Sea Level Conference 2017: Conference Report is available online

To address existing challenges in describing and predicting regional sea level changes, and to discuss intrinsic uncertainties, the WCRP Grand Challenge on Regional Sea Level Change and Coastal Impacts, jointly with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC), organized an international conference on sea level research that followed 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 provided a comprehensive summary of the state of worldwide climate-related large-scale sea level research. The five-day conference was held at Columbia University in New York. More than 350 Participants from 42 nations attended the event. Participants represented natural scientists, social scientists, coastal engineers, managers and planners.

Conference participants recognized that the present state of sea-level science provides unambiguous evidence that sea level is rising. They also recognized that sea-level rise has accelerated over the past 100 years due to global warming and that the increase will continue to accelerate with unmitigated emissions. Participants discussed evidence indicating that sealevel rise represents a major challenge for coastal societies. This requires that scientists closely collaborate with the stakeholder community to develop plans for responding to sea-level change affecting their coasts and to implement adequate adaptation measures, to enhance understanding of coastal sea-level change, and to project its regional mean and extreme states. This is essential for assessing sea-level rise impacts, as well as for enhancing climate mitigation and adaptation measures over the short-, medium- and long-term. Without urgent and significant mitigating action to combat climate change continued greenhouse gas emissions will almost certainly commit the world to several meters of sea-level rise over the next few centuries.

A conference summary by numbers

  • 356 Participants
  • 229 Poster presentations
  • 11 Early career scientists and students
  • 83 Competition posters
  • 69 Speakers and panelists
  • 46 Countries
  • 11 Years since last WCRP sea level conference
  • 6 Sessions

A conference statement was finalized at the end of the conference and was signed

subsequently by more than 350 scientists from around the world.

Read the final statement

Download the report