Publications

Adapting decision making to uncertainty when addressing sea level rise response in Puget Sound

Citation

Petersen, A., Canning, D.J., Leschine, T.M., Miles, E.L. 2008. Adapting decision making to uncertainty when addressing sea level rise response in Puget Sound. Proceedings of the 15th Biennial Coastal Zone Conference, July 22-26, 2007, Portland, Oregon. Charleston, SC: NOAA Coastal Services Center.


Abstract

It is difficult for decision makers to deal with scientific uncertainty when making public policy choices. These difficulties become particularly apparent as local jurisdictions begin to address climate change and its related impacts. Preparation and incorporation of climate predictions is hampered by the complex non-linear nature of the climate system and the variability of future climate scenarios. Additionally, the surrounding institutional, legal and policy system is primarily linear. This difference in structure increases the complexity of addressing climate change impacts. Sea level rise in Puget Sound provides a relevant current forum within which to address these issues. Though still in a preliminary stage, this study identifies identifies a number of key issues related to addressing sea level rise in Puget Sound.