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Issue 9, 2013
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Climate change and adaptational impacts in coastal systems: the case of sea defences

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Abstract

We briefly review how coastal ecosystems are responding to and being impacted by climate change, one of the greatest challenges facing society today. In adapting to rising and stormier seas associated with climate change, coastal defence structures are proliferating and becoming dominant coastal features, particularly in urbanised areas. Whilst the primary function of these structures is to protect coastal property and infrastructure, they inevitably have a significant secondary impact on the local environment and ecosystems. In this review we outline some of the negative and positive effects of these structures on physical processes, impacts on marine species, and the novel engineering approaches that have been employed to improve the ecological value of these structures in recent years. Finally we outline guidelines for an environmentally sensitive approach to design of such structures in the marine environment.

Graphical abstract: Climate change and adaptational impacts in coastal systems: the case of sea defences

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Article information


Submitted
17 Jun 2013
Accepted
16 Jul 2013
First published
16 Jul 2013

Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2013,15, 1665-1670
Article type
Frontier

Climate change and adaptational impacts in coastal systems: the case of sea defences

L. B. Firth, N. Mieszkowska, R. C. Thompson and S. J. Hawkins, Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2013, 15, 1665
DOI: 10.1039/C3EM00313B

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