Esme Flegg

University of Southampton

Current Position
PhD Researcher

Duration of your PhD

Thesis's Supervisor
Sally Brown


My Thesis' Abstract
Ports act as global transport hubs; for example, in the UK alone 95% of goods enter or leave the country by sea (Department for Transport, 2012). Many ports, such as those located in estuarine or deltaic regions, have operations that are, or will, be risk from climate change. The devastating impacts, both economically and socially, of extreme weather events has been highlighted in recent years; such as by the damage sustained in New Orleans in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.
The uniqueness of each port environment adds interest to this PhD research topic; as a blanket solution for adaptation of port environments cannot be applied on a global, or even national, scale. Impacts on ports resulting from climate change are predicted to occur globally with the greatest vulnerability over the next 60-70 years expected, in terms of exposed population and assets, to occur within Asia (Hanson et al., 2011).
Three main stages to this study have been identified:

  • Review existing literature and data to investigate port operations and potential negative climate impacts
  • Develop a quantitative methodology to determine the current regulatory and economic costs posed by extreme weather events, and what this will mean in the future
  • Investigate available adaptation options, in the context of social and climatic change, on both regional and global scales

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