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. 63, 2014-01-01

Are coastal managers detecting the problem? Assessing stakeholder perception of climate vulnerability using Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping
(Abstract...)

Encouraging renewable energy in the offshore environment
(Abstract...)

GIS-based risk assessment for the Nile Delta coastal zone under different sea level rise scenarios case study: Kafr EL Sheikh Governorate, Egypt
(Abstract...)

Dynamic modeling of urban areas for supporting integrated coastal zone management in the South Coast of São Miguel Island, Azores (Portugal)
(Abstract...)

Abstract

Are coastal managers detecting the problem? Assessing stakeholder perception of climate vulnerability using Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping

Critical barriers to adaptation to climate change include the timely detection and agreed definition of problems requiring adaptive action. In the context of local scale coastal management in north-western Europe, challenges to problem detection and identification are exacerbated by the diffuse nature of administrative, sectoral, and legal rights and other professional governance obligations. Yet, if adaptation is to progress in a manner that is both locally legitimate and in accord with national policies, climate signals must be detected and climate impact problems framed in similar ways by two key groups; local scale ‘bottom-up’ experts and decision makers, and national scale ‘top–down’ scientists and policy makers. With reference to case study sites in Ireland and Scotland, we employ participatory modelling with coastal stakeholders using Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM) to trial its potential in measuring and assessing stakeholder perceptions of climate vulnerability both individually and collectively. We found that FCM not only offers insight into the existing detection and framing of climate signals in coastal decision making but also provides a structured communication platform from which climate problems might be coherently integrated into future coastal management deliberations as the adaptation process matures.

Keywords: Coastal stakeholders; Climate vulnerability; Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM).

Source: S.R.J. Gray, A.S. Gagnon, S.A. Gray, B. O'Dwyer, C. O'Mahony, D. Muir, R.J.N. Devoy, M. Falaleeva and J. Gault (2013); “Are coastal managers detecting the problem? Assessing stakeholder perception of climate vulnerability using Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping”, Ocean & Coastal Management, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available Online: 11 December 2013 at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2013.11.008

Contact: s.gray@ucc.ie

Link: ScienceDirect

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Encouraging renewable energy in the offshore environment

Traditionally, offshore energy exploitation has occurred through production of fossil fuels. However, increasing attention is being focused on various forms of offshore renewable energy as it can reduce fossil fuel emissions, create green jobs, lead to local economic returns for coastal communities, and facilitate movement towards a low-carbon economy. Recent research indicates the presence of significant offshore energy in the form of winds, waves, currents, and tides. Spurred by the promising potential of these resources and an improving policy environment, efforts are under way in different offshore areas to assess resource potential, examine various technical approaches, and install renewable energy devices. Obstacles to development of this industry remain, and include technical difficulties, potential environmental impacts, and lack of funding. These obstacles must be overcome before the industry can become a viable alternative to carbon-based energy sources. Policy alternatives to overcome these obstacles, to stimulate offshore renewable energy development, and to level the playing field for these resources are discussed.

Keywords: Renewable energy; Offshore environment.

Source: J. Appiott, A. Dhanju and B. Cicin-Sain (2013); “Encouraging renewable energy in the offshore environment”, Ocean & Coastal Management, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available Online: 2 December 2013 at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2013.11.001

Contact: joseph.appiott@gmail.com

Link: ScienceDirect

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GIS-based risk assessment for the Nile Delta coastal zone under different sea level rise scenarios case study: Kafr EL Sheikh Governorate, Egypt

Sea level changes are caused by several natural phenomena, including mainly ocean thermal expansion, glacial melt from Greenland and Antarctica. It was estimated, in this respect, that global average sea level rose, during the 20th Century, by at least 10 cm. This trend is expected to continue and most likely accelerated during the 21st Century due to human-induced global warming. Global average sea level is expected to rise, by the year 2100, due to global warming between 0.18 and 0.59 cm. Such a rise in sea-level will significantly impact coastal areas due to the high concentration of natural and socioeconomic activities and assets located along the coast. The northern coastal zone of the Nile Delta is generally low land, and is consequently vulnerable to direct and indirect impacts of sea level rise (SLR) due to climate changes, particularly inundation. Despite the uncertainty associated with developed scenarios for climate change and expected SLR, there is a need, according to precautionary approach, to assess and analyze the impacts of SLR. Such an assessment, on one hand, can assist in formulating effective adaptation options to specific, sometimes localized, impacts of SLR. On the other hand, such an analysis can contribute significantly to the development of integrated approach to deal with the impacts of SLR. The objective of this paper is to assess and spatially analyze the risks of expected sea level rise (SLR), in particular inundation, and its implications up to the year 2100 in Kafr El Sheikh Governorate, Egypt, using GIS techniques. For that purpose, a GIS was developed for the study area and then utilized to identify the spatial extent of those areas that would be vulnerable to inundation by SLR. Moreover, various land uses/land covers susceptible to such inundation were identified. Results indicate that more than 22.59 % and 24.50 % of the total area of Kafr El Sheikh Governorate would be vulnerable to inundation under B1 and A1FI (IPCC most optimistic and pessimistic scenarios), respectively. No significant difference was noticed between the two scenarios in terms of spatial extent of SLR impacts. It was also found that a significant proportion of these areas were found to be currently either undeveloped or wetlands. Moreover, it was found that about 90.13 % of the vulnerable areas are actually less exposed to the risks of SLR due to the existence of a number of man-made features, not intended as protection measures, e.g. International Coastal Highway, that can be used to limit the areas vulnerable to inundations by SLR.

Keywords: GIS-based risk assessment; Nile Delta coastal zone.

Source: M. A. Hassaan (2013); “GIS-based risk assessment for the Nile Delta coastal zone under different sea level rise scenarios case study: Kafr EL Sheikh Governorate, Egypt”, Journal of Coastal Conservation, December 2013, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 743-754; Available Online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-013-0273-0

Contact: mhassaan@hotmail.com

Link: Journal of Coastal Conservation

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Dynamic modeling of urban areas for supporting integrated coastal zone management in the South Coast of São Miguel Island, Azores (Portugal)

Coastal areas are complex systems subject to significant erosion processes resulting from both physical and anthropogenic factors. This context introduces the importance of quantifying the impacts resulting from land artificialization increase, the assessment of coastal erosion and the development of strategies for achieving an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). In this study we employed the Land Transformation Model (LTM) to forecast urban growth to year 2014 in the South Coast of São Miguel Island, Azores (Portugal). Two different scenarios for modeling urban growth were tested: (1) one that considered an urban sprawl trend equivalent to the one measured between years 1998 and 2005, and (2) another that considered the restrictions included in the intervention area of South Coast Management Plan (POOC Costa Sul). The objective was to evaluate the impact of the POOC Costa Sul in the urban growth of the studied area. Results show that the POOC Costa Sul is not effective in containing urban growth quantities which are equivalent to the non-restricted scenario. However, it was possible to observe that it is effective in deciding where the urban expansion is likely to happen, preventing, for instances, the occurrence of urban growth near water lines or in the maritime public domain. We conclude that this type of models can be very relevant to manage and monitor coastal management plans.

Keywords: Modeling; Urban areas; ICZM; Azores, Portugal.

Source: R. Medeiros and P. Cabral (2013); “Dynamic modeling of urban areas for supporting integrated coastal zone management in the South Coast of São Miguel Island, Azores (Portugal)”, Journal of Coastal Conservation, December 2013, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 805-811; Available Online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11852-013-0280-1

Contact: raquel.t.medeiros@azores.gov.pt

Link: Journal of Coastal Conservation

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