Successful PhD defence today - Weather and ocean impacts on sea-level changes in northern Europe

Fabio Mangini has been part of the center’s Ocean and Sea Ice Remote Sensing Group for the past years, and today his degree is being awarded by the University of Bergen. Congratulations, Fabio!

Melting glaciers and warming oceans cause the global sea level to rise. But the change in sea level is not uniform along all marine coastlines. There can be big differences, even along just one country’s coast. Since coasts are generally densely populated, it is crucial to know about variations on small scales to save lives and livelihoods, as sea-level rise threatens millions worldwide.

On a regional scale, the variations in sea level depend on multiple factors, and two are particularly interesting on regional scales: Weather and ocean conditions can make regional sea level change quite differently from the global sea level. Fabio Mangini investigated the impacts these two factors have, and he focused on northern Europe.

To monitor variations of the sea level, different tools exist: Measurements taken directly at the ocean surface by buoys near the coast, and satellite observations. The first kind is not available all over the globe but is widely used. Satellites on the other hand can give us information on sea-level changes, but their observations are mainly used for the open ocean.

In his work, Mangini investigated how different satellites can be used to quantify and better understand why and how regional variations of the sea level in the northern European region occur. He also showed that different satellite observations are good not just for measuring the sea level in the open ocean, but much closer to the coast than previously shown, and this is a valuable result with wide-reaching implications. Because satellite observations of the sea level are available worldwide, Mangini’s findings imply that these can be used reliably to measure and study variations along coasts where direct measurements are not available. His thesis is titled «Sea-level change over the northern European continental shelf due to atmospheric and oceanic contributions» and can be found here in the Bergen Open Research Archive.

Fabio Mangini is from Italy and obtained his MSc in Meteorology and Oceanography at the University of Reading (UK) in 2016. Since September 2017, he has had an institute PhD position at the Nansen Center, tied to the University of Bergen, and financed by the Norwegian Research Council’s STIPINST program.

Fabio Mangini presenting his work. Photo: Henrike Wilborn / Nansen Center


Fabio Mangini’s PhD project supervisors have been Jan Even Øie Nilsen (Nansen Center, then Institute for Marine Research), Laurent Bertino (Nansen Center, to the right in the top picture), Léon Chafik (Stockholm University), and Camille Li (University of Bergen). The Bergen-based supervisors, as well as Fabio Mangini himself, are also affiliated with the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research.


Dr. Fabio Mangini’s thesis can be found online.
«Sea-level change over the northern European continental shelf due to atmospheric and oceanic contributions»