Sea Level change
Junior research group 'Sea Level and Coastal Changes'
Coastal areas are one of the most rapidly evolving systems on Earth. The population density within 100 kilometers of the coastline is nearly 3 times higher than the global average density and 10% of the human population is living less than 10 meters above sea level (especially in the tropical zones). This explains why the evolution of coastal areas is perceived as a relevant problem in need of monitoring, defense or adaptation strategies. Common figures state that the worldwide percentage of beaches under erosion is ~70%. Sea level rise and change in the frequency and intensity of storms are expected to exacerbate the problem, leading to both social and natural negative consequences.
The group has a twofold aim. First, it aims to investigate past interglacials, moments when the earth was warmer than today, in order to gather the elevation of former sea levels and, ultimately, polar ice sheets sensitivity to warmer climates. Second, the group investigates rates and causes of coastal changes at different time scales in order to understand the sensitivity of different areas to coastal erosion, or to extreme wave events.