19 Feb 2021, 13:59
Charlotte Nijhuis

Sea levels on German coast have risen 15-20 cm in last 100 years - researchers

Clean Energy Wire

Sea levels on the German coast have risen by around 15 to 20 centimeters in the last hundred years, according to Sea Level Monitor data from the research centre Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht. The rise corresponds roughly to the global sea level rise in that same period, according to data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the centre writes in a press release. The research group monitors sea level rise at eight different points along the coast of northern Germany to see if trends are in line with global forecasts. “By regularly updating the analyses, we can see at an early stage whether sea level rise is also picking up speed here and where a 'continuation of the trend' could lead us," says coastal researcher Insa Meinke. The monitoring allows for early detection of “critical developments”, so that necessary measures can be taken in time, the centre writes. 

As temperatures rise and the effects of climate change become increasingly felt in Germany, the government wants to step up action to help the country adapt and eventually make it climate-resilient. The government’s progress report on its climate change adaptation strategy, published in autumn 2002, highlighted worsening effects, such as more frequent periods of extreme heat in summer, low groundwater levels and rising water levels in the North and Baltic Seas. The German government plans to present a “vision for a climate-resilient Germany 2060” later this year, taking into account the timeline of the EU climate adaptation strategy that will be published this month.

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