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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-46
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-46
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 05 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 05 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Quantifying processes contributing to coastal hazards to inform coastal climate resilience assessments, demonstrated for the Caribbean Sea

Svetlana Jevrejeva1,2, Lucy Bricheno1, Jennifer Brown1, David Byrne1, Michela De Dominicis1, Andy Matthews1, Stefanie Rynders1, Hindumathi Palanisamy2, and Judith Wolf1 Svetlana Jevrejeva et al.
  • 1National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool, L3 5DA, UK
  • 2Centre for Climate Research Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

Abstract. Scientific evidence is critical to underpin the decisions associated with shoreline management, to build climate resilient communities and infrastructure. We explore the role of waves, storm surges and sea level rise for the Caribbean region with a focus on coastal impacts in the eastern Caribbean islands. We simulate past extreme events and a worst-case scenario, modelling the storm surges and waves, suggesting a storm surge might reach 1.5 m, depending on the underwater topography. Coastal wave heights up to 12 m offshore and up to 5 m near the coast of St Vincent are simulated with a regional wave model. We deliver probabilistic sea level projections for 2100, with a low probability/high impact estimate of possible sea level rise up to 2.2 m, exceeding the 1.8 m global estimate for the same scenario.

We introduce a Combined Vulnerability Index, which allows a quantitative assessment of relative risk across the region, showing that sea level rise is the most important risk factor everywhere, but wave impacts are important on windward coasts, increasing to the north, towards the main hurricane track. Our work provides quantitative evidence for policy makers, scientists, and local communities to actively prepare for and protect against climate change.

Svetlana Jevrejeva et al.

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Svetlana Jevrejeva et al.

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Short summary
We explore the role of waves, storm surges and sea level rise for the Caribbean region with a focus on the eastern Caribbean islands. We simulate past extreme events, suggesting a storm surge might reach 1.5 m and coastal wave heights up to 12 m offshore and up to 5 m near the coast of St Vincent. We provide sea level projections up to 2.2 m by 2100. Our work provides quantitative evidence for policy makers, scientists, and local communities to actively protect against climate change.
We explore the role of waves, storm surges and sea level rise for the Caribbean region with a...
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