To: California Ocean and Coastal Community
From: Amber Mace – Executive Director, California Ocean Protection Council
Date: May 25, 2010
Subject: NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETINGS: National Research Council (NRC) Science Study of Sea Level Rise Projections for California, Oregon, and Washington
NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETINGS
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
National Research Council (NRC) Science Study
Sea Level Rise Projections for California, Oregon, and Washington
What: California state agencies, along with the states of Oregon and Washington and three federal agencies, have engaged the National Research Council in a contract for science review of sea level rise for the West Coast. Through this contract, a panel of experts will be assembled who will assess sea level rise for California, Oregon and Washington and will provide estimated values or a range of values for sea level rise for planning purposes for the years 2030, 2050 and 2100.
The California state agencies sponsoring this study are holding public meetings and accepting comments electronically to solicit reference information that could be considered by NRC in its science study. Specific types of information sought are described below.
When and Where: The public meetings are listed below
June 8, 2010
1:00 – 3:30
Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center
Long Beach Airport
2640 N. Lakewood Blvd,
June 16, 2010
Port Commission Hearing Room
San Francisco Ferry Building
Pier 1, San Francisco
June 17, 2010
Best Western Bayshore Inn
Information Sought: The California sponsoring agencies are seeking information (publications and data generated by others than the sponsoring agencies) that could be useful for the science review, whose scope is described under the background section below. Specific examples of types of information sought include research studies, journal publications, science workshop reports, data sets, and similar materials pertaining to:
– Projections of sea level rise for locations on the West Coast;
– Climate change-related severe weather conditions on the West Coast; including increased storminess, increased wave heights, storm surges, changes in storm frequency/duration/precipitation intensity, and development of atmospheric river events;
– West Coast site-specific climate change-related impacts on erosion and sedimentation characteristics (e.g., rates and processes) in coastal and estuarine environments, including coastal wetlands;
– Efficacy of coastal habitats and coastal restoration in increasing the resilience of communities and ecosystems along the West Coast;
– Observed sea level rise amounts, severe weather data, or erosion/sedimentation impacts relevant to operation of coastal infrastruture (to help provide context for future projections expressed in the science literature); and,
– Predicted site-specific local sea level rise amounts, and climate change-related criteria/methodologies for precipitation frequency/duration/intensity relationships for stormwater drainage, including those that quantify expected local responses associated with sea level rise.
Submission of Information Electronically: It is not necessary to attend the public meetings to submit information. Comments may be sent electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org starting on June 1st.
Sponsoring Agencies: California Energy Commission, California Department of Transportation, California Department of Water Resources, California Ocean Protection Council, California State Water Resources Control Board, Oregon Water Enhancement Board, Washington Department of Ecology, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
Background: In compliance with Executive Order S-13-08, the sponsoring agencies have arranged for an independent science review by the National Research Council to assess specific aspects of sea level rise pertinent to climate change adaptation in California. The topics being covered in the NRC study are:
1. Evaluate each of the major contributors to global sea level rise (e.g., ocean thermal expansion, melting of glaciers and ice sheets); combine the contributions to provide values or a range of values of global sea level rise for the years 2030, 2050, and 2100; and evaluate the uncertainties associated with these values for each timeframe.
2. Characterize and, where possible, provide specific values for the regional and local contributions to sea level rise (e.g., atmospheric changes influencing ocean winds, ENSO [El Nino-Southern Oscillation] effects on ocean surface height, coastal upwelling and currents, storminess, coastal land motion caused by tectonics, sediment loading, or aquifer withdrawal) for the years 2030, 2050 and 2100. Different types of coastal settings will be examined, taking into account factors such as landform (e.g., estuaries, wetlands, beaches, lagoons, cliffs), geologic substrate (e.g., unconsolidated sediments, bedrock), and rates of geologic deformation. For inputs that can be quantified, the study will also provide related uncertainties. The study will also summarize what is known about:
a. climate-induced increases in storm frequency and magnitude and related changes to regional and local sea level rise estimations (e.g., more frequent and severe storm surges)
b. the efficacy of coastal habitats and coastal restoration (e.g., watershed restoration) in increasing the resilience of communities and ecosystems along the West Coast.
It is anticipated that NRC will hold the first meeting of its science review committee in fall 2010, with completion of the study estimated to take 12-18 months from that date.
TENTATIVE PUBLIC MEETING AGENDA
1. Introduction and meeting purpose
2. Overview of California climate change adaptation strategy
3. Scope and process of NRC science review
4. Request for information/data to support NRC science review
5. Public comments*
*Public comments will be limited to 5 minutes or otherwise at the discretion of the meeting chair