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Plausible responses to the threat of rapid sea-level rise for the Thames Estuary

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Author Info

  • Kate G. Lonsdale
  • Thomas E. Downing
  • Robert J. Nicholls
  • Dennis Parker
  • Athanasios T. Vafeidis
  • Richard Dawson
  • Jim Hall
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    Abstract

    This paper considers the perceptions and responses of selected stakeholders to a scenarion of rapid rise in sea-level due to the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which could produce a global rise in sea-level of 5 to 6 metres. Through a process of dialogue involving one-to one interviews and a one-day policy exercise, we addressed influences on decision-making when information is uncertain and our ability to plan, prepare for and implement effective ways of coping with this extreme scenario. Through these interactions we hoped to uncover plausible responses to the scenario and identify potential weaknesses in our current flood management approaches to dealing with such an occurrence. By undertaking this exploratory exercise we hoped to find out whether this was a feasible way to deal with such a low probability but high consequence scenario. It was the process of finding a solution that interested us rather than the technical merits of one solution over another. We were not intending to produce definitive set of recommendations on how to respond but to gain insights into the process of making a decision, specifically what influences it and what assumptions are made.

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    File URL: http://www.fnu.zmaw.de/fileadmin/fnu-files/publication/working-papers/waislondonwp.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2005
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University in its series Working Papers with number FNU-77.

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    Length: 45 pages
    Date of creation: May 2005
    Date of revision: May 2005
    Publication status: Forthcoming, Climatic Change
    Handle: RePEc:sgc:wpaper:77

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    Keywords: Sea level rise; London;

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