Geographers Meet to Discuss Changes in Seas and Coasts

13.05.2015

From May 6 to 9, roughly 40 experts presented the latest research questions and findings on climate change, coastal protection and environmental changes in coasts and seas around the globe. The 33rd Annual Meeting of the "Working Group Marine and Coastal Geography" (AMK) was made possible by the support of the Cluster of Excellence CliSAP and Universität Hamburg.

Oceans and coasts were the main focus of the conference.

Throughout the four-day conference, members and guests of the German Society of Geography's Working Group from Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands came together to discuss the various points on the agenda, which included both natural-sciences and social-sciences aspects.

Dr. Mark Schürch from Kiel University gave a talk on the effects of climate change on salt marshes and the Wadden Sea, highlighting how these unique ecosystems are increasingly endangered by rising sea levels. Dr. Cécile Blanchet from the GEOMAR in Kiel, who is currently investigating how the introduction of livestock farming in the Nile Valley has affected the distribution of plant species over the past 10,000 years, presented her findings as part of the KlimaCampus Colloquium. Further, Prof. Jürgen Scheffran from Universität Hamburg’s Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability spoke on changes to river deltas as a result of climate change and altered sea levels.

In addition to exploring these and other key research topics, the Working Group also supports the next generation of researchers. Accordingly, during the event Birgit Gerkensmeier from the Climate Service Center 2.0 and Diana Süsser from the Helmholtz Centre Geesthacht were presented awards for their outstanding research papers. An excursion to the Port of Hamburg and the reclaimed marshland region "Altes Land" rounded out the agenda. The participants toured a container terminal and learned more about the processes involved in its operation, as well as fruit farming and coastal protection in Altes Land. 

The next Annual Meeting of the Working Group is scheduled for the spring of 2016.

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