About this Research Topic
The Mediterranean region has been identified as one of the most responsive to climate change effects, featuring climate vulnerability hotspots such as deltas or urbanized coastal stretches. Along the Mediterranean there is a growing awareness of climatic impacts, supported by compelling evidence of relative sea-level rise, increasing flooding frequency and flash floods, changes in sea state, and meteocean regimes. These changes can be illustrated by extreme events such as the 2018 Medicane Zorbas or the 2020 Gloria storm, resulting in casualties and multimillion damages in the African and European coasts (Tunisia, Greece, Spain, France…) as well as important ecosystem shifts. Furthermore, the Mediterranean coast is characterized by a strong diversity in terms of morphological, hydrological, ecological, and socio-economic settings, giving rise to a complex mosaic of processes that hamper climate risk assessments and their projection, hindering an efficient adaptation.
While advances in climate sciences have been providing important insight on the effects of climate change at the regional scale, the assessment of recent and current trends and the projection of future scenarios at local scales remain an open challenge. And yet downscaling the climate signal from regional to local domains is crucial for assessing climate-related hazards, impacts, and risks to underpin sound response and adaptation strategies.
The proposed Research Topic aims at presenting and comparing climate change impacts on Mediterranean coastal and transitional areas from throughout the Mediterranean region. Papers on downscaled projections, impact estimations, and hazard/vulnerability assessments are addressed, together with traditional and “Nature-based Solutions” to mitigate climate-induced risks. The diversity of the Mediterranean coastal landscape and socio-economic conditions provides a great opportunity for sharing a common knowledge base and paradigmatic experiences representative of a variety of coastal and transitional systems where adaptation strategies can be discussed and compared. The resulting conclusions will benefit regional coastal systems and provide expertise applicable well beyond the Mediterranean geographical limits.
Contributions to the proposed research topic may include (but are not limited to):
• Assessment of recent trends of hydrological, hydrodynamic, morphodynamic, and ecological processes in coastal and transitional areas;
• Physical and statistical downscaling of meteo-oceanic processes in climate change scenarios;
• Adaptation, protection, and re-alignment under climate change for coastal and transitional areas;
• Coastal structural design and classical interventions (e.g. nourishment) in a climate change context;
• Innovative “Nature-based Solutions” for adaptation to climate change in a climate change context;
• Policy frameworks for adaptation of coastal and transitional areas under climate change;
• EU Directives and agreements for the sustainability of coastal and transitional areas under climate change;
• Maintenance of “Nature-based Solutions” under climate change and economic crises;
• Coastal social-ecological synergies to facilitate adaptation under climate change
• Healthy coastal areas and transitional ecosystems to provide climate regulation service (e.g. Blue Carbon)
Photo by Joan Costa from Pexels
Keywords: Meteomarine Climate, Sea Level, Flooding, Storms, Extreme Events, Coastal Protection, Nature-based Solutions, Ecosystem Shifts
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.