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FIGURE 7.7 Areas of the east and Gulf coasts of the United States susceptible to coastal inundation following a 3.3-foot (1-meter; pink shading) or 19.8-foot (6-meter; red shading) sea level rise. Pie charts show the percentage of some cities that are potentially susceptible to 3.3-foot (1-meter; pink) or 19.8-foot (6-meter; red) sea level rise. SOURCE: Overpeck and Weiss (2009).

FIGURE 7.7 Areas of the east and Gulf coasts of the United States susceptible to coastal inundation following a 3.3-foot (1-meter; pink shading) or 19.8-foot (6-meter; red shading) sea level rise. Pie charts show the percentage of some cities that are potentially susceptible to 3.3-foot (1-meter; pink) or 19.8-foot (6-meter; red) sea level rise. SOURCE: Overpeck and Weiss (2009).

RESPONDING TO SEA LEVEL RISE

General scientific understanding of people’s vulnerability and ability to adapt to sea level rise and other climate changes has increased substantially in recent years, though place-based, sector-specific knowledge remains extremely limited. Developing countries are expected to generally face greater challenges in dealing with the impacts of rising sea levels because of large exposed populations and lower adaptive capacity—which is largely a function of economic, technological, and knowledge resources, social capital, and well-functioning institutions (Adger et al., 2007; Nicholls et al., 2007). However, even in developed countries like the United States, significant gaps remain in our understanding of the impacts of sea level rise, especially for specific locations (Moser, 2009a), as well as considerable challenges in translating our greater adaptive capacity into real adaptation action on the ground (Adger et al., 2007, 2009b;



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