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Climatic Change

, Volume 134, Issue 3, pp 403–416 | Cite as

Spatial variations of sea-level rise and impacts: An application of DIVA

  • Sally BrownEmail author
  • Robert J Nicholls
  • Jason A Lowe
  • Jochen Hinkel
Article

Abstract

Due to complexities of creating sea-level rise scenarios, impacts of climate-induced sea-level rise are often produced from a limited number of models assuming a global uniform rise in sea level. A greater number of models, including those with a pattern reflecting regional variations would help to assure reliability and a range of projections, indicating where models agree and disagree. This paper determines how nine new patterned-scaled sea-level rise scenarios (plus the uniform and patterned ensemble mean rises) influence global and regional coastal impacts (wetland loss, dry land loss due to erosion and the expected number of people flooded per year by extreme sea levels). The DIVA coastal impacts model was used under an A1B scenario, and assumed defences were not upgraded as conditions evolved. For seven out of nine climate models, impacts occurred at a proportional rate to global sea-level rise. For the remaining two models, higher than average rise in sea level was projected in northern latitudes or around populated coasts thus skewing global impact projections compared with the ensemble global mean. Regional variability in impacts were compared using the ensemble mean uniform and patterned scenarios: The largest relative difference in impacts occurred around the Mediterranean coast, and the largest absolute differences around low-lying populated coasts, such as south, south-east and east Asia. Uniform projections of sea-level rise impacts remain a useful method to determine global impacts, but improved regional scale models of sea-level rise, particularly around semi-enclosed seas and densely populated low-lying coasts will provide improved regional impact projections and a characterisation of their uncertainties.

Keywords

Wetland Loss Land Loss Lower Rise Extreme Water Level Coastal Wetland Loss 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

CIS

Commonwealth of Independent States

CMIP3

Coupled Model Intercomparison Project.

DIVA

Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment

AOGCM

Atmosphere–ocean General Circulation Model

AR4

Fourth Assessment Report

ASMITA

Aggregated Scale Morphological Interaction between a Tidal basin and the Adjacent coast

GIA

Glacial isostatic adjustment

GLOBE

Global Land One km Base Elevation project

Supplementary material

10584_2013_925_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (177 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 177 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sally Brown
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert J Nicholls
    • 1
  • Jason A Lowe
    • 2
  • Jochen Hinkel
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering and the Environment and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change ResearchUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.Department of Meteorology, University of ReadingMet Office Hadley Centre (Reading Unit)Earley Gate, P.O. Box 243, ReadingUK
  3. 3.Adaptation and Social LearningGlobal Climate Forum e.V. (GCF)BerlinGermany
  4. 4.Transdisciplinary Concepts and MethodsPotsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)PotsdamGermany

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