This report reviews the available evidence on projected sea level rise and its implications for Scotland, with a focus on projections for the 21st century:
- the strengths and weaknesses of the information used to underpin risk assessment and adaptation planning in Scotland; and
- the main sources of uncertainty.
This information is used to review adaptation options in the face of uncertainty.
- Sea level rise and coastal flooding are key climate change risks for Scotland.
- Scientific knowledge is advancing rapidly but projections for the 21st century are wide-ranging and have significant uncertainties, particularly regarding ice sheets in the Antarctic.
- The CCRA2 provides a comprehensive assessment, but more recent research suggests the projections that underpin it probably underestimate sea level rise
- The new UKCP18 projections are due to be published in November 2018 and will include significantly updated sea level data.
- Initial Met Office work suggests that, for the UK, central estimates of sea level rise in UKCP18 will be around 20-30% higher than under the UKCP09 H++ (high-end) scenario.
- To extract usable data from UKCP18 for adaptation planning users will need additional software ‘derived products’.