January 1, 2009
This Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP), developed as part of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, examines potential effects of sea-level rise from climate change during the twenty-first century, with a focus on the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. Using scientific literature and policy-related documents, the SAP describes the physical environments; potential changes to coastal environments, wetlands, and vulnerable species; societal impacts and implications of sea-level rise; decisions that may be sensitive to sea-level rise; opportunities for adaptation; and institutional barriers to adaptation. The SAP also outlines the policy context in the mid-Atlantic region and describes the implications of sea-level rise impacts for other regions of the United States. Finally, this SAP discusses ways natural and social science research can improve understanding and prediction of potential impacts to aid planning and decision making.