Stresses and Instability in Coastal Systems: Sustaining Prosperity, Increasing Diversity and Achieving Resilience
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More than half of the world’s human population lives within 40 miles of the sea. Coastal cities are the backbone of global finance, trade, manufacturing, and transportation. Millions of people worldwide travel to beaches for recreation. Coastal fisheries and aquaculture are key sources of food, and the chief source of protein in most developing countries. The coast is home to a diverse range of plants and animals, some commercially valuable, some threatened or endangered, and all part of unique ecosystems. Coastal livelihoods, tourism, fish and wildlife species, and ecosystem services are threatened by climate change and its associated impact on coastal hazards. Flooding and coastal disasters from New York to Kolkata have killed thousands of people and cost trillions of dollars. By 2100 more than 100 million people could be displaced by sea-level change, 13 million in the U.S. alone. The stability of the global economy is threatened by sea-level change...