Presentation Title

Generating local sea level rise projections in the Strait of Juan de Fuca to support community adaptation

Session Title

Session S-04H: Technical Tools to Support Sea Level Rise Adaptation in the Salish Sea

Conference Track

Shorelines

Conference Name

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

Contributing Repository

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

Start Date

1-5-2014 8:30 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

Abstract

As part of a comprehensive assessment of community vulnerability to climate change by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in Washington State a set of locally specific sea level vulnerability maps were developed. The maps combined global projections of mean sea level rise with local estimates of vertical land movement to create a set of sea level rise scenarios relevant at the community scale. An additional “intermittent storm impact” layer was added to the maps using estimates of the 50-year return frequency storm-surge magnitude. The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe identified three priority geographic areas and for each area the team mapped a low-, medium-, and high- severity sea level rise scenarios based on the local sea level rise curve. The team then presented these maps along with the local sea level rise curve to the community during a climate vulnerability workshop. This allowed the community to assess the scenarios both in terms of the levels of confidence associated with the scenarios as well as the time frame of potential impacts. Of the various potential climate impacts and associated areas of vulnerability assessed, we found that these maps generated the most detailed discussion regarding adaptation at the community level. While successful, this collaborative scenario-building exercise relies on a set of assumptions, including: 1) vertical land movement estimated from logging GPS networks is linear and non-varying; 2) climate change will have little effect on patterns of storminess over the project time frame; 3) over the project relevant time scales (multiple decades) regional sea level rise is approximately equivalent to global average sea level rise; and 4) shoreline morphology is static (i.e. climate change impacts will not significant alter shoreline morphology). Some of these assumptions are almost certainly invalid and therefore compromise our ability to plan for sea level rise at the local level, even with relatively robust estimates of global sea level rise with quantifiable confidence levels. These gaps include: 1) reliable information on storm surge return frequencies; 2) reliable information on vertical land movement; and 3) reliable models regarding the morphologic response of shorelines due to the coastal impacts of climate change. These gaps also present scientific research opportunities as the climate community continues to work to support community efforts to increase climate resilience.

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.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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May 1st, 8:30 AM May 1st, 10:00 AM

Generating local sea level rise projections in the Strait of Juan de Fuca to support community adaptation

Room 607

As part of a comprehensive assessment of community vulnerability to climate change by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in Washington State a set of locally specific sea level vulnerability maps were developed. The maps combined global projections of mean sea level rise with local estimates of vertical land movement to create a set of sea level rise scenarios relevant at the community scale. An additional “intermittent storm impact” layer was added to the maps using estimates of the 50-year return frequency storm-surge magnitude. The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe identified three priority geographic areas and for each area the team mapped a low-, medium-, and high- severity sea level rise scenarios based on the local sea level rise curve. The team then presented these maps along with the local sea level rise curve to the community during a climate vulnerability workshop. This allowed the community to assess the scenarios both in terms of the levels of confidence associated with the scenarios as well as the time frame of potential impacts. Of the various potential climate impacts and associated areas of vulnerability assessed, we found that these maps generated the most detailed discussion regarding adaptation at the community level. While successful, this collaborative scenario-building exercise relies on a set of assumptions, including: 1) vertical land movement estimated from logging GPS networks is linear and non-varying; 2) climate change will have little effect on patterns of storminess over the project time frame; 3) over the project relevant time scales (multiple decades) regional sea level rise is approximately equivalent to global average sea level rise; and 4) shoreline morphology is static (i.e. climate change impacts will not significant alter shoreline morphology). Some of these assumptions are almost certainly invalid and therefore compromise our ability to plan for sea level rise at the local level, even with relatively robust estimates of global sea level rise with quantifiable confidence levels. These gaps include: 1) reliable information on storm surge return frequencies; 2) reliable information on vertical land movement; and 3) reliable models regarding the morphologic response of shorelines due to the coastal impacts of climate change. These gaps also present scientific research opportunities as the climate community continues to work to support community efforts to increase climate resilience.