What is coastal climate?

Kruk, Michael and Gibney, Ethan and Hennon, Paula and Levinson, David (2010) What is coastal climate? In: Shifting Shorelines: Adapting to the Future,The 22nd International Conference of The Coastal Society , June 13-16, 2010 ,Wilmington, North Carolina,

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Abstract

Historical definitions of what determines whether one lives in a coastal area or not have varied over time. According to Culliton (1998), a “coastal county” is defined as a county with at least 15% of its total land area located within a nation’s coastal watershed. This emphasizes the land areas within which water flows into the ocean or Great Lakes, but may be better suited for ecosystems or water quality research (Crowell et al. 2007). Some Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) documents suggest that “coastal” includes shoreline-adjacent coastal counties, and perhaps even counties impacted by flooding from coastal storms. An accurate definition of “coastal” is critical in this regard since FEMA uses such definitions to revise and modernize their Flood Insurance Rate Maps (Crowell et al. 2007). A recent map published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coastal Services Center for the Coastal Change Analysis Program shows that the “coastal” boundary covers the entire state of New York and Michigan, while nearly all of South Carolina is considered “coastal.” The definition of “coastal” one chooses can have major implications, including a simple count of coastal population and the influence of local or state coastal policies. There is, however, one aspect of defining what is “coastal” that has often been overlooked; using atmospheric long-term climate variables to define the inland extent of the coastal zone. This definition, which incorporates temperature, precipitation, wind speed, and relative humidity, is furthermore scalable and globally applicable - even in the face of shifting shorelines. A robust definition using common climate variables should condense the large broad definition often associated with “coastal” such that completely landlocked locations would no longer be considered “coastal.” Moreover, the resulting definition, “coastal climate” or “climatology of the coast”, will help coastal resource managers make better-informed decisions on a wide range of climatologically-influenced issues. The following sections outline the methodology employed to derive some new maps of coastal boundaries in the United States. (PDF contains 3 pages)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Title: What is coastal climate?
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Kruk, MichaelMichael.kruk@noaa.gov
Gibney, Ethan
Hennon, Paula
Levinson, David
Date: 2010
Funders: National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. EPA Coastal Management Branch, U.S. Geolgocial Survey, NOAA Sea Grant
Event Title: Shifting Shorelines: Adapting to the Future,The 22nd International Conference of The Coastal Society
Event Type: Conference
Event Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Event Dates: June 13-16, 2010
Issuing Agency: The Coastal Society
Uncontrolled Keywords: TCS22
Subjects: Atmospheric Sciences
Earth Sciences
Item ID: 3924
Depositing User: Cynthia Murray
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2010 20:18
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 16:41
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/3924

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