Presentation Abstract

The many thousands of miles of Northwest marine coastline are extremely diverse andcontain important human-built and natural assets upon which our communities and ecosystemsdepend. Due to the variety of coastal landform types (e.g., sandy beaches, rocky shorelines, bluffsof varying slopes and composition, river deltas, and estuaries), the region’s marine coastal areasstand to experience a wide range of climate impacts, in both type and severity. These impactsinclude increases in ocean temperature and acidity, erosion, and more severe and frequentinundation from the combined effects of rising sea levels and storms, among others.Increases in coastal inundation and erosion are key concerns. A recent assessmentdetermined that the coastal areas of Washington and Oregon contain over 56,656 hectares(140,000 acres) of land within 1.0-meter (3.3-feet) elevation of high tide (Strauss et al. 2012).Rising sea levels coupled with the possibility of intensifying coastal storms will increase thelikelihood of more severe coastal flooding and erosion in these areas.The Northwest is also facing the challenge of increasing ocean acidification, and isexperiencing these changes earlier, and more acutely, than most other regions around the globe(NOAA OAR 2012).The Third National Climate Assessment is scheduled for release in the spring of 2014.The authors will provide an overview of the key Northwest coastal findings in this report as wellas a summary of its primary companion report published by Island Press in December 2013,Climate Change in the Northwest: Implications for Our Landscapes, Waters, and Communities(Dalton et al 2013).

Session Title

Session S-07H: Assessing, Planning and Adapting to Climate Change Impacts in Skagit River Watershed

Conference Track

Shorelines

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

1-5-2014 3:30 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

Location

Room 607

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 1st, 3:30 PM May 1st, 5:00 PM

Coastal Impacts of Climate Change in the Northwest: A Summary of the Findings of the upcoming National Climate Assessment

Room 607

The many thousands of miles of Northwest marine coastline are extremely diverse andcontain important human-built and natural assets upon which our communities and ecosystemsdepend. Due to the variety of coastal landform types (e.g., sandy beaches, rocky shorelines, bluffsof varying slopes and composition, river deltas, and estuaries), the region’s marine coastal areasstand to experience a wide range of climate impacts, in both type and severity. These impactsinclude increases in ocean temperature and acidity, erosion, and more severe and frequentinundation from the combined effects of rising sea levels and storms, among others.Increases in coastal inundation and erosion are key concerns. A recent assessmentdetermined that the coastal areas of Washington and Oregon contain over 56,656 hectares(140,000 acres) of land within 1.0-meter (3.3-feet) elevation of high tide (Strauss et al. 2012).Rising sea levels coupled with the possibility of intensifying coastal storms will increase thelikelihood of more severe coastal flooding and erosion in these areas.The Northwest is also facing the challenge of increasing ocean acidification, and isexperiencing these changes earlier, and more acutely, than most other regions around the globe(NOAA OAR 2012).The Third National Climate Assessment is scheduled for release in the spring of 2014.The authors will provide an overview of the key Northwest coastal findings in this report as wellas a summary of its primary companion report published by Island Press in December 2013,Climate Change in the Northwest: Implications for Our Landscapes, Waters, and Communities(Dalton et al 2013).