Regional and Local Scales Sea Level Rise Predictions

Scaling down global climate predictions to the regional level is a key aspect of current research. Efforts have begun to investigate regional differences in sea level rise (Church et al., 2004). At the regional and local level, relative rates of sea level rise are influenced not only by regional ocean basin differences but also by local vertical land movements. Key processes affecting vertical land movements are glacial isostatic adjustment (Miller and Douglas, 2006) and crustal deformation (Adger; 2000; Verdonck, 2006). In addition to regional differences, the likelihood of future events may not be accurately predicted by probabilities derived from the past. The current techniques developed for dealing with uncertainty and natural variability will not necessarily be effective when faced with future changes. For example, the Anzali Lagoon Project Management Experts (ALPME) use historic analysis to create floodplain maps in the study region and determine base flood elevations representative of the next 10 years floodplain. These maps do not reflect how hydrological regimes will be affected by future climate change. Factors such as increasing the Caspian Sea levels, along with changes in precipitation and snowpack, will affect the flood zones. These factors will need to be considered for ALPME maps to be accurate (Fig. 32.2).

Reference: IPCC emissions scenario 92a Policy: IPCC emissions scenario 92a

Reference: IPCC emissions scenario 92a Policy: IPCC emissions scenario 92a

Reference Range — Reference Best Guess

1800 1850 1900 1950 2000 2050 2100

Fig. 32.1 Modeled sea level rise from 1765 to 2100 using the simple models in the MAGICC package.

Reference Range — Reference Best Guess

Year

1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001

Fig. 32.2 Long-term changes in the Caspian Sea level (a) and Anzali Port in the 20th century and last 20 years (b) UNOP, 2003; The National Research and Study Center of the Caspian Sea, 2007.

1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001

Fig. 32.2 Long-term changes in the Caspian Sea level (a) and Anzali Port in the 20th century and last 20 years (b) UNOP, 2003; The National Research and Study Center of the Caspian Sea, 2007.

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