Our Hotspots

Future Earth Coasts has identified critical features of coastal systems [Hotspots] that are particularly vulnerable to coastal change and critical to the sustainability of coastal socio-ecological systems.

Small Islands are vulnerable to global and climate change including extreme events, sea-level rise and the risk of inundation, population pressure and issues of decreased ecological diversity e.g. in coral reefs, mangroves. Vulnerable human communities on islands require transformational approaches to deal with a diminishing and degrading terrestrial and marine resource base.

Urbanisation is a process shaping human well-being and ecological integrity today, with a concentration of issues often found in coastal megacities. This topic is acquiring new urgency with rapid migration to coastal megacities and urban areas.

The Arctic is experiencing rapid loss of ice and permafrost is thawing, accelerating coastal ero-sion, damaging infrastructure, and inhibiting access to food, with negative impacts on tradi-tional lifestyles, health and wellbeing. Vulnerable Arctic coastal communities need transform-ative strategies and enhanced capacity to adapt and transition to safer futures.

River mouth systems such as deltas and estuaries, and lagoons, are at risk from climate change and sea-level rise, damming of rivers, seawater intrusion, groundwater and other fluid extraction, acidification of estuaries and intensifying anthropogenic activity, which increases the fluxes of nutrients and contaminants with negative impacts on the wellbeing of ecosystems and human health.