Getting prepared for rising sea levels in Norway

Today, the Norwegian Environment Agency launched the “Sea-Level Rise and Extremes in Norway” report to provide updated knowledge on sea-level rise along the Norwegian coast. The Nansen Center is one of the institutions behind the report.

Norway has one of the longest coastlines in the world, and our coasts are exposed to sea-level rise. Knowledge on how changes in the future will affect Norwegian municipalities along the shore, and on how to adapt to them is crucial to protect us from the negative effects. Politicians and policymakers need a proper knowledge basis to be able to tackle what is to come. The report “Sea-Level Rise and Extremes in Norway” gives provides them with updated a knowledge basis. It outlines by how much the sea-level is supposed to rise until 2100, 2150, and 2300, with respect to different global warming scenarios – under 2 degrees warming, over 2 degrees warming, and around 4 degrees warming. The predictions used are based on the 6th IPCC report from the UN’s Climate Panel.

The Nansen Center’s contributions to the report are assessments of sea-level trends along the coast. Both remote sensing and in-situ measurement information were considered, making use of our special expertise in utilizing satellite data for sea-level observations. In collaboration with the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, our contributions also focused on the impact ocean waves have on changes to the sea level and on expected changes in storm surges and waves in the future.

Senior researcher Antonio Bonaduce, contributing author from the Nansen Center, highlights the importance of using remote sensing data for coastal areas in assessing sea-level trends. He points out that it is important to understand that local sea-level can differ drastically from the global average, and that both storm surges and ocean waves contribute to this difference. He also advocates for including both storm surge and ocean wave projections in the upcoming IPCC Assessment Report by the UN Climate Panel.

Key researchers: Antonio Bonaduce

Recording of the launch event 

Available here after the event on the website of the National Environment Agency

Who is behind the report? 

The Norwegian Centre for Climate Services has updated the knowledge basis on sea-level rise in Norway on behalf of the Norwegian Environment Agency. The institutions that contributed to the report and data products in it are partners in the Norwegian Centre for Climate Services (the Norwegian Mapping Authority, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, and NORCE), and the Nansen Center.