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Evaluation of dynamic coastal response to sea-level rise modifies inundation likelihood
Lentz, E.; Thieler, E.R.; Plant, N.G.; Stippa, S.R.; Horton, R.M.; Gesch, D.B. (2016). Evaluation of dynamic coastal response to sea-level rise modifies inundation likelihood. Nat. Clim. Chang. 6(7): 696-700.
In: Nature Climate Change. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 1758-678X; e-ISSN 1758-6798, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Climate change
Author keywords
    Climate change ecology

Authors  Top 
  • Lentz, E.
  • Thieler, E.R.
  • Plant, N.G.
  • Stippa, S.R.
  • Horton, R.M.
  • Gesch, D.B.

    Sea-level rise (SLR) poses a range of threats to natural and built environments, making assessments of SLR-induced hazards essential for informed decision making. We develop a probabilistic model that evaluates the likelihood that an area will inundate (flood) or dynamically respond (adapt) to SLR. The broad-area applicability of the approach is demonstrated by producing 30 × 30?m resolution predictions for more than 38,000?km2 of diverse coastal landscape in the northeastern United States. Probabilistic SLR projections, coastal elevation and vertical land movement are used to estimate likely future inundation levels. Then, conditioned on future inundation levels and the current land-cover type, we evaluate the likelihood of dynamic response versus inundation. We find that nearly 70% of this coastal landscape has some capacity to respond dynamically to SLR, and we show that inundation models over-predict land likely to submerge. This approach is well suited to guiding coastal resource management decisions that weigh future SLR impacts and uncertainty against ecological targets and economic constraints.

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