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Article from the June 2012 edition
Coastal hotspots, river syndromes, and coastal syndromes
Coastal hotspots, river syndromes, and coastal syndromes.
The coastal syndromes and hotspots on the coast
This paper by members of the Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) group, including IAN alumnus, Tim Carruthers, discusses how human intervention has resulted in a number of global and river syndromes that are mirrored by coastal syndromes. These problems are now global, with few coastal zones remaining unaffected and pristine. However, the problems are particularly severe at "hotspots" in the coastal zone. These include river-mouth systems where fluxes of water, sediment, fertilizers and contaminants are focused; urbanized coasts and megacities where vulnerable populations are concentrated; Arctic coasts where the effects of climate change are accelerating a fundamental state change; and, at low lying coasts that are at risk of flooding, storm surges, sea-level rise and subsidence such as Micronesian island states where managed realignment and setback is not an option. A range of societal responses and appropriate governance frameworks will be necessary to treat the coastal syndromes.

The Integration & Application Network is an initiative of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
Further information: www.ian.umces.edu