Analysis of coastal climate change adaptation requires combining environmental and resource economics with other disciplines. Sea level rise, ocean warming and acidification, and increased storminess threaten to alter or intensify biophysical coastal changes. Communities respond in ways that neither maximize total economic value nor apply the appropriate spatial scale of policy response. Focusing on coastline change, particularly in North Carolina, we synthesize modeling approaches and empirical studies to identify research that is needed to support coastal climate adaptation policy. Modeling coastlines as coupled human–natural systems explains historical patterns of coastline change, clarifies the need for empirical estimates, and provides a roadmap for interdisciplinary policy analysis. Despite the extensive literature on coastal amenities, hazards, and ex post policy evaluation, more empirical information is needed to parameterize coupled models of complex coastal environments facing climate change. Extending coupled models of coastal adaptation to incorporate spatial dynamics and market and nonmarket values highlights fundamental problems with current governance structures. We conclude that to maximize total economic value in the coastal zone, adaptation will require governance coordination across multiple levels, attention to intensive and extensive margins of adaptation, and trade-offs across market and nonmarket values. These findings echo recent advances in fisheries bioeconomics.
To minimize the impacts of climate change on human wellbeing, governments, development agencies, and civil society organizations have made substantial investments in improving people’s capacity to adapt to change. Yet to date, these investments have tended to focus on a very narrow understanding of adaptive capacity. Here, we propose an approach to build adaptive capacity across five domains: the assets that people can draw upon in times of need; the flexibility to change strategies; the ability to organize and act collectively; learning to recognize and respond to change; and the agency to determine whether to change or not.
This paper describes a probabilistic approach for mapping of coastal flood hazards associated with sea-level rise and storm intensification toward the end of the 21st century. Under the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5, the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) predicts a 0.6-m ensemble mean of sea-level rise for the Central Pacific from the 1986–2005 to 2081–2100 epochs. Fifty downscaling simulations of the 2080–2099 period from the CMIP5 NCAR-CCSM4 model produce 2492 hurricanes around the Hawaiian Islands. In comparison with a control dataset for the 1980–1999 period, the simulated future hurricanes show a slight increase in number and a northward shift of the tracks toward the Hawaiian Islands. There are 627 hurricanes in the 2080–2099 dataset with potential impact on Oahu, and the top 24 storms selected by wind speed at the urban Honolulu coast define a scenario set for inundation mapping. A suite of spectral wave, circulation, and Boussinesq models in a nested grid system describes generation and propagation of surge and waves across the ocean as well as wave setup and runup at the coast. The interoperable package includes phase-averaged and phase-resolving processes to determine the coastal flood hazards over a range of spatial and temporal scales during a hurricane event. Since the simulated dataset corresponds to a quasi 1000-year period, barring the tail end of the distribution, the suite of inundation scenarios enables definition of flood hazard maps with return periods of up to 500 years or annual exceedance probabilities of 0.2% or greater for climate change adaptation.
Coastal erosion is a worldwide problem, so accurate knowledge of the factors involved in the shoreline evolution is of great importance. This study analysed three gravel beaches that were nourished with sand from the same source. However, the evolution of their shoreline was different in each case. For its analysis, different factors were studied such as the shoreline and cross-shore profile evolution, the maritime climate, sedimentology and mineralogy. From the results, it should be noted that Centro beach is the most stable with a loss of surface after the first regeneration of 12.8%, while Carrer de mar is the most instable with a loss of 20.9%. The Posidonia oceanica meadow is one of the factors that make Centro beach the most stable despite being the one that receives the most wave energy. Another factor is its mineralogy and more specifically the composition of the particles that form the sample. Thus, it is observed how the cracking or the formation of particles by different minerals with a fragile union, are factors that make the beaches behave differently against erosion. For this reason, it is concluded that in order for the shoreline to be as stable as possible over time, a previous study of the sediment to be used for nourishment is necessary, as well as its possible effect on the ecosystem, since the future shoreline evolution will depend on it.
Coastal communities around the world face challenges in planning for coastal flooding and sea-level rise related to climate change. This paper develops an approach for identifying typologies of communities on the basis of their hazard vulnerability characteristics. The approach first characterizes communities with a suite of vulnerability indicators, selected to meet criteria of breadth, relevance, and data requirements. Cluster analysis is then applied to the indicator profiles to identify groups of similar communities. The statistical centrotype of each group represents the corresponding community type. A new community from outside the original set can then be matched to the typology using a Hazard Vulnerability Similarity Index (HVSI). The approach is demonstrated with a case study of 50 communities on Canada's Pacific coast. Results yielded 10 community types, of which four were predominant. The types range from highly urbanized, wealthier, diverse central cities to remote, resource-dependent towns with semi-developed, flat coastlines. Three selected communities from a distant region, in Atlantic Canada, were then successfully matched to the most similar of these 10 types. Identifying groups of communities that share vulnerability profiles can facilitate sharing knowledge, lessons, and resources that are most relevant to local efforts to reduce natural hazard risk. This support may be especially valuable for connecting communities that are unfamiliar with one another, yet similarly vulnerable.
Evaluating progress towards environmental sustainability goals can be difficult due to a lack of measurable benchmarks and insufficient or uncertain data. Marine settings are particularly challenging, as stakeholders and objectives tend to be less well defined and ecosystem components have high natural variability and are difficult to observe directly. Fuzzy logic expert systems are useful analytical frameworks to evaluate such systems, and we develop such a model here to formally evaluate progress towards sustainability targets based on diverse sets of indicators. Evaluation criteria include recent (since policy enactment) and historical (from earliest known state) change, type of indicators (state, benefit, pressure, response), time span and spatial scope, and the suitability of an indicator in reflecting progress toward a specific objective. A key aspect of the framework is that all assumptions are transparent and modifiable to fit different social and ecological contexts. We test the method by evaluating progress towards four Aichi Biodiversity Targets in Canadian oceans, including quantitative progress scores, information gaps, and the sensitivity of results to model and data assumptions. For Canadian marine systems, national protection plans and biodiversity awareness show good progress, but species and ecosystem states overall do not show strong improvement. Well-defined goals are vital for successful policy implementation, as ambiguity allows for conflicting potential indicators, which in natural systems increases uncertainty in progress evaluations. Importantly, our framework can be easily adapted to assess progress towards policy goals with different themes, globally or in specific regions.
Although tourism destination governance has been a subject of academic enquiry for some time now, in practice, governance is still a challenge for many tourism destinations around the world. Adaptive co-management (ACM) is a dynamic approach to governance whereby institutional arrangements and ecological knowledge are continually revised through a process of ‘learning-by-doing’. Founded on the active participation and collaboration of diverse stakeholder groups, ACM has been used extensively in the governance of natural resource contexts and so may offer valuable synergies for tourism governance; particularly the governance of tourism in protected areas. This review paper presents a critical review and synthesis of the ACM literature, identifying synergies and opportunities for enhancing tourism governance practices in protected area contexts through an ACM approach. A conceptual framework is developed from the review that identifies principles, stages, variables and expected outcomes of the ACM approach. Future research directions for ACM in tourism are proposed that incorporate governance, social learning and multi-stakeholder engagement.
There is an increasing concern that anthropogenic noise could have a significant impact on the marine environment, but there is still insufficient data for most invertebrates. What do they perceive? We investigated this question in oysters Magallana gigas (Crassostrea gigas) using pure tone exposures, accelerometer fixed on the oyster shell and hydrophone in the water column. Groups of 16 oysters were exposed to quantifiable waterborne sinusoidal sounds in the range of 10 Hz to 20 kHz at various acoustic energies. The experiment was conducted in running seawater using an experimental flume equipped with suspended loudspeakers. The sensitivity of the oysters was measured by recording their valve movements by high-frequency noninvasive valvometry. The tests were 3 min tone exposures including a 70 sec fade-in period. Three endpoints were analysed: the ratio of responding individuals in the group, the resulting changes of valve opening amplitude and the response latency. At high enough acoustic energy, oysters transiently closed their valves in response to frequencies in the range of 10 to <1000 Hz, with maximum sensitivity from 10 to 200 Hz. The minimum acoustic energy required to elicit a response was 0.02 m∙s-2 at 122 dBrms re 1 μPa for frequencies ranging from 10 to 80 Hz. As a partial valve closure cannot be differentiated from a nociceptive response, it is very likely that oysters detect sounds at lower acoustic energy. The mechanism involved in sound detection and the ecological consequences are discussed.
Anthropogenic disturbances are altering the functioning and provisioning of marine ecosystem services, and as such, affect marine wildlife profoundly. A major problem in this context is resource competition between marine predators and fisheries. Marine protected areas (MPAs) can be a powerful tool to provide protection to predators and their prey; however, effective management strategies are required. A case study of African penguin conservation in South Africa was used to illustrate the benefits of embracing adaptive and dynamic management in the marine environment. The South African government plans to implement 22 new MPAs, which will maximise socio-economic benefits, while ensuring adequate ocean environmental protection. In Algoa Bay, the main purpose of the proposed MPA is to increase populations of the endangered African penguin Spheniscus demersus. We used the results of a seven-year experiment, in which purse-seine fisheries were closed around penguin colonies in that area, and concluded that the new MPA would provide a legal improvement to the current situation, but would not be sufficient to increase numbers of African penguin populations. For this, larger no-take zones are necessary when prey availability is low. At the moment, ongoing acoustic surveys could provide recommendations on prey availability to design flexible MPA boundaries. More advanced surveys will be necessary in the future to allow for the MPA's criteria to be adapted, and fully benefit penguins and the coastal community. As such, this study illustrates the usefulness of an adaptive and dynamic management approach for the conservation of marine resources and endangered top predators.
With the high rate of ecosystem change, effective systematic conservation planning must account for ongoing and imminent threats to biodiversity to ensure its persistence. Accordingly, guidance on appropriate conservation actions in the face of climate change has been accumulating. We review this guidance and bring together the key recommendations needed to successfully account for climate change impacts, relevant to the scale at which natural resource management is carried out. We discuss how the traditional conservation tools of protection and restoration need to be adjusted to be effective in the face of climate change. We highlight the conservation innovations such as moveable and temporary reserves, and Targeted Gene Flow. We build on recent work to provide critical advice for considering climate change in conservation planning. In particular, we discuss how stating explicit objectives related to climate change adaptation, quantifying uncertainty, and exploring trade-offs will better place conservation plans to meet objectives for multiple goals such as protection of species, ecosystems, geophysical diversity and ecological processes.