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Assessing The Risks Of A Future Rapid Large Sea Level Rise: A Review


  • Roger E. Kasperson
  • Maria T. Bohn
  • Clark L. Goble


Our aim is to make an appropriate characterization and interpretation of the risk problem of rapid large sea level rise that reflects the very large uncertainty in present day knowledge concerning this possibility, and that will be useful in informing discussion about risk management approaches. We consider mainly the potential collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet as the source of such a sea level rise. Our review, characterization and interpretation of the risk makes us conclude that the risk of a rapid large sea level rise is characterized by potentially catastrophic consequences and high epistemic uncertainty; effective risk management must involve highly adaptive management regimes, vulnerability reduction, and prompt development of capabilities for precautionary reduction of climate change forcings.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger E. Kasperson & Maria T. Bohn & Clark L. Goble, 2005. "Assessing The Risks Of A Future Rapid Large Sea Level Rise: A Review," Working Papers FNU-73, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised May 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:sgc:wpaper:73

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    Cited by:

    1. Richard S. J. Tol & Maria Bohn & Thomas E. Downing & Marie-Laure Guillerminet & Eva Hizsnyik & Roger Kasperson & Kate Lonsdale & Claire Mays & Robert J. Nicholls & Alexander A. Olsthoorn & Gabriele Pf, 2006. "Adaptation to Five Metres of Sea Level Rise," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(5), pages 467-482, July.
    2. Ferenc L. Toth & Eva Hizsnyik, 2005. "Managing The Inconceivable: Participatory Assessments Of Impacts And Responses To Extreme Climate Change," Working Papers FNU-74, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised May 2005.

    More about this item


    sea level rise; West Antarctic ice sheet; climate change; adaptive management; epistemic uncertainty; risk management arenas; vulnerability;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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