Uncertainty about climate change and the resulting sea-level rise is a matter of increasing concern to many people. Recent studies by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicate that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have and will continue to contribute to an accelerated rate in the rise of average global temperature long into the future. This will in turn trigger significant increases in the frequency and intensity of storms, and a rise in sea level. The adverse impacts on shoreline areas could be substantial, and major environmental and land-use adaptations may be necessary. The need to understand these risks in advance of committing investment funds to shoreline-area development will similarly be important to investors.

Historically, the risk of climate change and sea-level rise has only rarely been taken into account in land valuations, investment decisions, and development project planning. However, as a result of recent scientific studies and planning efforts around the world, the level of concern is reaching the point where regulatory agencies and private investors are beginning to actively respond. Important questions going forward will be: (1) what are the potential risks, (2) at what point might they become significant enough to take into account, and (3) how might these impact the development feasibility and value of specific sites?

RPI provides focused assessments on the potential physical risks and regulatory issues that are evolving as a result of climate change and sea-level rise. Assessments provide developers and investors with a clearer sense as to the potential short and long term risks on the projects they are considering for development, similar to a site analysis, only with specific regard to sea level rise. For more detailed information, please see the article below written by Mr. Rasmussen and published by the American Planning Association in "Practicing Planner."

In the News

» Wayne Rasmussen, "Sea-level Rise Risk Assessment Components" American Planning Association, 2012