Causes and Effects of Relative Sea-Level Changes in the Northeast Pacific

Climate Change in Northern Latitudes
Sunday, February 19, 2012: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 109 (VCC West Building)
How will the Northeast Pacific be affected by relative sea-level changes during the 21st century and beyond? In part, the effects will depend on causes, both global and regional. The familiar global list includes interactions among the solid Earth, atmosphere, oceans, and cryosphere in response to orbital and anthropogenic climate forcing. Regional variations on these themes include earthquake-induced subsidence as large as 1.5 meters, as happened during the great subduction-zone earthquakes that struck Cascadia in 1700 and Alaska in 1964, and localized effects of glacial isostasy, sediment loading, and groundwater overdraft. But the effects will also depend on ecological and human adaptations. This session first reviews the various contributors to relative sea-level changes in the Northeast Pacific and then examines likely adaptations with an emphasis on shores in British Columbia.
Brian F. Atwater, U.S. Geological Survey
C.K. Shum, Ohio State University
and Ester Sztein, U.S. National Academies
Brian F. Atwater, U.S. Geological Survey
Margaret Davidson, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center
David Flanders, University of British Columbia
Flood Adaptation Near Vancouver: A Regional Adaptation Collaborative