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Coastal Climate Core Service

Project summary

Even if climate change mitigation objectives agreed in Paris are met, sea level will rise at least by 0.3 to 0.6m in 2100 and then continue rising for centuries. The potential impacts for coastal flooding are a major source of concern for Europe because many infrastructures are located close to shorelines or in low-lying areas. Broad scale coastal climate services and platforms available today have successfully addressed the need to raise awareness on mitigation.

However, an authoritative, consistent and decision oriented platform is still missing to meet the needs of adaptation practitioners concerned with the routine identification of coastal territories at risk from inundation, coastal land use planning or maintaining coastal infrastructure services.

The Coastal Climate Core Service (CoCliCo) project aims at informing decision-making on coastal risk and adaptation, by delivering an open web-platform exploring dominant risk drivers, adjusting visualisation and analysis techniques to local decision contexts, and combining relevant and high-quality geospatial information layers. Through the platform, users will be able to visualize, download and analyse multiple decision-oriented coastal risk scenarios relevant to the rich user narratives of our Demonstration Case Studies addressing the three needs raised above.

To meet this challenge, CoCliCo brings together European organizations and scholars that have proven track records of delivering broad-scale coastal risk and adaptation assessment, as well as leading research and technologies in interoperable geospatial data management, decision sciences and risk communication.


  • To achieve its overarching goal, CoCliCo has the following specific and measurable objectives (SOs):

    SO1: Develop a web-based, distributed and interoperable open European coastal risk data and mapping web-platform, allowing user-driven exploration and visualization of coastal risks and their drivers (RQ3) and a range of user-defined Integrated Scenarios (RQ2). The web-platform includes a core platform, with homogeneous datasets in Europe and designed to anticipate for future data (e.g., new sea-level data, digital elevation models or adaptation scenarios) and Exploratory Tools supporting Future Services (e.g., attribution of risks, support to local planning). Key Performance Indicator (KPI1): TRL6 web-platform giving online access to pan-European geospatial information on present and future coastal risks and adaptation.

    SO2: Collect, develop and validate existing and new geospatial data relevant to coastal risks and adaptation (RQ3). Data layers include geophysical processes (sea-level rise, storm climate, coastal flood and erosion impacts), current and future socio-economic scenarios (exposure and vulnerability), existing coastal adapation measures and future user-defined adaption strategies (coastal defence infrastructure, spatial planning strategies). Key Performance Indicator (KPI2): feedback of Champion Users, of members of the Stakeholder Group and of independent experts demonstrating successful validation and demonstration of the web-platform’s data and functionality in real decision contexts.

    SO3: Implement Demonstration Case Studies (DCSs) (RQ1; RQ2) to guide and demonstrate visualisation and analysis techniques that are supportive for real-world decision-making. The DCSs are co-developed with our Champion Users, and lead to a tailor-made user-interface allowing the exploration of risk and adaptation Integrated Scenarios at the spatial and temporal scales of Flood Risk Management Units. Key Performance Indicator (KPI3): a collection of DCSs involving Champion Users in the co-development and promotion of the CoCliCo web-platform, complemented by acceptance statements of involved users.

    SO4: Establish a Stakeholders Group in the collaborative design of the web-platform, exploring future opportunities, and to ensuring the dissemination of the CoCliCo web-platform to a wide range of individuals, organisations and governments concerned with risks and adaptation options associated with sea-level rise within Europe. Key Performance Indicator (KPI4): use of the web-platform by members of the Stakeholder Group, representative of the broad range of potential users, beyond those engaged in the DCSs.

    SO5: Secure the sustainability and legacy of the CoCliCo web-platform beyond the end of the project. We envisage to integrate the web-platform within the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS), as proposed in the “Roadmap for the evolution of Copernicus marine and land services to better serve coastal users” elaborated by MOi with the European Environment Agency. Key Performance Indicator (KPI5): sustainable CoCliCo web-platform beyond 2025, confirmed by an independent review.

Concept & Approach

CoCliCo’s concept starts with the recognition that future coastal impacts and adaptation are characterized by deep uncertainties that can be adequately explored through Integrated Scenarios (Walker et al., 2003; Maier et al., 2016).

The CoCliCo web-platform interactively links users with the relevant geospatial data allowing to explore these scenarios. The concept of CoCliCo is based upon three fundamental research pillars, each associated with one research question raised in the introduction:

  • User engagement (RQ1; left hand side in Figure 2; SO3-4): The CoCliCo web-platform functionalities, visualisation features and Integrated Scenarios relies heavily on the involvement of Stakeholder Group and Champion Users, who develop and enrich user priorities and rich user narratives together with the scientists engaged in CoCliCo. Our focus on real-world Demonstration Case Studies ensures that CoCliCo develops tailored and decision-oriented climate services that are tested and validated by end-users. Specifically, DCSs develop a common understanding of the evidence on past and future sea levels, impact and adaptation, allowing for a consistent response across Europe (DCS#1) and support to city-scale (DCS#2) and port infrastructures (DCS#3). On the top of the core pan-European service, we develop Future Services exploring formal attribution of risks, local risks and adaptation assessments and the relevance of high-end scenarios.
  • Information technologies for geospatial data management (RQ2; middle part of Figure2; SO1): the concept of the CoCliCo web-platform is to link and harmonize geospatial data layers within one common and consistent framework, using the best available data and models. Our web-platform links with authoritative services such as Copernicus and has the ambition to become a Copernicus service after the project completion. To achieve this, the web-platform will be distributed, interoperable and scalable4. For users, this concept means that they can either explore data in the CoCliCo Web mapping application, or use the CoCliCo geospatial data together with their own local data within any OGC compatible GIS software (e.g. ArcGIS, QGIS) or directly through the standardized Application Programming Interface (API). Our web- platform is designed to provide access to both DCS-specific and generic information on past and future coastal flood. Our Exploratory Tools illustrates how Future Services can be developed to respond to more advanced user needs such as climate services for formal attribution of risks, high-resolution assessments and consideration of high-end scenarios.
  • Risk and adaptation frameworks (RQ3; right hand side of Figure 2; SO2): CoCliCo builds upon the common risk framework used in operational risk management, in which risk results from the interaction between coastal hazards, exposure and vulnerability (IPCC: Jones et al., 2014; Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015). In addition to detecting past and future drivers of coastal flood risk, CoCliCo considers the influence of adaptation on each time-dependent risk attribute (e.g., sea levels, exposure of infrastructure). While much of this information is specific for Flood Risk Management Units, it relies on generic data and models (e.g. sea level and coastal characteristics), thus allowing for benchmarking and comparison to international standards.These three pillars illustrate the strong interdisciplinary nature of CoCliCo, that contains social, economic, physical, climate and computer science expertise.


This project addresses the European Commissions Call for Proposal: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future: Research and innovation in support of the European Green Deal (H2020-LC-GD-2020)

Start date: 1.9.2021
Project duration: 48 Months
Project volume: about 5.9 million Euro

GCF project team

Project lead researcher: Jochen Hinkel
Project Admin: Daria Korsun