Storm Surges Congress


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LOICZ, GKSS Storm Surge Congress Risk and Management of current and future Storm Surges, Hamburg, Germany 13-17 September 2010
Recent natural disasters such as Hurricane Nargis in Myanmar and flooding following tropical storm Kathrina underline that storm surges and flooding increasingly represent a global environmental and social threat regularly associated with substantial losses of lives and economic damages. Based on scientific and public debate including IPCC findings we conclude that besides climate change, as one key driver surges and floods are frequently exacerbated by anthropogenic forcing including intensive land and sea use along the river-coast continuum. A recent OECD study of extreme floods in 136 port cities foresees an increase of population and asset exposure of between 2-3 times, and 10 times, respectively, by 2070.
However, scientific information about storms and storm surges still is rather disciplinary whereas practical experiences, cultural perception and knowledge of response options for coastal communities are rather disconnected. A holistic synthesis is lacking and subsequent information flow and debate remain fragmented. “Joined up” thinking may assist to address key questions of major societal concern such as:
1. How do we deal with the present level of risk?
2. How do we respond to changing future conditions?
Answering these questions will be critical in order to enhance our capacity to forecast, prepare and adapt to risks and in order to improve our capacity to respond appropriately on a socio political level.
The Congress:
As a consequence LOICZ together with the GKSS Research Centre, Geesthacht, (Member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres) as well as numerous international and national partners (see call flyer attached) are planning for an interdisciplinary and international Congress to be held in Hamburg 13-17 September 2010:
Risk and Management of current and future Storm Surges.
We strive for a multi stakeholder dialogue and a common view across the scientific disciplines, data providers and coastal users and deciders. The major objective is to overcome the fragmented view on this global phenomenon. By inviting multiple experiences, lessens learned and best practices from coastal stakeholders and users and the latest scientific knowledge to be shared across the multiple audiences the Congress aims to facilitate improved holistic understanding towards better adaptation and mitigation. Sessions will address the following Topics:
a) Driving factors and scales of storm surges
b) Contemporary risk and management
c) History and intercultural perception
d) The role of scientific information – dealing with uncertainty
e) Institutional dimensions – dealing with uncertainty
We kindly ask you to distribute this Call for Abstracts widely and strongly encourage you to submit your own abstract under one of the sessions listed above. Please refer to the official call flyer (attached) and the conference websites for more information.
In summary the Storm Surge Congress 2010 may also serve as a forum not only for scientific and technical discussions with the peers and coastal users on the status and future challenges but also for providing an opportunity to identify areas for future joint research and collaboration. The 2nd announcement for this Congress including the draft list of sessions and call for abstracts is attached herewith for your information. Be informed that the deadline for submission of abstracts will be extended until 31st March 2010. Further details are made available on the web at the URL: and
Important Links – The DELTA conference: This Congress stands in a logical line with another event: “Deltas in Times of Climate Change”, which takes place in Rotterdam between 29 September and 02 October 2010 and looks particular into the role of Delta Regions in the life support functions of the Earth System. Storm Surges in such regions will be revisited during this conference and both are linked through cross cutting sessions. For more information see:…
Organisation LOICZ/GKSS:
As a core research project of the Earth System Science Programmes IGBP and IHDP, LOICZ, i.e. Land Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone, with its global research networks and partners has increasingly focused on coastal vulnerability in the context sea level rise, subsiding coasts and delta erosion due to urbanisation and river management and in particular storms and storm surges. The key objective since 1993 is to provide the knowledge, understanding and prediction needed to allow coastal communities to assess, anticipate and respond to the interaction of global change and local pressures which determine coastal change. Since 2003, LOICZ research includes social, political and economic sciences in order to address the human dimensions of the coastal zone. Central to LOICZ is to explore coastal system vulnerability, risks and options for mitigation and adaptation. Explored are the drivers and changes including global climate change and economic development as well as natural hazards such as storms and surges and how their effects are exacerbated by extensive land and sea use. In particular the challenge is to describe the link between land and sea forcing in a changing Earth System, how this influences coastal processes and, to also consider people’s lifestyles and political decision making including response to climate change reflecting in land use and cover. Since 2006 LOICZ is based at the GKSS Research Centre, Geesthacht, Germany (Member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres) and located in the Institute for Coastal Research.