplished by bioclimatic reserve systems where climatically underrepresented areas are included in conservation planning along with the standard concerns of threat, opportunity, connectivity, and viability. PMID:17557173

  8. 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.

  9. Sea-level rise science: informing and preparing Florida's coastal communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cimitile, Matthew J.

    2011-01-01

    As a low-lying peninsula surrounded by water, Florida faces tough decisions about long-range planning and development strategies to address impacts of climate change. In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated there is strong evidence that global average sea level will rise by ? to 2 feet in the next century due to continued thermal expansion and melting of ice on land.

  10. 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.

  11. Development of a Bayesian Network to Evaluate Sea-Level Rise Impacts for Decision Making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutierrez, B. T.; Plant, N.; Thieler, E. R.; Williams, S. J.; Cahoon, D. R.; Gesch, D.; Guntenspergen, G.; Masterson, J.

    2008-12-01

    Improving the ability to predict future sea-level rise effects on coasts is a major challenge. For example, predicting changes in shoreline position and land loss resulting from erosion and wetland losses, or the effects of seawater intrusion into coastal groundwater systems is difficult due to the complexity of coastal systems. This complexity arises from the wide range of variables and related feedbacks that influence responses to rising sea level. In addition to sea-level rise, there are large uncertainties in predictions of future climate conditions (e.g., storms, temperature, rainfall) that drive the relevant physical and biological processes. Applying a probabilistic approach to evaluate coastal environments seems promising. Here a Bayesian statistical framework that incorporates a wide range of geologic, biologic and hydrologic information about coastal systems, and related uncertainties in physical and process characterizations is developed and used to make probabilistic predictions of the future state of coastal environments. Inputs to the prediction include datasets that provide information regarding the initial states of coastal systems, relevant forcing factors, historical observations, and idealized model simulations. Competing hypotheses for the forcing are used to drive the model and resulting response scenarios and their uncertainties are compared. Initial results from the U.S. mid-Atlantic coastal region are presented and can be used to highlight relationships between forcing factors and response scenarios. The results from this analysis can also be used to prioritize the research needed to reduce uncertainty. In addition, the Bayesian approach also provides a framework to engage decision makers and helps users define and address specific management questions about alternatives for adapting to sea-level rise.

  12. Predicting the impacts of future sea-level rise on an endangered lagomorph.

    PubMed

    LaFever, David H; Lopez, Roel R; Feagin, Rusty A; Silvy, Nova J

    2007-09-01

    Human-induced global climate change presents a unique and difficult challenge to the conservation of biodiversity. Despite increasing attention on global climate change, few studies have assessed the projected impacts of sea-level rise to threatened and endangered species. Therefore, we estimated the impacts of rising sea levels on the endangered Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) across its geographic distribution under scenarios of current conditions, low (0.3-m), medium (0.6-m), and high (0.9-m) sea-level rise. We also investigated the impacts of allowing vegetation to migrate upslope and not allowing migration and of two land-use planning decisions (protection and abandonment of human-dominated areas). Not surprisingly, under all simulations we found a general trend of decreasing total potential LKMR habitat with increasing sea-level rise. Not allowing migration and protecting human-dominated areas both tended to decrease potential LKMR habitat compared with allowing migration and abandoning human-dominated areas. In conclusion, conservation strategies at multiple scales need to be implemented in order to reduce the impact of global climate change on biodiversity and endangered species. At the regional level, managers must consider land-use planning needs that take into account the needs of both humans and biodiversity. Finally, at the local scale those agencies that are in charge of endangered species conservation and ecosystem management need to rethink static approaches to conservation or else stand by and watch ecosystems degrade and species go extinct. This can be accomplished by bioclimatic reserve systems where climatically underrepresented areas are included in conservation planning along with the standard concerns of threat, opportunity, connectivity, and viability.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Nitto, D.; Neukermans, G.; Koedam, N.; Defever, H.; Pattyn, F.; Kairo, J. G.; Dahdouh-Guebas, F.

    2013-02-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Hydrodynamic response of Papaloapan estuary to potential future sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olvera-Prado, E. R.; Zavala-Hidalgo, J.

    2013-05-01

    Understanding the hydrodynamics in estuaries with respect to magnitudes of sea-level rise is important to comprehend the changes of distinct physical processes which are coupled among each other. The current state of the lagoons and rivers of the Papaloapan estuary, Ver., is studied in order to identify these processes and have a base line with which compare different sea-level rise and hydrological regimes scenarios, with particular attention in the average salt content, its change in different zones, and the intrusion length into the rivers. For this purpose, hydrography, water level, salinity, bathymetry, and current measurements were carried out, complementary to this, a coastal ocean model is implemented to study the response of the region to a sea level increase. Six oceanographic expeditions in which 49 stations of CTD were carried out and 11 thermistors were placed, it was found that the major tidal components are O1 and K1, with an amplitude of 13.5 and 12.3 cm respectively in the channel, followed by the Q1, N2 and S2 components according to the amplitude. Salt content upstream the rivers show more increase in the dry period than in the wet period of the year. In addition, hydrographic data show that in most of the surveys, Camaronera lagoon had larger salinity than Buen Pais, Alvarado and Tlalixcoyan lagoons.

  14. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Tides, sea-level rise and tidal power extraction on the European shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, Sophie L.; Green, J. A. Mattias; Pelling, Holly E.

    2012-08-01

    An established numerical tidal model has been used to investigate the impact of various sea-level rise (SLR) scenarios, as well as SLR in combination with large-scale tidal power plants on European shelf tidal dynamics. Even moderate and realistic levels of future SLR are shown to have significant impacts on the tidal dynamics of the area. These changes are further enhanced when SLR and tidal power plants are considered in combination, resulting in changes to tidal amplitudes, currents and associated tidal dissipation and bed shear stresses. Sea-level rise is the dominant influence on any far-field impacts, whereas tidal power plants are shown to have the prevailing influence over any changes close to the point of energy extraction. The spatial extent of the impacts of energy extraction is shown to be affected by the sea level when more than one tidal power plant in the Irish Sea was considered. Different ways to implement SLR in the model are also discussed and shown to be of great significance for the response of the tides.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-11-11

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Atmospheric warming is projected to increase global mean surface temperatures by 0.3 to 4.8 degrees Celsius above present values by the end of this century (Collins et al., 2013). If anthropogenic emissions continue unchecked, the warming increase may reach 8-10 degrees Celsius by 2300 (Rogelj et al., 2012). The contribution that large ice sheets will make to sea-level rise under such warming scenarios is difficult to quantify because the equilibrium-response timescale of ice sheets is longer than those of the atmosphere or ocean. Here we use a coupled ice-sheet/ice-shelf model to show that if atmospheric warming exceeds 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius above present, collapse of the major Antarctic ice shelves triggers a centennial- to millennial-scale response of the Antarctic ice sheet in which enhanced viscous flow produces a long-term commitment (an unstoppable contribution) to sea-level rise. Our simulations represent the response of the present-day Antarctic ice-sheet system to the oceanic and climatic changes of four representative concentration pathways (RCPs) from the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Collins et al., 2013). We find that substantial Antarctic ice loss can be prevented only by limiting greenhouse gas emissions to RCP 2.6 levels. Higher-emissions scenarios lead to ice loss from Antarctic that will raise sea level by 0.6-3 metres by the year 2300. Our results imply that greenhouse gas emissions in the next few decades will strongly influence the long-term contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet to global sea level.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Improved estimates of upper-ocean warming and multi-decadal sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Domingues, Catia M; Church, John A; White, Neil J; Gleckler, Peter J; Wijffels, Susan E; Barker, Paul M; Dunn, Jeff R

    2008-06-19

    Changes in the climate system's energy budget are predominantly revealed in ocean temperatures and the associated thermal expansion contribution to sea-level rise. Climate models, however, do not reproduce the large decadal variability in globally averaged ocean heat content inferred from the sparse observational database, even when volcanic and other variable climate forcings are included. The sum of the observed contributions has also not adequately explained the overall multi-decadal rise. Here we report improved estimates of near-global ocean heat content and thermal expansion for the upper 300 m and 700 m of the ocean for 1950-2003, using statistical techniques that allow for sparse data coverage and applying recent corrections to reduce systematic biases in the most common ocean temperature observations. Our ocean warming and thermal expansion trends for 1961-2003 are about 50 per cent larger than earlier estimates but about 40 per cent smaller for 1993-2003, which is consistent with the recognition that previously estimated rates for the 1990s had a positive bias as a result of instrumental errors. On average, the decadal variability of the climate models with volcanic forcing now agrees approximately with the observations, but the modelled multi-decadal trends are smaller than observed. We add our observational estimate of upper-ocean thermal expansion to other contributions to sea-level rise and find that the sum of contributions from 1961 to 2003 is about 1.5 +/- 0.4 mm yr(-1), in good agreement with our updated estimate of near-global mean sea-level rise (using techniques established in earlier studies) of 1.6 +/- 0.2 mm yr(-1).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wada, Yoshihide; van Beek, Ludovicus P. H.; Sperna Weiland, Frederiek C.; Chao, Benjamin F.; Wu, Yun-Hao; Bierkens, Marc F. P.

    2012-05-01

    Recent studies suggest the increasing contribution of groundwater depletion to global sea-level rise. Groundwater depletion has more than doubled during the last decades, primarily due to increase in water demand, while the increase in water impoundments behind dams has been tapering off since the 1990s. As a result, the contribution of groundwater depletion to sea-level rise is likely to dominate over those of other terrestrial water sources in the coming decades. Yet, no projections into the 21st century are available. Here we present a reconstruction of past groundwater depletion and its contribution to global sea-level variation, as well as 21st century projections based on three combined socio-economic and climate scenarios (SRES) with transient climate forcing from three General Circulation Models (GCMs). We validate and correct estimated groundwater depletion with independent local and regional assessments, and place our results in context of other terrestrial water contributions to sea-level variation. Our results show that the contribution of groundwater depletion to sea-level increased from 0.035 (±0.009) mm yr-1 in 1900 to 0.57 (±0.09) mm yr-1 in 2000, and is projected to increase to 0.82 (±0.13) mm yr-1 by the year 2050. We estimate the net contribution of terrestrial sources to be negative of order -0.15 (±0.09) mm yr-1 over 1970-1990 as a result of dam impoundment. However, we estimate this to become positive of order +0.25 (±0.09) mm yr-1 over 1990-2000 due to increased groundwater depletion and decreased dam building. We project the net terrestrial contribution to increase to +0.87 (±0.14) mm yr-1 by 2050. As a result, the cumulative contribution will become positive by 2015, offsetting dam impoundment (maximum -31 ± 3.1 mm in 2010), and resulting in a total rise of +31 (±11) mm by 2050.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibeaut, J. C.; Barraza, E.

    2010-12-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1996-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Rapid sea level rise and ice sheet response to 8,200-year climate event

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cronin, T. M.; Vogt, P.R.; Willard, D.A.; Thunell, R.; Halka, J.; Berke, M.; Pohlman, J.

    2007-01-01

    The largest abrupt climatic reversal of the Holocene interglacial, the cooling event 8.6–8.2 thousand years ago (ka), was probably caused by catastrophic release of glacial Lake Agassiz-Ojibway, which slowed Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and cooled global climate. Geophysical surveys and sediment cores from Chesapeake Bay reveal the pattern of sea level rise during this event. Sea level rose ∼14 m between 9.5 to 7.5 ka, a pattern consistent with coral records and the ICE-5G glacio-isostatic adjustment model. There were two distinct periods at ∼8.9–8.8 and ∼8.2–7.6 ka when Chesapeake marshes were drown as sea level rose rapidly at least ∼12 mm yr−1. The latter event occurred after the 8.6–8.2 ka cooling event, coincided with extreme warming and vigorous AMOC centered on 7.9 ka, and may have been due to Antarctic Ice Sheet decay.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Nitto, D.; Neukermans, G.; Koedam, N.; Defever, H.; Pattyn, F.; Kairo, J. G.; Dahdouh-Guebas, F.

    2014-02-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Towards quantifying uncertainty in Greenland's contribution to 21st century sea-level rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perego, M.; Tezaur, I.; Price, S. F.; Jakeman, J.; Eldred, M.; Salinger, A.; Hoffman, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    We present recent work towards developing a methodology for quantifying uncertainty in Greenland's 21st century contribution to sea-level rise. While we focus on uncertainties associated with the optimization and calibration of the basal sliding parameter field, the methodology is largely generic and could be applied to other (or multiple) sets of uncertain model parameter fields. The first step in the workflow is the solution of a large-scale, deterministic inverse problem, which minimizes the mismatch between observed and computed surface velocities by optimizing the two-dimensional coefficient field in a linear-friction sliding law. We then expand the deviation in this coefficient field from its estimated "mean" state using a reduced basis of Karhunen-Loeve Expansion (KLE) vectors. A Bayesian calibration is used to determine the optimal coefficient values for this expansion. The prior for the Bayesian calibration can be computed using the Hessian of the deterministic inversion or using an exponential covariance kernel. The posterior distribution is then obtained using Markov Chain Monte Carlo run on an emulator of the forward model. Finally, the uncertainty in the modeled sea-level rise is obtained by performing an ensemble of forward propagation runs. We present and discuss preliminary results obtained using a moderate-resolution model of the Greenland Ice sheet. As demonstrated in previous work, the primary difficulty in applying the complete workflow to realistic, high-resolution problems is that the effective dimension of the parameter space is very large.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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. Relative Coastal Vulnerability Assessment of Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park (KAHO) 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 Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park in Hawaii. 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 500-meter 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. Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park consists of carbonate sand beaches, coral rubble, rocky shoreline, and mangrove wetland areas. The areas within Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park that are likely to be most vulnerable to sea-level rise based on this analysis are areas of unconsolidated sediment and highest wave energy.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Applegate, Patrick; Keller, Klaus

    2015-04-01

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

  6. Sea level variation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Douglas, Bruce C.

    1992-01-01

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

  7. 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