Sea Level Rise

The global average sea level is rising, spilling onto low-lying land, and increasing the frequency, magnitude, and duration of coastal inundation events. Scientists are confident that the sea level will continue to rise through the end of this century and beyond.

The ocean, a vast and intricate ecosystem

A beach is defined as an accumulation of sediment–usually sand or gravel–that occupies a portion of the coast.

A Sustainable Blue Economy that protects the world’s oceans, is emblematic of the efforts to address environmental degradation without taking the action scientists say is needed to combat climate change, even as it devastates the oceans.

BLUE ECONOMY IS A TERM IN ECONOMICS RELATING TO THE EXPLOITATION, PRESERVATION AND REGENERATION OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT. ITS SCOPE OF INTERPRETATION VARIES AMONG ORGANIZATIONS.

The science reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is IRREFUTABLE.

AWAVENA is a collaboration between a community and an artist, melding technology and transcendent experience so that a vision can be shared, and a story told of a people ascending from the edge of extinction.

“Vagaries (Effects on the environment)” of continued green–house gas emissions discharged into the earth’s atmospheric environment and the huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions in producing, transporting and consuming fracked gas – are projected to cause further warming and increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible effects on every continent.

Within any given area, LIVING and NONLIVING interact with each other.

One of the most commonly used natural resources, besides air and water, is what I’m referring to.

Humankind benefits in a multitude of ways from ecosystems.

Collectively, these benefits open a portal to ecosystem services: the many and varied benefits to humans provided by the natural environment and healthy ecosystems

The global decline in ECEs ( Estuarine and Coastal Ecosystems) is affecting several critical benefits or ecosystem services i.e. Hydrological implications of rapid global warming.

Environmental Awareness, admonishment of the damage being done to the ocean, and preserving the natural world from “plasticize’s” anthropogenic ( caused by humans ) afflictions ( micro & macro debris & nano–sized plastic particles! ) can make an important impact on our behalf and advance its issues, not at all, to respond by curtailing the physical environment’s activity(s).

Environmentalism evokes huge uncertainty in responding to VOCs ( Volatile Organic Compounds ) and other materials by demonizing the destruction of hazardous waste containment “toxic waste dumps.”

Ecosystem Services are regularly involved in the provisioning of clean drinking water and the decomposition of wastes. Consulting services in the fields of bioengineering, water quality, and habitat restoration utilize terms such as biotechnical erosion control & biostabilization – often used synonymously with bioengineering.

Climate Change: Global Sea Level

“Sea level rise is a recent environmental concern caused by the increase in the average global temperature, resulting in the melting of ice caps and glaciers, and the expansion of seawater as it warms up.”

Long–term changes in the Earth’s climate system have been significant and are occurring more rapidly than in the past.

Climate change has resulted in increased coastal erosion, flooding, and rapid salinization of groundwater – issues contributing to further global warming.

“Corvallis, Ore. – If global warming some day causes the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to collapse, as many experts believe it could, the resulting sea level rise in much of the United States and other parts of the world would be significantly higher than is currently projected, a new study concludes.”

The Catastrophic increase in sea level, already tend to average between 16 and 17 feet around the world, would be almost 21 feet in such places as Washington, D.C., scientists say, putting it largely underwater. Many coastal areas would be devastated. Much of southern Florida would disappear.

University Distinguished Professor of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

“We aren’t suggesting that a collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is imminent” said Dr. Peter U. Clark, a professor of Geosciences at Oregon State University, “But these findings do suggest that if you are planning for sea level rise, you had better plan a little higher.”

Between 1901 and 2018, average global sea level rose by 15–25 cm, an average of 1–2 mm per year.

Unfortunately for beach lovers and owners of high-priced beach-front homes, coastal erosion in any form is usually a one-way trip. Man-made techniques such as beach nourishment—whereby sand is dredged from off-shore sources and deposited along otherwise vanishing beaches—may slow the process, but nothing short of global cooling or some other major geomorphic change will stop it altogether.

A recent report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimated that erosion could claim one in every four homes within 500 feet of the Atlantic, Gulf Coast, Pacific and Great Lakes shorelines during the next 60 years.

Unfortunately, coastal erosion is often a one-way trip for beach lovers and those fortunate enough to own high-priced beach-front properties. 

LEAVING POLITICS AT THE DOOR

Did climate change play a role in accelerated beach erosion?

“The impact of human-induced climate change that we are witnessing today on planet Earth is unprecedented.”

13 million tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean each year.

Environmental awareness is crucial in our efforts to protect our planet. The ocean, a vast and intricate ecosystem, faces significant challenges due to human activities. Plastic pollution, both visible debris (macro) and tiny particles (micro and nano), poses a severe threat to marine life and the health of our oceans.

Toxic Substances Portal

The Toxic Substances Portal is a valuable resource provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

In Earth science, a Biogeochemical cycle or substance turnover is a pathway by which a chemical substance moves through both the biotic (biosphere) and abiotic (lithosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere) components of Earth. The term biogeochemical tells us about the biological, geological, and chemical actors.

Environmentalism evokes huge uncertainty in responding to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and other materials by demonizing the destruction of hazardous waste containment “toxic waste dumps.”

“Urea pollution is a factor that can turn oceans and waterways toxic.”

The use of urea can cause environmental harm in various ways. Ammonia released from urea applied to agricultural fields can cause acid rain, while nitrates produced in the soil can lead to contamination of groundwater through leaching. Additionally, the denitrification process releases nitrous oxide, contributing to ozone depletion.

Streamflow pollution is caused by estuary cleanup, fracking waste, runoff from construction sites, toxic ash, and deforestation, all of which contribute to biogeochemical cycles.

Streamflow alteration is a critical issue that affects the health of ecosystems. Let’s delve into how human actions and management of land and water resources impact the natural patterns of streamflow:

  1. Dam Building: Constructing dams alters the flow of rivers and streams. While dams serve various purposes such as flood control and hydropower generation, they disrupt the natural flow regime. High flows are reduced due to reservoir storage, affecting downstream ecosystems.
  2. Stream Diversion: Redirecting water from its natural course can lead to changes in streamflow patterns. Irrigation channels, aqueducts, and diversions for urban water supply alter the timing and volume of water reaching downstream areas.
  3. Groundwater Pumping: Excessive pumping of shallow groundwater can lower water tables and reduce baseflow in streams. This affects streamflow during dry periods and can harm aquatic habitats.
  4. Impervious Surfaces: Covering landscapes with impervious surfaces like pavement and roofs prevents natural infiltration. Rainwater runoff increases, leading to altered streamflow patterns and potential pollution.
  5. Climate Change: Changes in climate impact streamflow. Alterations in precipitation patterns, snowmelt timing, and temperature affect streamflow regimes. These climate-induced changes often overlap with human-induced modifications.
  6. Ecological Consequences: Streamflow alterations disrupt the ecological balance. Native fish and invertebrates may suffer losses due to changes in flow patterns. Aquatic species have evolved to thrive under specific streamflow conditions, and deviations can reduce their ability to survive and reproduce.
  7. Species Diversity: The frequency and duration of low flows have increased, while high flows are more frequent but less intense. Such alterations contribute to the deterioration of stream and river ecosystems. Species loss and changes in species diversity occur as a result.

Continued emissions into the earth’s atmosphere are projected to cause further warming and increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible effects on every continent.

Scaling up ( Reducing Emissions Intensity) the production of low-carbon hydrogen to reduce CO2 emissions, however, is disproportionately distributed, in particular affecting vulnerable and socially marginalized population groups.

Indigenous peoples are among the first to face the direct impacts of global warming on the ecosystems or landscapes they inhabit, owing also to their dependence upon, and close relationship with the environment and its resources.

Examples of the negative impacts include diseases associated with increasing temperatures such as vector-borne and water-borne diseases; drought and desertification leading to forest fires and the loss of forests; excessive rainfall resulting in the damage of grasslands, seedlings, and other crops; rising of rivers and melting mountain snow, glaciers, and sea ice due to higher temperatures affecting livelihoods; an increase of new types of insects and lengthened life spans of endemic insects exacerbating food insecutity; and coastal erosion by rising in sea level affecting the economies of small island States.

About 7% of the ocean is protected, and CO2 emissions from bottom trawlers are akin to the global aviation industry.

These tacit VE (value engineering) technologies are used to prevent surface erosion and staunch the establishment of vegetation.

Nowhere is that more evident than in planting native wetland plants and grasses, shrubs, and trees at various points along the tidal water line.

Uprooting vegetation from coastal areas destabilizes beaches and clear–cutting sites inland resulting in increased soil and dirt particles being washed offshore thereby smothering coral reef systems.

.Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) serves the need for A Common Language For Marine Ecosystems and Coastal Ecologists. Coastal geomorphologists look at climate change and its effects, such as temperature and sea–level rise (predicted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) playing a role in accelerated coastal erosion.

Geographical Outlook:

Global warming, driven by human activities, is a significant challenge facing the planet in the 21st century.

Climate change refers to the long-term increase in Earth’s average surface temperature due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. As global temperatures continue to rise, the consequences of global warming become increasingly evident, affecting ecosystems, weather patterns, sea levels, and human societies worldwide. This article explores the [].

“A Scotland–wide analysis of coastal erosion risk was undertaken by researchers at the university that included identifying more than 10 coastal sites that will soon shrink dramatically through the impacts of sea–level rise, strong wave action, and coastal flooding.” 

Russia is losing increasing amounts of its Arctic coastline every year due to natural erosion processes that are being accelerated by climate change, which scientists warn could trigger new ecological disasters.

“The Geological Aspect of Shore Processes”

New legislation in Maryland specifies “living shoreline” as the preferred type of erosion control as they place great importance on the health of dunes and beaches.

Waterfront Property Owners are trying to protect their property from rampant erosion by utilizing armoring structures.

Typically these armoring structures, groins, and other structures are erected when coastside sea rise threatens the beachfront.

Accelerated shoreline changes, sea–level rise (SLR), and land loss have resulted in vanishing coasts, increased coastal hazards related to climate change (both natural and man–made disasters), spillway remediation projects, flooding, and rapid salinization of groundwater.

Coastal morphodynamics applications to remediate coastal restoration include environmental containment, landfills, hazardous waste containment, mining, agriculture, & erosion control.

Geomicrobiology has shifted, either from a pattern of accretion to one of erosion.

“Living Shorelines or Naturebased Global Infrastructure”

Anti–erosion measures hurt fish–yet living shorelines may help.

Eco–Engineering Techniques:

  1. Coastal geoscientist
  2. Fixing systems
  3. Marl or marlstone
  4. Researchers Measure…
  5. Reuse and Desalination
  6. River & Coastal Management
  7. Shoreline protection
  8. Water recycling practices.
  9. Wetlands

The creation of an Ocean Beach comprehensive Master Plan of restoration and maintenance of beaches will maintain the current surface and in some cases will increase the coastal foreshores: coastal geomorphology (Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science).

Erosion prevention should match the type of coastal erosion and lakeshore environment, to the natural and constructed channels, and culverts controlled by outside forces.

In the wake of disappearing (eroding) beaches in coastal areas, and complaints about Clear–Cutting, Land–Clearing near the main water supply areas, Living Shorelines is a creative and proven approach to protecting tidal shorelines from erosion.

Beach grass communities often create dunes that mitigate coastal erosion and flooding risks stemming from coastside sea rise caused by climate change.

Seacoast littoral transport may be defined as sediment movement along the coastal region by currents primarily induced by waves and tides.

Shoreline Renourishment – also referred to as sand replenishment – describes a process by which sediment (usually sand) lost through longshore drift is replaced from sources outside of the coastal ecosystems.

Soft Engineering” is a new GREEN approach to shoreline stabilization.

  • A sustainable, long-term coastal management solution
  • Beach nourishment
  • Beaches are made higher and wider by importing sand and shingle to an area affected by longshore drift to increase its height and width to provide protection from erosion or flooding by absorbing wave energy.
  • Advantages
  • The approach is cheap and retains the natural appearance of the beach. Beaches are a natural defense against erosion. Additionally, the beach is a valuable amenity for tourism, bringing economic benefits to the area.
  • Disadvantages
  • Offshore dredging of sand and shingles increases erosion in other areas and affects the marine ecosystem. Large storms will require further beach replenishment, increasing costs.
  • Additionally, people may be prevented from using the beach for several weeks during the year during maintenance.
  • Approximate Cost
  • £20 /cu.m
  • Managed retreat (coastal realignment)
  • This is when areas of the coast are allowed to erode. This is usually in areas where the land is of low value.
  • Advantages
  • Managed retreat retains the natural balance of the coastal system. Eroded material encourages the development of beaches and salt marshes.
  • Disadvantages
  • People lose their livelihood, e.g. farmers. These people will need to be compensated.
  • Approximate Cost
  • It depends on the compensation that needs to be paid to people affected by erosion.
  • Take a look at our coastal realignment case study on Donna Nook, Lincolnshire.
  • Dune Regeneration
  • Dune regeneration involves taking action to build up dunes and increase vegetation. This helps to strengthen the dunes and prevent coastal retreat. New sand dunes can be created to protect from coastal flooding. Often, marram grass is planted to hold the dunes together. Wooden boardwalks can be built to encourage people not to walk on the dunes.

Soft engineering does not involve building artificial structures but takes a more sustainable and natural approach to managing the coast.

Compared to hard engineering, soft engineering approaches are less expensive and are more long-term, attractive, and sustainable as they work with natural processes. Below we explore some of the soft engineering techniques available in managing coastlines.

“Beach Alliance – Studying Coastal Ecosystems”

Clean Water Action mandated in–part via the “Clean Streams Law” enlists, preserves, and engenders the purity and value of the muddied waters of the surrounding estuarine.

In Earth science, a Biogeochemical cycle or substance turnover is a pathway by which a chemical substance moves through both the biotic (biosphere) and abiotic (lithosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere) components of Earth. The term is biogeochemical tells us about the biological, geological, and chemical actors.

Urea pollution is one such actor that turns tides toxic.

Marine and Coastal Cultural Ecosystem Services:

A Crucial Link Between Humans and Nature”

Cultural ecosystem services can be defined as the non-material benefits that people obtain from nature, including spiritual, aesthetical, educational, and recreational values (Ament et al., 2016, Plieninger et al., 2015, Schaich et al., 2010).

Cultural ecosystem services represent the intricate interactions between humans and the natural world, providing experiences, capabilities, and numerous other benefits to societies. While oceans, seas, and coasts sustain a significant portion of the global population, the cultural ecosystem services offered by these areas remain largely unexplored;

  1. The Value and Importance of marine, coastal cultural ecosystem services of the brackish water of estuarine currents and coastal ecosystem services, be they public health, animal and aquatic life, and recreation ensures Ecosystem Science over Ongoing Civil Penalties for Pollution.
  2. The decline of estuarine and coastal ecosystems (ECEs) worldwide affects vital ecosystem services, including the hydrological implications of rapid global warming.
  3.  Where possible, we indicate estimates of the key economic values arising from these services, and discuss how the natural variability of ECEs impacts their benefits, the synergistic relationships of ECEs across seascapes, and management implications. Although reliable valuation estimates are beginning to emerge for the key services of some ECEs, such as coral reefs, salt marshes, and mangroves, many of the important benefits of seagrass beds dunes, and beaches have not been assessed properly. Even for coral reefs, marshes, and mangroves, important ecological services have yet to be valued reliably, such as cross-ecosystem nutrient transfer (coral reefs), erosion control (marshes), and pollution control (mangroves). 

Cultural ecosystem services are the intangible benefits humans derive from nature.

Cultural ecosystem services reflect physical and cognitive interactions between humans and nature and are increasingly recognized for providing experiences, capabilities, and many other benefits to human societies. While oceans, seas, and coasts sustain a great proportion of the human population, cultural ecosystem services provided by these areas remain largely unexplored. A new study analyses and maps case studies worldwide and pinpoints priorities to move research forward.

This activity serves to prompt an Environmental Compliance Audit, a key component of the coastal challenges of environmental management – the pollution that reaches all of our resources: land, air, and water.

Climate Hazards-Extensive Coastal Erosion. 

Coastal erosion is the process by which local sea level rise, strong wave action, and coastal flooding wear down or carry away rocks, soils, and/or sands along the coast.

All coastlines are affected by storms and other natural events that cause erosion; the combination of storm surge at high tide with additional effects from strong waves—conditions commonly associated with landfalling tropical storms—creates the most damaging conditions.

The extent and severity of the problem is worsening with global sea level rise, but it differs in different parts of the country, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

“But beaches are a lot more transient than they appear.”

 Some beaches tend to shrink over time, while others grow.

The active beach, the area of loose sediment subject to transport by wind, waves, and currents caused by wave action and storm surge, is divided into three regions: the backshore, the foreshore, and the offshore, as shown here.

The constant pounding of waves, especially during storms, plus the scouring action of currents, constantly wash the sand away from some stretches of coastline and deposit it somewhere else.

Tidal scour” is sea–floor erosion caused by strong tidal currents resulting in the removal of coastal sediments and the formation of deep holes and channels.

“A Scotland–wide analysis of coastal erosion risk was undertaken by researchers at the university that included identifying more than 10 coastal sites that will soon shrink dramatically through the impacts of sea–level rise, strong wave action, and coastal flooding.” 

The soft but cohesive sediment surface, generally mud, is sculptured and reshaped by the scouring action of currents, and constantly washes sand away from some stretches of coastline.

Beach sands and river channel deposits are examples of fluvial transport and deposition, though sediment also often settles out of slow–moving or standing water in lakes and oceans.

Tidal scour marks are produced as a result of erosion of a sediment surface by the current flowing over the materials and are subsequently transported by the action of wind (aeolian processes), water (fluvial processes), ice, or by the force of gravity acting on the particles.

“The Coastal Cliffs”

Coastal cliffs can be unstable due to the combined effect of several factors, discussed in this article along with methods to stabilize them.

Coastal cliffs are a common natural occurrence around the world, and they are usually formed by erosion or significant debris avalanches. These cliffs are shaped by destructive waves that occur during powerful storms. These waves strip coastal material from the land and push it out to sea, leading to the formation of these cliffs.

Coastal hardening may be insufficient at holding back future seas–at risk of coastal inundation.

Issues such as the restoration of beaches and preparation for catastrophic events need to be dealt with by coastal communities, prompting county governments to take action on repairing infrastructure.

An escarpment is a geological feature that is characterized by a long, steep slope or cliff. It is formed due to faulting or erosion and separates two areas of land that have different elevations 123.

The term “escarpment” is derived from the French word “escarpe” which means “scarp” and the Italian word “scarpa” which means “slope” 1.

This scouring action of currents constantly washes the sand into coastal ecosystems.

Dredging could be more harmful to the Great Barrier Reef than previously thought, a government–commissioned report has found, amid fresh warnings over the impact of coastal industrialization on sea turtles and dugongs, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) claims.

The study showed that attempts to combine pollution management with coral bleaching were widespread across this section of reefs. These reefs also appeared to have been damaged by tropical cyclone Penny.


Biodiversity

The term “biodiversity” refers to the variety of living organisms on Earth, including plants, animals, and microorganisms. It encompasses genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity, and plays a vital role in maintaining the balance of nature.

Biodiversity is important to identify precursory signals (e.g., coastal morphodynamics, changes in sea surface temperature resulting in coastal erosion, soil moisture, and remediation of contaminated soil and water) as they are associated with carbon capture and storage (CCS) (or carbon capture and sequestration) and ocean acidification.

Research of Coastal Erosion and Coastal Erosion Zone Management has determined global sea–level rise, the loss of sand and plant habitats, earthquakes, floods, and sudden shifts in river courses exacerbate many of these geohazards. 

Removing sand and other materials from beaches and dunes due to tidal storm surges and construction purposes causes massive beach erosion damages and land loss of seashores, thus destroying the natural heritage of the coast and reducing the vibrancy of the tourism industry.

Beach mining & sand poachers are symptomatic of an environmental disaster.

These roadmaps provide a medium for the legal requirement for sand harvesting.

Now the environmental watchdog, Environment Management Agency (EMA), has issued a list of guidelines to harvesters and traders countrywide.

These guidelines affect all designated sand sites in the country affected by rising sea levels.

Local authorities should draw up environmental management plans (EMPs) as a way to curb damage to the flora and fauna that were put at risk by the illegal activities of sand poachers and the promotion of recreation in a constructed wetland (CW).

Environmental management plans (EMPs) provide a wide variety of options for treating municipal or industrial wastewater, greywater, or stormwater runoff. It may also be designed for land reclamation after mining, or as a mitigation step for natural areas lost to land development.

“Emergency Sand”

Most beachgoers don’t stop to wonder, though, slim to none, whether the sand will be there when they arrive.

Pumping sand onto the coastline helps maintain wide beaches for tourism and property protection. Still, some scientists say pumping sand also damages a fragile and often overlooked ecosystem for fish and birds.

”Beach Scraping” is the transfer of sand from the lower beach to the upper beach (within the beach system), usually by mechanical equipment, to redistribute the sand to parts of the beach above tidal level and protect damaged dunes.

Almost a fifth of Scotland’s coastline is at risk of erosion, threatening property and infrastructure worth £400m, scientists say.

What is Bombogenesis?

Bombogenesis is important to identify precursory signals associated with carbon capture and storage.

Bombogenesis is a term used by meteorologists to describe a mid-latitude cyclone that rapidly intensifies over 24 hours. This intensification is represented by a drop in millibars, a measurement of pressure used in meteorology.

The intensification required to classify as “bombogenesis” varies by latitude. At 60 degrees latitude, it drops at least 24 millibars (24 hectopascals) over 24 hours. At the latitude of New York City, the required pressure drop is about 17.8 millibars (17.8 hectopascals) over 24 hours 1.

What’s a ‘Bomb Cyclone’?

Bomb cyclones tend to happen more in the winter months and can carry hurricane–force winds and cause coastal flooding and heavy snow.

When a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, especially over warm ocean waters, it can trigger a phenomenon referred to as bombogenesis. Also called explosive cyclogenesis, this can lead to severe weather conditions such as heavy snow, strong winds, and coastal flooding.

Oxygen is essential for many life forms. But we don’t often give it the attention it deserves because we assume that it is always there. While oxygen is ubiquitous in our atmosphere, it is not necessarily the case for many bodies of water like rivers, lakes, or even oceans.
Here a lack of oxygen can result in significant impacts on the ecosystem as found in Sweden.

Photosynthesis: Oxygen is continuously replenished in Earth’s atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis

Yes, that’s correct. Oxygen is essential for many life forms. It is used in the process of respiration to produce energy.

I hope that the information provided has been useful to you and has helped you in some way. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out!

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