Sea level rise is a major consequence of global warming. It has already threatened many low-lying, highly populated coastal regions. In such regions, sea level rise amplifies other stresses due to natural phenomena (e.g., sediment load-induced ground subsidence in deltaic areas, increased frequency of extreme events like storm surges, etc.) or human activities (e.g., ground subsidence due to ground water pumping, oil extraction and coastal mining; urbanisation, etc.). Besides the long-term global-average sea level rise, sea level observations from space have revealed important regional variability in rates of sea level change, with some regions experiencing a rise of up to 5 times the global mean. These spatial variations mostly result from natural (decadal) variability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system and from heat redistribution inside the ocean, but salinity changes are also important. Gravitational effects associated with the melting of the massive ice sheets can also cause regional sea level change. Thus in some coastal areas, several factors of different origin interact to increase the risk of flooding and submergence due to rising sea level.
In recent years, the availability of space and in situ observations has considerably increased our understanding of sea level rise and variability, including the main climatic causes. However, multi-disciplinary studies of the impacts of sea level rise in coastal regions are still limited. The motivation for organizing such a session is to bring together scientists from different fields (climate research, oceanography, glaciology, hydrology, geodesy, geology, geomorphology, geography, etc.) to address the underlying science and also the many regional impacts of sea level rise.