Key uncertainties research gaps and priorities

This assessment shows that the level of knowledge is not consistent with the potential severity of the problem of climate change and coastal zones. While knowledge is not adequate in any aspect, uncertainty increases as we move from the natural sub-system to the human sub-system, with the largest uncertainties concerning their interaction (Figure 6.1). An understanding of this interaction is critical to a comprehensive understanding of human vulnerability in coastal and low-lying areas and should include the role of institutional adaptation and public participation (Section 6.4.3). While research is required at all scales, improved understanding at the physiographic unit scale (e.g., coastal cells, deltas or estuaries) would have particular benefits, and support adaptation to climate change and wider coastal management. There also remains a strong focus on sea-level rise, which needs to be broadened to include all the climate drivers in the coastal zone (Table 6.2). Finally, any response to climate change has to address the other non-

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