Welcome to PAP/RAC Mediterranean Coastal Alert! This newsletter is regularly updated monthly. It contains abstracts of selected current articles and archives on various environmental themes, in particular those dealing with all aspects of coastal issues. The selection is made from the articles published in the leading international scientific journals. This newsletter is an excellent way of keeping you updated with coastal studies and processes.
This paper describes a decision-support system based on landscape ecology and focused on the study of ecosystems’ health. System capabilities are illustrated with three cases of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), in the Adriatic Sea (Italy): the lagoon of Venice and the Rimini and Ancona coastal areas. Indicators and indices are developed with a focus on sub-regional and local problems in coastal management, with a multi-scale approach based on landscape and seascape ecology. Land-use changes of the coastal areas were detected by analysing two sets of satellite images. Indices combining satellite imagery, socio-economic and environmental indicators, and landscape and seascape maps were created, showing ecological changes, habitat loss and gaps in conservation policy. The approach used provides means for the identification of conflicts and for the assessment of sustainability. Results show that the lagoon of Venice plays an important role in mitigating and compensating the impacts of human activities, and needs to be protected and restored. The Rimini area shows high ecological footprint and development-intensity and low biocapacity. The Ancona area needs the protection of its natural coastal space from potential sources of anthropogenic impacts to maintain its sustainability. A model of environment changes is critical for formulating effective environmental policies and management strategies. The developed decision-support system provides a suitability map per each area analysed, which can be used in order to maximise different policy objectives and reduce coastal conflicts.
Source: L. Marotta, L. CeccaronI, G. MatteuccI, P. Rossini and S. Guerzoni (2010); “A decision-support system in ICZM for protecting the ecosystems: integration with the habitat directive”, Journal of Coastal Conservation; Received: 22 September 2009; Revised: 14 June 2010; Accepted: 14 June 2010; Published Online: 28 July 2010, under DOI: 10.1007/s11852-010-0106-3.
The seacoasts protection does not stand standard solutions. Every part of a shore needs to be creatively approached and its hydrodynamic, lithodynamic, geological, geomorphological and other peculiarities must be thoroughly studied for each particular situation. It takes a complex scientific approach considering not only local features, but also the reaction of the whole lithodynamic system in limits of which the coast protective activity is planned with consideration of calculated hydrodynamic parameters (waves, sea level, etc.).
Keywords: Black Sea region; Coastal zone; Coasts erosion; Lithodynamics; Hydrodynamics.
Source: R. Kos’yan, S. Kuklev, B. Khanukaev and A. Kochergin (2010); “Problems of the coasts erosion in the North–Eastern Black Sea Region”, Journal of Coastal Conservation; Received: 23 April 2010; Revised: 14 July 2010; Accepted: 16 July 2010; Published Online: 28 July 2010, under DOI: 10.1007/s11852-010-0115-2.
This paper describes the application of coastal hydro-informatic modelling (using the TELEMAC Modelling System) to address management issues arising from projected hydrodynamical and morphological changes within a shallow, sandy estuarine environment. The model incorporates the complex interaction of ocean, terrestrial and atmospheric processes. The case study of the Dyfi Estuary, on the west coast of Wales, is highlighted here. As sea levels have risen locally and are predicted to rise further, a National Nature Reserve (Borth Bog), which has been reclaimed from tidal waters by embankments, will be at increasing risk from flooding episodes due to overtopping of these embankments at high tide. Present and predicted future tidal-fluvial scenarios have been modelled in the Dyfi Estuary in order to estimate the potential for flooding. In addition, areas of greatest velocity change and potential for sediment erosion/accretion have been identified. A further process that has been investigated is how salt marsh migration is affected by sea-level rise. This case study exemplifies some fundamental and complex physical processes inherent to estuaries, and shows how different management options can be assessed, before their implementation, through a modelling approach.
Source: P.E. Robins, A.G. Davies and R. Jones (2010); “Application of a Coastal Model to Simulate Present and Future Inundation and Aid Coastal Management”, Journal of Coastal Conservation; Received: 26 April 2010; Revised: 12 July 2010; Accepted: 14 July 2010; Published Online: 10 August 2010, under DOI: 10.1007/s11852-010-0113-4.
Many of the decisions relating to future urban development require information on climate change risks to cities. This review of the academic and “grey” literature provides an overview assessment of the state-of-the-art in the quantification and valuation of climate risks at the city-scale. We find that whilst a small number of cities, mostly in OECD countries, have derived quantitative estimates of the costs of climate change risks under alternative scenarios, this form of analysis is in its infancy. The climate risks most frequently addressed in existing studies are associated with sea-level rise, health and water resources. Other sectors such as energy, transport, and built infrastructure remain less studied. The review has also undertaken a case study to examine the progress in two cities - London and New York, which are relatively advanced in the assessment of climate risks and adaptation. The case studies show that these cities have benefited from stakeholder engagement at an early stage in their risk assessments. They have also benefited from the development of specific institutional responsibilities for co-ordinating such research from the outset. This involvement has been critical in creating momentum and obtaining resources for subsequent in-depth analysis of sectoral impacts and adaptation needs. While low cost climate down-scaling applications would be useful in future research, the greatest priority is to develop responses that can work within the high future uncertainty of future climate change, to build resilience and maintain flexibility. This can be best used within the context of established risk management practices.
Source: A. Hunt and P. Watkiss (2010) “Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation in Cities: a Review of the Literature”, Climatic Change; Received: 28 July 2009; Accepted: 6 July 2010; Published Online: 8 December 2010, under DOI: 10.1007/s10584-010-9975-6.