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. 71, 2014-09-01

Coastal congestion: Simulating port expansion and land-use change under zero-sum conditions
(Abstract...)

Do weather fluctuations cause people to seek information about climate change?
(Abstract...)

Sea-Level Rise, Inundation, and Marsh Migration: Simulating Impacts on Developed Lands and Environmental Systems
(Abstract...)

Ecological governance in rural areas: Finnish approaches and practices
(Abstract...)

Abstract

Coastal congestion: Simulating port expansion and land-use change under zero-sum conditions

This paper examines the displacement effects associated with new land-use development in a congested coastal area. A land-use micro-simulation model (UrbanSim) and statistical estimation are used to identify the expected future land-use impacts arising from the proposed expansion of the Port of Haifa. Maximum and minimum development scenarios are simulated and compared to baseline (business-as-usual) conditions. Simulation outputs refer to future population, employment, residential and non-residential construction for the city of Haifa and its metropolitan area until the year 2038. A key finding relates to the spatial substitution effects of additional non-residential floor space on residential development throughout the Haifa region. This highlights the zero-sum effects of land-use change under conditions of congestion. The challenge of efficiently using limited land-use resources and balancing development across many competing uses and stakeholders, is stressed.

Keywords: Coastal congestion; Port expansion; Land-use change; Port of Haifa.

Source: D. Felsenstein et al., (2014); “Coastal congestion: Simulating port expansion and land-use change under zero-sum conditions”, Ocean & Coastal Management (2014); Available Online: 27 August 2014, In Press, Corrected Proof; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2014.08.001

Contact: msdfels@mscc.huji.ac.il

Link: ScienceDirect

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Do weather fluctuations cause people to seek information about climate change?

Learning about the causes and consequences of climate change can be an important avenue for supporting mitigation policy and efficient adaptation. This paper uses internet search activity data, a distinctly revealed preference approach, to examine if local weather fluctuations cause people to seek information about climate change. The results suggest that weather fluctuations do have an effect on climate change related search behaviour, however not always in ways that are consistent with the projected impacts of climate change. While search activity increases with extreme heat in summer and extended periods of no rainfall and declines in extreme cold in winter, search activity also increases with colder winter and spring average temperatures. Some of the surprising results are magnified when heterogeneity by political ideology and educational attainment in responsiveness is modeled, which could suggest that different people have different perceptions about what types of weather define climate change or that climate science deniers seek information through Google. However, the results also indicate that for all groups in the political and educational spectrum, there exist weather events consistent with the predicted impacts of climate change that elicit increased information seeking.

Keywords: Weather fluctuations; Climate change; Causes and consequences.

Source: C. Lang (2014); “Do weather fluctuations cause people to seek information about climate change?”, Climatic Change, August 2014, Volume 125, Issue 3-4, pp. 291-303; Received: 15 August 2013; Accepted: 9 June 2014; Published Online: 17 July 2014.

Contact: clang@mail.uri.edu

Link: Climatic Change Journal

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Sea-Level Rise, Inundation, and Marsh Migration: Simulating Impacts on Developed Lands and Environmental Systems

Sea-level rise is expected to affect natural and urban areas by shifting habitats and inundating infrastructure. To plan for a sustainable future, it is important to identify both human and ecological vulnerabilities to sea-level rise. Here, we simulate impacts to urban, developed lands and environmental systems from sea-level rise by analyzing land cover (surface cover) and land use (land purpose) in the Matanzas River study area in NE Florida. The Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) simulated land-cover change through wetland migration under three sea-level rise scenarios. Parcel data, including land-use classification and land valuation, was overlaid on the simulated, future land cover. Our analysis describes a 2- to 5-km-wide longitudinal band along the NE coast of Florida of expected land-cover change where sea-level rise will likely cause inundation and wetland migration. Under a 0.9-m scenario by 2100, 5,332 ha of land (5% of the study area) will be threatened by some type of land-cover change, and inundation was estimated to affect approximately US$177 million in present property value. The migration of wetlands out of current areas and into new areas is of particular concern because (1) those wetlands will have to keep pace with sea-level rise, and (2) accommodation space must be available for new wetlands to move into. Developed lands have the possibility of hindering up to 6% of the area that wetlands may migrate into. These methods and findings are important for sustainable planning under future climate change.

Keywords: Land cover change; Land-use change; Matanzas; Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM); Wetlands.

Source: A.C. Linhoss, G. Kiker, M. Shirley and K. Frank (2014); “ Sea-Level Rise, Inundation, and Marsh Migration: Simulating Impacts on Developed Lands and Environmental Systems”, Journal of Coastal Research, In Press; Received: 10 December 2013; Accepted: 14 May 2014; Received: 10 June 2014; Published Online: 9 July 2014; http://dx.doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-13-00215.1

Contact: alinhoss@abe.msstate.edu

Link: JCR

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Ecological governance in rural areas: Finnish approaches and practices

Along with the development of rural areas, rural ecological issues caused by inappropriate anthropogenic activities have not been drowned in the contexts of global environmental problems. The acceleration of rural development in developing countries would result in a series of potential threats to the deteriorating environment, if no effective governance strategies were applied. The significance of ecological governance in rural development has been widely recognized. Nonetheless, literature information available on successful approaches for ecological governance in rural areas is limited or fragmented. As a successful country in both urban and rural environmental protection, Finland has the advanced mechanism of ecological governance applied in all sectors of society. Based on an exploratory investigation, this study generally illustrates and discusses the Finnish approaches and practices in rural ecological governance. As a context of this research, the Finnish rural development in general has been discussed. Subsequently, this paper illustrates the Finnish approaches and practices in the governance of rural water, waste and land, followed by the discussion of the enlightenments for the promotion of rural ecological governance in developing countries. The main contribution of this paper resides in the experience sharing and learning to help developing countries or regions build up better ecological governance to support their rural development.

Keywords: Ecological governance; Rural development; Environmental instrument; Finland.

Source: L. Jiang, X. He and E. Hiltunen (2014); “Ecological governance in rural areas: Finnish approaches and practices”, Scientific Research and Essays, Vol. 9 (15), pp. 652 - 660, August 2014; Received: 16 June 2014; Accepted: 24 July 2014; Published: 15 August 2014; DOI: 10.5897/SRE2014.6007

Contact: lilyjiangwuhan@163.com

Link: Scientific Research and Essays

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