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. 93, 2016-07-01

Centralization and decentralization: Evaluation of marine and coastal management models and performance in the Northwest Pacific Region
(Abstract...)

Trends in the development of Estonian coastal land cover and landscapes caused by natural changes and human impact
(Abstract...)

Simulating the impact of urban development pathways on the local climate: A scenario-based analysis in the greater Dublin region, Ireland
(Abstract...)

Applying organized scepticism to ocean acidification research
(Abstract...)

Abstract

Centralization and decentralization: Evaluation of marine and coastal management models and performance in the Northwest Pacific Region

The marine and coastal management (MCM) in various coastal countries is closely related to the national political systems, history, economic development and maritime strategies of the countries. No region in the world embodies as many differences as the Northwest Pacific Region (NWPR). Against this complex background, this paper comparatively analyses the institutional arrangement and legal system of the MCM in this region, summarizes the characteristics and divides the five coastal countries around the NWPR into two models: the MCM of China and ROK belongs to centralization, and the MCM of Japan, DPRK, and Russia belongs to decentralization. To evaluate the MCM performance in the five countries, this paper establishes an indicator framework from the four elements of the institutional arrangement and management, the legal system, the coastal environment and the ocean economy, and the principal component analysis (PCA) method is employed as the weighting method to synthesize the evaluation results. The evaluation results demonstrate that compared to the other four countries, Japan performed better in terms of the institutional arrangement and management and legal system aspects; DPRK performed best in terms of the evaluation aspects of the coastal environment; and China performed best in terms of the ocean economy aspects. In terms of the general MCM performance, Japan performed best, followed by ROK, China and Russia, with DPRK performing the worst. Overall, the MCM in the NWPR after years of adjustment has been effectual, and the effectiveness of the MCM performance among different countries varies greatly. Regardless of the differences in the current effectiveness of the MCMs of these countries, it is a future trend to improve the coastal environment and develop the ocean economy according to one’s own development needs. Finally, the main areas to be improved in the various countries are proposed.

Keywords: Centralization; Decentralization; Northwest Pacific Region; Marine and coastal management; Evaluation.

Source: Wan-Ni Lin, Nuo Wang, Nan-Qi Song and Yue Lu (2016); “ Centralization and decentralization: Evaluation of marine and coastal management models and performance in the Northwest Pacific Region”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 130, October 2016, Original Research Article, Pages 30-42; Received: 11 September 2015; Revised 26 May 2016; Accepted: 27 May 2016: Available online: 4 June 2016 under doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2016.05.012

Contact: wangnuo@dlmu.edu.cn

Link: ScienceDirect

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Trends in the development of Estonian coastal land cover and landscapes caused by natural changes and human impact

The structure of coastal land cover in Estonia is intricate and exhibits considerable differences from site to site. The diverse geomorphology of the seashores is one of the key factors affecting the speed and magnitude of land cover changes. Likewise, the history of human inhabitance on the coast has also shaped the character of land cover. The Estonian coastal zone has experienced abrupt and radical changes in land ownership and its related land use during the last century. The main objectives of this paper are: 1) to give an overview of land use and the trends of development of land cover pattern along different parts of the Estonian coast; and 2) to analyze the relationships of natural and human processes and their cumulative impact on the evolution of coastal land cover pattern in Estonia. This study is based on results obtained during fieldwork in the study areas and on the analysis of large-scale (1:10,000) historical maps. In agriculturally dominant coastal areas, the traditional open landscape of fields and grassland at the beginning of the 20th century had been replaced by woodland and grasslands with shrubs by the start of the 21st century. Expansion of reed beds in areas of former seashore grasslands is another striking phenomenon. The structure of land cover on forested coasts has been fairly stable during the last 100 years. Areas of urban sprawl are characterised by dramatic changes in land cover structure. Rapidly increasing population and expanding settlements imposes on the ecological balance of the fragile dune forests in the coastal zone.

Keywords: Coastal landscape; Land cover pattern; Human impact; Baltic Sea.

Source: R. Rivis, A. Kont, U. Ratas, V. Palginõmm, K. Antso and H. Tõnisson (2016); “Trends in the development of Estonian coastal land cover and landscapes caused by natural changes and human impact”, Journal of Coastal Conservation, June 2016, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 199-209; First online: 9 March 2016.

Contact: Reimo.Rivis@tlu.ee

Link: Journal of Coastal Conservation

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Simulating the impact of urban development pathways on the local climate: A scenario-based analysis in the greater Dublin region, Ireland

In this study, the impact of different urban development scenarios on neighbourhood climate is examined. The investigation considers the relative impact differing policy/planning choices will have on the local-scale climate across a city during a typical climatological year (TCY). The aim is to demonstrate a modelling approach which couples a climate-based land classification and simple urban climate model and how this can be used to examine the impact differing urban forms and design strategies have on neighbourhood scale partitioning of energy and resulting consequences. Utilising the Surface Urban Energy and Water Balance (SUEWS) model (Järvi et al., 2011) hourly fluxes of sensible, latent and stored heat are simulated for an entire year under four different urban development scenarios. The land cover scenarios are based on those obtained by the MOLAND model for 2026 (Brennan et al., 2009) in our case study city Dublin (Ireland). MOLAND LULC are translated into local climate zones (Stewart and Oke, 2012) for examination. Subsequently, the types of building forms, vegetation type and coverage are modified based on realistic examples currently found across Dublin city. Our results focused on 2 principle aspects: the seasonality of energy partitioning with respect to vegetation and average diurnal partitioning of energy. Our analysis illustrates that compact scenarios are suitable form of future urban development in terms of reducing the spatial impact on the existing surface energy budget in Dublin. Design interventions which maintain the level of vegetation at a ratio ≥ 9:16 to artificial surfaces reduces the impact.

Keywords: Neighbourhood climate; Urban planning; SUEWS modelling; Surface energy balance; Low impact development; Local climate zones.

Source: P.J. Alexander, R. Fealy and G.M. Mills (2016); “Simulating the impact of urban development pathways on the local climate: A scenario-based analysis in the greater Dublin region, Ireland”, Landscape and Urban Planning, Volume 152, August 2016, Pages 72–89; Available online under: doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.02.006

Contact: paul.alexander@nuim.ie

Link: Landscape and Urban Planning

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Applying organized scepticism to ocean acidification research

“Ocean acidification” (OA), a change in seawater chemistry driven by increased uptake of atmospheric CO2 by the oceans, has probably been the most-studied single topic in marine science in recent times. The majority of the literature on OA report negative effects of CO2 on organisms and conclude that OA will be detrimental to marine ecosystems. As is true across all of science, studies that report no effect of OA are typically more difficult to publish. Further, the mechanisms underlying the biological and ecological effects of OA have received little attention in most organismal groups, and some of the key mechanisms (e.g. calcification) are still incompletely understood. For these reasons, the ICES Journal of Marine Science solicited contributions to this special issue. In this introduction, I present a brief overview of the history of research on OA, call for a heightened level of organized (academic) scepticism to be applied to the body of work on OA, and briefly present the 44 contributions that appear in this theme issue. OA research has clearly matured, and is continuing to do so. We hope that our readership will find that, when taken together, the articles that appear herein do indeed move us “Towards a broader perspective on ocean acidification research”.

Keywords: Academic scepticism; Calcification; Climate change; High CO2; Multiple stressors; Negative results; pH; Publication bias; Scientific method.

Source: H. I. Browman (2016); “Applying organized scepticism to ocean acidification research”, ICES Journal of Marine Science, February/March 2016, Volume 73, Issue 3, Pages 529-536; Received: 18 January 2016; Accepted: 19 January 2016; Available online under: DOI:10.1093/icesjms/fsw010

Contact: howard.browman@imr.no

Link: ICES

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