Communicating future sea-level rise uncertainty and ambiguity to assessment users

Robert E. Kopp, Michael Oppenheimer, Jessica L. O’Reilly, Sybren S. Drijfhout, Tamsin L. Edwards, Baylor Fox-Kemper, Gregory G. Garner, Nicholas R. Golledge, Tim H.J. Hermans, Helene T. Hewitt, Benjamin P. Horton, Gerhard Krinner, Dirk Notz, Sophie Nowicki, Matthew D. Palmer, Aimée B.A. Slangen, Cunde Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Future sea-level change is characterized by both quantifiable and unquantifiable uncertainties. Effective communication of both types of uncertainty is a key challenge in translating sea-level science to inform long-term coastal planning. Scientific assessments play a key role in the translation process and have taken diverse approaches to communicating sea-level projection uncertainty. Here we review how past IPCC and regional assessments have presented sea-level projection uncertainty, how IPCC presentations have been interpreted by regional assessments and how regional assessments and policy guidance simplify projections for practical use. This information influenced the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report presentation of quantifiable and unquantifiable uncertainty, with the goal of preserving both elements as projections are adapted for regional application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-660
Number of pages13
JournalNature Climate Change
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Communicating future sea-level rise uncertainty and ambiguity to assessment users'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this