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Sea Level change

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 Sea Level and Coastal Changes 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 under future sea level scenarios.

Ripple marks
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