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Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Climate Change

Richard J. T. Klein and Robert J. Nicholls
Ambio
Vol. 28, No. 2 (Mar., 1999), pp. 182-187
Published by: Springer on behalf of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4314873
Page Count: 6
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Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Climate Change
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Abstract

The UNEP Handbook on Methods for Climate Change Impact Assessment and Adaptation Strategies provides an elaboration of the IPCC Technical Guidelines for Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations. This paper presents the concepts and ideas that underpin the chapter Coastal Zones of the UNEP Handbook. Particular emphasis is given to the conceptual framework, which is centered around the concept of vulnerability. Further, the IPCC Common Methodology for Assessing Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise is evaluated and compared with the Technical Guidelines. One notable difference between the 2 approaches concerns the use of scenarios. In the Common Methodology scenarios are prescribed, while the Technical Guidelines allow users maximum freedom in selecting and developing scenarios. Finally, the paper discusses 3 levels of increasingly complex assessment in coastal zones. As more experience is acquired, coastal databases improve and better analytical tools and techniques are developed, more comprehensive and integrated assessments will become feasible.

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