Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

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My Research

For my PhD I am studying the use of global and regional climate models to simulate sea-level change and variability. To produce process-based projections of both global and regional sea-level change, often the simulations of a set of global climate models are being used. Different global climate models have a different sensitivity to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and I am interested in how this affects their projections of global warming, and correspondingly, of global mean sea-level change.

Furthermore, regional sea-level change can deviate strongly from the global mean, which is especially relevant for coastal zones. The coarse resolution of most global climate models limits their ability to provide accurate sea-level projections for coastal zones. To improve regional sea-level projections, I have studied the use of a technique called dynamical downscaling. Using a high-resolution regional ocean model developed at the Met Office, I refined the sea-level simulations of two global climate models in the region northwest of Europe. Additionally, I have developed a regional model and used sensitivity experiments to investigate what drives interannual sea-level variability in this area. These insights help to better detect current sea-level trends from satellite altimetry and tide gauge observations and distinguish them from background variability.

About Me

I started at the Estuarine & Delta Systems department of NIOZ as a PhD student in 2018, under supervision of Aimée Slangen, Caroline Katsman and Bert Vermeersen. Before that, I received my BSc degree in Mechanical Engineering at University of Twente in 2015, and my MSc degree in Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology in 2017.  During my MSc thesis I studied glacial isostatic adjustment in Antarctica using 3D numerical models. Alongside my PhD, I am also a Chapter Scientist for Chapter 9: Ocean, cryosphere, and sea-level change of the IPCC AR6, contibuting to the projections of sea-level change and changes in sea-level extremes.


Tim Hermans