What are coastal hazards?
When a natural process has the potential to negatively impact on things we value, we call it a hazard. Shoreline adaptation plans look at the impact of three coastal hazards: erosion, inundation, and rainfall flooding. The hazard modelling used to inform these plans takes into account how climate change will alter the frequency, magnitude and extent of these natural hazards.
Why do we need to adapt?
Global temperatures are rising due to greenhouse gas emissions, causing a range of impacts from higher sea levels to increasing rainfall intensity. The impact of climate change will depend strongly on the steps taken to mitigate carbon emissions in the near future. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (‘the IPCC’) has modelled a series of scenarios commonly referred to as ‘Representative Concentration Pathways’ (RCPs). The primary purpose of the RCPs is to provide projections of greenhouse gas concentrations which correspond to changing energy levels within the atmosphere. Each RCP has been correlated with increasing temperature and sea level rise.