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Publications and Reports

Projections of extreme storm surge levels along Europe


Storm surges are an important coastal hazard component and it is not fully known how they will evolve along Europe’s coastline in view of climate change. This study was carried out by the JRC – Joint Research Centre, the University of Aegean in Greece and Deltares in the Netherlands, and provides storm surge projections for Europe for 2010-2040 and 2070-2100 under the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission scenarios.

According to the findings, the North and Baltic Sea coasts show the largest increases in storm surges, especially towards the east. High storm sea level values are also projected along the west-facing coastline of the Irish Sea, followed by marginal areas of the Baltic Sea and the Norwegian Sea. In contrast, southern European coasts can expect minimal change, with the exception of the North Adriatic and some parts of the North Black Sea. Further findings show that overall, storm surge levels in Europe are projected to increase on average by around 15% by 2100 under a high-emissions scenario and that climate change will result in higher seas not only driven by sea level rise, but also by increased storminess. The contribution of the latter to the overall increase is likely to exceed 30% of the expected relative sea level rise for 14% of the European coastline.

Reference information

Vousdoukas, M.I., Voukouvalas, E., Annunziato, A., Giardino, A., Feyen, L. Climate Dynamics (2016) 47: 3171. doi:10.1007/s00382-016-3019-5

Published in Climate-ADAPT Dec 20 2016   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Dec 12 2023

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