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Sea level rise and storm surge projections for the National Park Service

Source(s):  Department of the Interior
National Park Service (NPS)

Over one quarter of the units of the National Park System occur along ocean coastlines. Ongoing changes in relative sea levels and the potential for increasing storm surges due to anthropogenic climate change and other factors present challenges to national park managers.

This report summarizes work done by the University of Colorado in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) to provide sea level rise and storm surge projections to coastal area national parks using information from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and storm surge scenarios from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) models. This research is the first to analyze IPCC and NOAA projections of sea level and storm surge under climate change for U.S. national parks. Results illustrate potential future inundation and storm surge under four greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. In addition to including multiple scenarios, the analysis considers multiple time horizons (2030, 2050 and 2100). This analysis provides sea level rise projections for 118 park units and storm surge projections for 79 of those parks.



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  • Sea level rise and storm surge projections for the National Park Service
  • Publication date 2018
  • Author(s) Caffrey, M.A.; Beavers, R.L.; Hoffman, C.H.
  • Number of pages 90 p.

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