Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Between the land and ocean, diverse coastal ecosystems transform, store, and transport material. Across these interfaces, the dynamic exchange of energy and matter is driven by hydrological and hydrodynamic processes such as river and groundwater discharge, tides, waves, and storms. These dynamics regulate ecosystem functions and Earth's climate, yet global models lack representation of coastal processes and related feedbacks, impeding their predictions of coastal and global responses to change. Here, we assess existing coastal monitoring networks and regional models, existing challenges in these efforts, and recommend a path towards development of global models that more robustly reflect the coastal interface. Coastal systems are hotspots of ecological, geochemical and economic activity, yet their dynamics are not accurately represented in global models. In this Review, Ward and colleagues assess the current state of coastal science and recommend approaches for including the coastal interface in predictive models.
Sea-Level Rise; Dissolved Organic-Matter; Carbon Mobilization; Saltwater Intrusion; Microbial Community; Suspended Sediment; Methane Emissions
Creative Commons License
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Ward, ND; Megonigal, JP; Bond-Lamberty, B; Bailey, VL; Butman, D; Canuel, Elizabeth A.; and et al, Representing the function and sensitivity of coastal interfaces in Earth system models (2020). Nature Communications, 11, 2458.