Sea Level Rise
Sea levels may rise twice as much by the end of this century than was previously predicted. That's according to an announcement last week by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Also last week, the Oakland-based Pacific Institute released a study finding that hundreds of thousands of people and billions of dollars of California infrastructure and property will be at risk if ocean levels rise 55 inches. What should we do to prepare?
Latest from the Team
The Climate Action Team is meeting with pertinent staff from various divisions to engage in a series of dialogues regarding scenarios for sea level rises, and changes in temperatures and precipitations. A draft summary helps you to think about impacts and adaptation in your area and a list of questions helps to facilitate the dialogue. After each dialogue, key outcomes are summarized.
Tools Available to Date (updated December 2014)
The latest Army Corps of Engineers guidance stipulated that impacts to coastal and estuarine zones caused by sea-level change must be considered in all phases of Civil Works programs (Oct. 1, 2011). The Climate Action Team has compiled the following for District staff's use:
Latest Policy Directives or Discussions (updated October 2014)
Description: The commission recommends that "the Governor should work with key state agencies . . . to clarify the impact of sea level rise on California's Common Law Public Trust Doctrine. A collective dialogue should seek ways to create a legal framework in advance of crisis and prevent litigation and instability as a rising ocean begins to condemn private property on the Pacific coastline." Full report
Description: Updated guidance "to help state agencies incorporate future sea-level rise impacts into planning
decisions, but has now been updated to include the best current science." Includes a table summarizing sea level models for the years
2030-2100 north and south of Cape Mendocino.
Description: Army Corps' policy, Oct. 2011, circular no. 1165-2-212 stipulated that
impacts to coastal and estuarine zones caused by sea-level change must be considered in
all phases of Civil Works program.
Description: State of California's comprehensive plan to guide adaptation to climate change, becoming the first state to develop such a strategy.
Description: The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) is making
some changes to its Bay Plan, taking climate change
into account. SCVWD's Ann Draper has made some comments on their proposals.
Description: Fact sheets on efforts by local governments in the Bay Area to adapt to sea level rise. A "community of practice" site is available for state and local officials to exchange adaptation experiences.
|Estimate (inches)||Agency||Report (Year)||Source of Information||Note|
|7.9||78.8||NOAA||Global Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States National Climate Assessment (2012)||Synthesis|
|31.5||78.8||n/a||Pfeffer, W. T., et al., Kinetic Constraints on Glacier Contributions to 21st-Century Sea-Level Rise (2008)||Original research|
|70.9||n/a||Jevrejeva, S., et al. Upper limit for sea level projections by 2100 (2014)||Original research|
|35.5||63.0||Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme||Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic (2011)||Synthesis|
|18.0||60.0||BCDC||Sea Level Rise: Predications and Implications for SF Bay, p. 15 (1988)||National Research Council. Responding to Changes in Sea Level (1987)|
|5.9||23.6||19.7||59.1||US Army Corps of Engineers||Planning for Sea Level Rise: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Policy (2002)||National Research Council. Responding to Changes in Sea Level (1987)||This is the basis for the current Shoreline study|
|19.7||59.1||n/a||Rohling, E. J. High rates of sea-level rise during the last interglacial period (2007)||Original research|
|19.7||59.1||US Army Corps of Engineers||Sea-Level Change Considerations in Civil Works Programs (2011)||IPCC 2007; NRC 1987||Note: Includes instructions for calculating local sea-level rise|
|40.2||57.1||California Climate Change Center/Pacific Institute||Heberger, M., et al. The Impacts of Sea-Level Rise on the California Coast (2009)||Based on Cayan, et al., 2006; Rahmstorf 2007; Cayan, et al. 2009|
|6.9||19.0||19.8||55.2||National Academy of Sciences||Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future (2012)||Synthesis|
|11.8||17.7||23.6||55.2||California Climate Change Center||Cayan, D., et al., Climate Change Scenarios and Sea Level Rise Estimates for the California 2008 Climate Change Scenarios Assessment (2009)||Rahmstorf 2007; other sources|
|19.7||55.2||n/a||Rahmstorf, S., A Semi-Empirical Approach to Projecting Future Sea-Level Rise (2007)||Original research|
|3.2||16.2||7.9||55.2||DWR||Technical Memorandum: Delta Risk Management Strategy. . . Topical Area: Climate Change, p. 13 (2008)||IPCC 2001, Rahmstorf 2007, extrapolation|
|55.2||USGS||Knowles, N. Projecting Vulnerability to Inundation Due to Sea Level Rise in the San Francisco Bay and Delta (2008)||Community Climate System Model using A2 emission scenario|
|19.7||55.2||CALFED Bay-Delta Program||Sea Level Rise and Delta Planning (Independent Science Board) (2007)||Recent empirical models after IPCC 2007|
|7.1||55.2||USGS||Report of workshop in Menlo Park (2008)||IPCC 2007; Rahmstorf 2007|
|55.0||Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force||Letter to Governor, March 24, 2008 (2008)||CalFed Independent Science Board||Assumption for strategic plan; asks that Governor issue an executive order with estimates of sea level rise for 2050 and 2100|
|16.0||55.0||BCDC||Living with a Rising Bay: Vulnerability and Adaptation in San Francisco Bay and on its Shoreline (2011)||Cayan, et al. 2009; Rahmstorf 2007|
|54.8||California Climate Change Center||Knowles, N. Potential Inundation Due to Rising Sea Levels in the San Francisco Bay Region (2009)||Cayan, et al. 2009; Cayan, et al. 2008|
|35.5||51.2||n/a||Grinsted, A., et al., Reconstructing sea level from paleo and projected temperatures 200 to 2100AD (2009)||Original research|
|22.5||43.3||n/a||Jevrejeva, S., et al. Sea level projections to AD2500 with a new generation of climate change scenarios (2012)||Original research|
|16.5||39.4||BCDC||Analysis of a Tidal Barrage at the Golden Gate (2007)|
|18.5||39.4||n/a||Horton, et al., Sea level rise projections for current generation CGCMs . . ., Geophysical Research Letters 35 (2008)||Original research|
|3.9||39.4||BCDC||BCDC Climate Change Planning Project (2007)||IPCC and Climate Action Team||"Sea level rise models indicate that a 30 cm (11.8 inch) rise in sea level would shift the 100-year storm surge-induced flood event to once every 10 years."|
|19.7||39.4||International Scientific Congress on Climate Change||Rising sea levels set to have major impacts around the world (2009)||Research presented at the conference|
|5.9||37.4||USGS||National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise: Preliminary Results for the US Pacific Coast (2000)||IPCC 1995||Old report|
|12.0||36.0||Calif. Coastal Commission||Overview of Sea Level Rise and Some Implications. . . , p. 12 (2001)||EPA, Titus and Narayanan 1995|
|5.1||35.1||Calif. Climate Change Ctr.||Scenarios of Climate Change in California: An Overview, p. 10 (2006)||Cayan, et al.|
|22.0||35.0||Calif. Ocean Protection Council||Resolution on Climate Change (2007)||Our Changing Climate|
|22.0||35.0||Calif. Climate Change Ctr.||Our Changing Climate, p. 12-13 (2006)|
|3.6||34.8||DWR||Progress on Incorporating Climate Change. . . (2006)||Based on IPCC 2001|
|4.0||33.0||Governor's Climate Action Team||Governor's Climate Action Team Report (2006)||Based on Cayan, et al., 2006|
|2.8||32.3||n/a||Siddall, M., et al. Constraints on future sea-level rise from past sea-level change (2009)||Original research|
|7.9||31.5||USGS||Projecting Inundation Due to Sea Level Rise in the SF Bay and Delta (2006)||Knowles (USGS)|
|7.1||31.1||US EPA||Future Sea Level Changes (2007)||IPCC 2007|
|2.4||12.6||3.9||28.4||Calif. Climate Change Ctr.||Projecting Future Sea Level, p. 5 (2006)||Cayan, et al.||Data on waves and storm surges, too|
|4.3||28.4||n/a||Cayan, D., et al., Climate Change Projections of Sea Level Extremes Along the California Coast, Climatic Change 87 (suppl. 1) (2008)||Original research|
|24.0||State of Maine||Wetlands and Climate Change webcast, May 13, 3008 (2008)|
|7.1||23.2||IPCC||Report of Working Group 1: Summary for Policymakers, p. 13 (2007)||Does not include ice flows, which could increase the upper number by 10-20 cm (4-8 in.). See RealClimate.org|
|7.1||23.2||IPCC||Technical Paper on Climate Change and Water, p. 37 (2008)|
|18.9||USGS||Coastal Vulnerability Assessment of GGNRA to Seal-Level Rise (2005)||IPCC 2001|
|13.4||15.0||NOAA National Marine Fisheries||Viability Criteria for Steelhead of S. Calif., p. 20 (2007)||Raper and Braithwaite, 2006|
|11.0||13.4||n/a||Church, J. and N. White. A 20th century acceleration in global sea-level rise (2006)||Original research|
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Created and maintained by Bob Teeter, District Librarian; organized by Sarah Young