Sea-level rise: From global perspectives to local services

Coastal areas are highly diverse, ecologically rich, regions of key socio-economic activity, and are particularly sensitive to sea-level change. Over most of the 20th century, global mean sea level has risen mainly due to warming and subsequent expansion of the upper ocean layers as well as the melting of glaciers and ice caps. Over the last three decades, increased mass loss of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets has also started to contribute significantly to contemporary sea-level rise. The future mass loss of the two ice sheets, which combined represent a sea-level rise potential of ∼65 m, constitutes the main source of uncertainty in long-term (centennial to millennial) sea-level rise projections. Improved knowledge of the magnitude and rate of future sea-level change is therefore of utmost importance. Moreover, sea level does not change uniformly across the globe and can differ greatly at both regional and local scales. The most appropriate and feasible sea level mitigation and adaptation measures in coastal regions strongly depend on local land use and associated risk aversion. Here, we advocate that addressing the problem of future sea-level rise and its impacts requires (i) bringing together a transdisciplinary scientific community, from climate and cryospheric scientists to coastal impact specialists, and (ii) interacting closely and iteratively with users and local stakeholders to co-design and co-build coastal climate services, including addressing the high-end risks.


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Authors: Durand, Gaël, van den Broeke, Michiel R., Le Cozannet, Goneri, Edwards, Tamsin L., Holland, Paul R. ORCIDORCID record for Paul R. Holland, Jourdain, Nicolas C., Marzeion, Ben, Mottram, Ruth, Nicholls, Robert J., Pattyn, Frank, Paul, Frank, Slangen, Aimée B.A., Winkelmann, Ricarda, Burgard, Clara, van Calcar, Caroline J., Barré, Jean-Baptiste, Bataille, Amélie, Chapuis, Anne

On this site: Paul Holland
20 January, 2022
Frontiers in Marine Science / 8
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