Paper Published in Ambio

Title: Coastal erosion and climate change: A review on coastal-change process and modeling

Journal: Ambio


Abstract: Coastal erosion is a normal process of nature. However, the rate of coastal erosion, and the frequency and intensity of coastal flooding events, are now on the rise around the world due to the changing climate. Current responses to coastal erosion are primarily determined by site-specific factors, such as coastal elevation, coastal slope, coastal features, and historical coastline change rate, without a systematic understanding of the coastal-change processes in the context of climate change, including spatiotemporal changes in sea level, regional changes in wave climate, and sea ice coverage. In the absence of a clear understanding of the coastal-change processes, most of the current coastal responses have been built upon a risky assumption (i.e., the present-day coastal change will persist) and are not resilient to future climate change. Here, we conduct a literature review to summarize the latest scientific understanding of the coastal-change processes under climate change and the potential research gaps towards the prediction of future coastal erosion. Our review suggests that a coupled coastal simulation system with a nearshore wave model (e.g., SWAN, MIKE21, etc.) can play a critical role in both the short-term and long-term coastal risk assessment and protective measure development.