Adapting to rising sea level: A florida perspective Conference

Parkinson, RW. (2009). Adapting to rising sea level: A florida perspective . 3RD INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON NUCLEON STRUCTURE AT LARGE BJORKEN X, 1157 19-25. 10.1063/1.3208022

cited authors

  • Parkinson, RW


  • Global climate change and concomitant rising sea level will have a profound impact on Florida's coastal and marine systems. Sea-level rise will increase erosion of beaches, cause saltwater intrusion into water supplies, inundate coastal marshes and other important habitats, and make coastal property more vulnerable to erosion and flooding. Yet most coastal areas are currently managed under the premise that sea-level rise is not significant and the shorelines are static or can be fixed in place by engineering structures. The new reality of sea-level rise and extreme weather due to climate change requires a new style of planning and management to protect resources and reduce risk to humans. Scientists must: (1) assess existing coastal vulnerability to address short term management issues and (2) model future landscape change and develop sustainable plans to address long term planning and management issues. Furthermore, this information must be effectively transferred to planners, managers, and elected officials to ensure their decisions are based upon the best available information. While there is still some uncertainty regarding the details of rising sea level and climate change, development decisions are being made today which commit public and private investment in real estate and associated infrastructure. With a design life of 30 yrs to 75 yrs or more, many of these investments are on a collision course with rising sea level and the resulting impacts will be significant. In the near term, the utilization of engineering structures may be required, but these are not sustainable and must ultimately yield to "managed withdrawal" programs if higher sealevel elevations or rates of rise are forthcoming. As an initial step towards successful adaptation, coastal management and planning documents (i.e., comprehensive plans) must be revised to include reference to climate change and rising sea-level. © 2009 American Institute of Physics.

publication date

  • November 27, 2009

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 19

end page

  • 25


  • 1157