Glossary | SSMC


Aquifer – A stratum of permeable rock that bears water. An unconfined aquifer is recharged directly by local rainfall, rivers and lakes, and the rate of recharge will be influenced by the permeability of the overlying rocks and soils[1].

Built systems or built environments – It can generally be described as the human-made or modified structures that provide people with living, working, and recreational spaces. Creating all these spaces and systems requires enormous quantities of materials[2].

Bulkheads – A shoreline protection measure where a vertical retaining wall is constructed parallel to the shoreline to hold soil in place and allow for a stable shoreline[3].

Clean energy – energy derived from renewable, zero-emissions sources (“renewables”), as well as energy saved through energy efficiency (“EE”) measures[4].

Climate Change – A change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties that persists for an extended period of time. It may be caused by natural internal processes or external forcings[5].

Climate Change Adaptation – In human systems, the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects, in order to moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. In natural systems, the process of adjustment to actual climate and its effects; human intervention may facilitate adjustment to expected climate[6].

Climate Change Mitigation – A human intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases[7].

Decarbonization – The process by which countries, individuals or other entities aim to achieve zero fossil carbon existence. Typically refers to a reduction of the carbon emissions associated with electricity, industry and transport[8].

Engineered shoreline protection measures – Shoreline engineering is a general phrase that refers to any method of changing or altering the natural shoreline system in order to stabilize it. Some of these methods include beach replenishment; Groins and jetties which are walls built perpendicular to the shoreline; and seawalls[9].

Exposure – The presence of people; livelihoods; environmental services and resources; infrastructure; or economic, social, or cultural assets in places that could be adversely affected[10].

Floodwalls – Floodwalls are structures constructed of manmade materials such as concrete or masonry[11].

Greenhouse gas emissions – The release of gaseous constituents of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorb and emit radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere, and clouds[12].

Levees – Levees are embankments of compacted soil that keep shallow to moderate floodwaters from reaching a structure[13].

Mudflats – a flat area of very wet soil near the sea that is covered at high tide i.e.  the time when the sea reaches its highest level[14].

Non-engineered Berms – trenches used to protect marshes and ponds from wave erosion and provide flood protection to inland development. Non-engineered berms are sensitive to sea level rise and storm events, in particular to the erosive forces of currents and waves[15].

Renewable energy – Renewable energy is energy from sources that are naturally replenishing but flow-limited; renewable resources are virtually inexhaustible in duration but limited in the amount of energy that is available per unit of time[16].

Saline water inundation – Displacement of fresh surface water or groundwater by the advance of salt-water due to its greater density. This usually occurs in coastal and estuarine areas due to reducing land-based influence (e.g., either from reduced runoff and associated groundwater recharge, or from excessive water withdrawals from aquifers[17]

Salt-water intrusion – the movement of ocean water into fresh groundwater, causing contamination of the groundwater by salt. It is a natural process that can be made worse by human activities[18].

Seawalls – A shoreline protection measure that involves vertical or sloped wall built parallel to the shoreline. These walls absorb and limit impacts of large waves and directs flow away from land[19].

Smart grids – A newer type of electrical grid where information technology is used to improve the operation of power systems, especially with resources located at the distribution level using technologies such as smart meters and remote controls[20].

Smart building technologies – refers to the various types of technology used in smart buildings. These include heating, ventilation, air-conditioning (HVAC); lighting, plug loads, window shading, Automated System Optimization, human operation, and Distributed Energy Resources (DER)[21].

Smog – a mixture of smoke, gases, and chemicals, especially in cities, that makes the atmosphere difficult to breathe and harmful for health[22].

Social equity – social equity refers to having fair access to resources, opportunities, and full participation in the social and cultural life of a community, as a central dimension for promoting livability and viability, now and into the future[23].

Solar Photovoltaic – a technology that converts sunlight (solar radiation) into direct current electricity by using semiconductors. When the sun hits the semiconductor within the PV cell, electrons are freed and form an electric current[24].

Revetments – a shoreline protection measure where boulders laid out over the slope of a shoreline to protect the slope from erosion and waves[25].

Rip-raps – a shoreline protection measure where sections of stone ( or crushed concrete) are placed at the outlet end of the culverts, conduits, or channels to reduce the velocity, and energy of water, such that the flow will not erode the receiving downstream reach[26].

Tidal marshes – a type of marsh that can be found along protected coastlines in middle and high latitudes worldwide. In general, marshes are defined as wetlands frequently or continually inundated with water, characterized by emergent soft-stemmed vegetation adapted to saturated soil conditions[27].

Urban heat islands – the relative warmth of a city compared with surrounding rural areas, associated with changes in runoff, the concrete jungle effects on heat retention, changes in surface albedo, changes in pollution and aerosols, and so on[28].

Vulnerability – The propensity or predisposition to be adversely affected[29].






[6] (Under: “Adaption”)

[7] (Under: “Mitigation ( of Climate Change)










[17] (Under: Salt-water intrusion / encroachment)













Share Button