Coastal change in Scotland: can we cope?

Monday 1st November 2021, 7pm

Zoom details:

Meeting ID: 634 225 0593 Passcode: mahzoom

Speaker: Professor Jim Hansom

What is the extent and rate of coastal erosion in Scotland and what is its impact on our coastal assets and communities? If we had asked this question 7 years ago, no one in Scotland could have provided an accurate answer. The Dynamic Coast project addressed this information gap in 2017, updated in 2021, to show the extent and rates of erosion to have increased over recent decades, with modelling showing increased losses into the future due to sea level rise driven by greenhouse gas emission forced climate change. Our response is to achieve Net Zero emissions as quickly as possible BUT alone, it will not be enough. This is due to the increases already locked into the system due to current emissions and will impact on our coastal assets, infrastructure and communities. High level planning instruments are in place to encourage more sensitive coastal development and adaptation, but to date scant evidence exists that this is occurring on the ground, and we continue to allow development in sites that are anticipated to be at erosional risk by 2050.

Jim Hansom is Honorary Professor, Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow. A coastal geomorphologist, his research and consultancy interests lie in the geomorphology and management of coasts with respect to variations in the drivers of coastal change and the emerging need for societies to adapt to coastal risk. Working on coasts from Antarctica to the Arctic, he has authored and co-authored over 230 research publications and reports. Books include Coasts (1988), Antarctic Environments and Resources (1998), Coastal Geomorphology of Great Britain (2003), Sedimentology and Geomorphology of Coasts and Estuaries (2012) and he authored and co-authored 8 chapters of the recently published Landscapes and Landforms of Scotland (2021). He leads the Scottish Government's award-winning Dynamic Coast project.