Local government and public adaptation to sea-level rise

Raymond J. Burby, Arthur C. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Global warming could result in a rise in global mean sea level of 9- 29 cm between 1990 and 2030. By the end of the 21st century, global mean sea level could stand 30-110 cm higher than in 1990. Those projections suggest that sea level could rise between 3 and 10 cm per decade during the next century. This is a marked acceleration over the increase of 1-2 cm per decade observed during the past century. How will local governments and citizens respond? What are the obstacles to local government and public cognition of, and response to, sea-level rise? This paper reviews some of the basic issues involved in responding to accelerated sea-level rise; the range of possible policy responses; the extent to which local governments and the public perceive and respond to threats of sea-level rise; and the need for research into the determinants of cognition and response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-153
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Urban Planning and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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