The roughly 350 international guests in attendance – hailing from both the scientific community and practice-oriented fields like urban planning and coastal protection – will work to devise effective and sensible measures for protecting coastal areas from climate-related changes in sea level. To do so, they will analyze those factors that currently contribute most to sea-level rises, or could do so in the future.
Co-chair of the conference Professor Detlef Stammer from Universität Hamburg’s Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN) is currently in New York: “Let’s get down to facts. How is sea level likely to change at the regional level over the next 30 years? And what response options do coastal cities have?” The scientists will present their latest findings and seek to identify which “big questions” remain open. For example, one presentation will discuss the devastating impacts of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and what lessons we can learn from it with regard to coastal management.
Research at Universtität Hamburg
Questions on regional sea-level changes are now also being intensively researched at Universität Hamburg – in the German research program “Regional Sea level Change and Society” (SeaLevel). Two weeks ago, experts from such disparate fields as oceanography, meteorology, sociology, economics and environmental management met for a kick-off meeting in Hamburg.
Together, they are investigating sea-level changes from an interdisciplinary mix of perspectives – and in two representative regions: the coasts of Germany, and Southeast Asia, which is home to a number of megacities and river deltas. Since the two regions differ so greatly, their findings will cover a broad spectrum of possible scenarios around the world. The German Research Foundation (DFG) has provided six million euros in initial funding for the six-year project, which will be coordinated at the CEN by Detlef Stammer.
Organized by UNESCO
Entitled “Regional Sea Level Changes and Coastal Impacts,” the conference in New York was organized by the “Core Project on Climate and Ocean” (CLIVAR), a joint initiative of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).
• Press release: World experts evaluate future sea level changes and their impacts
• Homepage "Regional Sea Level Changes and Coastal Impacts"
• Research project "SeaLevel"