Sea-level rise is an important aspect of medium and long-term policy-making, in particular for coastal areas.
Scientific results from the ice2sea programme will inform policy makers and advisors from across Europe on future sea-level rise predictions in their planning for flood defences and policies aimed at minimising its impact. A major aim of ice2sea is to inform the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (AR5), which is due to be published in September 2013.
Rising sea levels have the potential to adversely affect areas across Europe and on a global scale, including natural habitats and environments, as well as human communities and infrastructure. Possible consequences of sea-level rise include serious damage to, or even the complete loss of, valuable coastal ecosystems and habitats. However, it is not only the immediate coastlines that are affected by sea-level rise – as our case study highlights, even inland economic powerhouses such as London face significant pressure as the cost of keeping flood defences up-to-date escalates.
If current environmental conditions were to remain constant over the course of the 21st century then we would face global sea-level rise of around 30cm by 2100, but with changing climatic conditions this could be as much as 1m. Most of the uncertainty in current predictions for the next 90 years stems from future changes in the world’s valley glaciers and the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. The ice2sea programme aims to reduce this uncertainty and improve the information available to policymakers and coastal defence planners on local, regional, national, and pan-European scales.
Further information on the ice2sea programme’s main aims and objectives can be read within Delivery to the IPCC.
A stakeholder review was undertaken to determine the best approach to delivery of sea-level rise projections and advice to relevant stakeholders.
The following case studies highlight the relevance of sea-level rise around Europe:
- London: A city under threat
- Machair: A unique ecological environment threatened by sea-level rise
- Port of Rotterdam: Economic engine of the Netherlands surrounded by water
An introductory video describing the aims of the project is available on YouTube.
A synthesis report that covers the key outcomes and messages of the project is available to download via the image below, or please email usto be sent a proper printed version.