Maritime forum

ICE2SEA - briefing on sea-level rise

Published on: Sat, 14/07/2012 - 15:18

The ‘poster child’ of sea‐level rise is a major misrepresentation of the actual risks to our growing coastal cities and unique coastal habitats, and damages the understanding of the changing risks associated with sea levels. Unfortunately, these provocative images often printed by the media alongside misleading headlines evoke a dramatic consequence of future sea‐level rise projections. The role of ice2sea is to deliver clear and understandable information to policy‐makers and the wider public on which to base opinions and future policies.

Although considerable emphasis is placed on global sea‐level rise, sea level is not rising uniformly around the world; the highest rates of rise in recent years having been measured in the Pacific. However, Europe is currently seeing rates of sea‐level rise that are close to average (~3mm/yr). In Europe, some areas of coastline are still “rebounding” (rising) after the loss of the weight of European ice sheets around 20,000 years ago; others are subsiding. Areas of rebound will be less affected by sea‐level rise, while in areas that are subsiding, the effect of sea‐level rise is magnified. Along some of the coastlines around the North Sea and Baltic, coastlines prone to erosion, long‐term subsidence, and unusual storm surge characteristics make coastlines and coastal populations particularly vulnerable.

full briefing