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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

New major European grant to support rising sea level research at Southampton

Published: 10 March 2014

Robert Nicholls, Professor of Coastal Engineering at Southampton has shared in a European Union grant to support his work investigating the impact of sea level rise around the world caused by climate change, and exploring sustainable ways for coastal areas to adapt to changing conditions.

The three year project RISES-AM (Responses to coastal climate change: Strategies for high End Scenarios -Adaptation and Mitigation) involves 12 partners from six countries. Southampton will receive €394,000 from the €4.4million grant to enable Robert and researcher Dr Sally Brown to analyse the global impacts of sea level rise and potential adaptation measures for a warming of the atmosphere by more than 2°C by 2100. Other UK partners are the National Oceanography Centre at Liverpool and the University of Sussex. They will examine the effects of sea level rise and changing patterns of storms both globally and in specific areas; the Ebro delta, the Danube delta and Liverpool Bay will form case studies.

"This project asks us to take into consideration increased levels of global warming, there are now fears that sea level may rise even higher in the next century than had previously been predicted," says Robert. "Up to now, world leaders have not risen to the challenge of cutting emissions so we must now model the consequences of their decisions."

Robert has been in this field for the past 20 years, previous projects have included both small scale work in and around the Solent and in flood-prone countries such as Bangladesh. He is Principal or Co Investigator on six major projects, leads the Cities and Coasts theme of the Tyndall Centre and works with the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC).

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