Wicked Challenges at Land's End: Managing Coastal Vulnerability Under Climate Change

Posted: 20 Oct 2012

See all articles by Susanne Moser

Susanne Moser

Susanne Moser Research & Consulting

S. Jeffress Williams

University of Hawaii

Donald F. Boesch

University of Maryland - Center for Environmental Science

Date Written: November 2012

Abstract

With continuing influx of large numbers of people into coastal regions, human stresses on coastal ecosystems and resources are growing at the same time that climate variability and change and associated consequences in the marine environment are making coastal areas less secure for human habitation. The article reviews both climatic and nonclimatic drivers of the growing stresses on coastal natural and human systems, painting a picture of the mostly harmful impacts that result and the interactive and systemic challenges coastal managers face in managing these growing risks. Although adaptive responses are beginning to emerge, the adaptation challenge is enormous and requires not just incremental but also transformative changes. At the same time, such “wicked” problems, by definition, defy all-encompassing, definitive, and final solutions; instead, temporary best solutions will have to be sought in the context of an iterative, deliberately learning-oriented risk management framework.

Suggested Citation

Moser, Susanne and Jeffress Williams, S. and Boesch, Donald F., Wicked Challenges at Land's End: Managing Coastal Vulnerability Under Climate Change (November 2012). Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Vol. 37, pp. 51-78, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2163590 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-environ-021611-135158

Susanne Moser (Contact Author)

Susanne Moser Research & Consulting ( email )

500 Irish Ridge Rd
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
United States

S. Jeffress Williams

University of Hawaii ( email )

Honolulu, HI
United States

Donald F. Boesch

University of Maryland - Center for Environmental Science ( email )

Solomons, MD 20688
United States

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