A Review of Some Concepts Involved in the Sea-Level Rise Problem

J. Javier Diez


This paper discusses the following items affecting the comprehension and evaluation of the "sea-level rise" phenomenon and an accurate determination of real present values and trends: (1) the question of the carbon dioxide increasing production rate related to its predictable atmospheric accumulation rate; (2) the question of the incidence of this further rate in the "greenhouse effect"; (3) the question of suitably discerning its real singular impact in the present climatic change and, consequently, of accurately predicting future trends, and (4) the question of relating the "sea-level rise" trend to short and long term trends of the "climate change". It discusses the subsidence factor in sea-level changes and its time-spatial variability and the different phenomena usually included in it, as a major element of confusion; the general and local factors and the different conditions between the Mediterranean and North-Atlantic (East-North America and Northwest Continental-European, where most of the surveys have been developed and issued) coasts. The paper also considers different impacts attributed to sea-level rise on coastal and shoreline evolution, critically analyzing some conclusions on coastal engineering and management.

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