Coach House Geography

Interesting Geography stuff for InterHigh

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Archive for the ‘coasts’ Category

Ways of managing coasts under pressure

Posted by Lindy on December 5, 2011

Trials prove GPS technology helps habitats and fishermen

Thursday, 01 December 2011 14:37

TRIALS have shown that new technology is allowing South West of England fishermen to continue to fish in their local area while protecting the marine habitats in Lyme Bay. The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) say that by rolling out GPS technology, fishermen can prove that they are not fishing in vulnerable or protected areas, and so continue to operate in less sensitive areas of Lyme Bay rather than stopping fishing in the area altogether.

By embracing new technology it shows that the sector is ready and able to respond positively to the need to protect the marine environment while continuing to make a living from the sea.

Following the MMO’s evaluation of this trial, expected in Spring 2012, the Government hope that fishermen around the country will be able to adopt this new technology to help ensure that fishing can continue to take place without damaging sensitive marine habitats.


Posted in coasts, Lyme Bay | Leave a Comment »

Coastal erosion live!

Posted by Lindy on October 9, 2011

Link to the article:


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Study Uncovers a Predictable Sequence Toward Coral Reef Collapse

Posted by Lindy on October 2, 2011

ScienceDaily (Sep. 29, 2011) — Coral reefs that have lots of corals and appear healthy may, in fact, be heading toward collapse, according to a study published by the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups.

Research has identified how overfishing creates a series of at least eight big changes on reefs that precipitate a final collapse. This information can help managers gauge the health of a reef and tell them when to restrict fishing in order to avoid a collapse of the ecosystem and fishery.

The authors say these changes are like a series of light switches, each of which make the reef more degraded and dims the chances of sustained fishery production and recovery.

1. The study shows that in well-protected areas, there are typically 1000-1500 kilograms of reef fish of various species per hectare of coral reef.

2. As the volume is fished down below 1000 kilograms, the early warning signs — like increased seaweed growth and urchin activity — begin to appear.

3. The researchers found that between 300-600 kilograms per hectare, there appeared to be a “window” of what is known as maximum sustainable yield, but when the fish stock drops below 300 kilograms per hectare, the reef is in real trouble, they said.

4. “Below 300 kilograms per hectare we see a series of dramatic changes on reefs. This is where you get on a real slippery slope,” McClanahan noted. “Strangely, the metric used by most managers to gauge the health of reef systems — coral cover — is the last threshold before ecosystem failure. Overfished reefs can appear healthy and then shift to algae dominated seascapes.”

The authors recommend measuring the biomass of fish instead of coral cover to identify the early warning rather than the final sign of reef collapse. Then where possible to restrict fishing using certain types of equipment or reduce the fishing times rather than try to stop it all together. Coral fisheries are too important to the local people to stop all fishing.

Posted in coasts, Fragile environments | Leave a Comment »

Cities to Grab Lands Equaling Size of Mongolia In Next 20 Years, Study Predicts

Posted by Lindy on September 18, 2011

ScienceDaily (Sep. 16, 2011) — In the next 20 years, more than 590,000 square miles of land globally — more than twice the size of Texas — will be gobbled up by cities, a trend that shows no signs of stopping and one that could pose threats on several levels, says a Texas A&M University geographer who is part of a national team studying the problem.

“This massive urbanization of land is happening worldwide, but India, China and Africa have experienced the highest rates of urban land expansion,” Güneralp explains. “Our study covered the 30 years from 1970 to 2000, and we found that urban growth is occurring at the highest rates in developing countries. However, it is the North America that experienced the largest increase in total urban land.”

The United Nations predicts that by 2030 there will be an additional 1.47 billion people living in urban areas; and, urban population growth is a significant driver of urban land change, especially in developing regions such in India and Africa. However, economic growth is also important, particularly in China.

Coastal areas are especially vulnerable to urban expansion. This makes coastal areas a special area of concern because people and infrastructures are at risk to rising sea levels, flooding, hurricanes, tsunamis and other disasters.

There is a good side to urbanisation however. People who live in cities tend to have better access to health care, water and sanitation facilities, and cities are shown to be more efficient with regards to such things as energy consumption compared to rural areas. In cities, people exchange. They exchange ideas, experiences as well as materials. All these spur innovation and create business opportunities. Because of all these interactions, cities are the most likely places to come up with the solutions to the emerging environmental and economic challenges that we face.

Posted in coasts, IGCSE, Urban environments | Leave a Comment »

Build a new floating home?

Posted by Lindy on September 8, 2011

One plan the president of Kiribati, Anote Tong, has is to build floating island, where the 100,000 inhabitants of these coral atolls will be safe. Some think they should just abandon their homes and move elsewhere, as many homes have already been washed away. Salt water has infiltrated the soil and the crops have been lost

Links about Kiribati:

Posted in coasts, Development, Fragile environments, IGCSE, Solution to problems | Leave a Comment »

Cancun’s Vanishing Mangroves Hold Climate Promise

Posted by Lindy on November 25, 2010

Date: 25-Nov-10 – Country: MEXICO – Author: Patrick Rucker

A view of a dying mangrove swamp in Puerto Morelos, near the Yucatan resort of Cancun, June 25, 2008. Photo: Reuters/Victor Ruiz

This famous beach resort, which will next week host international climate change talks, was itself born from the destruction of a potent resource to fight global warming. Thick mangrove forests lined the canals and waterways here before developers dredged the land to make way for the upscale hotels that now draw several million tourists every year. In the 40 years since Cancun was founded, countless acres of mangrove forests up and down Mexico’s Caribbean Coast have been lost — and the destruction continues.

Now many scientists say that mangrove forests can help slow climate change, and are desperate to save them. “We still have a lot to learn but the potential is huge for mangroves,” said Gail Chmura, a climate change researcher at McGill University in Montreal who studies how much carbon is stored in these knobby, tidal forests.

The United Nations may soon pay countries to set aside mangroves and sea plants that sock away carbon and those same reserves could mean long-term cash under a global carbon cap and trade scheme.

Breathing life into that carbon market is a key goal of climate talks among almost 200 nations meeting in Cancun from November 29 to December 10. The meeting is a follow-up to the December 2009 Copenhagen summit which disappointed many nations by falling short of a binding treaty to slow global warming.

Besides their power to sponge up carbon, mangroves serve as fish nurseries and buffers for devastating ocean storms — a worth that ecologists say is lost in a short-term tally of the land’s value.

Posted in coasts, Fragile environments, Global warming, Sustainability | Leave a Comment »