UK Sea Level Science Meeting

At the end of last week the NOC in Liverpool invited the UK communities around sea level science to a meeting to honour Phil Woodworth’s retirement. After the 80th-birthday of the PSMSL two years ago, this was the second time in quick succession to get the people together and discuss the current developments in the field. Sea level itself is a highly diverse topic, which was well represented at that meeting.

It started with some talks on the impact of sea level change and storm surges. A focus therein was the translation of the science to the actions on the ground. After the first poster session the past sea-level, especially during the Holocene got their attention. In this part the connection between geodesy, geology and oceanography gives the field a very interesting interdisciplinary touch. All communities have to work together and understand each other to gain further ground in the research on this topic. A big point is therein the uncertainty of models and observations, which was widely presented and discussed in the talks and the posters.

My poster at the meeting

My poster at the meeting

The presentations ended with an overview over the observational techniques, mainly coastal measurements with the satellites. In these fields large steps forward were made in the past years, which brings hope to the development of better opportunities to compare satellite measurements with the readings of tide gauges. Some remarks from the host and a nice conference dinner with many discussions lead to the end the first day.

The second day kicked of with the main source of sea level change, the ice. The focus was especially set on the ice sheets on Antarctica and their monitoring with satellite altimetry. Ocean dynamics and their influence on sea level followed next. The speakers showed that the influence of this part has still many potentials for future research. The final topic was the projections of future sea level change. This controversial topic with its two main approaches, the classical modeling and the semi-empirical methods, lead to many discussions.

All in all it was a great meeting, which brought a good overview on the many different facets of the field. The great discussions around the meeting helped to broaden the understanding for everyone within this interdisciplinary community. Certainly the field will still allow for huge advances in the future, which will require the introduction of new techniques, great ideas and especially the work across the traditional boarders of the research fields.