Monday, June 29, 2020

Seaports With Sea Level Change - 10

The World Ocean Database (WOD) organization and the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) have updated their datasets, so I am updating this series (Seaports With Sea Level Change, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).

Port authorities are becoming more and more aware of the implications of sea level change, in terms of the enormity of the adaptation efforts they must engage in to respond to the current and the approaching impacts:

"The southeastern Virginia coast is among the most threatened areas in the country, according to a report by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, with big military facilities alongside the major commercial port set up along a low-lying land in what is known as the Tidewater region. 'It’s a clear and present problem, it’s more than just an inconvenience,' said John Reinhart, the port authority’s chief executive."

(Seaports Are Slowly Bracing, emphasis added). Seaports experience varying degrees of change, that is, the sea level change is not the same for every port.

There are clusters, however, which will have the same or near the same challenges.

For example, six of the ten busiest ports are near enough to one another that the volume of work required to change all of them at once is problematic, because the engineering expertise currently available is not that robust:

"Climate adaptation requires leadership from a diverse group of stakeholders to shift investment priorities and generate political will for long-term planning. This is especially true for seaport stakeholders. Ports serve as access points to goods and services from around the world, promoting a higher and more robust quality of life. However, with the increased likelihood of intense storms, rising sea levels, and resource scarcity facing coastal communities, stakeholders will need to adapt coastal infrastructure to ensure long-term viability. Solving such problems requires leadership and participation from government across jurisdictional boundaries and/or the private sector. Using the case of Port of Providence (Rhode Island, United States), this study finds stakeholder perceptions of leadership responsibility contribute to an institutional void, in which it is unclear who is responsible and who should pay for resilience investment."

(The Leadership Void for Climate Adaptation Planning, cf. Busiest Ports). This reality sets the stage for the appendices in today's post.


Here is the menu for perusing the changes taking place at various seaports around the globe as set forth in the appendices:


If the Dredd Blog hypothesis about viral pandemics is verified in the coming days, weeks, months, and years, the problem of adapting to the threats to seaports posed by sea level change is significantly exacerbated (On The Origin Of The Home Of COVID-19, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

The previous post in this series is here.

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