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A framework for sea level rise vulnerability assessment for southwest U.S. military installations

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12 Author(s)
Bart Chadwick ; Environmental Sciences Branch, SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, USA ; Reinhard Flick ; John Helly ; Tracey Nishikawa
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We describe an analysis framework to determine military installation vulnerabilities under increases in local mean sea level as projected over the next century. The effort is in response to an increasing recognition of potential climate change ramifications for national security and recommendations that DoD conduct assessments of the impact on U.S. military installations of climate change. Results of the effort described here focus on development of a conceptual framework for sea level rise vulnerability assessment at coastal military installations in the southwest U.S. We introduce the vulnerability assessment in the context of a risk assessment paradigm that incorporates sources in the form of future sea level conditions, pathways of impact including inundation, flooding, erosion and intrusion, and a range of military installation specific receptors such as critical infrastructure and training areas. A unique aspect of the methodology is the capability to develop wave climate projections from GCM outputs and transform these to future wave conditions at specific coastal sites. Future sea level scenarios are considered in the context of installation sensitivity curves which reveal response thresholds specific to each installation, pathway and receptor. In the end, our goal is to provide a military-relevant framework for assessment of accelerated SLR vulnerability, and develop the best scientifically-based scenarios of waves, tides and storms and their implications for DoD installations in the southwestern U.S.

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19-22 Sept. 2011