Robert James Nicholls

Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

Robert Nicholls has a long experience of analysing long-term coastal problems and solutions. Much of his work has focused on sea-level rise and climate change, necessitating an interdisciplinary approach. A distinctive dimension has been consideration of the coastal zone as a series of interacting systems which facilitates policy analysis, for example the Tyndall Coastal Simulator applied to Norfolk, or the Delta Dynamic Integrated Emulator Model applied to coastal Bangladesh, or the OpenCLIM project which is developing the methods for the next UK Climate Change Risk Assessment. He has extensive international and global experience, especially in coastal cities, deltas and small islands. This includes leading global scale assessments of sea-level rise as part of the Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment (DIVA) model examining issues of coastal erosion, flooding and habitat change, including adaptation. He has advised national governments (e.g., UK, Netherlands, Bangladesh, Singapore, the Maldives) and intergovernmental organisations (e.g., OECD, World Bank) on climate change and coastal issues He was a lead author to five reports of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) assessment process, a review editor to the fifth IPCC assessment and a contributing author to recent the IPCC Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (2019). He currently co-leads the World Climate Research Programme Grand Challenge on ‘Regional Sea Level Change and its Impacts’ to deliver sea-level science to support better coastal impact and adaptation assessment and will organise Sea Level 2022 in Singapore. He is also a member of the ASCE/COPRI Coastal Engineering Research Council who organise the biannual International Conference on Coastal Engineering.

Improving resilience to coastal events can have significant benefits. Photo: Robert J. Nicholls

Improving the resilience of UK coastal communities

This article sheds light on the usage of resilience as a quantitative, evidence based framework for management of climatic hazards in coastal areas of the United Kingdom.

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