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.

Current issue Issue No. 102, 2017-04-03

Are coastal managers ready for climate change? A case study from estuaries along the Pacific coast of the United States
(Abstract...)

Sea surface temperature trends in Venice lagoon and the adjacent waters
(Abstract...)

Identifying the effect of climate variability on communal conflict through randomization
(Abstract...)

An assessment of integrated coastal management governance and implementation using the DPSIR framework: KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
(Abstract...)

Abstract

Are coastal managers ready for climate change? A case study from estuaries along the Pacific coast of the United States

A key challenge for coastal resource managers is to plan and implement climate change adaptation strategies inlight of uncertainties and competing management priorities. In 2014, we held six workshops across estuaries along the Pacific coast of North America with over 150 participants to evaluate resource managers' perceived level of understanding of climate change science, where they obtain information, how they use this knowledge, and their preparedness for incorporating climate change into their management decisions. We found that most resource managers understood the types of climate change impacts likely to occur in their estuaries, but often lacked the scientific information to make decisions and plan effectively. Managers stated that time, money, and staff resources were the largest obstacles in their efforts. Managers identified that they learned most of their information from peers, scientific journals, and the Internet and indicated that sea-level rise was their greatest concern. There was, however, variation in managers' levels of readiness and perceived knowledge within and among workshop locations. The workshops revealed that some regions don't have the information they need or the planning capacity to effectively integrate climate change into their management, with eight out of fifteen site comparisons showing a significant difference between their level of preparedness (F5,26 = 6.852; p = 0.0003), and their willingness to formally plan (F5,26 = 12.84; p = 0.000002). We found that Urban estuaries were significantly different from Mixed Use and Rural estuaries, in having access to information and feeling more prepared to conduct climate change planning and implementation (F2,29 = 17.34; p = 0.00001). To facilitate climate change preparedness more comprehensive integration of science into management decisions is essential.

Keywords: Sea-level rise; Wetlands; Collaboration; Workshops.

Source: Karen M. Thorne, Deborah L. Elliott-Fisk, Chase M. Freeman, Thuy-Vy D. Bui, Katherine W. Powelson, Christopher N. Janousek, Kevin J. Buffington et. al. (2017); “Are coastal managers ready for climate change? A case study from estuaries along the Pacific coast of the United States”, Ocean & Coastal Management, In Press, Corrected Proof; Available Online: 1 March 2017 under http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.02.010

Contact: kthorne@usgs.gov

Link: ScienceDirect

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Sea surface temperature trends in Venice lagoon and the adjacent waters

Two coastal lagoons and coastal waters in the northern Adriatic region, Italy, were examined to assess the anthropogenic impact on coastal sea surface temperature (SST). The first lagoon was the highly altered Venice lagoon, and the second was the largely natural Marano-Grado lagoon. There are converging lines of evidence for air warming in the Venice region since 1910 at a long-term rate of 0.095°C/decade. Since 1980, the warming has accelerated to 0.65°C/decade in the centre of Venice. The acceleration in air warming is also evident in the MOHAT4 data set from the northern Adriatic Sea, although the rate of warming is less (0.36°C/decade). This warming trend is mimicked in the HadISST1.1 data set of SST for the northern Adriatic Sea (0.33°C/decade), whereas no trend was detected before 1980. SST and air temperature in both Venice and Marano-Grado lagoons are highly correlated (r2 = 0.8): SST is on average 2°C cooler than the northern Adriatic Sea is, although differences appear to be diminishing because of rapid warming in Venice lagoon since 2008 (up to 1.75°C/decade). The warming in the lagoons appears to be greatest during winter months. By contrast, the greatest (post-1980) warming in the northern Adriatic Sea occurs during summer months. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (nighttime; MODIS) SST data shows that, on average, the Venice lagoon is 5% warmer than Marano-Grado lagoon is. This equates to a summertime mean temperature difference of 1.2°C. This difference is within the scatter of the data and suggests that there is no appreciable heat retention in the waters of the Venice lagoon because of local anthropogenic activity.

Keywords: Urban heat; Adriatic Sea; Marano-Grado lagoon.

Source: Carl L. Amos, G. Umgiesser, M. Ghezzo, H. Kassem and C. Ferrarin (2017); “Sea surface temperature trends in Venice lagoon and the adjacent waters”, Journal of Coastal Research, Volume 33, Issue 2: Pages 385 – 395; Received: January 31, 2016; Accepted: 28 April 2016; Revised: 6 June 2016; Available under DOI: 10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-16-00017.1

Contact: cla8@noc.soton.ac.uk

Link: JCR

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Identifying the effect of climate variability on communal conflict through randomization

In recent years, the focus of quantitative climate-conflict research has shifted from studying civil wars to studying different types of conflicts, particularly non-state and communal conflicts, based on the argument that these local-level conflicts are a more likely consequence of climate variability than civil war. However, the findings from previous research do not paint a consistent picture of the relationship between climate and communal conflict. We posit that a research design treating the climate variable as randomized is a better and more convincing strategy for estimating the relationship between climate variability and communal conflict compared to the conventional control method to account for confounders. In this paper, we ask two questions: (1) what type of research design allows us to treat climate variability as randomized and (2) what can we say about the relationship between climate variability and communal violence using this new design? To answer these questions, we analyze six large subnational areas, at a monthly time scale, and calculate the standardized precipitation index for each area for each month. We find that both short, unusually dry intervals and long, unusually wet intervals increase the likelihood of a communal conflict event.

Keywords: Climate variability; Communal conflict; Randomization.

Source: J. Nordkvelle, S.A. Rustad and M. Salmivalli (2017); “Identifying the effect of climate variability on communal conflict through randomization”, Climatic Change, April 2017, Volume 141, Issue 4, Pages 627–639; First Online: 24 February 2017 under DOI: 10.1007/s10584-017-1914-3.

Contact: sirir@prio.no

Link: Climatic Change

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An assessment of integrated coastal management governance and implementation using the DPSIR framework: KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Coastal areas are under increasing pressure driven by demands for coastal space, primarily though population growth, in migration and the need for space for socioeconomic activities. The pressures and associated changes to the coastal environment need to be managed to ensure long-term sustainability. South Africa has enacted an Integrated Coastal Management Act (ICM Act) to facilitate dedicated management of its coastal environment. The implementation has been met with a number of challenges, primarily relating to financial and human capacity constraints, particularly at the local government level. Given that the ICM Act devolves powers to local government, it is imperative that implementation challenges be addressed. This paper focuses on KwaZulu-Natal, one of four South African coastal regions, which is a renowned tourist destination and home to 11.1 million people (Statistics South Africa 2015 Statistics South Africa. 2015. Mid-Year Population Estimates. Statistical release P0302. Pretoria, South Africa: Statistics South Africa. [Google Scholar]). This paper considers the state of coastal management, as well as implementation challenges being experienced at a local governance level, and highlights ways to address these. Data were acquired through questionnaire surveys and semistructured interviews. The Drivers-Pressures-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework was used to identify relevant ICM issues and concerns and develop potential actions for improving the implementation of coastal management activities and the ICM Act. In the assessment of the ICM governance and implementation to date, a key concern identified was a general lack of coastal management knowledge among officials. It was specifically identified that knowledgeable management and capacity-building required championing from the provincial government in order to more efficiently and effectively implement the objectives of the ICM Act through an improved understanding of the coastal environment, its functioning and management.

Keywords: Coastal management; Constraints to implementation; DPSIR; Government capacity; Integrated coastal management.

Source: Bronwyn J. Goble, Trevor R. Hill and Michael R. Phillips (2017); “An Assessment of integrated coastal management governance and implementation using the DPSIR framework: KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa”, Costal Management, Pages 1-18; Published Online: 17 Mar 2017 under http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08920753.2017.1278144

Contact: bgoble@ori.org.za

Link: Coastal Management

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