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. 111, 2018-01-02

Forty years of coastal zone management (1975–2014): Evolving theory, policy and practice as reflected in scientific research publications
(Abstract...)

The Paris warming targets: emissions requirements and sea level consequences
(Abstract...)

Is ecosystem-based coastal defense a realistic alternative? Exploring the evidence
(Abstract...)

Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan at La Manga Del Mar Menor (Spain)
(Abstract...)

Abstract

Forty years of coastal zone management (1975–2014): Evolving theory, policy and practice as reflected in scientific research publications

Since its implementation as public law in the United States in 1972, the theoretical foundation of coastal management has moved forward in diverse directions. Given the time elapsed since the passage of this influential legislation and the growing number of disciplines and scientific papers published on the topic, this work employed bibliometric and social network analysis methods to quantitatively and qualitatively assess coastal management literature published during the period from 1975-2014. The results indicate that coastal management research has increased significantly over time. The emergence of the topic in scholarly work coincides with passage of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (US Public Law 92–583), and increases in productivity can often be tied to the passage of important legislation or the publication of major policy documents for action on coastal issues. Social network analyses (SNA) indicate loosely connected networks of researchers and institutions, with highly collaborative subgroups that have a significant impact on the field. SNA results also highlight the importance of federal governments and international organizations in driving research and encouraging integrated management. The results indicate that the discipline is evolving to focus more on cross-boundary management strategies, systems perspectives, and consideration of both marine and terrestrial environments.

Keywords: Coastal zone management; Bibliometrics; Social network analysis; Research trends.

Source: T. Birch and E. Reyes (2018); “Forty years of coastal zone management (1975–2014): Evolving theory, policy and practice as reflected in scientific research publications”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 153, 1 March 2018, Original Research Article, Pages 1–11; Available online under DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.12.003

Contact: tbirch@lsu.edu

Link: ScienceDirect

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The Paris warming targets: emissions requirements and sea level consequences

The Paris Agreement states that, relative to pre-industrial times, the increase in global average temperature should be kept to well below 2 °C and efforts should be made to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C. Emissions scenarios consistent with these targets are derived. For an eventual 2 °C warming target, this could be achieved even if CO2 emissions remained positive. For a 1.5 °C target, CO2 emissions could remain positive, but only if a substantial and long-lasting temperature overshoot is accepted. In both cases, a warming overshoot of 0.2 to 0.4 °C appears unavoidable. If the allowable (or unavoidable) overshoot is small, then negative emissions are almost certainly required for the 1.5 °C target, peaking at negative 1.3 GtC/year. In this scenario, temperature stabilization occurs, but cumulative emissions continue to increase, contrary to a common belief regarding the relationship between temperature and cumulative emissions. Changes to the Paris Agreement to accommodate the overshoot possibility are suggested. For sea level rise, tipping points that might lead to inevitable collapse of Antarctic ice sheets or shelves might be avoided for the 2 °C target (for major ice shelves) or for the 1.5 °C target for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Even with the 1.5 °C target, however, sea level will continue to rise at a substantial rate for centuries.

Keywords: Paris agreement; Warming; Emissions scenarios; Sea level consequences.

Source: T.M.L. Wigley (2017); “The Paris warming targets: emissions requirements and sea level consequences”, Climatic Change, Pages: 1 - 15; Available online under DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-017-2119-5

Contact: tmlwigley@gmail.com

Link: tmlwigley@gmail.com

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Is ecosystem-based coastal defense a realistic alternative? Exploring the evidence

Low Elevation Coastal Zones (LECZ) are located at less than 10 m above sea level. Because of human encroachment, combined with sea level rise and increased storminess, LECZ are at an increasing risk of flooding and erosion. In consequence, there is a growing need for shoreline protection. Traditionally, hard infrastructure was used, with positive local results, but negative regional impacts when flows were not maintained. Therefore, ecosystem-based coastal protection has been considered as an alternative. We explored the scientific literature to look for evidence that proves the effectiveness of natural ecosystems for protection against flooding and erosion, when these events are a problem to society. We found that although the protective role of vegetation has been mentioned for over 50 years, most of the studies date from the last decade and have been performed in the USA and the Netherlands. Mangroves, saltmarshes and coastal dunes are the ecosystems most frequently studied. The evidence we found includes anecdotal observations, experimental tests, mathematical analyses, models and projections, economic valuations and field observations. Although mostly effective, there are limitations of an ecosystem-based approach and probably, different strategies can be combined so that protection is improved while additional ecosystem services are maintained. We conclude that, besides improving coastal protection strategies, it is fundamental to reduce human pressure by mobilizing populations inland (or at least promoting new developments further inland), and minimizing the negative impact of human activities. We need to be better prepared to deal with the climate change challenges that will affect LECZ in the not very distant future.

Keywords: Coastal dunes; Wetlands; Protection; Storm surge; Flooding erosion. 

Source: K. Salgado and M. L. Martinez (2017); “Is ecosystem-based coastal defense a realistic alternative? Exploring the evidence”, Journal of Coastal Conservation, December 2017, Volume 21, Issue 6, Pages: 837 - 848; First online: 16 August 2017 under DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11852-017-0545-1

Contact: marisa.martinez@inecol.mx

Link: Journal of Coastal Conservation

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Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan at La Manga Del Mar Menor (Spain)

La Manga del Mar Menor is a spit between the Mediterranean Sea and the Minor Sea. The dimensions of this sandbar are about 20 km length and about 100 m of average wide, with only one access at South by landside. Due to its natural attractive, beaches, weather, gastronomy and diversity of leisure options, La Manga is the main seaside tourist town in the Region of Murcia (Spain). It is an attractive area, mainly in July and August, when traffic problems increase significantly. Note that, because of its dimensions there is only one access route and one exit route. This physical limitation makes congestion worse because there is not enough space to alternative routes. Moreover, all external effects related to traffic, such as noise and pollution, also increase. These effects damage the initial quality of life of this area and cast serious doubts on his sustainability. A Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) has been developed at La Manga in order to encourage sustainable mobility through a rational use of the private car and to ensure and make easier the intermodality among public transport, bicycles and pedestrian areas. Two packages of measures have been developed. Specifically, infrastructural measures focus on improving sustainable mobility. For example, a dissuasive car park near to intermodal area to connect all transport mode easily, measures to improve fluidity of local buses or safe cycle-lines. All these measures are evaluated economically. The other package of measures is focused on economic measures, such as intermodal transport card or environmental taxes. These measures are described qualitatively. Currently, the local government is studying all proposals in order to agree on clear responsibilities and, allocate budgets to put them into practice, to transform La Manga in a place with quality of life throughout years.

Keywords: Cycle-lines; Dissuasive car park; Intermodality; La Manga del Mar Menor; Pedestrians; Public transport; SUMP.

Source: P. Jiménez, A. Martínez and M. Calatrava (2018); “Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan At La Manga Del Mar Menor (Spain)”, International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, Volume 13 (2018), Issue 4, Pages: 594 - 604; Available online under DOI: https://www.witpress.com/elibrary/sdp-volumes/13/4/2050

Contact: pedro.jimenezguerrero@um.es

Link: WITTPress

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