Adaptation to five metres of sea level rise

R.S.J. Tol, M. Bohn, T.E. Downing, M.L. Guillerminet, E. Hizsnyik, R. Kasperson, K. Lonsdale, C. Mays, R.J. Nicholls, A.A. Olsthoorn, G. Pfeifle, M. Poumadere, F.L. Toth, A.T. Vafeidis, P.E. van der Werff, I.H. Yetkiner

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

There is an unknown but probably small probability that the West-Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) will collapse because of anthropogenic climate change. A WAIS collapse could cause a 5-6 metre global sea level rise within centuries. In three case studies, we investigate the response of society to the most extreme yet not implausible scenario, a five-metre sea level rise within a century, starting in 2030. The case studies combine a series of interviews with experts and stakeholders with a gaming workshop. In the Rhone delta, the most likely option would be retreat, with economic losses, perhaps social losses, and maybe ecological gains. In the Thames estuary, the probable outcome is less clear, but would probably be a mix of protection, accommodation and retreat, with parts of the city centre turned into a Venice of London. A massive downstream barrier is an alternative response. In the Rhine delta (the Netherlands), the initial response would be protection, followed by retreat from the economically less important parts of the country and, probably, from Amsterdam-Rotterdam metropolitan region as well. These impacts are large compared to other climate change impacts, but probably small compared to the impacts of the same scenario in other parts of the world. This suggests that the possibility of a anthropogenic-climate-change-induced WAIS collapse would strengthen the case for greenhouse gas emission reduction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-482
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Risk Research
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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Sea level
Climate change
Ice
climate change
scenario
metropolitan region
Estuaries
Gas emissions
city center
Greenhouse gases
accommodation
Netherlands
stakeholder
expert
Economics
cause
interview
economics
Scenarios

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Tol, R. S. J., Bohn, M., Downing, T. E., Guillerminet, M. L., Hizsnyik, E., Kasperson, R., ... Yetkiner, I. H. (2006). Adaptation to five metres of sea level rise. Journal of Risk Research, 9(5), 467-482. https://doi.org/10.1080/13669870600717632
Tol, R.S.J. ; Bohn, M. ; Downing, T.E. ; Guillerminet, M.L. ; Hizsnyik, E. ; Kasperson, R. ; Lonsdale, K. ; Mays, C. ; Nicholls, R.J. ; Olsthoorn, A.A. ; Pfeifle, G. ; Poumadere, M. ; Toth, F.L. ; Vafeidis, A.T. ; van der Werff, P.E. ; Yetkiner, I.H. / Adaptation to five metres of sea level rise. In: Journal of Risk Research. 2006 ; Vol. 9, No. 5. pp. 467-482.
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abstract = "There is an unknown but probably small probability that the West-Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) will collapse because of anthropogenic climate change. A WAIS collapse could cause a 5-6 metre global sea level rise within centuries. In three case studies, we investigate the response of society to the most extreme yet not implausible scenario, a five-metre sea level rise within a century, starting in 2030. The case studies combine a series of interviews with experts and stakeholders with a gaming workshop. In the Rhone delta, the most likely option would be retreat, with economic losses, perhaps social losses, and maybe ecological gains. In the Thames estuary, the probable outcome is less clear, but would probably be a mix of protection, accommodation and retreat, with parts of the city centre turned into a Venice of London. A massive downstream barrier is an alternative response. In the Rhine delta (the Netherlands), the initial response would be protection, followed by retreat from the economically less important parts of the country and, probably, from Amsterdam-Rotterdam metropolitan region as well. These impacts are large compared to other climate change impacts, but probably small compared to the impacts of the same scenario in other parts of the world. This suggests that the possibility of a anthropogenic-climate-change-induced WAIS collapse would strengthen the case for greenhouse gas emission reduction.",
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Tol, RSJ, Bohn, M, Downing, TE, Guillerminet, ML, Hizsnyik, E, Kasperson, R, Lonsdale, K, Mays, C, Nicholls, RJ, Olsthoorn, AA, Pfeifle, G, Poumadere, M, Toth, FL, Vafeidis, AT, van der Werff, PE & Yetkiner, IH 2006, 'Adaptation to five metres of sea level rise' Journal of Risk Research, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 467-482. https://doi.org/10.1080/13669870600717632

Adaptation to five metres of sea level rise. / Tol, R.S.J.; Bohn, M.; Downing, T.E.; Guillerminet, M.L.; Hizsnyik, E.; Kasperson, R.; Lonsdale, K.; Mays, C.; Nicholls, R.J.; Olsthoorn, A.A.; Pfeifle, G.; Poumadere, M.; Toth, F.L.; Vafeidis, A.T.; van der Werff, P.E.; Yetkiner, I.H.

In: Journal of Risk Research, Vol. 9, No. 5, 2006, p. 467-482.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Tol, R.S.J.

AU - Bohn, M.

AU - Downing, T.E.

AU - Guillerminet, M.L.

AU - Hizsnyik, E.

AU - Kasperson, R.

AU - Lonsdale, K.

AU - Mays, C.

AU - Nicholls, R.J.

AU - Olsthoorn, A.A.

AU - Pfeifle, G.

AU - Poumadere, M.

AU - Toth, F.L.

AU - Vafeidis, A.T.

AU - van der Werff, P.E.

AU - Yetkiner, I.H.

PY - 2006

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N2 - There is an unknown but probably small probability that the West-Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) will collapse because of anthropogenic climate change. A WAIS collapse could cause a 5-6 metre global sea level rise within centuries. In three case studies, we investigate the response of society to the most extreme yet not implausible scenario, a five-metre sea level rise within a century, starting in 2030. The case studies combine a series of interviews with experts and stakeholders with a gaming workshop. In the Rhone delta, the most likely option would be retreat, with economic losses, perhaps social losses, and maybe ecological gains. In the Thames estuary, the probable outcome is less clear, but would probably be a mix of protection, accommodation and retreat, with parts of the city centre turned into a Venice of London. A massive downstream barrier is an alternative response. In the Rhine delta (the Netherlands), the initial response would be protection, followed by retreat from the economically less important parts of the country and, probably, from Amsterdam-Rotterdam metropolitan region as well. These impacts are large compared to other climate change impacts, but probably small compared to the impacts of the same scenario in other parts of the world. This suggests that the possibility of a anthropogenic-climate-change-induced WAIS collapse would strengthen the case for greenhouse gas emission reduction.

AB - There is an unknown but probably small probability that the West-Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) will collapse because of anthropogenic climate change. A WAIS collapse could cause a 5-6 metre global sea level rise within centuries. In three case studies, we investigate the response of society to the most extreme yet not implausible scenario, a five-metre sea level rise within a century, starting in 2030. The case studies combine a series of interviews with experts and stakeholders with a gaming workshop. In the Rhone delta, the most likely option would be retreat, with economic losses, perhaps social losses, and maybe ecological gains. In the Thames estuary, the probable outcome is less clear, but would probably be a mix of protection, accommodation and retreat, with parts of the city centre turned into a Venice of London. A massive downstream barrier is an alternative response. In the Rhine delta (the Netherlands), the initial response would be protection, followed by retreat from the economically less important parts of the country and, probably, from Amsterdam-Rotterdam metropolitan region as well. These impacts are large compared to other climate change impacts, but probably small compared to the impacts of the same scenario in other parts of the world. This suggests that the possibility of a anthropogenic-climate-change-induced WAIS collapse would strengthen the case for greenhouse gas emission reduction.

U2 - 10.1080/13669870600717632

DO - 10.1080/13669870600717632

M3 - Article

VL - 9

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EP - 482

JO - Journal of Risk Research

JF - Journal of Risk Research

SN - 1366-9877

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ER -

Tol RSJ, Bohn M, Downing TE, Guillerminet ML, Hizsnyik E, Kasperson R et al. Adaptation to five metres of sea level rise. Journal of Risk Research. 2006;9(5):467-482. https://doi.org/10.1080/13669870600717632