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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2017, 5(3), 36; doi:10.3390/jmse5030036

Projected 21st Century Sea-Level Changes, Observed Sea Level Extremes, and Sea Level Allowances for Norway

1
Geodetic Institute, Norwegian Mapping Authority, 3507 Hønefoss, Norway
2
Hydrographic Service, Norwegian Mapping Authority, Professor Olav Hanssens vei 10, 4021 Stavanger, Norway
3
Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Thormøhlensgt. 47, 5006 Bergen, Norway
4
Lantmäteriet, Lantmäterigatan 2C, 80182 Gävle, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 14 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Sea Levels, Impacts and Adaptation)
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Abstract

Changes to mean sea level and/or sea level extremes (e.g., storm surges) will lead to changes in coastal impacts. These changes represent a changing exposure or risk to our society. Here, we present 21st century sea-level projections for Norway largely based on the Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC AR5). An important component of past and present sea-level change in Norway is glacial isostatic adjustment. We therefore pay special attention to vertical land motion, which is constrained using new geodetic observations with improved spatial coverage and accuracies, and modelling work. Projected ensemble mean 21st century relative sea-level changes for Norway are, depending on location, from −0.10 to 0.30 m for emission scenario RCP2.6; 0.00 to 0.35 m for RCP 4.5; and 0.15 to 0.55 m for RCP8.5. For all RCPs, the projected ensemble mean indicates that the vast majority of the Norwegian coast will experience a rise in sea level. Norway’s official return heights for extreme sea levels are estimated using the average conditional exceedance rate (ACER) method. We adapt an approach for calculating sea level allowances for use with the ACER method. All the allowances calculated give values above the projected ensemble mean Relative Sea Level (RSL) rise, i.e., to preserve the likelihood of flooding from extreme sea levels, a height increase above the most likely RSL rise should be used in planning. We also show that the likelihood of exceeding present-day return heights will dramatically increase with sea-level rise. View Full-Text
Keywords: Norway; sea-level change; regional sea-level projections; IPCC AR5; glacial isostatic adjustment; extreme sea levels; ACER extreme value prediction; sea level allowances; tide gauges Norway; sea-level change; regional sea-level projections; IPCC AR5; glacial isostatic adjustment; extreme sea levels; ACER extreme value prediction; sea level allowances; tide gauges
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Simpson, M.J.R.; Ravndal, O.R.; Sande, H.; Nilsen, J.E.Ø.; Kierulf, H.P.; Vestøl, O.; Steffen, H. Projected 21st Century Sea-Level Changes, Observed Sea Level Extremes, and Sea Level Allowances for Norway. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2017, 5, 36.

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