Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities

Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities

A Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment

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Edited by Virginia Burkett and Margaret Davidson

216 pages pages | 8 X 10

Developed to inform the 2013 National Climate Assessment, and a landmark study in terms of its breadth and depth of coverage and conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities examines the known effects and relationships of climate change variables on the coasts of the U.S.

This state of the art assessment comes from a broad range of experts in academia, private industry, state and local governments, NGOs, professional societies, and impacted communities. It includes case studies on topics such as adaptive capacity; climate change effects on. It highlights past climate trends, projected climate change and vulnerabilities, and impacts to specific sectors.

Rich in science and case studies, it examines the latest climate change impacts, scenarios, vulnerabilities, and adaptive capacity for nine major coastal regions of the United States and provides essential guidance for decision-makers – as well as environmental academics, professionals, and advocates – who seek to better understand how climate variability and change impact the US coasts and its communities.
Key Terms


Communicating Uncertainty

Executive Summary


Chapter 1. Introduction and Context

- Scope and Purpose

- Linkages and Overlapping Topics of the NCA

- Reliance on the Coastal Zone

- Increasing Population and Changing Land Use

- Changing Coastal Economy

- Resilience on Coastal Ecosystems

- Maintaining a Balance


Chapter 2. Physical Climate Forces

- Overview of Climate and Sea-level-rise Effects on Coasts

- Introduction

- Coastal Landforms and Coastal Change

- Sea-level Rise and Effects on Coasts

- Inundation, Land Loss, and Land Area Close to Present Sea Level

- Historic to Present-day Sea-level Rise

- Other Coastal Climate Change Trends

- The Basis for Concern

- Sea-level Rise and Future Scenarios

- Scenario Planning

- Global Mean Sea-level Rise Scenarios

- Key Uncertainties on the Global Sea-level Rise Scenarios

- Ice Sheet Loss

- Developing Regional and Local Scenarios

- Extreme Events and Future Scenarios

- Changes in Wave Regimes and Circulation Patterns

- Wave Regimes

- Extratropical Storm Waves

- Tropical Cyclone Generated Waves

- Impacts

- Ocean Circulation

- Relative Vulnerability of Coasts

- Physical Setting

- Climate and Non-climate Drivers

- Assessment Results

- Changes in Precipitation Patterns

- Intensification of the Hydrolic Cycle

- Changes in Precipitation Amount

- Increasing Variability in Precipitation

- Changes in Ratio of Snow to Total Precipitation

- Changes in Precipitation in Coastal Alaska

- Changes in Storm Tracks

- Droughts

- Heavy Rainfall and Floods

- Temperature Change Impacts with a Focus on Alaska

- Temperature Trends

- Northern Coastal Response

- Impacts of Climate Change on Coastal Processes


Chapter 3. Vulnerability and Impacts on Natural Resources

- Multiple Stressors Interact at the Coast

- Costal Freshwater Availability Threatened by Multi-stressor Interactions

- Estuarine Water Quality Comprised by Multiple Climate Drivers

- Biota, Habitats, and Coastal Landforms that Are Impacted by Complex Stressor Interactions and Subject to - Nonlinear Changes and Tipping Points

- Wetlands

- Mangroves

- Coastal Forests

- Estuaries and Coastal Lagoons

- Barrier Islands

- Deltas

- Mudflats

- Rocky Shores

- Sea-ice Systems


Chapter 4. Vulnerability and Impacts on Human Development

- Overview of Impacts on Human Development and Societal Vulnerability

- Relative Vulnerability, Exposure, and Human Losses

- Socio-Economic Impacts and Implications

- Urban Centers

- Transportation, Ports, and Navigation

- Water Resources and Infrastructure

- Tourism, Recreation, and Cultural Resources

- Real Estate

- Private and Public Insurance

- Emergency Response, Recovery, and Vulnerability Reduction

- Coastal and Nearshore Oil and Gas

- Human Health Impacts and Implications

- Direct Impacts

- Indirect Impacts

- Implications for Coastal Military Installations and Readiness

- Coastal Military Installation Climate- and Global-Change Challenges

- Coastal Installation Vulnerabilities and Combat Service Support Readiness

- Operations and Training Readiness and Natural-Resource Impacts

- DoD Requirements and Programs for Vulnerability and Impact Assessments and Adaptation Planning


Chapter 5. Adaptation and Mitigation

- Adaptation Planning in the Coastal Zone

- Background on Adaptation Planning

- Inventory of Adaptation Planning

- Status of Coastal Adaptation Planning

- Strengths of Coastal Adaptation Planning

- Emerging Planning Practice

- Adaptation Planning Challenges

- Coastal Resource Management and Restoration in the Context of Climate Change

- Climate change Considerations for Coastal Resource Management and Restoration

- Challenges, Needs, and Opportunities

- Tools and Resources

- Assessment and Implementation Tools

- Selecting and Using Tools Appropriately

- Policy and Regulatory Tools

- Coastal Mitigation Opportunities

- Coastal Renewable Technologies

- Carbon Sequestration and Capture Science Gaps

- Managing Living Coastal Resources for Carbon Capture

- Carbon Sequestration and Capture Science Gaps


Chapter 6. Information Gaps and Science Needed to Support Sustainable Coasts

- Science Research Needs to Support Sustainable Coastal Management

- Science-based Tools Needed for Coastal Management and Adaptation Planning

- Future Research ? Local vs. Regional Studies, Infrastructure, Monitoring, and Co-benefits


Appendix A: Chesapeake Bay Case Study

Appendix B: Gulf of Mexico Case Study


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216 pages pages | 8 X 10
publication year: 
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