References

Boesch, D. F., M. N. Josselyn, A. J. Metha, J. T. Morris, W. K. Nuttle, C. A. Simenstad and D. J. P. Swift, 1994: Scientific assessment of coastal wetland loss, restoration and management in Louisiana, Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 20 Douglas, B. C., M. S. Kearney and S. P. Leatherman (eds), 2001: Sea Level Rise: History and Consequences, Academic Press, New York Fisher, A., 2000: Mid-Atlantic region: Preparing for a changing climate, Acclimations (newsletter US National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change), May/June 2000 issue (see www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/Library/ nationalassessment/newsletter/2000.06/midatl.html) Kearney, M. S., 1996: Sea-level change during the last thousand years in Chesapeake Bay,

Journal of Coastal Research, 12, 977—983 Kearney, M .S., 2001: Late Holocene sea level variation, in B. C. Douglas, M. S. Kearney and S. P. Leatherman (eds) Sea Level Rise: History and Consequences Academic Press, New York

Kearney, M. S. and J.C. Stevenson, 1991: Island land loss and marsh vertical accretion rate evidence for historical sea-level changes in Chesapeake Bay, Journal of Coastal Research, 7, 403-416

Kearney, M. S., R. E. Grace and J. C. Stevenson, 1988: Marsh loss in the Nanticoke

Estuary, Chesapeake Bay, Geographical Review, 78, 205-220 Kearney, M. S., A. S. Rogers, J. R. G. Townshend, J. C. Stevenson, J. Stevens, E. Rizzo and K. Sundberg, 2002: Landsat imagery shows decline of coastal marshes in Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 83(16), 173, 177-178

Klee, G. A., 1998: The Coastal Environment, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey

Kraft, J. C., M. J. Chrzastowski, D. F. Belknap, M. A. Toscano and C. H. Fletcher, 1987: Morphostratigraphy, sedimentary sequences and response to relative sea level rise along the Delaware coast, in D. Nummedal, O. H. Pilkey and J. D. Howards (eds) Sea Fluctuation and Coastal Evolution, Society of Economic Paleoentologists and Mineralogists, Special Publication No. 41 Larson, E., 2000: Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History,

Random House, New York Mann, M. E., R. S. Bradley and M. K. Hughes, 1999: Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the past millennium: Inferences, uncertainties, and limitations, Geophysical Research Letters, 26(6), 759-762 Mendelssohn, I. A., K. L. McKee and W. H. Patrick, Jr, 1981: Oxygen deficiency in

Spartina alterniflora roots: Metabolic adaptation to anoxia, Science, 214, 439-441 Nicholls, R. J., F. M. J. Hoozemans and M. Marchand, 1999: Increasing flood risk and wetland losses due to global sea-level rise: Regional and global analyses, Global Environmental Change, 9, S69-S8 Stevenson, J. C. and M. S. Kearney, 1996: Shoreline dynamics on the windward and leeward shores of a large temperate estuary, in K. F. Nordstrom and C. T. Roman (eds) Estuarine Shores: Hydrological, Geomorphological and Ecological Interactions, John Wiley & Sons, New York

Stevenson, J. C. and M. S. Kearney, 2005: Dissecting and classifying the impacts of historic hurricanes on estuarine systems, in K. Sellner (ed.) Hurricane Isabel in Perspective, Conference Proceedings, Chesapeake Bay Research Consortium, Edgewater, MD Stevenson, J. C., M. S. Kearney and E. C. Pendleton, 1985: Sedimentation and erosion in a Chesapeake Bay brackish marsh system, Marine Geology, 67, 213—235 Titus, J. G. and C. Richman, 2001: Maps of lands vulnerable to sea level rise: Modeled elevations along the US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, Climate Research: 18, 1—14 US Army Corps of Engineers, 1990: Chesapeake Bay Shoreline Erosion Study, Vol. 2.

Baltimore District, Baltimore, Maryland Wicks, E. C., 2005: The effect of sea level rise on seagrasses: Is sediment adjacent to retreating marshes suitable for seagrass growth?, Ph.D. dissertation, Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Science Program, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

Zhang K., W. K. Huang, B. C. Douglas and S. P. Leatherman, 2002: Shoreline position variability and long-term trend analysis, Shore and Beach, 70, 31—36

The Northern Gulf of Mexico Coast: Human Development Patterns, Declining Ecosystems and Escalating Vulnerability to Storms and Sea Level Rise

Virginia Burkett

The northern Gulf of Mexico coastal zone has some of the highest rates of coastal erosion and wetland loss in the world. The Gulf Coast region also ranks highest in the number of US billion dollar weather-related disasters and flood insurance claims. The high vulnerability of this low-lying coastal zone to land loss and flooding is generally attributed to the combined effects of human development activity, sea level rise, hurricanes and other tropical storms, and a natural physical setting that is sensitive to subtle changes in the balance of marine, coastal and onshore processes. Human-induced climate change has the potential to greatly enhance this vulnerability by increasing the intensity of tropical storms, altering precipitation and runoff, and accelerating sea level rise. The threshold-type responses that have been observed in some Gulf Coast systems suggest that changes in climatic variables could have rapid, widespread impacts during coming decades. Retreat of the coastal shoreline and inundation of adjacent lowlands, coupled with losses of life and property during recent hurricanes, have also stimulated public concerns about the sustainability of some Gulf Coast ecosystems and the human communities that depend upon them, as the climate warms.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment