WIT Press

Climate Change And Sea Level Rise Impacts At Ports And A Consistent Methodology To Evaluate Vulnerability And Risk


Free (open access)





Page Range

141 - 153




1,299 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


S. Messner, L. Moran, G. Reub & J. Campbell


A growing number of public and private entities, including port authorities, are evaluating potential impacts from climate change and are developing procedures to incorporate the financial and other risks into their investment decision making processes. This paper explores an evaluation framework for climate change adaptation with a case study at one port that incorporates information from historical tide measurements and storm events, sea level rise projections, digital elevation surveys of nearshore areas, and localized protection/armouring not reflected in elevation surveys to develop more detailed and accurate projections of sea level rise on port facilities and areas adjacent to Ports. After inclusion of key infrastructure, ecological, and land use information into a GIS model of the area, the projections can then be used to more accurately assess vulnerabilities and risks from sea level rise, storms, and floods in port areas. Ports are a critical intersection point of global commerce and are highly vulnerable to future increases in sea level rise and storminess. Much is potentially at stake – approximately 75% of all global trade by weight occurs by maritime transport and 59% by value. The paper also explores a methodology to evaluate risks in a common financial format as part of a Net Ecosystem Services Analysis (NESA). It considers the unified NESA valuation as a powerful framework that can incorporate the full suite of issues (social, economic and environmental) for decision making when quantifying costs and benefits across a variety of land use types. Keywords: Port of San Diego, sea level rise, NESA, climate change, climate action plan.


Port of San Diego, sea level rise, NESA, climate change, climate action plan.