Research Theme 1

Drivers and coastal impacts of sea-level rise

(AWI, Hereon, GFZ)

In a warming climate, the projected rise in sea level represents a significant threat to society and coastal systems. Although considerable advances have been made in terms of monitoring and modelling the causes of sea-level rise, efforts to ‘connect the dots’ between global changes on the one hand, and regional and local impacts, including the threats to coasts and society on the other, often end in failure. The goal of RT1 is to relate the macro-scale polar, oceanic and atmospheric causes of sea-level changes, determined using observation and model-based simulations, to changing mean and extreme sea levels in coastal regions, and to prepare projections on their future development. In this regard, anthropogenic influences on sea-level trends and extremes, as well as their effects on coastal habitats, will also and especially be investigated.

Key questions for RT1:

  • How can we consistently combine observations and model-based simulations of sea-level rise and its effects at all temporal and spatial scales?
  • How do global ice, oceanic and atmospheric influences, as well as land movements, affect mean and extreme sea levels in coastal regions?
  • What can we learn from the past?
  • How do natural and anthropogenic sea-level variations affect (societal) risks and ecosystem changes in coastal regions?

RT1 Speakers

Dr. Ingo Sasgen
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Am Alten Hafen 26
27568 Bremerhaven
E-mail: Ingo.Sasgen(at)