Climate change is one factor but not the only factor affecting European coast and beach management. Human uses and developments have the biggest impacts on coastal and beach management, and not anthropogenic climate change. However, climate change has and will cause additional and unforeseeable impacts for coastal and beach management.
Climate change is a global phenomena with differing local and regional manifestations throughout Europe. Depending on the region and local vulnerabilities and resilience, coastal and marine ecosystems will respond in different ways to the interrelated issues of human uses and developments and climatic change.
One of the greatest global issues and challenge is the increasing acidification of the oceans, and how this acidification will impact coastal and marine ecosystems. Biodiversity, conservation, water quality, quantity and seasonal flows will be significantly affected by climate change. The impacts of pollution and nutrient influxes into waters may increase as a result of climate change. Depending on the local characteristics, erosion, sediment deposition, drought, desertification and flooding may intensify or shift.
Climate impacts on the watersheds, coastal and marine areas of Europe are considered. The Mediterranean Sea, and south Atlantic Ocean are specifically focused upon due to the greater and more extreme impacts they have and will experience.