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Regional Sea Level Changes and Coastal Impacts

350 participants registered, 41 countries represented, 250 posters presented

Opening Ceremony

V. Ryabinin, G. Brasseur, V. Masson-Delmotte, P. Schlosser, D. Stammer, H.E. Ambassador P. Thomson, R. van de Wal, R. Nicholls

A collective voice and expertise of the international sea level community to address existing challenges in describing and projecting regional and coastal sea level changes, and in quantifying intrinsic uncertainties.

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Regional Sea Level Changes and Coastal Impacts

10-14 July 2017, Columbia University, New-York (NY) - USA


WCRP/IOC Sea Level Conference Statement 2017

The WCRP/IOC Sea Level Conference Statement was prepared by conference hosts and chairs, based on input from the broad community during the Sea Level 2017 conference. It has been adopted and signed by over 270 members of the scientific community. The final statement, with a list of signatories, can be found here.



  • DAY 5 Conference Highlights

    DAY 5 Conference Highlights

    On the fifth day, conference participants — filled with four days of fascinating, relevant, and timely discussions — were able to hear about the latest modeling efforts and different scenarios for the future. A panel of stakeholders also held a lively discussion on what they learned during the week and what their recommendations are for collaborative opportunities and research to support coastal management.

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  • DAY 4 Conference Highlights

    DAY 4 Conference Highlights

    The conference rolled into the fourth day wrapping up the contemporary sea level presentations and beginning to address future projections. The two plenary sessions had corresponding posters for each topic. Participants also heard about the evolving requirements of integrated sea level observations for regional and local decision making during the town hall. Katy Hill, scientific officer for the Global Climate Observing System and Global Ocean Observing System, framed the town hall by wanting to know how we get the global ocean system humming to meet our decision making needs, particularly the requirements for moving into the coastal regions.

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  • DAY 3 Conference Highlights

    DAY 3 Conference Highlights

    Halfway through the conference, day three brought a series of presentations on the coastal zone. Presenters in the two plenary sessions discussed impacts of rising seas from small island countries to large metropolitan cities like Shanghai, planning and adaptation strategies, and information needs for stakeholders and decision makers. Almost 70 posters were also presented on this theme. A panel closed out the day with discussions about New York’s adaptation strategies and response to Hurricane Sandy.

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  • DAY 2 Conference Highlights

    DAY 2 Conference Highlights

    The second day of the conference was dedicated to presentations on contemporary sea level change, ranging from the role of ocean heat content to satellite missions to drivers in variability of extreme sea levels. The two plenary sessions were accompanied by a morning and afternoon poster session and a town hall on the operational monitoring of sea level using satellites.

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  • DAY 1  Conference Highlights

    DAY 1 Conference Highlights

    Scientists begin conference on sea level change, starting with the past and working towards the future The significance of rising waters in New York City was evident during Hurricane Sandy and on 10 July 2017 when hundreds of scientists gathered at Columbia University to kick-off a week long Regional Sea Level Changes and Coastal Impacts Conference.

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Sea level change is already impacting coastal communities globally and will continue to do so. To meet urgent societal needs for useful information on sea level, the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) has established the theme “Regional Sea-Level Change and Coastal Impacts”, as one of its cross-cutting “Grand Challenge” (GC) science questions.

The GC Sea Level has designed and developed an integrated interdisciplinary program on sea level research reaching from the global to the regional and coastal scales. In particular, the program aims for close interaction with relevant coastal stakeholders to make sure that the results effectively support impact and adaptation efforts and wider coastal zone development and management.

The WCRP, jointly with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC), is organizing an international conference on sea level research that will address the existing challenges in describing and predicting regional sea level changes, and in quantifying the intrinsic uncertainties. It follows 11 years after the first WCRP sea level conference (Paris, 2006), and three years after the last Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It will provide a comprehensive summary of the state of worldwide climate-related large scale sea level research.

The conference is a 5-day event with a leading theme guiding the activities of each day. The structure of the conference will consist of plenary sessions followed by extensive poster sessions. In the evenings we are planning to hold "think-tanks" focusing on new science frontiers and activities.


Some pictures!


  • WCRP/IOC Sea Level Conference Statement 2017
    The WCRP/IOC Sea Level Conference Statement with a list of signatories, can be found here.

  • For a collection of posts on the , you can also follow us on Storify
  • July 12, 2017
    The .pdf files of the presentations are posted on the day by day programme
  • July 10, 2017
    Click here to get the abstract book for posters
  • July 7, 2017

    Click here to download the Conference Handbook


Key Dates

Sea level conference key dates


Programme glance rev7