Predicting coastal changes on a changing planet

November 15, 2007

Boulder, CO, USA -Geoscientists are beginning to unravel the complex web of interactions among climate change and geological processes that alters coastlines on which a sizeable percentage of Earth's inhabitants live. As debates over sustainable coastal development heat up, a new publication from the Geological Society of America focuses on development of integrated predictive computer models of coastal change.

Coastline Changes: Interrelation of Climate and Geological Processes reflects the many forces at work in coastal change. They include sea-level rise due to melting glaciers, depletion of groundwater reservoirs, and thermal expansion of gradually warming ocean water. Some of the underlying contributing factors include greenhouse gas additions to the atmosphere, vertical tectonic motions, sedimentary processes, and changes in atmospheric pressure systems and ocean currents, waves, and tides.

"Sea level and coastline change is an increasingly important issue for people living along the edge of Earth's oceans and seas," said William W. Hay, University of Colorado (emeritus), Boulder, Colorado, USA, co-editor of the volume. "The influence of coastal change on humankind is not a new phenomenon, however, and understanding the past provides a key to modeling future change."

Hay, along with lead editor Jan Harff, Baltic Sea Research Institute, Rostock, Germany, and co-editor Daniel Tetzlaff, Schlumberger Information Solutions, Houston, Texas, USA, emphasizes that coastal protection and sustainable development must take into account natural driving forces of change and socioeconomic reactions to those changes. Long-term projections are needed to support effective long-term coastal planning. According to Hay, "These can be facilitated through models based on reconstruction of past sequences of events and projection of process interactions, which operate at different time scales, into the future."

According to Hay, inspiration for the book came from a session on past and future coastal change held at the 32nd International Geological Congress held in Florence, Italy, in August 2004.

Papers in the first section explore models of coastal change and the forces driving it. Papers in the second part examine effects of coastal change in specific areas including the Arctic, Baltic Sea, North Sea, Black Sea, Sinius Peninsula (western Sardinia, Italy), and Pearl River Delta (China).
-end-
Individual copies may be purchased through the Geological Society of America online bookstore (http://rock.geosociety.org/Bookstore/default.asp?pID=SPE426) or by contacting GSA Sales and Service, gsaservice@geosociety.org.

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting Jeanette Hammann, jhammann@geosociety.org.

Coastline Changes: Interrelation of Climate and Geological Processes
Jan Harff, William W. Hay, and Daniel M. Tetzlaff (eds.)
Geological Society of America Special Paper 426
2007, 214 pages, US$50.00, GSA member price US$35.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-2426-3

www.geosociety.org

Geological Society of America

Related Climate Change Articles from Brightsurf:

Are climate scientists being too cautious when linking extreme weather to climate change?
Climate science has focused on avoiding false alarms when linking extreme events to climate change.

Mysterious climate change
New research findings underline the crucial role that sea ice throughout the Southern Ocean played for atmospheric CO2 in times of rapid climate change in the past.

Mapping the path of climate change
Predicting a major transition, such as climate change, is extremely difficult, but the probabilistic framework developed by the authors is the first step in identifying the path between a shift in two environmental states.

Small change for climate change: Time to increase research funding to save the world
A new study shows that there is a huge disproportion in the level of funding for social science research into the greatest challenge in combating global warming -- how to get individuals and societies to overcome ingrained human habits to make the changes necessary to mitigate climate change.

Sub-national 'climate clubs' could offer key to combating climate change
'Climate clubs' offering membership for sub-national states, in addition to just countries, could speed up progress towards a globally harmonized climate change policy, which in turn offers a way to achieve stronger climate policies in all countries.

Review of Chinese atmospheric science research over the past 70 years: Climate and climate change
Over the past 70 years since the foundation of the People's Republic of China, Chinese scientists have made great contributions to various fields in the research of atmospheric sciences, which attracted worldwide attention.

A CERN for climate change
In a Perspective article appearing in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Tim Palmer (Oxford University), and Bjorn Stevens (Max Planck Society), critically reflect on the present state of Earth system modelling.

Fairy-wrens change breeding habits to cope with climate change
Warmer temperatures linked to climate change are having a big impact on the breeding habits of one of Australia's most recognisable bird species, according to researchers at The Australian National University (ANU).

Believing in climate change doesn't mean you are preparing for climate change, study finds
Notre Dame researchers found that although coastal homeowners may perceive a worsening of climate change-related hazards, these attitudes are largely unrelated to a homeowner's expectations of actual home damage.

Older forests resist change -- climate change, that is
Older forests in eastern North America are less vulnerable to climate change than younger forests, particularly for carbon storage, timber production, and biodiversity, new research finds.

Read More: Climate Change News and Climate Change Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.