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Sea Level Rise

The Knowledge Hub on Sea Level Rise is a networking platform promoting the generation, synthesis, exchange and integration of knowledge on local, regional and global, historic and future sea level rise.

Description

The Knowledge Hub on Sea Level Rise is a networking platform promoting the generation, synthesis, exchange and integration of knowledge on local, regional and global, historic and future sea level rise.

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    Overview

    Duration

    Nov 2019 - Jul 2024

    Type of action

    Knowledge Hub

    External partners

    JPI Climate

    About

    The Knowledge Hub on Sea Level Rise is a joint effort by JPI Climate & JPI Oceans, focusing on regional to local sea level changes in Europe. It aims to support the development and implementation of related policies at local, national and European level by providing a networking platform to promote exchange, synthesis, integration and generation of knowledge on regional and global, historic and future sea level rise. The platform facilitates the interaction between research and policy professionals with different disciplinary backgrounds and expertise by assessing and communicating recent scientific and socio-economic developments at an aggregation level adjusted to ongoing themes and debates in policy and public arenas.

    Knowledge Hub Sea Level Rise website

    Objectives

    The long-term ambition of the Knowledge Hub on Sea Level Rise is to provide periodic assessments of knowledge on sea level rise drivers, impacts and policy options for each of the major ocean basins around Europe. The goal is to provide easy access to usable knowledge on regional-local sea level change in Europe, regularly updated as a series of periodic assessments. It will complement existing global and European assessments by providing additional geographical and contextual detail, tailored to regional, national and European policy development and implementation.

    Impact

    By addressing scientific knowledge gaps and exchanging information between the involved disciplines (e.g. ocean and climate sciences, as well as social sciences) the Knowledge Hub can enable policy makers to make well-informed decisions regarding protective and adaptive measures. Providing more frequent, detailed and regional-scaled assessments of sea level change might facilitate national policy-making. A cooperative and interdisciplinary approach is envisaged to transfer knowledge and expertise among European member states to come up with solutions to this global challenge and its regional to local specifics.

    In 2022, the Knowledge Hub organized four regional basin-specific scoping workshops, with the aim to scope the agenda of a large-scale expert Sea Level Rise Conference that took place on 17-18 October 2022 in Venice, Italy.  The goal of the conference was to set the stage for periodic assessments of knowledge on sea level rise drivers, impacts and policy options for each of the major sea basins around Europe.

    The overall ambition is to provide easy access to usable knowledge on regional-local sea level change in Europe, regularly updated as a series of periodic assessments. It complements existing global and European assessments by providing additional geographical and contextual detail, tailored to regional, national and European policy development and implementation.  

    To these ends, the four Task Groups of the Knowledge Hub were mandated to work on the following: 

    • Co-design: Organizing, planning and co-designing with stakeholders the basin-specific scoping workshops and expert conference 2022. The group also worked towards a post-conference report, which will form one of the chapters of the assessment report. 
    • Policy: Providing a strong science-policy interface dimension to the TGs. Carrying out policy analysis and demand analysis. Working towards an inventory of SLR-relevant adaptation policy measures. 
    • Science: Providing the scientific basis on SLR, towards an inventory of scientific literature and methods. Carrying out state of the art and gap analysis. 
    • Outreach: Covering aspects of communication, outreach and output. Proposing the main output products of the KH. 
    Governance

    Mandate

    The JPI Oceans Management Board and JPI Climate Governing Board approved the Terms of Reference for the Knowledge Hub in November 2019. This kick-started the preparatory phase where structures were formally established, and activities implemented. Meetings with interested funding organizations and ministries were held in April and June 2020, consolidating support from several JPI Climate and JPI Oceans Member Countries.

    Structure

    In November 2020, the two JPI Boards approved the Roadmap for the first phase of implementation of the KH SLR, leading to a large expert scoping conference to be held in 2022 in Venice, Italy. They also approved the Governance Structure of the KH SLR, including a Governing Council (formed by National Contact Points from nine JPI countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden), a Management Committee of experts, and four targeted Task Groups. The Governance Structure was revised following feedback received at the first and second meetings of the Governing Council, respectively in January and February 2021. In mid-2021, the Management Committee held its first meeting to set up the four targeted Task Groups.

    Why is this important?

    Global sea level rise is expected to be among the most costly and irreversible consequences of climate change. Since 1900, the global mean sea level has risen by approximately 20 cm and it is continuously rising at increasing rates of currently more than 3 mm per year, associated with anthropogenic climate change. Publications from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), such as the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), have strengthened the evidence for a predominant role of anthropogenic climate change in the observed global mean sea level rise and in the acceleration over recent decades. Current global sea level rise projections for the end of the 21st century vary between 40 cm and 2.5 m. This broad projection range results from uncertainties regarding the future greenhouse gas emissions, thermal expansion, melting of ice sheets and glaciers, and isostatic adjustments. 

    The long-term ambition of the Knowledge Hub on Sea Level Rise is to provide periodic assessments of knowledge on sea level rise drivers, impacts and policy options for each of the major ocean basins around Europe. The ambition is to provide easy access to usable knowledge on regional-local sea level change in Europe, regularly updated as a series of periodic assessments. It complements existing global and European assessments by providing additional geographical and contextual detail, tailored to regional, national and European policy development and implementation.