Living in a world with a rising sea-level has proposed an interesting challenge to scientists: What exactly is the best way to factor sea-level rise (SLR) into estimates for future flood hazards? According to EOAS Scientist Robert Kopp and his collaborators, the answer lies in incorporating many factors. Using simple assumptions such as a stationary or fixed increases in sea level rise produces inaccuracies, so this group of scientists decided to come up with a more accurate way to factor sea level rise in to flood risk assessments.
The results of their findings were highlighted in their recent publication in the Journal of Climatic Change. They developed an advanced framework of SLR allowances that employ complete probability distributions of local SLR and a range of user-define flood risk management preferences. Given non-stationary and uncertain sea-level rise, these metrics provide estimates of flood protection heights and offsets for different planning horizons in coastal areas.
To read more about this and to see their assessment of flood risk applying their method to long-duration tide gauges along US coastlines, you can read the full article here.
Buchanan, M. K., R. E. Kopp, M. Oppenheimer, and C. Tebaldi (2016).
Allowances for evolving coastal flood risk under uncertain local sea-level
rise. Climatic Change. doi: 10.1007/s10584-016-1664-7.