Philip Woodworth, National Oceanography Centre, UK; Simon Holgate, National Oceanography Centre, UK; Svetlana Jevrejeva, National Oceanography Centre, UK; Anders Carlson, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA; Mark Siddall, University of Bristol, UK
Sea level change affects every country with a coastline. Coastal zones have changed profoundly during the 20th century with increasing populations, economies and urbanization and they will continue to do so. Coastal areas below 10m elevation already contain about 10% of the world population, while 10% of the 400 million people in the major port cities are already exposed to a 1 in 100 year flood risk. This session will bring together scientists and stakeholders, journalists and policy makers, to explore the issues arising from sea level change and its impacts on coastal communities. It will take the form of a 90-minute panel discussion which we envision will be chaired by a leading journalist with representatives drawn from NGOs, industry, scientific research, economics and Government with wide international representation. Key themes will be flooding and extreme events, short and medium term forecasting, communicating scientific uncertainty, and integrating science into policy.
The panel discussion will be complemented by a poster session of recent research findings underlining the inter-disciplinary nature of the subject.. For example, the magnitude of future sea level rise due to changes in the ocean and cryosphere will be explored. Uncertainties in prediction associated with the ice sheets will be a particular focus, exploiting community expertise in paleo-sea level change. Space agencies, international sea level centres and various scientific programmes will be invited to make their own contributions ensuring the widest representation. The fact that the session convenors represent PSMSL and PAGES will also ensure wide involvement.