Keeping Pace: A Short Guide to Navigating Sea-Level Rise Models

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A new short guide covers the importance of sea-level rise model selection, helpful concepts, model categories, and an example of how to utilize these models to address coastal issues.

View from the Fire Island Lighthouse, looking southeast, at a relatively undeveloped section of Fire Island National Seashore

View from the Fire Island Lighthouse, looking southeast, at a relatively undeveloped section of Fire Island National Seashore. The well-developed dunes visible in the photograph were razed by Hurricane Sandy.

(Public domain.)

There are many models, tools, experts, and maps available that provide decision support for local decision makers to address the potential impacts of rising sea-levels. However, different models are not always developed for the same purposes and it can be difficult to determine which model and resources are the best for a specific given need. 

The Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative and the Southeast Climate Science Center (SE CSC) have released a new resource to help resource managers make decisions about models - Keeping Pace: A short guide to navigating sea-level rise models! This quick four-pager covers the importance of sea-level rise model selection, helpful concepts, model categories, and an example of how to utilize these models to address coastal issues.

This guide was largely informed by the Sea-Level Rise Modeling Handbook: Resource Guide for Coastal Land Managers, Engineers, and Scientists, released in 2015. This handbook describes and categorizes the suite of data, methods, and models and their design, structure, and application for hindcasting and forecasting the potential impacts of sea-level rise in coastal ecosystems. This handbook was developed as part of a SE CSC funded project to help resource managers understand and utilize sea-level rise and coastal wetland models for ecosystem management in the face of climate change.