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Climate change impact on cliff instability and erosion in the UK.

By R Moore, J Rogers, A Woodget and A Baptiste


The Floods and Water Management Act requires that FCRM properly reflects recently updated climate change scenarios. The potential impacts of climate change and sea level rise on future cliff instability and erosion present a significant challenge to future coastal management in the UK. The UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09) point to significant increases in winter rainfall frequency, intensity and amount, drier summers and rising sea level which are likely to result in higher rates of cliff recession due to toe erosion and more frequent coastal landslides. These impacts will result in increased levels of risk to many coastal communities and assets at risk of cliff instability and erosion which will require central and local government to develop and implement policies that address the increasing risks, whilst also meeting the inevitable financial constraints. This paper presents an overview of a high-level assessment of the likely climate change impacts on cliff instability and erosion. The work was commissioned by the Environment Agency to support the National Coastal Erosion Risk Mapping Project (NCERM). The results of the assessment have informed where, and how, the NCERM erosion predictions should be modified to take into account the climate change scenarios and predictions derived from UKCP09. This important piece of research helps deliver the requirements of the Floods and Water Management Act through application of climate change scenarios, so supporting the Environment Agencys overarching role. The research will ultimately ensure that NCERM, a high-profile, national scale undertaking, makes best use of the most up-to-date climate change projections

Publisher: Environment Agency
Year: 2010
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