February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 9, NUMBER 12, DECEMBER 1996
SEA LEVEL SCIENCE & IMPACTS
Approaches Raise Questions About Future Sea Level Change,"
M. Baltuck (NASA Hdqtrs., Code YS, Washington DC 20546), J.
Dickey et al., Eos, 77(40), 385, 388, Oct. 1, 1996.
Surveys current developments in the study of sea level change,
based on an international, interdisciplinary workshop (Key
Biscane, Fla., Nov. 1995), where conventional thinking on the
topic was challenged. Previous approaches have been too narrow; a
systems approach is needed, particularly the incorporation of the
solid Earth sciences. An estimated residual 0.8 mm/year of
current sea level rise is attributable to the melting of
high-latitude ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, but such
rapid melting is contrary to the impression of many researchers
and to climate model predictions of increased greenhouse gases.
in Clim. Dynamics, 12(8), 535-544, June 1996:
"Redistribution of Sea Level Rise Associated with
Enhanced Greenhouse Warming: A Simple Model Study," W.W.
Hsieh (Dept. Oceanog., Univ. British Columbia, Vancouver BC V6T
1Z4, Can.), K. Bryan, 535-544. Uses a simple linearized
shallow-water model, which neglects important physical effects
but has a much higher horizontal resolution and provides a
clearer dynamical interpretation. Results suggest that sea level
rise due to greenhouse warming could be far from uniform over the
globe and hence difficult to estimate from coastal tide gauge
"The Steric Component of Sea Level Rise Associated with
Enhanced Greenhouse Warming: A Model Study," K. Bryan
(Atmos. & Ocean Sci., Sayre Hall, Princeton Univ., Princeton
NJ 08544), 545-555. Simulation of a 1% per year rise in
atmospheric CO2 over a century, made with the coupled
GFDL ocean-atmosphere general circulation model, indicates marked
warming of the upper ocean. These results are used to study the
rise in sea level caused by increased ocean temperatures and
changes in ocean circulation. An average rise in sea level of 15
± 5 cm is predicted by the time CO2 doubles.
Heating anomalies are greatest in the subpolar latitudes,
resulting in a weaker thermohaline circulation.
Economic Cost of Greenhouse-Induced Sea Level Rise for Developed
Property in the United States," G. Yohe (Office of Academic
Affairs, Wesleyan Univ., 237 High St., Middletown CT 06579), J.
Neumann et al., Clim. Change, 32(4), 387-410, Apr.
Gives estimates for the range of sea level rise trajectories
now thought to be most likely. For instance, along a 50-cm rise
(through the year 2100), transient costs in 2065 are estimated to
be $70 million (undiscounted, but measured in constant 1990
dollars). Overall, results reported here are nearly an order of
magnitude lower than those published prior to 1994. They
incorporate the cost-reducing potential of natural, market-based
adaptation in anticipation of the threat of rising seas, and the
efficiency of discrete decisions to protect or not to protect
small tracts of property, that will be made as needed in the
"Coastal Megacities and Climate Change," R.J. Nicholls
(Sch. Geog., Middlesex Univ., Queensway, Enfield, Middlesex EN3
4SF, UK), GeoJournal, 37(3), 369-379, 1995. (One of
nine papers in a special issue on "Disaster Vulnerability of
Rapid urbanization is expected to produce 20 coastal
megacities (population exceeding eight million) by 2010, mainly
in the developing world. They are at risk to the impacts climate
change, including accelerated global sea-level rise and changing
storm frequency. Because impacts vary significantly for each
coastal megacity, each requires independent assessment.
Recommends, in contrast to historical precedent, a proactive
approach towards coastal hazards and changing levels of risk with
time. Low-cost measures to maintain or increase future
flexibility of response to climate change need to be identified
and implemented as part of an integrated approach to coastal
"Assessing the Economic Cost of Greenhouse-Induced Sea Level
Rise: Methods and Application in Support of a National
Survey," G. Yohe (Office of Academic Affairs, Wesleyan
Univ., 237 High St., Middletown CT 06579), J. Neumann, H. Ameden, J.
Environ. Econ. & Mgmt., 29(3), Part 2, S78-S97,
This paper is written in support of a new round of sea level
rise damage estimates, which will more accurately portray the
complication of including future development and adaptation along
the U.S. coastline. It describes a procedure designed to overcome
the shortcomings of earlier work. The method is illustrated with
applications to Charleston, South Carolina. Discusses the
important policy ramifications of replacing the earlier estimates
based on vulnerability with more appropriate economic cost
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