Online Briefing report 6 Marine & coastal projections
The maritime and coastal environments play an important role in the UK’s culture and economy. Plausible estimates of how this environment will change in the future as the global climate adjusts to rising greenhouse gas concentrations are vital for adaptation planning.
The previous set of UK climate scenarios, UKCIP02, only contained limited information on sea level rise and a projection of changes in the extreme water levels based on a single climate model. In UKCP09 we provide a more diverse package of information comprising sea level rise and changes in: , water temperatures and salinity, shelf currents and offshore waves. The results cover both the coastline of the UK and the shelf seas (the area of relatively shallow sea around the UK). For sea level rise, storm surges and waves, the UKCP09 simulations provide a minimum estimate of uncertainty in projections of the future. It is not currently possible to produce probabilistic projections, such as those provided by UKCP09 for atmospheric changes.
An important feature of the new marine scenarios is their degree of consistency. This is created by using the same atmospheric climate model to provide inputs to the shelf sea models of storm surges, waves, temperature and salinity. This makes it possible, for the first time, to look at the joint occurrence of different types of marine and coastal change.