, Volume 18, Issue 3-4, pp 179-188

Changes in the occurrence of storm surges around the United Kingdom under a future climate scenario using a dynamic storm surge model driven by the Hadley Centre climate models

Abstract

 A potential consequence of climate change is an alteration of the frequency of extreme coastal storm surge events. It is these extreme events which, from an impacts point of view, will be of more concern than the slow inundation of coastal areas by century scale changes in mean sea level. In this study, a 35 km resolution storm surge model of the North west European continental shelf region has been driven by winds and pressures from the Hadley Centre nested regional climate model. Simulations of both present day and future climate (the end of the twentyfirst century) have been performed. The results suggest that, in addition to the effect of rising mean sea level, at many locations around the United Kingdom coastline future changes in local meteorology will lead to further significant changes in the return periods of extreme storm surge events. At most sites, this meteorologically forced change represents a reduction in return period.

Received: 18 September 2000 / Accepted: 8 February 2001