An article co-authored by Hamilton College Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Aaron Strong was recently published in System Dynamics Review. “Fighting the inevitable: Infrastructure investment and coastal community adaptation to sea level rise” was written with Todd BenDor of the University of North Carolina and Sierra Woodruff of Texas A&M.
The article examines the dynamics of policy responses to sea level rise and impact of storm surge flooding on coastal communities. The authors demonstrate that adaptation actions can actually encourage additional coastal development and create greater long-term risks. Using four case studies from communities on the East Coast, the researchers developed a new system dynamics model of community adaptation response to sea-level rise information that takes into account the relationships between community wealth, political influence, and social inequity. They said this new model can be used to model future adaptation actions.