Global survey shows planners use widely varying sea-level rise projections for coastal adaptation

Daniella Hirschfeld, David Behar, Robert J. Nicholls, Niamh Cahill, Thomas James, Benjamin P. Horton, Michelle E. Portman, Rob Bell, Matthew Campo, Miguel Esteban, Bronwyn Goble, Munsur Rahman, Kwasi Appeaning Addo, Faiz Ahmed Chundeli, Monique Aunger, Orly Babitsky, Anders Beal, Ray Boyle, Jiayi Fang, Amir GoharSusan Hanson, Saul Karamesines, MJ Kim, Hilary Lohmann, Kathy McInnes, Nobuo Mimura, Doug Ramsay, Landis Wenger, Hiromune Yokoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Including sea-level rise (SLR) projections in planning and implementing coastal adaptation is crucial. Here we analyze the first global survey on the use of SLR projections for 2050 and 2100. Two-hundred and fifty-three coastal practitioners engaged in adaptation/planning from 49 countries provided complete answers to the survey which was distributed in nine languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish. While recognition of the threat of SLR is almost universal, only 72% of respondents currently utilize SLR projections. Generally, developing countries have lower levels of utilization. There is no global standard in the use of SLR projections: for locations using a standard data structure, 53% are planning using a single projection, while the remainder are using multiple projections, with 13% considering a low-probability high-end scenario. Countries with histories of adaptation and consistent national support show greater assimilation of SLR projections into adaptation decisions. This research provides new insights about current planning practices and can inform important ongoing efforts on the application of the science that is essential to the promotion of effective adaptation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102
JournalCommunications Earth & Environment
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2023

Cite this