Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/sp-2023-34
https://doi.org/10.5194/sp-2023-34
07 Dec 2023
 | 07 Dec 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal SP.

Sea Level Rise in Europe: Knowledge gaps identified through a participatory approach

José A. Jiménez, Antonio Bonaduce, Michael Depuydt, Giulia Galluccio, Bart van den Hirk, H. E. Markus Meier, Nadia Pinardi, Lavinia G. Pomarico, Natalia Vazquez Riveiros, and Gundula Winter

Abstract. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) plays a pivotal role in delivering information and knowledge on sea level rise (SLR), a global threat impacting coastlines worldwide. However, considerable disparities still persist in Europe in understanding and applying sea level science, evaluating its repercussions, and devising effective adaptation strategies. These are influenced by local factors such as diverse environments, socioeconomic conditions, policy contexts, and diversity in stakeholder involvement, producing in turn varying knowledge gaps and information needs across European sea basins. In this context, this paper presents the findings of a comprehensive scoping process carried out by the European Knowledge Hub on Sea Level Rise (KH-SLR) to define the outline of the first KH-SLR Assessment Report. It consists of the analysis of stakeholder responses to an online survey and insights shared during four regional workshops, aiming to pinpoint critical gaps in available information on SLR and its potential consequences in European basins, both from a scientific and policy perspective. The analysis was divided into three categories: i) SLR science and information, ii) SLR impacts, and iii) SLR adaptation policies and decision-making. Regarding SLR science and information, many respondents found that significant gaps exist in regional SLR projections and uncertainties, particularly related to long-term SLR induced by potential melting of large icesheets. Interestingly, the perspective on information gaps is different for scientists (emphasizing the need to increase regional projection capabilities) and government users (stressing the availability of accurate projections for their regions). Regarding impacts and hazards, shoreline erosion stands out as a dominant concern in all basins except the Arctic, while emerging issues like saltwater intrusion and the role of SLR in compound risks associated with extreme water levels and river flow were also given significant regional relevance. With regards to policy and decision making, existing adaptation plans are perceived as ineffective and lacking adaptability, with gaps related to underestimated impacts and urban planning. Participants, especially end-users, emphasized the relevance of improved information dissemination and communication to support informed decision-making.

José A. Jiménez, Antonio Bonaduce, Michael Depuydt, Giulia Galluccio, Bart van den Hirk, H. E. Markus Meier, Nadia Pinardi, Lavinia G. Pomarico, Natalia Vazquez Riveiros, and Gundula Winter

Status: open (until 12 Mar 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on sp-2023-34', Lisa Devignol, 08 Jan 2024 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on sp-2023-34', Saskia van Gool, 16 Jan 2024 reply
José A. Jiménez, Antonio Bonaduce, Michael Depuydt, Giulia Galluccio, Bart van den Hirk, H. E. Markus Meier, Nadia Pinardi, Lavinia G. Pomarico, Natalia Vazquez Riveiros, and Gundula Winter
José A. Jiménez, Antonio Bonaduce, Michael Depuydt, Giulia Galluccio, Bart van den Hirk, H. E. Markus Meier, Nadia Pinardi, Lavinia G. Pomarico, Natalia Vazquez Riveiros, and Gundula Winter

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Short summary
The European Knowledge Hub on Sea Level Rise (SLR) has done a scoping study involving stakeholders from government and academia to identify gaps and needs in SLR information, impacts, and policies across Europe. Gaps in regional SLR projections and uncertainties were found, while concerns were raised about shoreline erosion, emerging problems like saltwater intrusion and ineffective adaptation plans. The need for improved communication to make better decisions on SLR adaptation was highlighted.
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