Risk-Cost Aspects of Sea Level Rise and Climate Change in the Evaluation of Shore Protection Projects
U.S. Federal coastal protection project planning can incorporate forecasts of sea level rise and storm frequency changes due to climate change through the application of risk and uncertainty analysis techniques. Incorporating future sea level rise into current projects implies building projects that are too large for existing conditions. Also, changed future conditions such as increased storm frequency and intensity, which increase recurring project maintenance costs tend to favor structural-type projects. Based on applications of a suggested risk-cost evaluation approach adapted from a simplified model for river flood damage assessment, results suggested that uncertainties in predicting future economic damages dominated the uncertainties in the physical regime, i.e. sea level rise. In terms of planning current projects, preliminary indications are that adverse impacts of sea level rise and climate change occur too slowly and too far into the future to have much influence on the choice of the type and scale of coastal protection projects. This is especially true given the higher interest rate used in present value calculations. Therefore, in the foreseeable future, the U.S. is likely to rely on nonstructural and land use management solutions that are administered by state and local agencies.
KeywordsStorm Surge Significant Wave Height Army Corps Flood Damage Flood Discharge
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