Sea level variability and change are topics of vital concern to coastal populations, and require a variety of interdisciplinary research efforts. Sea level evolves in response to changes in the Earth’s heat budget and the hydrological cycle, including the addition of freshwater from melting land ice. We investigate the causes and consequences of global and regional changes in sea level on time scales from decades to centuries, and determine the impact of climate sensitivity on sea level changes and the additional effects of the solid earth and ice processes.
Sea level research is interdisciplinary and involves expertise from natural and social science. It focuses on causes of global to regional sea level changes, and their consequences and implications.
1. Mechanisms and sources of regional sea level change and variability
We investigate mechanisms and sources of regional sea level change and variability as functions of space and time scales, and its relation to climate sensitivity, oceanic and atmospheric heat transports, and ocean heat uptake.
2. Natural and anthropogenic modes of sea level variability and change
We separate natural and anthropogenic modes of sea level variability and change, using ocean reconstructions and climate models.
3. Influence of the cryosphere on the ocean circulation and associated sea level changes
We investigate the influence of freshwater entering from the cryosphere on the ocean circulation and associated sea level changes.
4. The North and Baltic Sea, small islands and vulnerable regions
We study regional sea level changes and consequences in the North Sea and the Baltic in terms of coastal protection, socioeconomic and security impacts.