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Climate change and sea level rise is increasingly on the agenda of the public, the media, and decision makers in the public, private and social sectors of society. Focus is almost solely on the hazards and the potential disasters we might be facing. MARI at Old Dominion University is focusing on the solutions, the options we have to mitigate the impacts of climate change and sea level rise, and to adapt to the changes.

To develop the practice-relevant solutions, MARI engages in research that produces the practice-relevant knowledge needed to cope with the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on the coastal zone and the urban coast in particular. In doing so, MARI responds to the knowledge needs of a wide range of community stakeholders, including government, military, private sector, and citizens. The high rate of local sea level rise, the exposure to extreme weather events, and the complex socio-economic structure makes Hampton Roads a natural laboratory for climate change and sea level rise. MARI utilizes this laboratory and works with stakeholders within and outside the region to generate the knowledge that can enable them not only to reduce the negative impacts but also to utilize the opportunities in the changes to come. To ensure that the stakeholders get the knowledge they can apply, MARI works closely with them to ensure a co-creation of practice-relevant knowledge and to support them in the use of this knowledge.


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Read more about the Hampton Roads Pilot Projects that is currently developed ...

Getting the Picture: A Climate Education Resource ...


  • Sea of Change Film Screening: The film about climate change and sea Level rise on Virginia's Coasts will be screened on July 28, 2015; 6:30 to 8:00 PM in the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library. The Chesapeake Climate Action Network's VA Beach Action Team is organizing the event. After the film, a discussion about climate consequences in Virginia will take place. Contact: Nate Levine Natel at or 757-802-5201.

  • Risk on the Rise: Understanding and Managing Coastal Flood Risk: A webinar on July 30, 2015 at 8:00 AM PDT organized by RMS will provide insights to make informed flood portfolio management and reinsurance purchasing decisions. To reserve a seat, register here.

  • Concert for Climate Action: A free concert organized by Sierra Club activists and over a dozen partner organizations will take place on Thursday, July 30, 2015, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at WorkRelease, Norfolk Arts District, 759 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510. Contact: Zach Jarjoura at (662) 292-5682 or zachary.jarjoura at

  • Workshop on “Mitigation and Adaptation Research in Virginia”: MARI is organizing a workshop on August 11-13, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Suffolk, VA. The goal of the workshop is to review the status of mitigation and adaptation research in Virginia and to design a research agenda that can help to provide the practice-relevant knowledge the communities in Virginia need to meet current and future challenges. Support to cover rooms and meals of a number of particiants is available. For more information and details how to apply, see the Workshop Page.



[July 21, 2015] New extremes in global temperature A NOAA report shows that June 2015 was the hottest June on record, about 0.12oC higher than the last record, which was June 2014. Both the global land and sea surface temperature set new records, and the first six months of 2015 were the hottest first six months in a year on record. The results are also discussed in an article by Timothy Cama in The Hill.

[July 20, 2015] Scientific climate scenarios indicate the possibility of severe impacts: A paper by Hansen et al. to appear in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics and discussed in an article by Chris Mooney in the Washington Post considers scenarios that could lead to a rapid large sea level rise. Although many of the details still need to be worked out, the bottom line conclusion, Hansen says, is that sea level rise is “the big impact of human made climate change.”

[June 23, 2015] That is not a good news: global warming get more real: An article published by summarizes the findings of the world's top monitoring agencies, which show that the first five months of 2015 are the hotest ever recored. NOAA and the Japan Meteorological Agency both find May to be the hotest May on record, while NASA had it as tied for the second-hottest. Based on a pattern of unusually warm waters in the Pacific Ocean, there is an 85% chance of El Nino persisting through the 2015-2016 winter, and this could easily turn 2015 into the hotest year on record.

[June 22, 2015] Extinction rates are 10 times to more than 100 times higher than normal: In an article in The Guardian, it is reported that the extinction rate in the last 100 years is significantly above the normal extinction rate in pre-industrial time. The article is based on a new study, whihc finds that “rather than the nine extinctions among vertebrates that would be expected to have occurred in normal geological circumstances since 1900, their conservative estimate adds in another 468 extinctions, spread among mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Examples of lost species would include the Yangtze dolphin and the Costa Rica golden toad. Depending on the group, extinction rates are 10 times to more than 100 times higher than normal. A sixth mass extinction, therefore, is beginning. They estimate that it would grow to rival the last great catastrophe of the past, when the dinosaurs and much else died out 65m years ago, in as little as three human lifetimes.”

[June 11, 2015] Why sea Level Rise should scare you: The latest NICHI newsletter communicates “15 Facts About Sea Level Rise That Should Scare the S^*# Out of You;” see here ...

[June 10, 2015] Last Call for Larsen B: NASA is documenting the final stage of the Larsen B ice shelf, see here ...

[June 4, 2015] No Global Warming Hiatus? NOAA scientists found that what is known as the “global warming hiatus” is due to an instrumental bias resulting from introducing new technologies to measure sea surface temperature, see the Washington Post article by Chris Mooney or the NYT article by Justin Gillis ...

[June 3, 2015] How Greenland surface lakes rapidly drain: The process by which large surface lakes on the Greenland ice sheet can rapidly drain is now better understood, and the process could rapidly increase the melting of ice; see the Washington Post article by Chris Mooney ...

[May 30, 2015] Study underlines the importants of interannual sea level variability: A new study led by ODU scientist Benjamin Hamlington documents the impact of El Nino events on coastal sea level. The study finds that U.S. West Coast sea level can increase by up to 20 cm during strong El Nino events. Read the Scientific Amercian summary of the study...

[May 9, 2015] Humanity's war against fish: In an opinion piece in the New York Times, PAUL GREENBERG and BORIS WORM comment on the war against fish that was probelled by the end of WW2 and the technology and expertise developed during the war. They state: “Taken collectively, the rise of postwar fishing technology meant that the global reported catch rose from some 15 million metric tons at war&srsquo;s end to 85 million metric tons today — the equivalent, in weight, of the entire human population at the turn of the 20th century, removed from the sea each and every year.” Read the article ...

[May 6, 2015] Carbon dioxide crossed the 400 ppm boundary for good: March 2015 was the first month since several million years ago with an average global atmospheric carbon dioxide level above 400 ppm. This is far outside the pre-1900 range of variability determined from 800,000 years of paleo data. This normal range, which covers warm periods and ice ages, is between 170 and 300 ppm. With the current level, humanity has committed to a large increase in global temperature and a huge sea level rise. Read the article by Nick Visser ...