The overall PhD topic sets out to examine present and future vulnerability to known and predicted climatic hazards in a case study area in Mid-Norway. The study uses a modified vulnerability model to identify and map physical and social susceptibilities, today and by 2100. The various input data are plotted into GIS and spatially represented in digital elevation maps. The methodological procedure overlays the biophysical vulnerable areas with the socioeconomic areas, and it is thus viable to make out the overall vulnerability according to the combined score of the area. Despite the uncertainty involved when moving away from the present, estimating future conditions at local scale are crucial as planning decisions today will have consequences far into the future.
Based on the universalism of this topic, collaborating with social and natural scientists abroad on climate impact assessments may broaden ones perspective and develop new and improved methods in evaluating the potential consequences to an irreve rsible phenomenon. The Abess Center and especially contact/collaborating person Dr. Kenneth Broad offer expertise in the climate and society interaction, as well as environmental policy and coastal management. The research will primarily and formally be a t the Abess Center from where an invitation letter has been extended, but in addition, Dr. Broad has encouraged collaboration at the Rosenstiel School where he holds a position. Both centers are within the University of Miami. The city of Miami is highly susceptible to sea level rise and storm surges. Already today there are areas inundated at high tide. According to a social vulnerability index, south east Florida is moreover classified as highly vulnerable, adding to the overall vulnerability to that pa rticular place. The geographic location of the research centers in this particular city is thus favorable when assessing coastal impacts to climate change.