Sea level change is already impacting coastal communities globally and will continue to do so. To meet urgent societal needs for useful information on sea level, the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) has established the theme “Regional Sea-Level Change and Coastal Impacts” as one of its cross-cutting “Grand Challenge” (GC) science questions. The GC Sea Level has designed and developed an integrated interdisciplinary program on sea level research reaching from the global to the regional and coastal scales.
The WCRP, jointly with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC), is organizing an international conference on sea level research that will address the existing challenges in describing and predicting regional sea level changes, and in quantifying the intrinsic uncertainties. It follows 11 years after the first WCRP sea level conference (Paris, 2006), and three years after the last Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC ). It will provide a comprehensive summary of the state of worldwide climate-related large scale sea level research.
The overarching goal of the conference is to establish a consensus of the state of our quantitative understanding of the natural and anthropogenic mechanisms of regional to local sea level variability, to quantify remaining uncertainties and to foster the development of SL predictions and projections that are of increasing benefit for coastal zone management.
Understanding and predicting regional and coastal sea level require the quantification of the composite of processes affecting global mean sea level (GMSL) change, but also of regional and local processes contributing to near coastal changes. These contributions include: exchanges of water mass between the land, the cryosphere and the ocean; dynamics of the ocean and associated water mass transformation and/or redistribution; static processes associated with deformation of the solid Earth, resulting in seafloor movement along with gravitational and rotational effects. On top of this changes in extreme events caused by changes in wind regime are needed
The conference will also promote advances in observing systems required for an integrated SL monitoring and in climate modeling required to improve sea level projections and predictions.
For more information, please visit the conference website.