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      Usable Science for Managing the Risks of Sea‐Level Rise

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          Abstract

          Sea‐level rise sits at the frontier of usable climate climate change research, because it involves natural and human systems with long lags, irreversible losses, and deep uncertainty. For example, many of the measures to adapt to sea‐level rise involve infrastructure and land‐use decisions, which can have multigenerational lifetimes and will further influence responses in both natural and human systems. Thus, sea‐level science has increasingly grappled with the implications of (1) deep uncertainty in future climate system projections, particularly of human emissions and ice sheet dynamics; (2) the overlay of slow trends and high‐frequency variability (e.g., tides and storms) that give rise to many of the most relevant impacts; (3) the effects of changing sea level on the physical exposure and vulnerability of ecological and socioeconomic systems; and (4) the challenges of engaging stakeholder communities with the scientific process in a way that genuinely increases the utility of the science for adaptation decision making. Much fundamental climate system research remains to be done, but many of the most critical issues sit at the intersection of natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, decision science, and political economy. Addressing these issues demands a better understanding of the coupled interactions of mean and extreme sea levels, coastal geomorphology, economics, and migration; decision‐first approaches that identify and focus research upon those scientific uncertainties most relevant to concrete adaptation choices; and a political economy that allows usable science to become used science.

          Key Points

          • Understanding coastal evolution requires accounting for interactions of sea‐level change, geomorphology, socioeconomics, and human responses

          • Deep uncertainty in sea‐level rise projections and impacts exists on timescales relevant to infrastructure and planning decisions

          • Adaptation under deep uncertainty requires co‐production, iterative risk management, and awareness of political economy

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          Most cited references290

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          Risk, Ambiguity, and the Savage Axioms

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            The use of the multi-model ensemble in probabilistic climate projections.

            Recent coordinated efforts, in which numerous climate models have been run for a common set of experiments, have produced large datasets of projections of future climate for various scenarios. Those multi-model ensembles sample initial condition, parameter as well as structural uncertainties in the model design, and they have prompted a variety of approaches to quantify uncertainty in future climate in a probabilistic way. This paper outlines the motivation for using multi-model ensembles, reviews the methodologies published so far and compares their results for regional temperature projections. The challenges in interpreting multi-model results, caused by the lack of verification of climate projections, the problem of model dependence, bias and tuning as well as the difficulty in making sense of an 'ensemble of opportunity', are discussed in detail.
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              Future flood losses in major coastal cities

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Robert.Kopp@rutgers.edu
                Journal
                Earths Future
                Earths Future
                10.1002/(ISSN)2328-4277
                EFT2
                Earth's Future
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                2328-4277
                04 December 2019
                December 2019
                : 7
                : 12 ( doiID: 10.1002/eft2.v7.12 )
                : 1235-1269
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ] Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences Rutgers University Piscataway NJ USA
                [ 2 ] Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences Rutgers University New Brunswick NJ USA
                [ 3 ] Department of International Development, Community and Environment Clark University Worcester MA USA
                [ 4 ] Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc. Lexington MA USA
                [ 5 ] Department of Earth and Environmental Studies Montclair State University Montclair NJ USA
                [ 6 ] Department of Human Ecology Rutgers University New Brunswick NJ USA
                [ 7 ] Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services NOAA National Ocean Service Silver Spring MD USA
                Author notes
                [*] [* ] Correspondence to: R. E. Kopp,

                Robert.Kopp@ 123456rutgers.edu

                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4016-9428
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9228-5861
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7082-7762
                Article
                EFT2595 10.1029/2018EF001145
                10.1029/2018EF001145
                7006779
                32064296
                e4b34bba-acd3-4cb2-843d-c71d97c81a35
                ©2019. The Authors.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

                History
                : 17 May 2019
                : 26 August 2019
                : 30 August 2019
                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 0, Pages: 35, Words: 14538
                Funding
                Funded by: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) , open-funder-registry 10.13039/100000104;
                Award ID: 80NSSC17K0698
                Award ID: NNH16CT01C
                Funded by: National Science Foundation (NSF) , open-funder-registry 10.13039/100000001;
                Award ID: ICER-1663807
                Award ID: CNH-1518503
                Award ID: OCE-1805029
                Award ID: DBI-1639145
                Award ID: DGE-1633557
                Funded by: New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) , open-funder-registry 10.13039/100005787;
                Award ID: NJSG-18-937
                Categories
                Grand Challenges in the Earth and Space Sciences
                Geodesy and Gravity
                Ocean Monitoring with Geodetic Techniques
                Global Change from Geodesy
                Global Change
                Sea Level Change
                Hydrology
                Floods
                Hydroclimatology
                Human Impacts
                Natural Hazards
                Hydrological
                Oceanic
                Human Impact
                Oceanography: Physical
                Sea Level: Variations and Mean
                Space Weather
                Impacts on Humans
                Feature Article
                Feature Articles
                Custom metadata
                2.0
                December 2019
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.7.5 mode:remove_FC converted:06.02.2020

                sea level,climate change,geomorphology,migration,decision making,adaptation

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