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A Flood Damage Allowance Framework for Coastal Protection With Deep Uncertainty in Sea Level Rise

Analyses of how Antarctica will respond to a warming planet embody large uncertainties that increase with time. As such, future projections of sea level rise are strongly dependent upon expert judgment about how much and how quickly Antarctica will melt. This uncertainty complicates any decisions regarding how high to build flood protections in order to reduce coastal flood damages from rising sea levels. Generally, the higher the structure, the greater the margin of safety afforded. If the prescribed margin of safety does not properly account for sea level rise and its uncertainties, the effectiveness of the flood protection will decrease over time. This could potentially waste money and put lives and properties at a greater risk. We create a decision‐making approach for flood protection designers that allows them to calculate the height of various flood protection strategies based on their risk tolerance with respect to future Antarctic melt. This framework is compatible with existing decision making protocols such as those used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. We find that projections of flood frequencies and the design of strategies to reduce damages are sensitive to views of how much and how quickly Antarctica will melt.
Author: Rasmussen, D.J.; Buchanan, Maya K.; Kopp, Robert E.; Oppenheimer, Michael
Language: English
Pubished By: Earth's Future
Pubished date: 2020

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