Sea-level measurements: EuroGOOS note for policymakers released at EMD 2017

EuroGOOS Tide Gauge Task Team has delivered a statement to policymakers and public authorities. In the statement, the task team calls on national ocean observing funders to address sustainability of tide gauge networks. This note, titled “Sea level observation networks in and around Europe: Challenges in monitoring increasing sea level hazards”, has been released at the European Maritime Day 2017 taking place in Poole, UK, on 18 and 19 May.

Sea-level is an indicator of climate change and strongly affects coastal populations. It has been recognised as an Essential Ocean Variable by the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). Tide gauge measurements have been taken for centuries and today remain a key method to observe trends in mean sea level. Tide gauge data help assess extreme events, make tidal predictions and geodetic applications, support harbour operations and navigation. Furthermore, tide gauge measurements play an increasingly important role in warning systems for tsunamis and storm surges.

In 2016, the EuroGOOS Tide Gauge Task Team conducted a study of tide gauge operations in Europe and neighbouring coastal countries. As a result, the study revealed that more than half of the institutions and nearly 25% of the tide gauge stations surveyed may be facing funding problems. Should a national tide gauge network be shut down for financial reasons, a blind spot would appear on the map affecting policymakers and public authorities’ decision making in assessing storm surges, tsunamis, and sea-level elevation. The study concluded there is an urgent need to ensure the sustainability of tide gauge stations in Europe and the Mediterranean region.

Download the EuroGOOS Tide Gauge Task Team note to policymakers

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