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Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP) 4.1: Coastal Sensitivity to Sea-Level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region

January 2009

This report is one in a series of 21 Synthesis and Assessment Products (SAPs) produced between 2004 and 2009 by the U. S. Climate Change Science Program, aimed at providing current assessments of climate change science in the U. S. to inform public debate, policy, and operational decisions. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), collaborated on this report that discusses the impacts of sea-level rise on the physical characteristics of the coast, on coastal communities, and the habitats that depend on them in Mid-Atlantic coastal environments.

Authors or Affiliated Users: James G. Titus, K. Eric Anderson, Donald R. Cahoon, Dean B. Gesch, Stephen K. Gill, Benjamin T. Gutierrez, E. Robert Thieler, S. Jeffress Williams

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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New Frameworks for Managing Dynamic Coasts: Legal and Policy Tools for Adapting U.S. Coastal Zone Management to Climate Change

June 2008

This paper, published in the Sea Grant Law and Policy Journal, identifies policy and governance reforms that could make coastal communities and ecosystems more resilient to the effects of sea level rise.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Sandra S. Nichols, Carl Bruch

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Climate Change and the Chesapeake Bay: State-of-the-Science Review and Recommendations

September 2008

This report from the Chesapeake Bay Program Science and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) addresses the current understanding of climate change impacts on the tidal Chesapeake Bay, and identifies critical knowledge gaps and research priorities. It is intended to provide the basis for incorporating climate change considerations into resource management decisions.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Christopher R. Pyke, Raymond Najjar, Mary Beth Adams, Denise Breitburg, Carl Hershner, Robert Howarth, Michael Kemp, Margaret Mulholland, Michael Paolisso, David Secor, Kevin Sellner, Denice Wardrop, Robert Wood

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Confronting Climate Change in the U.S. Northeast: Science, Impacts, and Solutions

July 2007

This report describes the changing climate for the U. S. Northeast region and associated climate change impacts. Both high and low emission scenarios were analyzed to assess the impacts of two very different future climates on the region's coastal areas, marine fisheries, forests, agriculture, winter recreation, and human health sectors. Mitigation and adaptation policy options relevant to Northeast are presented, and the report includes a discussion on how to prioritize adaptation strategies.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Peter C. Frumhoff, James J. McCarthy, Jerry M. Melillo, Susanne C. Moser, Donald J. Wuebbles

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise: Preliminary Results for the Atlantic Coast

1999

One of three national assessments of U. S. coastal regions conducted in the late 1990's, this assessment focused on the Atlantic coastline, while the other two focused on the Gulf Coast and Pacific coastlines. The overall goal of these studies was to identify those portions of the U. S. coastal regions at risk and the nature of that risk (e. g. , inundation, erosion, etc. ). The long-term goal of this study is to predict future coastal changes with a degree of certainty useful for coastal management, following an approach similar to that used to map national seismic and volcanic hazards.

Authors or Affiliated Users: E. Robert Thieler, Erika S. Hammar-Klose

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Potential Climate Change Impacts on Marine Resources of the Northeastern United States

2007

This report synthesizes an assessment of potential changes in marine ecosystems off the northeastern United States in response to projected climate and emission scenarios, with a focus on temperature effects on living marine resources. It reviews likely impacts on the northeast continental shelf, and highlights potential effects on the distribution and abundance of the American lobster and Atlantic cod to illustrate the range of possible impacts throughout the region.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Michael Fogarty, Lewis Incze, Richard Wahle, David Mountain, Allan Robinson, Andrew Pershing, Katherine Hayhoe, Anne Richards, James Manning

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Potential for Shoreline Changes Due to Sea-Level Rise Along the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region

2007

In 2007, thirteen scientists convened for a two-day meeting to exchange  information and develop a consensus opinion on potential future coastal changes for the mid-Atlantic coast in response to sea-level rise. This 2007 report is the result of this workshop, providing an overview of how sea level rise could impact mid-Atlantic coast landforms, from New York to Virginia. Four different scenarios for sea level rise were considered and applied to specific areas of the Atlantic coast: a) the long-term sea-level rise rate observed over the 20th century would persist over the 21st century; b) the 20th century rate would increase by 2 mm/yr; c) the 20th century rate would increase by 7 mm/yr; and d) sea-level would rise by 2 m over the next few hundred years.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Benjamin T. Gutierrez, S. Jeffries Williams, E. Robert Thieler

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Striking a Balance - A Guide to Coastal Dynamics and Beach Management in Delaware

2004

This report provides historical background and knowledge of coastal dynamics and beach management in Delaware, outlines the forces affecting Delaware's beaches - including the balance between development and protection of coastal resources, and explains statewide coastal management policies and the measures taken to mitigate the effects of erosion.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Regional Impacts of Climate Change: Four Case Studies in the United States

December 2007

This report presents four case studies of climate change impacts in different regions of the country: The Heat is On: Climate Change & Heatwaves in the Midwest; The Importance of Climate Change for Future Wildfire Scenarios in the Western United States; Gulf Coast Wetland Sustainability in a Changing Climate; and Ramifications of Climate Change for Chesapeake Bay Hypoxia (also in the clearinghouse as individual entries). Each case study focuses on a specific type of impact of particular concern to a U.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Kristie L. Ebi, Gerald A. Meehl, Dominique Bachelet, Robert R. Twilley, Donald F. Boesch

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Ramifications of Climate Change for Chesapeake Bay Hypoxia

December 2007

This paper examines how both climate variability and potential climate change can affect hypoxia in the Chesapeake Bay and can present additional challenges to ongoing ecosystem restoration. It is one of four case studies in a report entitled, "Regional Impacts of Climate Change: Four Case Studies in the United States," that examines impacts of particular interest to different regions of the U. S. Past observations are used to elucidate the multiple influences of climate on hypoxia and its consequences to the Bay ecosystems.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Donald F. Boesch, Victoria J. Coles, David G. KimmelW. David Miller

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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