A closer look at the interactions between atmosphere, ocean and ice sheets: Sea level rise (SLR) due to climate change is a serious global threat that is caused by land ice loss and ocean thermal expansion. It also results in catastrophic consequences for the future of coastal regions. As land ice contribution is increasing, policymakers are concerned about the threats ice sheet change represents. The EU-funded PROTECT project will drive SLR projections beyond the state of the art and provide a long-standing scientific and social contribution.
PROTECT will significantly improve our understanding and model representation of ice sheet processes and offer a new approach in modelling the interactions between atmosphere, ocean and ice sheets. PROTECT will also improve the strength of the resulting SLR projections, envision the future social impact of SLR and train the next generation of sea level scientists.
Sea-level rise (SLR) is one of the most damaging impacts of climate change, threatening the economy, ecology, and entire existence of coastal regions worldwide. Global-mean sea level has risen by ~8 cm since 1992, with land ice loss and ocean thermal expansion contributing equally. However, the land ice contribution is accelerating, and future SLR is set to become dominated by the highly uncertain behaviour of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. The potential for rapid collapse of these ice sheets, which may already be underway, has made policymakers painfully aware of humanity’s vulnerability to ice-sheet change. PROTECT will push SLR projections beyond the state-of-the-art and have a long-standing scientific and societal impact by:
- significantly improving our understanding and model representation of ice-sheet processes,
- providing a step change in modelling the interactions and feedbacks between atmosphere, ocean, and ice sheets,
- improving the robustness of the resulting SLR projections, with a clear propagation of uncertainties from global to regional scales,
- assessing the societal implications of high-end ice-sheet SLR over decades to centuries,
- developing and mentoring the next generation of sea-level scientists.
Recognizing that developing climate services for coastal adaptation is an iterative process, PROTECT will engage stakeholder knowledge from key EU states vulnerable to SLR, as well as communities from low-lying islands and the Arctic. PROTECT unifies world-leading European experts in cryospheric and climate science, sea-level change, and coastal and societal impacts. This highly interdisciplinary consortium will cover, for the first time, all relevant spatial and temporal scales governing SLR from land ice. PROTECT will provide a solid evidence base needed to implement measures addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, the European Union Adaptation Strategy, and the UNFCCC Paris Agreement.
Social media: @ProtectSlr@Protect
PROTECT Communications Officer
and Training & Education
Data Task Group