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Impact of sea-level rise on the tourist-carrying capacity of Catalan beaches

Impact of sea-level rise on the tourist-carrying capacity of Catalan beaches
Impact of sea-level rise on the tourist-carrying capacity of Catalan beaches

Tourism provides about 11% of Catalonia's GDP, with most accommodations placed being associated with the “sun-and-sand” model. Since beaches are the main resource to be exploited, it is important to assess how their future evolution can affect this economic sector. Accordingly, we present a methodology to assess the effect of shoreline evolution on beach recreational carrying capacity (BCC) at different territorial scales considering different climate change scenarios. Our results suggest that by 2050, in the absence of climate change, tourist BCC will decrease down to 83% of current values due to the dominant erosive behaviour of the Catalan coast. When sea-level rise is considered, BCC will decrease further, with expected values ranging from 74% to 53% of current capacity for the tested scenarios (RCP4.5 and High-end respectively). Hence, current erosional trends are adverse for future development of coastal tourism in Catalonia, and accelerated sea-level rise exacerbates this adverse situation. The adopted methodology permits to locate hotspots along the territory where local BCC values collapse as well as to predict when this will occur under a given climatic scenario. Moreover, the use of different spatial scales to integrate BCC permits to test management strategies to sustaining the recreational use of beaches.

Beach carrying capacity (BCC), Beach management, Catalonia, Climate change, Sea-level rise, Shoreline evolution, Tourism
0964-5691
40-50
López-Dóriga, Uxía
dc007db9-063a-473c-a73e-5a1c92e8292f
Jiménez, José A.
68c16378-e201-433c-acc7-86995218c32d
Valdemoro, Herminia I.
ffd13a2c-93d7-4c71-a68c-eb0f633e6f41
Nicholls, Robert J.
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
López-Dóriga, Uxía
dc007db9-063a-473c-a73e-5a1c92e8292f
Jiménez, José A.
68c16378-e201-433c-acc7-86995218c32d
Valdemoro, Herminia I.
ffd13a2c-93d7-4c71-a68c-eb0f633e6f41
Nicholls, Robert J.
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076

López-Dóriga, Uxía, Jiménez, José A., Valdemoro, Herminia I. and Nicholls, Robert J. (2019) Impact of sea-level rise on the tourist-carrying capacity of Catalan beaches. Ocean & Coastal Management, 170, 40-50. (doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2018.12.028).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Tourism provides about 11% of Catalonia's GDP, with most accommodations placed being associated with the “sun-and-sand” model. Since beaches are the main resource to be exploited, it is important to assess how their future evolution can affect this economic sector. Accordingly, we present a methodology to assess the effect of shoreline evolution on beach recreational carrying capacity (BCC) at different territorial scales considering different climate change scenarios. Our results suggest that by 2050, in the absence of climate change, tourist BCC will decrease down to 83% of current values due to the dominant erosive behaviour of the Catalan coast. When sea-level rise is considered, BCC will decrease further, with expected values ranging from 74% to 53% of current capacity for the tested scenarios (RCP4.5 and High-end respectively). Hence, current erosional trends are adverse for future development of coastal tourism in Catalonia, and accelerated sea-level rise exacerbates this adverse situation. The adopted methodology permits to locate hotspots along the territory where local BCC values collapse as well as to predict when this will occur under a given climatic scenario. Moreover, the use of different spatial scales to integrate BCC permits to test management strategies to sustaining the recreational use of beaches.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 27 December 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 10 January 2019
Published date: 15 March 2019
Keywords: Beach carrying capacity (BCC), Beach management, Catalonia, Climate change, Sea-level rise, Shoreline evolution, Tourism

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 428418
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/428418
ISSN: 0964-5691
PURE UUID: 75ff9610-f535-4ccb-a352-7524177498c6
ORCID for Robert J. Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Feb 2019 17:31
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 00:59

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