Sea level rise: a Belgian and European perspective | CREST project

Sea level rise: a Belgian and European perspective

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Sea level rise: a Belgian and European perspective

Added on 2019-07-05
On 12 December 2018, the workshop “Climate Scenarios for Belgium” was organised at Flanders Hydraulics Research, Antwerp.
The initiative originated from parallel needs of the projects Complex Project Coastal Vision (CPK) and Climate Resilient Coast (CREST), that both need universal, scientifically accepted climate scenarios for the Belgian coast. CPK requires extreme scenarios to support the design of an adaptive coastal protection until 2100, whereas a wider perspective is required in the framework of CREST, that relies on more moderate scenarios. As other research groups require similar scenarios, it is desirable to develop universal coastal climate scenarios, which are adapted to recent insights and can be used by all researchers. As such, results of different studies become more consistent and intercomparable.

Prior to the workshop, input documents were provided to all participants, containing a summary of relevant research (Di Marcantonio et al., 2018) and a set of proposed scenarios (Jansen et al., 2018). These formed the basis of the debate. Several CREST researchers participated in the workshop. A total of four climate projections were agreed upon, consisting of three climate scenarios and a set of extremes (‘Extreme Situation’) with high impact, but lower probability of occurrence. The three climate scenarios are based on the emission pathways (Representative Concentration Pathways – RCPs) of the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (IPCC, 2013). Pathways RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 were used, leading to a representation of the likely range of future climate projections. Different parameters were discussed, i.e. global air temperature, global mean sea level rise, wind (speed and direction) and precipitation. Values for these parameters were derived as best estimates for the respective RCPs. The final output of the workshop was sent to international experts for feedback, and the results will be published soon.

On 18 and 19 March 2019, a scoping workshop “Assessing local impacts of sea-level rise at the shore for mitigation and adaptation”, in preparation of the set-up of a sea level rise Knowledge Hub, was held in Brussels. This workshop was a co-organisation of the JPI Climate Action Group Next Generation of Climate Sciences in Europe and JPI Oceans with the support of SINCERE, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), Deltares Netherlands, and CNRM Météo-France. During this two-day meeting an overview was presented of national programmes and activities related to sea level rise, new scientific insights were discussed, examples of Knowledge Hubs in practice were presented and a first scoping of research needs and knowledge gaps was performed. Dries Van den Eynde (RBINS) and Frank Pattyn (ULB) presented the Belgian activities. Based on the workshop outcome, both JPI’s are currently working on a 'Knowledge Hub - Terms of Reference' which will be presented to the JPI Climate Governing Board mid of May 2019.

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