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President Broderick, Larry Atkinson and Elizabeth Smith at the Oceans 12 Conference

Hampton Roads is an urban area seeking solutions to the effects of climate change and sea level rise. Old Dominion University is a major research university in this urban coastal environment that can help provide leadership and solutions. Some facts:

  • local relative sea level is rising +4.43 mm/year (+1.45 ft/century, 1.7 inches per decade,
  • the opening of the Arctic Ocean to shipping will affect Hampton Roads economy,
  • new harmful species (e.g. ticks, mosquitoes, ballast water pathogens) are migrating to our region.

Researchers at ODU and regional policymakers seem to agree:

  • climate change and sea level rise (CC/SLR) is a challenge for this region and the university does have a distinct and important role in meeting that challenge, especially as it applies to an urban coastal environment.
  • this can be a productive area of research and education for faculty and students.
  • through this initiative, the university can play a positive role in the region, nation and world.

The Old Dominion University Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative is led by Larry Atkinson, Slover Professor of Oceanography, Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and an affiliate of ODU's Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography. Atkinson's research has focused on various aspects of the coastal ocean including descriptive physical oceanography, nutrient fluxes, gas exchange and more recently wind energy and climate change including sea level rise.