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Utility of Coastal Sciences - cases from practice. Hans von Storch and colleagues Institute of Coastal Research Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht Gemany. Based upon: - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Utility of Coastal Sciences

Utility of Coastal Sciences- cases from practiceHans von Storch and colleagues

Institute of Coastal ResearchHelmholtz Zentrum GeesthachtGemany29. September - 2 October 2014 - 11th International Conference on Hydroscience & Engineering, Hamburg

Based upon:von Storch, H., K. Emeis, I. Meinke, A. Kannen, V. Matthias, B. W. Ratter, E. Stanev, R: Weisse and K. Wirtz: Making coastal research useful - - cases from practice. Oceanologica, in press

30 min1Hans von StorchClimate researcher (in the field since 1971)Coastal climate (storms, storm surges, waves; North and Baltic Sea, North Atlantic); statistical analysisCooperation with social and cultural scientists since 1992Director of the Institute of Coastal Research of the Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht, GermanyProfessor at Universitt Hamburg

2Coastal research deals with that part of the sea, which is significantly affected by the land, and the part of the land, which is significantly affected by the sea. Coasts are in most cases densely populated, and the activities of people are shaping and changing the land/seascape of the coast. Thus, coast encompasses the coastal sea, the coastal land, coastal flora and fauna, and people. Since peoples economic and political preferences change and compete, also the human impact on the coast changes, is contested and subject to societal decision making processes.

While some coastal research can help informing and constraining such decisions, many legitimate scientific efforts have little bearing on society.

All decision making processes are political, so that scientific knowledge is not the dominant driver in such processes. Using cases from the Institute of Coastal Research of Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht, we describe some of these potentially useful parts of science, and discuss under which circumstances the potential usefulness transform into real utility. These cases do not span the full range of coastal science.

Important issues are the recognition of alternative knowledge claims, the inevitableness of uncertainties and incompleteness of scientific analysis, the acceptance of the political nature of decisions and the ubiquitous presence of social values. Modesty, self-reflexivity and skepticism are needed on the side of science and an organized exchange with stakeholders and public through designated border services.Issues in Coastal Research with the potential of societal utility:

Making Sense Marine Spatial Planning (MSP)MonitoringHazards, Risks and Opportunities ScenariosMore Making sense refers to the scientific understanding of complex phenomena, and its use for supporting societal framing and decision making.

Examples are consequences of eutrophication or the manifestation of natural system variations vis-a-vis anthropogenic climate change.

Novel or recurrent but threatening events in complex coastal environments can attract considerable attention in stakeholder groups and the public. Meaning-providing frames, which allow for causal interpretation and understanding, satisfy not only curiosity, but allow for engineering preparedness and options for specific stakeholders. A significant constraint is that science is not the sole supplier of such understanding, but other knowledge brokers are active as well.

Storm surges as recorded at the tide gauge St Pauli in Hamburg. The green horizontal bars indicate stipulated dike heights. Dike failures are marked by red stars. The color codes mark surge heights. Data provided by Gabriele Gnnert.Making senseWhat is the process behind the marked increase of storm surge heights in Hamburg since the 1970s?

Difference betwenn peak heights of storm surges in Cuxhaven and HamburgMain cause for recently elevated storm surges in Hamburg is the modification of the river Elbe (coastal defense and shipping channel deepening) and less so because of changing storms or sea level.Consistency of recent local change:Storm surges in Hamburgvon Storch, H. and K. Woth, 2008: Storm surges, perspectives and options. Sustainability Science 3, 33-447Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) describes the public process of analyzing and allocating the spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives that have been specified through a political process.

MSP is an approach for deciding about competitive concepts of usage of coastal space. This process needs mostly quantitative information from natural sciences for project-specific technical planning exercises, but in addition social science needs to provide mainly qualitative information concerning societal and political context and structures to inform decision makers in strategic planning.

Coastal science is not doing MSP as such, but in research in conditions of how to implement MSP.Enabling Marine Spatial PlanningWhat springs to your mind when you hear West coast of Schleswig-Holstein?A landscape of values at the West coast of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany (Gee, 2013)

Monitoring aims at the assessment of the current status of the coastal environment and short term trends, and their (deterministic) short-term forecasts.

Such assessments are based on observations and related (model-guided) data analysis. The process of making data, assessments and forecasts available for users is also a challenge.

Coastal science is not doing the routine of monitoring as such, but in research on how to implement the process of monitoring.Enabling MonitoringHow can we mix dynamical and empirical knowledge about surface currents in the German Bight?

Comparison of HF radar determined surface currents with an analysis using STOI, and a simulation with the same dynamical model, which is used in STOI, but without constraint with HF data.A snapshot in time of the 2-current field.A time series of radial velocities at a grid-point. (Stanev et al., 2014)Assessments of hazards, risks and opportunities are needed for almost any kind of onshore and offshore operation.

An important component of this activity is the determination of ongoing long-term changes. For the assessment of negative outlooks and positive perspectives comprehensive and homogeneous data are needed.

The situation is particularly challenging, when too short, too fragmented or only inhomogeneous observed data are available. Then, sometimes, model-derived estimates can be used. Hazards, risks and opportunitiesHow much of the lead, which was added to gasoline has ended up in the Baltic Sea?

Estimated annual depositions of lead into the Baltic Sea (black curve) plus estimated depositions derived from a number of limited observations. (von Storch et al., 2003)GKSS in GeesthachtThe CoastDat data set:Model generated data setsLong (60 years) and high-resolution reconstructions of recent offshore and coastal conditions mainly in terms of wind, storms, waves, surges and currents and other variables in N EuropeScenarios (100 years) of possible consistent futures of coastal and offshore conditions.extensions ecological variables and other regions: Baltic Sea, E Asia, Laptev Sea

Clients:Governmental: various coastal agencies dealing with coastal defense and coastal trafficCompanies: assessments of risks (ship and offshore building and operations) and opportunities (wind energy)General public / media: explanations of causes of change; perspectives and options of change

Tools for regional climate servicing homogeneous data sets of past and future change14

Wave Energy Flux [kW/m]Currents Power [W/m2]

Some applications of Ship design Navigational safety Offshore wind Interpretation of measurements Oils spill risk and chronic oil pollution Ocean energy Scenarios of storm surge conditions Scenarios of future wave conditions

1515Scenarios, differently to forecasts, address questions of the type What may happen, if and nothing else.

Such projections provide a useful outlook for assessing consequences of possible future developments and uncertainties. Therefore scenarios have become increasingly popular in various scientific and decision making contexts. ScenariosHow may ocean wave statistics change at the end of the century (2071-2100), compared to today (1961-2990)?- general pattern: increase of HS from W / NW to E / SE; often decrease of HS in the N and W parts- differences in both magnitude and details of spatial patterns



climate change signals (CCS) of significant wave height (m, long-term 99 percentiles)isolines: long-term 99 percentiles of reference periodGrabemann, pers. Comm.ScenariosIs a scenario a prediction ?

X 2 !A prediction is the most probable result of a development.

A scenario is a possible (plausible, consistent, not necessarily probable) outcome of a development, usually conditioned by just one factor.19Product on possible regional future climate change:Northern German Climate AtlasAs part of the German Adaptation Strategy (DAS) from 2008 the Northern German Climate Atlas was designed.

This interactive internet tool provides users with understandable maps and short explanations on ranges of expected future climate change in Northern Germany.

Additional to the usual parameters such as air temperature and precipitation the Northern German Climate Atlas also provides information on parameters like wind, humidity, cloudiness and sunshine duration.

Users can select different regions, seasons and time periods.

www.norddeutscher-klimaatlas.de in english: www.coastalatlas.org

How may temperature change in Northern Germany in future?Is winter rain fall increasing in my region?Do we have to expect more storms in winter?

20Northern German Climate AtlasFuture climat


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