Sustainability Science

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 33–43 | Cite as

Storm surges: perspectives and options

  • Hans von StorchEmail author
  • Katja Woth
Special Feature: Review Article


This review paper attempts to summarize the scattered and fragmented knowledge about past and possible future changing storm-surge statistics using the particularly well-studied case of the North Sea as an example. For this region, a complete and robust analysis methodology has been developed in recent years. This methodology is based on dynamical and statistical models. Using the concept of dynamical downscaling, development during recent decades, when sufficiently good and homogeneous weather data exist, has been “reconstructed,” and scenarios of possible future change are described. “Localization” allows estimation of changes at specific sites, e.g., harbors. As local water-level statistics depend not only on climate variations but also on local modifications of the local bathymetry, new options for adaptation emerge. For the case of Hamburg, an option for such future adaptations is discussed.


Storm surge North Sea Storms Localization Scenario Climate change 


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Copyright information

© Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science and Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Coastal Research, GKSS Research CenterGeesthachtGermany
  2. 2.Meteorologisches Institut, University of HamburgHamburgGermany

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