LOICZ Hotspots: Arctic - Islands at Risk - River-Mouth system - Urbanization

Arctic Coasts: are subjected to the  most rapid and fundamental global change effects with implications for both the Earth system  and for Arctic coastal communities. As the ice disappears and the permafrost melts, the hydrological and sediment cycles are altered. The traditional livelihoods of the Arctic people are becoming unsustainable under the new conditions. Meanwhile, exploitation of rich natural resources and urban development are increasing. Vulnerable Arctic coastal communities  thus provide a setting for LOICZ to  research the  resilience and adaptation to global change impacts.

The proportion of the world population living in the coastal zone has increased to 45%. Coastal urbanization and Megacities are centres of economic, social and cultural development generating human wellbeing and at the same time exerting strong pressure on global coasts. The wellbeing and livelihood of the populations are at risk  from pollution and over exploitation of resources consumption practices, as well as from extreme events.  LOICZ analyzes and synthesizes the opportunities and risks in urban coasts including issues of governance and social choice.

River Mouths systems such as  estuaries and deltas provide a wide variety of ecosystem goods and services to society including biogeochemical functions, coastal protection, space and resources for economic development. Human activities in the catchment and at the coast alter the supply of water and sediments to these river mouth systems. Agricultural practices alter the nutrient composition, over-extraction of water cause salt-water intrusion and subsidence. LOICZ aims to improve the understanding of the physical and human scale of these river-basin-estuary systems and interactions for better integrated coastal management. 

Islands particularly small islands are especially vulnerable to global and climate change including extreme events and population pressure. There is no-where to retreat from sea-level rise and the threat of storm surges, there is insufficient fresh water resource. Coastal ecosystems such as  coral reefs are overexploited or degraded.  Communities are starting to exploring options of adaptation but also migration. LOICZ  explores the links between biophysical and human dimensions to include cultural and institutional practices in coastal management and presenting the strengths of the traditional governance model.
Additionally to the LOICZ Hotspots the Cross-Cutting Activities complete the global earth system research focus of LOICZ.

LOICZ Hotspots (HS)

Cross-Cutting Activities (CCA)

CCA 1: Ecological economics
CCA 2: Modeling and assessments
CCA 3: Capacity Building
CCA 4: Coastal Governance
CCA 5: Social-ecological systems

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