Sea-level rise

Sea-level rise is of special importance to SIDS and coastal LDCs, as large parts of the population live near the coasts and a large share of income is generated in coastal regions. The most important processes affecting sea-level rise are increasing water temperatures throughout the oceans, which lead to thermal expansion, as well as melting of ice-sheets and glaciers. We focus on understanding how strongly sea-levels will rise at different levels of warming and the plausibility and likelihood of changes in the individual components leading to total sea-level rise.

Publications

Sea-level rise is a major consequence of climate change that will continue long after emissions of greenhouse gases have stopped. The 2015 Paris Agreement aims at reducing climate-related risks by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero and limiting global-mean temperature increase. This study quantifies the effect of these constraints on global sea-level rise until 2300, including Antarctic ice-sheet instabilities.  
This paper incorporates latest findings on Antarctic ice sheet dynamics into new sea level rise modelling, and pairs it with the new generation of scenarios – Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) and compares them with outcomes for the previous generation of scenarios - Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), used in the last IPCC Assessment (AR5). It finds that without any mitigation, sea levels could rise by an average of 132 cm in 2100 relative to the 1986-2005 mean.  
This article is a first comprehensive assessment of key climate impacts for the policy relevant warming levels of 1.5 °C and 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. It finds substantial impact differences in intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, regional water availability and agricultural yields, sea-level rise and risk of coral reef loss. The increase in climate impacts is particularly pronounced in tropical and sub-tropical regions.  

Projects

Science and policy to assist and support SIDSs and LDCs to negotiate a strong international climate regime, enabling low carbon development and supporting adaptation needs.