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.
Coastal areas are the typical “critical zones” for the planning activities. This paper illustrates the results realised by the L.a.co.s.t.a. Laboratory of the University of Molise in Italy, in order to compare the analysis of urban and territorial planning processes in force in Italy and in its Cross-border Countries along the Adriatic Sea. The work has examined the historical evolution of the laws and norms relating to the landscape protection in different situations, with particular attention to those preserving the landscape values in harmony with the territorial plans, to contrast the growing anthropic development especially along the coastal zones. The aim of our research is to define the different levels of territorial survey and develop a basic cartography for the countries involved in our survey so as to assure the validity of the methodology used in analysing the territory by taking into account the diverse territorial conditions of each country.
Keywords: Coastal zones; Landscape; Planning.
Source: D. Cialdea (2017); „Planning activities in coastal areas: Italian and cross-border approaches along the Adriatic Sea“, International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, Volume 12 (2017), Issue 5, Pages: 853 – 866; DOI: 10.2495/SDP-V12-N5-853-866
Carbon dioxide emissions are the main cause of anthropogenic climate change and play a central role in discussions on climate change mitigation. Previous research has demonstrated that national carbon dioxide emissions are driven mainly by population size and wealth. However, the variation in per capita emissions of nations with similar standards of living and similar population is huge. In this paper we investigate the drivers of national per capita carbon dioxide emissions over and above already known factors. In particular, we extend previous research by taking into account countries’ shares of imports and exports, indicators of political interventions such as energy prices, and the use of renewable energy sources. Moreover, we also examine whether international commitments, such as the ones made by many nations at climate summits of the United Nations, matter. We use country-level data from 1980 to 2014 and estimate fixed effects panel regression models. In accordance with former research we find no environmental Kuznets curve with respect to carbon dioxide per capita emission levels. However, higher energy prices and the availability of alternative energy sources both reduce emissions. Furthermore, voluntary international environmental commitments also motivate countries to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Keywords: CO2 emissions; Predictors; International environmental commitments.
Source: A. Franzen and S. Mader (2016); “Predictors of national CO2 emissions: do international commitments matter?”, Climate Change Journal, December 2016, Volume 139, Issue 3, Pages: 491 – 502; First Online: 21 September 2016; DOI:10.1007/s10584-016-1795-x
Globally the rapidly developing coastal zone is the focus of public interest and particularly since the 1970s many countries have advocated and adopted public participation as a key process in coastal development applications. This is acknowledgement of public interest in the decision-making regarding coastal developments. Taking Australia and China as examples, this research compares the practical performance and existing problems of public participation in regard to specific coastal development applications. Two marinas on the most rapidly developing coastal zones of these two countries were selected as study cases. A diversity of coastal stakeholders, including government officials, academics, businessmen, non-government organization staff and local residents, were interviewed in order to capture their detailed opinions on public participation. This comparative research analyzes the major findings and discusses reasons for public participation, approaches and timing of public participation and existing problems of public participation in coastal development applications. The similarities and differences between Australia and China may inspire researchers and managers to have more effective public participation in future coastal developments.
Keywords: Public participation; Coastal development applications; Comparison between Australia and China.
Source: S. Chen, S. Pearson, X. H. Wang and Y. Ma (2017); “Public participation in coastal development applications: A comparison between Australia and China”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 136, February 2017, Pages 19 – 28; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2016.11.016
Natural coastal dune systems provide protection against flooding from the ocean for many coastal communities around the world. An in-depth knowledge of their erosion mechanisms under oceanic stress can help to identify potential weak spots along the coastline and eventually prevent damage to the hinterland. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of hydro-morphodynamic phenomena on the coastal dune morphology during storm events and to evaluate their level of protection. This paper focuses on the physical processes that cause erosion and breaching of sandy dune systems, which are typically a function of the coastal morphology in combination with the hydraulic loading. An XBeach model was set up for the coast of Les Boucholeurs (France), which suffered from severe erosion, dune breaching (at six locations), and inundation of the hinterland during storm Xynthia in February 2010. The model was run for the full storm period, and it accurately reproduced the reported dune breach locations and dimensions with limited calibration. The model results were further utilized to study the temporal and spatial breaching dynamics and to understand the effect of the prestorm morphology on dune breach development. The results show that the dune behaviour during the storm was strongly related to the submersion height of the dune crest and anticorrelated with its prestorm geometry (i.e., dune height and width). The governing parameters for the poststorm dune state are, in terms of alongshore-averaged erosion and in order of relative contribution: submersion height over the dune crest, prestorm dune width, and prestorm dune crest height. Finally, additional simulations showed the limited effects of infragravity waves and the initial bathymetry used in the simulations.
Source: H. Muller, A. van Rooijen, D. Idier, R. Pedreros and J. Rohmer (2016); “Assessing Storm Impact on a French Coastal Dune System Using Morphodynamic Modeling”, Journal of Coastal Research In-Press; Received: 7 June 2015; Accepted: 10 June 2016; Revised: 10 October 2016; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-15-00102