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.

In this issue Issue No. 54, 2013-04-03

Estimating Rates of Acceleration Based on the 157-Year Record of Sea Level from San Francisco, California, U.S.A
(Abstract...)

Use of ecosystem services economic valuation for decision making: Questioning a literature blindspot
(Abstract...)

Identification of self-reported user behavior, education level, and preferences to reduce littering on beaches – a survey from the SE-Pacific
(Abstract...)

Corridors and Fragmentation in South Eastern Black Sea Coastal Landscape
(Abstract...)

Abstract

Estimating Rates of Acceleration Based on the 157-Year Record of Sea Level from San Francisco, California, U.S.A

The question of the acceleration of global sea level rise has gained increasing attention because the present rate of sea level rise is relatively small in comparison to the rates that are predicted to occur in the near future. Recent measurements have come under scrutiny on how to correctly analyze and interpret regional estimates of acceleration. In this context, we employ the Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition (EEMD), a data-adaptive method developed for the analysis of nonstationary and nonlinear data to estimate acceleration over the 157-year record of sea level from San Francisco, California. We define sea level acceleration (SLA) as the mean of the second differences of the residual from an EEMD. Using the residual provides a means by which to reduce or eliminate the contaminating influence of decadal and longer-period oscillations in sea level that are folded into estimates obtained using the conventional approach. For the entire record, a value of +0.011 ± 0.003 mm/y2 was obtained for the acceleration and its uncertainty, compared with +0.013 mm/y2, using the conventional approach. The effect of record length is examined by estimating the accelerations for truncated versions of the record, one starting in 1900 and a second in 1925. The accelerations differed in each case from the conventional values, as expected, because the methods are based on different definitions of SLA.

Keywords: Sea level; Acceleration; Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition; Residual; Polynomial Regression; Inflection Points; Truncated Record.

Source: L. C. Breaker and A. Ruzmaikin (2013); “Estimating Rates of Acceleration Based on the 157-Year Record of Sea Level from San Francisco, California, U.S.A.”, Journal of Coastal Research, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp. 43 – 51; Received: 6 March 2012; Accepted: 6 April 2012; Published Online: 16 July 2012; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-12-00048.1

Contact: lbreaker@mlml.calstate.edu

Link: JCR

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Use of ecosystem services economic valuation for decision making: Questioning a literature blindspot

Ecosystem Services economic Valuation (ESV) is often seen as a tool that can potentially enhance our collective choices regarding ecosystem services as it factors in the costs and benefits of their degradation. Yet, to achieve this, the social processes leading to decisions need to use ESV effectively. This makes it necessary to understand if and how ESV is or is not used by decision-makers. However, there appears to be a literature blindspot as to the issue of the Use of Ecosystem Services economic Valuation (UESV). This paper proposes a systematic review on UESV in peer-reviewed scientific literature. It shows that this literature gives little attention to this issue and rarely reports cases where ESV has been put to actual use, even though such use is frequently referred to as founding the goal and justification of ESV. The review identifies three categories of potential UESV: decisive, technical and informative, which are usually mentioned as prospects for the valuations published. Two sets of hypotheses are examined to explain this result: either the use of ESV is a common practice, but is absent from the literature reviewed here; or the use of ESV is effectively rare. These hypotheses are discussed and open up further avenues of research which should make the actual use of ESV their core concern.

Keywords: Ecosystem services; Economic valuation; Decision-making; Policy; Use.

Source: Y. Laurans, A. Rankovic, R. Billé, R. Pirard and L. Mermet (2013); “Use of ecosystem services economic valuation for decision making: Questioning a literature blindspot”, Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 119, 15 April 2013, pp. 208 – 219; Received: 21 March 2012; Received in Revised Form: 5 January 2013; Accepted: 11 January 2013; Available Online; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.01.008

Contact: raphael.bille@iddri.org

Link: ScienceDirect

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Identification of self-reported user behavior, education level, and preferences to reduce littering on beaches – a survey from the SE-Pacific

Beach litter is an environmental, health, and economic burden around the world. Reducing or eliminating beach litter requires a sound understanding of the beach users that often produce the litter. Education has consistently been promulgated as positively influencing environmental behaviors, though this is not well-investigated for the beach environment. In this citizen science project, school children surveyed the population in their various coastal communities in Chile, garnering over 900 responses nationwide. The survey included several domains concerning the problem of beach litter: demographic profiles of beach users (including education level), their littering behavior, and their disposition and preference towards solutions. Nearly half of the participants admitted to having littered in some way while the majority of those with college or graduate school education said they never litter, significantly more than lower education groups. A vast majority of the population endorsed a fine for beach littering. Community-level environmental education (for the entire population, including litterers) was the most common solution proposed by beach users, but was significantly less popular the more often the participant self-reported littering. Based on these results it is suggested that beach managers create multifaceted and localized solutions that involve several strategies (environmental education, fines, more trash cans) and also take into account the demographic profile of the beach users (including their education level), which could influence their littering behavior and support of potential solutions.

Keywords: Citizen science; Beach litter; Attitude; Solution; Survey; Environmental education.

Source: L. Eastman, P. Núñez Farías, B. Crettier and M. Thiel (2013); “Identification of self-reported user behavior, education level, and preferences to reduce littering on beaches – a survey from the SE-Pacific”, Ocean and Coastal Management, In Press, Accepted Manuscript; Available Online: 13 March 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2013.02.014

Contact: thiel@ucn.cl

Link: ScienceDirect

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Corridors and Fragmentation in South Eastern Black Sea Coastal Landscape

Green corridors are inevitable part of land cover and land use planning activities as they affect climate, hydrology and ecology of the urbanized regions. Detection and monitoring of green corridors and their relative functions are very important in terms of landscape management. They also carry information on changing speed from “green to grey” and fragmentation level of the urbanized regions. Analyzing the fragmentation level of the landscape formation reflects the management strategy and overall success of decision makers. This paper aims to assess landscape fragmentation in relation to green corridor planning for the first time on coastal section of Trabzon and Rize city centers from South Eastern part of the Black Sea. The study area is densely populated coastal region with linear-littoral formation. Remote Sensing (RS), Geographical Information System (GIS) and in-situ techniques were used to detect pattern and role of green corridors in the study area. Green coverage was extracted by using Support Vector Machine (SVM) classification algorithm. SVM classifier performed better on digital aerial images when compared to multispectral satellite data. After the classification, five land use/cover (LULC) classes were obtained: urban green areas, asphalt ways, water, other urban objects and shades with 94.64 and 96.53 overall accuracies for Trabzon and Rize cities, respectively. Shape related landscape metrics were computed to show the level of fragmented green covers in study area. Larger patches were observed in Rize with higher Largest Patch Index (LPI) values. Computed Area Weighted Mean Shape Index (AWMSI) and Area Weighted Mean Patch Fractal Dimension (AWMPFD) values indicated higher urbanization rates in Trabzon city. Green corridor networks were proposed for each city by considering the fragmentation level and landscape design rules. Finally, some implications were done towards creating ecologic cities in the context of sustainable landscape and ecological conservation.

Keywords: Green corridor; Fragmentation; Coastal zone; GIS; Remote sensing; Turkey.

Source: N. Guneroglu, C. Acar, M. Dihkan, F. Karsli and A. Guneroglu (2013); “Green Corridors and Fragmentation in South Eastern Black Sea Coastal Landscape“, Ocean and Coastal Management, In Press, Accepted Manuscript; Available Online: 13 March 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2013.02.025

Contact: nayhan@ktu.edu.tr

Link: ScienceDirect

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