Impacts World Conference, 11-13 October 2017, Potsdam

Impacts World: Counting the true costs of climate change one of the leading international conferences on cross-sectoral climate impacts was held by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). As climate related changes increasingly call for an interdisciplinary research towards impact analysis, the following four key challenges were emphasized to approach the conference’s motto:

  • Counting the economic costs of climate change
  • Climate Change and human migration
  • Climate Change and human health
  • Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals

Our Ph.D. student, Lena Reimann, took part in this year’s IW conference and contributed to the first theme of economic costs of climate change by providing a poster presentation on: "UNESCO World Heritage at risk from coastal flooding in the Mediterranean region – Is it possible to evaluate the costs of flood impacts on cultural heritage?". She is currently working on the paper, which will published soon.


EVAN Conference, 05-07 September 2017, Southampton

Our doctoral researcher, Sara Santamaria, participated in this year’s international conference on Advances in
Extreme Value Analysis and application to Natural Hazard (EVAN) at the National Oceanography Centre,
Southampton.The conference aimed at creating a platform to enhance an interdisciplinary interchange between various researchers, students and stakeholders on studies related to natural hazards, e.g. storm surges.  


EVAN Conference 2017

Sara Santamaria contributed to this notion by providing a poster presentation on trends and variability of storm surges in Buenos Aires. She presented her current work, which will be published soon.


International WCRP/IOC Conference, 10-14 July 2017, New York

Prof. Dr. Vafeidis and our Ph.D. students, Jan Merkens and Claudia Wolff, attended this year’s international conference on “Regional Sea Level Changes and Coastal Impacts” at Columbia University, NY, which was organized by the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) as well as the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC). As the impact of sea level changes are globally affecting coastal communities, the WCRP initiated an interdisciplinary program on sea level to increase the interaction between different coastal stakeholders working on global, regional and coastal scale. The conference mainly aimed at collecting results on worldwide climate-related sea level research to anticipate sea level changes including its challenges and address adaptation measures properly to prevent vulnerability.

The members of our working group contributed to the conference by providing a poster presentation on the following topics:


Prof. Dr. Vafeidis - Adaptation to Sea-Level Rise in the Mediterranean – Should We Stay or Should We Go?


The high concentration of population and economic activities along the Mediterranean coasts constitutes a significant challenge for adaptation to sea-level rise. Despite the existence of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Protocol (ICZM) of the Barcelona Convention, which calls for a common approach to coastal management in the region; and a large number of regional and national programmes addressing the challenge of climate change in the region, no comprehensive and comparative assessment of coastal impacts of sea-level rise and associated adaptation needs has been so far carried out for the entire basin. To address this gap we employ the Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment (DIVA) modelling framework to assess the long-term (until 2100) impacts of sea-level rise and to explore the potential benefits of a range of coastal adaptation measures for the Mediterranean basin. We focus on coastal flood risk and erosion and evaluate the implementation of adaptation options...


Jan Merkens - Do Gridded Population Scenarios Provide Added Value in Coastal Impact Assessment?


The Shared-Socioeconomic-Pathways (SSPs) span a range of population and economic scenarios to determine the different challenges of the impacts of climate change, also considering adaptation and mitigation, over the 21st century. Coastal zones typically face different challenges from inland areas, including differing rates of economic growth and higher population densities. Coastal SSPs have been developed to extend the generic SSPs to account for different population development in the low-elevation coastal zone (LECZ) compared to inland areas. The coastal SSPs provide grids of projected population under each of the five SSPs until 2100, which are consistent at national level to the population numbers in the generic SSPs. In this study, we use the Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment (DIVA) modelling framework to compare the exposure of population located in the 1 in 100-year floodplain based on the coastal SSPs and the generic SSPs...


Claudia Wolff - A Mediterranean Coastal Database for Assessing the Impacts of Sea-Level Rise and Associated Hazards


Uniform, consistent data on physical, ecological and socio-economic characteristics of the Mediterranean coastal zone are a prerequisite for comparative coastal impact assessment and for planning appropriate future interventions. Mediterranean policy makers and coastal administrations are encouraged to undertake adaptation measures that are in line with the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Protocol of the Barcelona Convention in the near future and therefore have an increasing demand for consistent scientific data. We have developed an open access spatial coastal database for the Mediterranean that aims to address these needs. The data structure of the developed database relies on a coastline segmentation process, where units that represent sections of the coast that would have a uniform response to sea-level rise have been created. Using information on coastal morphology, distribution of assets and administrative boundaries the Mediterranean coast has been segmented into 12.000 units with an average length of 4.5km...


Please find Claudia Wolff's poster attached.