This book is intended as a conceptual roadmap to show how some of the numerous pieces of complex coastal systems intersect and might interact under changing future environmental regimes. It is addressed to a non-technical but environmentally literate audience that includes the lay public, policy makers, planners, engineers and academics interested in the causes and consequences of global changes as they are likely to affect coastal systems. The book also outlines some strategies for anticipating and responding to the challenges that lie ahead.
The purpose is not to offer a technical treatise on how to build better numerical models or to provide the cognoscenti with new scientific details or theories. Quite on the contrary the authors aim to provide a holistic, easy-accessible overview of coastal systems and therefore use a writing style that is non-technical, nonmathematical and non-jargonized throughout. Wherever scientific terms are required to avoid ambiguity, a clear and simple definition is presented and those definitions are repeated in the glossary. The authors aim to communicate with all who care about the future of coastal environments.
In Part 1, they present some underlying general “big picture” concepts that are applicable to coastal processes and coastal change worldwide. Part 2 reviews some of the more important physical, ecological and societal causes and outcomes of coastal change. A selection of case studies of some prominent and highly vulnerable coastal regions is presented in Part 3. Some strategies for facilitating and supporting collaboration among the global scientific community to enhance future coastal resilience are outlined in Part 4.