Ecosystem-based management of coastal zones in face of climate change impacts: Challenges and inequalities
Climate change effects have the potential of affecting both ocean and atmospheric processes. These changes pose serious threats to the millions of people that live by the coast. Thus, the objective of the present review is to discuss how climate change is altering (and will continue to alter) atmospheric and oceanic processes, what are the main implications of these alterations along the coastline, and which are the ecosystem-based management (EBM) strategies that have been proposed and applied to address these issues. While ocean warming, ocean acidification and increasing sea level have been more extensively studied, investigations on the effects of climate change to wind and wave climates are less frequent. Coastal ecosystems and their respective natural resources will respond differently according to location, environmental drivers and coastal processes. EBM strategies have mostly concentrated on improving ecosystem services, which can be used to assist in mitigating climate change effects. The main challenge for developing nations regards gaps in information and scarcity of resources. Thus, for effective management and adaptive EBM strategies to be developed worldwide, information at a local level is greatly needed.