As climate changes, dynamic coastal regions are experiencing a wide range of impacts. Sea levels, ocean acidification, sea surface temperatures, ocean heat, and ocean circulation have all been changing in ways unseen for thousands of years. Arctic sea ice melted significantly more during summers in the last 30 years, and storms are intensifying. Coastal ecosystems stand to be damaged, and coasts will likely erode from rising sea levels, intensified storm surges, and flooding that climate change may amplify. Coastal communities will need to prepare adaptation strategies to cope, and many who live or work in coastal regions are wondering what climate change might mean for them. This module provides an overview of the impacts coastal regions are experiencing and may continue to experience as a result of Earth’s changing climate. A video series within the module demonstrates effective strategies for communicating climate science.
Learners will be able to provide examples of oceanic and lacustrine evidence of climate change when communicating with stakeholders, community members, and peers.
Learners will be able to provide examples of projected impacts from climate change to coastal environments.
Learners will be able to list scientifically sound resources of coastal climate information, including key publications, documents, trusted experts, expert agencies, and websites, including the Sea Grant coastal climate wiki.
Coastal extension agents will be able to list areas of current climate research.
Learners will be able to describe effective community responses to coastal impacts associated with climate change, including sea level rise.
Learners will become adept at assessing projected coastal climate impacts for their unique regions.
Learners will gain experience in working with scientists to translate complex climate graphics.
The learner will be able to explain how climate models make climate forecasts, how downscaling is performed, and how regional modeling differs from global models.
The learner will be able to suggest basic strategies for how to respond to each of the following coastal impacts of climate change:
How to deal with habitats trapped by coastal development
How to sustain coastal ecosystems
How to encourage sustainable seafood stocks
How to create hazard-resilient coasts
How to ensure sustainable coastal development
How to work with elected officials and government on climate change issues
The Learner will be able to list at least 5 strategies for effectively communicating climate science. This could include:
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