Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Phone number
+31 (0)113 57 7450
Research Leader
  • Global and regional sea-level change
  • Climate change
  • Detection & Attribution of the underlying causes of sea-level change
  • Contributions to sea-level change from land ice, ocean, atmosphere, solid Earth
  • Coastal impacts of sea-level change


Aimee Slangen in EenVandaag. Foto: EenVandaag

Dr. Aimée Slangen

Research Leader

‘A realistic picture of the sea level change along the coast’

At the NIOZ Sea Level Research Centre, climatologist Aimée Slangen computes how global sea-level changes translate into effects along the coast. ‘I’m probably one of the few NIOZ researchers who never has to make fieldwork trips, because climate science is something that is mainly done behind a computer screen. For example, we receive measurements of sea levels from satellites down to an accuracy of 1 mm. Then it is a question of calculating computer scenarios. However, we cannot simply translate the scenarios for the Atlantic Ocean into those for the North Sea or the Wadden Sea, because there are many regional effects. We are now trying to calculate these with an accuracy of seven by seven kilometres.’

Sand and concrete

‘In the regional sea-level scenarios for the Wadden Sea, we need to deal with factors such as soil subsidence, sand transport, wind and waves. The scenarios for the Zeeland and South Holland Delta are different, because more coastlines are protected by concrete structures, amongst other things. Due to all these different effects, we also need to try and combine many different models into a single scenario. In doing this, we now produce calculations beyond the year 2100, because large structures like dykes and delta works are not merely built for a period of twenty years.’

Living in a bathtub

‘I am one of the five Dutch representatives for part one of the three-part IPCC assessment report which was published in August 2021. This first part investigates the physical aspects of climate change. For example, we can see that the sea level rises due to the melting of glaciers and expansion of increasingly warm water, and that the contribution of the melting ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica continues to increase. An awful lot of water is enclosed in those ice sheets. For a rich country like the Netherlands, sea-level rise can still be accommodated for a while. But at a certain moment, we will be faced with an almost philosophical question: do we want to live in the Netherlands that is a figurative bathtub – surrounded by dykes that need to be built increasingly higher? With my research, I hope to contribute to a realistic picture of what we can expect in the coming years in our delta on the North Sea.’

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I am interested in understanding and projecting (regional) sea-level changes, and on translating these to the coastal/delta/estuarine environment. I like to take a broad approach and study both global and regional sea-level changes, by including all relevant contributions. My focus is on understanding the recent past (20th century) change and projecting future changes for the 21st century and beyond.

I joined the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research in January 2017 in the Department of Estuarine & Delta Systems (EDS), where I am responsible for sea-level change research, both in the open ocean and towards the coast. In 2023, I was awarded a Vidi grant to research 20th century regional sea-level change. I was a Lead Author of the IPCC AR6 report for Working Group 1: The Physical Science Basis (2021) and a Core Writing Team member of the IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report (2023). Before coming to NIOZ, I obtained my PhD at IMAU (Utrecht University, The Netherlands) and did postdocs at CSIRO Ocean and Atmosphere (Hobart, Australia) and IMAU.



    Former group members:

    • Dr. Carolina Camargo (Jan 2019 - Feb 2023) - PhD project funded by NWO gebruikersondersteuning Ruimteonderzoek - thesis here
    • Dr. Tim Hermans (Jan 2018 - July 2022) - PhD project funded by Tenure Track startup - thesis here
    • Brendan Oerlemans (May - Aug 2023) - MSc internship
    • Eike Schutt (April-June 2021) - MSc research
    • Yochi Andrawina (Jan-July 2021) - MSc research
    • Annette van den Engel (Nov 2019 - Sept 2020) - MSc research
    • Maryse Charpentier (April-Aug 2018) - MSc research

    I've contributed to several outreach videos, such as the NOS Watersnoodjournaal (episodes 1/3/5), Andere Tijden "Het Water Komt. Weer"; NOS stories rewind and a video from the Deltaprogramme (see videos below). For the release of the IPCC Synthesis report I recorded interviews for the NOS 8-uur journaal and NPO Radio 1.

    For more information about our research group, and links to publications, go to

    Linked news

    Thursday 29 June 2023
    Vidi grants for regional sea levels and ocean tipping points
    [Dutch follows English] Two NIOZ researchers will receive Vidi grants of 800,000 euros. The laureates are Dr Aimée Slangen, for solving the regional sea-level puzzle and Dr Rick Hennekam, for investigating tipping points in climate and ocean…
    Monday 12 June 2023
    The causes of 30 years of sea level rise worldwide identified
    Sea levels are rising almost everywhere on Earth. Satellites measure this very precisely. Sea level rise along the world's coasts is caused by a combination of different factors. Some factors will play a stronger role than others in the coming…
    Thursday 23 March 2023
    Flood risk ten times higher in many places within 30 years
    After the North Sea Flood of 1953, it took nearly 45 years to finalize the Delta Works. If we want to protect The Netherlands against sea-level rise, we shouldn’t wait too long. But how much time do we have left? Researchers from NIOZ, Utrecht…
    Monday 20 March 2023
    Latest and possibly final IPCC warning: Effective climate policy is more urgent than ever
    To have a fifty-fifty chance of meeting the 1.5-degree Paris target, in early 2020 the world could still emit 500 gigatons of CO2. Now, three years later, only 380 gigatons of that remains. As a result, in almost all scenarios, we exceed the 1.5…
    Thursday 26 January 2023
    Dossier: Dijkdoorbraken en natuurlijke kustverdediging
    Op 1 februari 2023 herdenkt Nederland de Watersnoodramp van 70 jaar geleden. Hoewel ons laaggelegen land sindsdien goed beschermd is geweest, stellen de gevolgen van klimaatverandering, zoals zeespiegelstijging en weersextremen Nederland voor nieuwe…
    Tuesday 19 April 2022
    Bringing order to the chaos of sea level projections
    In their effort to provide decisionmakers with insight into the consequences of climate change, climate researchers at NIOZ, Deltares and UU are bringing order to the large amount of sea level projections, translating climate models to expected sea…
    Friday 25 March 2022
    NIOZ viert 10 jarig bestaan in Zeeland
    Vandaag, 25 maart, is het gebouw van het Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee (NIOZ) in Yerseke feestelijk heropend na een flinke verbouwing. Ook vieren we het 10-jarig bestaan van NIOZ in Zeeland. Tijdens de opening spraken oa.…
    Thursday 05 August 2021
    Sea levels rising ever faster according to IPCC climate report 2021
    In 3,000 years, the average sea level has never risen as fast as in the last century, during which it has risen by 20 centimetres. And the sea level is rising faster and faster. Another 20 centimetres will be added in the next thirty years. If…
    Wednesday 14 October 2020
    Exploring Sources of Uncertainty in Steric Sea‐Level Change Estimates
    Ocean temperature and salinity variations lead to changes in sea level, known as steric sea‐level change. Steric variations are important contributors to sea‐level change and reflect how the oceans have been responding to global warming. For this…
    Tuesday 10 March 2020
    NWO ENW Groot award for a HIgh-Resolution approach for ice Shelf instability (HiRISE)
    Antarctica is the single largest unknown in the current projections of sea level rise. For a large part, this is due to the uncertainty of how ice shelves will evolve in a changing climate. The HiRISE consortium, which consists of TUDelft, IMAU,…

    Linked blogs

    Sunday 08 August 2021
    NIOZ podcast Van Delta tot Diepzee aflevering 14 De zeespiegel als thermometer van klimaatverandering
    Het IPCC-rapport 2021 is uit, het VN-klimaatrapport dat ruwweg om de zeven jaar verschijnt. Het rapport geeft een overzicht van de meest recente inzichten en bevindingen van klimaatonderzoek van experts dat over de hele wereld wordt gedaan.…

    NIOZ publications

    • 2023
      Camargo, C.M.L.; Riva, R.E.M.; Hermans, T.H.J.; Schütt, E.M.; Marcos, M.; Hernández-Carrasco, I.; Slangen, A.B.A. (2023). Regionalizing the sea-level budget with machine learning techniques. Ocean Sci. 19: 17-41.
      Hermans, T.H.J.; Malagon Santos, V.; Katsman, C.A.; Jane, R.A.; Rasmussen, D.J.; Haasnoot, M.; Garner, G.G.; Kopp, R.E.; Oppenheimer, M.; Slangen, A.B.A. (2023). The timing of decreasing coastal flood protection due to sea-level rise. Nat. Clim. Chang. 13(4): 359-366.
      Kopp, R.E.; Oppenheimer, M.; O’Reilly, J.L.; Drijfhout, S.; Edwards, T.L.; Fox-Kemper, B.; Garner, G.G.; Golledge, N.R.; Hermans, T.H.J.; Hewitt, H.T.; Horton, B.P.; Krinner, G.; Notz, D.; Nowicki, S.; Palmer, M.D.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Xiao, C. (2023). Communicating future sea-level rise uncertainty and ambiguity to assessment users. Nat. Clim. Chang. 13(7): 648-660.
      Le Cozannet, G.; Nicholls, R.J.; Durand, G.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Lincke, D.; Chapuis, A. (2023). Adaptation to multi-meter sea-level rise should start now. Environ. Res. Lett. 18(9): 091001.
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      Malagon Santos, V.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Hermans, T.H.J.; Dangendorf, S.; Marcos, M.; Maher, N. (2023). Improving statistical projections of ocean dynamic sea-level change using pattern recognition techniques. Ocean Sci. 19(2): 499-515.
      Meli, M.; Camargo, C.M.L.; Olivieri, M.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Romagnoli, C. (2023). Sea-level trend variability in the Mediterranean during the 1993–2019 period. Front. Mar. Sci. 10: 1150488.
      Nienhuis, J.H.; Kim, W.; Milne, G.A.; Quock, M.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Törnqvist, T.E. (2023). River deltas and sea-level rise. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 51: 79-104.
    • 2022
      Camargo, C.M.L.; Riva, R.E.M.; Hermans, T.H.J.; Slangen, A.B.A. (2022). Trends and uncertainties of mass-driven sea-level change in the satellite altimetry era. Earth System Dynamics 13(3): 1351-1375.
      Durand, G.; van den Broeke, M.R.; Le Cozannet, G.; Edwards, T.L.; Holland, P.R.; Jourdain, N.C.; Marzeion, B.; Mottram, R.; Nicholls, R.J.; Pattyn, F.; Paul, F.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Winkelmann, R.; Burgard, C.; van Calcar, C.J.; Barré, J.-B.; Bataille, A.; Chapuis, A. (2022). Sea-level rise: From global perspectives to local services. Front. Mar. Sci. 8: 709595.
      Hermans, T.H.J.; Katsman, C.A.; Camargo, C.M.L.; Garner, G.G.; Kopp, R.E.; Slangen, A.B.A. (2022). The effect of wind stress on seasonal sea-level change on the Northwestern European Shelf. J. Clim. 35(6): 1745-1759.
      Slangen, A.B.A.; Haasnoot, M.; Winter, G. (2022). Rethinking sea‐level projections using families and timing differences. Earth's Future 10(4): e2021EF002576.
      Zhu, Z.; Slangen, A.; Zhu, Q.; Gerkema, T.; Bouma, T.J.; Yang, Z. (2022). The role of tides and winds in shaping seed dispersal in coastal wetlands. Limnol. Oceanogr. 67(3): 646-659.
    • 2021
      Bell, A.R.; Wrathall, D.J.; Mueller, V.; Chen, J.; Oppenheimer, M.; Hauer, M.; Adams, H.; Kulp, S.; Clark, P.U.; Fussell, E.; Magliocca, N.; Xiao, T.; Gilmore, E.A.; Abel, K.; Call, M.; Slangen, A.B.A. (2021). Migration towards Bangladesh coastlines projected to increase with sea-level rise through 2100. Environ. Res. Lett. 16(2): 024045.
      Fox-Kemper, B.; Hewitt, H.T.; Xiao, C.; Aðalgeirsdóttir, G.; Drijfhout, S.S.; Edwards, T.L.; Golledge, N.R.; Hemer, M.; Kopp, R.E.; Krinner, G.; Mix, A.; Notz, D.; Nowicki, S.; Nurhati, I.S.; Ruiz, L.; Sallée, J.-B.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Yu, Y. (2021). 2021: Ocean, cryosphere and sea level change., in: Masson-Delmotte, V. et al.[s.d.] IPCC, 2021: Climate Change 2021: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
      Fox-Kemper, B.; Hewitt, H.T.; Xiao, C.; Aðalgeirsdóttir, G.; Drijfhout, S.S.; Edwards, T.L.; Golledge, N.R.; Hemer, M.; Kopp, R.E.; Krinner, G.; Mix, A.; Notz, D.; Nowicki, S.; Nurhati, I.S.; Ruiz, L.; Sallée, J.-B.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Yu, Y. (2021). 2021: ocean, cryosphere and sea level change supplementary material, in: Masson-Delmotte, V. et al. IPCC, 2021: Climate Change 2021: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
      Frederikse, T.; Adhikari, S.; Daley, T.J.; Dangendorf, S.; Gehrels, R.; Landerer, F.W.; Marcos, M.; Newton, T.L.; Rush, G.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Wöppelmann, G. (2021). Constraining 20th‐century sea‐level rise in the South Atlantic Ocean. JGR: Oceans 126(3): e2020JC016970.
      Hermans, T.H.J.; Gregory, J.M.; Palmer, M.D.; Ringer, M.A.; Katsman, C.A.; Slangen, A.B.A. (2021). Projecting global mean sea‐level change using CMIP6 models. Geophys. Res. Lett. 48(5): e2020GL092064.
      Nicholls, R.; Hanson, S.E.; Lowe, J.A.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Wahl, T.; Hinkel, J.; Long, A.J. (2021). Integrating new sea‐level scenarios into coastal risk and adaptation assessments: An ongoing process. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 12(3): e706.
      Palmer, M.D.; Domingues, C.M.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Boeira Dias, F. (2021). An ensemble approach to quantify global mean sea-level rise over the 20th century from tide gauge reconstructions. Environ. Res. Lett. 16(4): 044043.
    • 2020
      Camargo, C.M.L.; Riva, R.E.M.; Hermans, T.H.J.; Slangen, A.B.A. (2020). Exploring sources of uncertainty in steric sea‐level change estimates. JGR: Oceans 125(10): e2020JC016551.
      Han, G.; Ma, Z.; Slangen, A.B.A. (2020). Scenarios of twenty-first century mean sea level rise at tide-gauge stations across Canada. Atmosphere-Ocean 58(4): 287-301.
      Hermans, T.H.J.; Le Bars; Katsman, C.A.; Camargo; Gerkema, T.; Calafat, F.M.; Tinker, J.; Slangen, A.B.A. (2020). Drivers of interannual sea‐level variability on the Northwestern European Shelf. JGR: Oceans 125(10): e2020JC016325.
      Hermans, T.H.J.; Tinker, J.; Palmer, M.D.; Katsman, C.A.; Vermeersen, B.L.A.; Slangen, A.B.A. (2020). Improving sea-level projections on the Northwestern European shelf using dynamical downscaling. Clim. Dyn. 54: 1987–2011.
      Jiang, L.; Gerkema, T.; Idier, D.; Slangen, A.; Soetaert, K. (2020). Effects of sea-level rise on tides and sediment dynamics in a Dutch tidal bay. Ocean Sci. 16: 307-321.
      Palmer, M.D.; Gregory, J.M.; Bagge, M.; Calvert, D.; Hagedoorn, J.M.; Howard, T.; Klemann, V.; Lowe, J.A.; Roberts, C.D.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Spada, G. (2020). Exploring the drivers of global and local sea‐level change over the 21st century and beyond. Earth's Future 8(9): e2019EF001413.
      Richter, K.; Meyssignac, B.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Melet, A.; Church, J.A.; Fettweis, X.; Marzeion, B.; Agosta, C.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; Spada, G.; Palmer, M.D.; Roberts, C.D.; Champollion, N. (2020). Detecting a forced signal in satellite-era sea-level change. Environ. Res. Lett. 15(9): 094079.
    • 2019
      Hock, R.; Bliss, A.; Marzeion, B.; Giesen, R.H.; Hirabayashi, Y.; Huss, M.; Radic, V.; Slangen, A.B.A. (2019). GlacierMIP – A model intercomparison of global-scale glacier mass-balance models and projections. J. Glaciol. 65(251): 453-467.
      Wrathall, D. J.; Mueller, V.; Clark, P. U.; Bell, A.; Oppenheimer, M.; Hauer, M.; Kulp, S.; Gilmore, E.; Adams, H.; Kopp, R.; Abel, K.; Call, M.; Chen, J.; deSherbinin, A.; Fussell, E.; Hay, C.; Jones, B.; Magliocca, N.; Marino, E.; Slangen, A.; Warner, K. (2019). Meeting the looming policy challenge of sea-level change and human migration. Nat. Clim. Chang. 9(12): 898-901.
    • 2018
      Perry, C.T.; Alvarez-Filip, L.; Graham, N.A.J.; Mumby, P.J.; Wilson, S.K.; Kench, P.S.; Manzello, D.P.; Morgan, K.M.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Thomson, D.P.; Januchowski-Hartley, F.; Smithers, S.G.; Steneck, R.S.; Carlton, R.; Edinger, E.; Enochs, I.C.; Estrada-Saldívar, N.; Haywood, M.D.E.; Kolodziej, G.; Murphy, G.N.; Pérez-Cervantes, E.; Suchley, A.; Valentino, L.; Boenish, R.; Wilson, M.; Macdonald, C. (2018). Loss of coral reef growth capacity to track future increases in sea level. Nature (Lond.) 558(7710): 396-400.
      Slangen, A. (2018). How humans and rising seas affect each other. Nature (Lond.) 558(7709): 196-197.
      Vermeersen, B.L.A.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Gerkema, T.; Baart, F.; Cohen, K.M.; Dangendorf, S.; Duran-Matute, M.; Frederikse, T.; Grinsted, A.; Hijma, M.P.; Jevrejeva, S.; Kiden, P.; Kleinherenbrink, M.; Meijles, E.W.; Palmer, M.D.; Rietbroek, R.; Riva, R.E.M.; Schulz, E.; Slobbe, D.C.; Simpson, M.J.R.; Sterlini, P.; Stocchi, P.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; Van der Wegen, M. (2018). Sea-level change in the Dutch Wadden Sea. Geol. Mijnb. 97(3): 79-127.
    • 2017
      de Winter, R.C.; Reerink, T.J.; Slangen, A.B.A.; de Vries, H.; Edwards, T.L.; van de Wal, R.S.W. (2017). Impact of asymmetric uncertainties in ice sheet dynamics on regional sea level projections. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. 17(12): 2125-2141.
      Goodwin, P.; Haigh, I.D.; Rohling, E.J.; Slangen, A. (2017). A new approach to projecting 21st century sea-level changes and extremes. Earth's Future 5(2): 240-253.
      le Cozannet, G.; Nicholls, R.J.; Hinkel, J.; Sweet, W.V.; McInnes, K.L.; Van de Wal, R.S.E.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Lowe, J.A.; White, K.D. (2017). Sea Level Change and Coastal Climate Services: The Way Forward. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 5(4): 49.
      Meyssignac, B.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Melet, A.; Church, J.A.; Fettweis, X.; Marzeion, B.; Agosta, C.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; Spada, G.; Richter, K.; Palmer, M.D.; Roberts, C.D.; Champollion, N. (2017). Evaluating model simulations of twentieth-century sea-level rise. Part II: regional sea-level changes. J. Clim. 30(21): 8565–8593.
      Richter, K.; Nilsen, J.E.Ø.; Raj, R.P.; Bethke, I.; Johannessen, J.A.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Marzeion, B. (2017). Northern North Atlantic sea level in CMIP5 climate models - evaluation of mean state, variability and trends against altimetric observations. J. Clim. 30(23): 9383-9398.
      Slangen, A.B.A.; Meyssignac, B.; Agosta, C.; Champollion, N.; Church, J.A.; Fettweis, X.; Ligtenberg, S.R.M.; Marzeion, B.; Melet, A.; Palmer, M.D.; Richter, K.; Roberts, C.D.; Spada, G. (2017). Evaluating model simulations of 20th century sea-level rise. Part 1: global mean sea-level change. J. Clim. 30(21): 8539–8563.
      Slangen, A.B.A.; van de Wal, R.S.W.; Reerink, T.; de Winter, R.; Hunter, J.R.; Woodworth, P.L.; Edwards, T.L. (2017). The Impact of Uncertainties in Ice Sheet Dynamics on Sea-Level Allowances at Tide Gauge Locations. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 5(2): 21.
      Van De Lageweg, W.I.; Slangen, A.B.A. (2017). Predicting Dynamic Coastal Delta Change in Response to Sea-Level Rise. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 5(2): 24.
      Wahl, T.; Haigh, I.D.; Nicholls, R.J.; Arns, A.; Dangendorf, S.; Hinkel, J.; Slangen, A.B.A. (2017). Understanding extreme sea levels for broad-scale coastal impact and adaptation analysis. Nature Comm. 8: 16075.
      Wong, T.E.; Bakker, A.M.R.; Ruckert, K.; Applegate, P.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Keller, K. (2017). BRICK v0.2, a simple, accessible, and transparent model framework for climate and regional sea-level projections. Geosci. Model Dev. 10(7): 2741-2760.
    • 2016
      Marcos, M.; Marzeion, B.; Dangendorf, S.; Slangen, A.B.A.; Palanisamy, H.; Fenoglio-Marc, L. (2016). Internal variability versus anthropogenic forcing on sea level and its components. Surveys in Geophysics 38(1): 329-348.

    Linked projects

    PROTECT; WP7 Regional sea-level change & implications
    Aimée Slangen
    European Community || European Research Council
    Project duration
    1 Sep 2020 - 30 Sep 2024
    UUNIOZ_Cascading effects of sea-level rise on intertidal ecosystems
    Allert Bijleveld
    Utrecht University
    Project duration
    1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2025
    UUNIOZ_Cascading effects of sea-level rise on intertidal ecosystems
    Allert Bijleveld
    Utrecht University
    Project duration
    1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2025
    PROTECT; WP7 Regional sea-level change & implications
    Aimée Slangen
    European Community || European Research Council
    Project duration
    1 Sep 2020 - 30 Sep 2024
    Regional sea-level budget
    Aimée Slangen
    Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
    Project duration
    1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2022