Even if climate change is not completely known, some induced changes are visible. Thus, ANR (French National Research Agency) launched a call of research projects on "Vulnerability, Milieu and Climate (VMC)" for promoting the fundamental and application researches on the vulnerability of the Milieu facing the climate change, under the anthropic pressure, for the 2030’s.
Climate change induced vulnerability is defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as the combination of sensitivity to climatic variations, probability of adverse climate change, and adaptive capacity. For each of these components of vulnerability, formal indices can be constructed and combined. Methods of aggregating across sectors and scales have begun to be applied to climate change. However, substantial methodological challenges remain, in particular estimating the risk of adverse climate change impacts and interpreting relative vulnerability across diverse situations. As stated by the IPCC (Watson et al., 1997), the “coastal systems should be considered vulnerable to changes in climate”. In these areas, amongst the most serious impacts of sea-level rise (Nicholls, 1996) are erosion and marine inundation. Thus, the coast of metropolitan France, being composed of 31% sandy coasts, is potentially vulnerable.
Hence, the objectives of the VULSACO project are to: (1) assess indicators of vulnerability to climate change for low-lying linear sandy coastal systems, from the shore to the hinterland, facing undergoing climate change and anthropic pressure until the 2030s; and (2) identify the aggravating or improving effect of human pressure on this vulnerability.
The coastal system will be defined by its morphology, its physical characteristics and its land use. The time scales will range from short-term (days to weeks, e.g. time scale of extreme events) to long-term (decades), whereas the space scales will range from several tens of meters to several tens of kilometers.
Kick-off seminar (9 presentations by the members) was held on 11th-12th September 2007 at BRGM. General meetings are held regularly every year at Paris and Orléans, with some more specific meeting in between.
Click on the picture to download our leaflet project presentation :