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Coastal Climate Change - Biodiversity and nature conservation (2014)


Climate change is one of the main current and future challenges to humankind, and it already greatly affects the world’s ecosystems, economy and society. Coastal areas are, not only, a hotspot of human activities, but are also especially vulnerable to predicted climate change effects such as sea level rise and extreme hydrometeorological events as floods and storm surges. Coastline modifications as for example the construction of ports and coastal protection measures, but also indirect impacts, such as eutrophication and the emission of pollutants, have led to drastic changes in ecological conditions. The causes, but also the effects, of these changes are reflected across scales, from local to global. This has direct implications for nature conservation, and for the management of protected areas and biodiversity. In vast areas habitats have been degraded and biodiversity has declined.
A particular challenge lies in the uncertainty, and difficulty to predict future impacts of climate change on coastal-marine ecosystems and biodiversity. Potential consequences on the function of ecosystems and biodiversity are only recently in the focus of research. Besides efforts to mitigate, or reduce, further adverse impacts, e.g. by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, it is essential to adapt to these changes. This includes measures to protect coastal infrastructure, but also the adjustment of nature conservation strategies.
This issue of the EUCC (Coastal & Marine Union) quarterly magazine illustrates examples of impact assessment and adaptation approaches in the sphere of biodiversity and ecosystem conservation and management, including experiences from Baltic Sea, North Sea, Wadden Sea, and Mediterranean Sea.

Reference information

EUCC - Coastal and Marine Union


EUCC, Ecosystem, biodiversity, habitats, marine protected areas, nature conservation

Climate impacts

Extreme Temperatures, Flooding, Sea Level Rise, Storms


Vulnerability Assessment, Adaptation Measures and Actions


Biodiversity, Coastal areas, Marine and Fisheries

Geographic characterisation


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