United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Experts to discuss why sea-level is rising

Some 160 of the world’s leading climate change experts, oceanographers and marine scientists will meet at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters from June 6 to 9 to look at the factors contributing to sea-level rise and identify areas where more knowledge is needed to better understand the phenomenon.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report, global sea-level has risen by about 10-20 centimetres over the past 100 years. An increasing body of scientific evidence indicates that this is due mainly to global warming and that it is accelerating.

However, there remain many areas of uncertainty that prevent accurate projections of future changes and, consequently, effective responses on how to cope with such changes.

Participants at the workshop “Understanding Sea-Level Rise and Variability” will identify these knowledge gaps and the research required to fill them. They will consider factors contributing to sea-level rise such as ocean thermal expansion, melting glaciers and ice sheets, and vertical land movements. In addition the participants will consider past and future changes in the frequency/intensity of extreme events including surface waves and ocean swell.

The meeting will be chaired by John Church, a climate scientist at the CSIRO Marine Research Centre in Hobart (Tasmania, Australia) and Philip Woodworth, Director of the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (Liverpool, U.K.). Key speakers will include Kurt Lambeck (Australia), Anny Cazenave (France), Koni Steffen (USA) and Jonathan Gregory, Robert Nicholls and Ralph Rayner (UK), who will discuss the sea level changes of the past and future, the reasons for them, and their impacts at the coast. Other sessions will focus on the warming of the world's oceans and recent evidence for ice melting in polar regions.

The workshop is organized under the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), which is jointly sponsored by the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC), the International Council for Science (ICSU) the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and anopther 41 scientific organisations and agencies.

Source Media Advisory No.2006-31
Website 1 (URL) Internet Site
Editorial Contact: Isabelle Le Fournis, Press Relations Section, tel. +33 (0)1 45 68 17 48
- Email i.le-fournis@unesco.org
Publication Date 19 May 2006
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