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# Biological Extinctions: New Perspectives

Many congratulations to CCRU alumnus, Dr Anna McIvor who has co-edited, with Partha Dasgupta and Peter Raven, ' Biological Extinction: New Perspectives' (CUP, 2019). The book argues that we need to take a wide view of extinction across a range of socio-ecological systems, with chapters from leading thinkers in biology, economics, geology, archaeology, demography, architecture and intermediate technology.

# Predicting Future Oceans

Congratulations to Mike Bithell, Tom Spencer, Rachel Seary and Chris McOwen (our long-term research collaborator at UNEP-WCMC) for their chapters on 'Drivers of fisheries production in complex social-ecological systems' and 'The future of mangrove fishing communities' in the capstone book, 'Predicting Future Oceans'.

The volume celebrates 8 years of the Nippon Foundation Nereus Program, a collaborative research partnership of 18 institutes, including Cambridge Geography, worldwide. Rachel's mangrove chapter stems from one of three PhDs associated with the Program, following Laurens Geffert's 'Improving species distribution models for commercially important marine species on a global scale' and preceding current student Frederique Fardin's 'Climate Change, Mangrove Forests, and Fisheries, in South-East Asia and the Caribbean'.

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# Arnas Palaima Business Plan semi-finalist

Arnas Palaima

Congratulations to Arnas Palaima, of the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit, who has reached the semi-final stage of the 2019 Postdoc Business Plan Competition with his project 'Eco innovator'. Arnas will now be matched with a seasoned mentor from Cambridge Enterprise's network of experts, to help develop key business skills and hone his business plan. Up to six finalists will then go on to compete at the Grand Finale event, taking place on Thursday 31st October 2019, pitching their business plans to a panel of judges who are experts in spin-out investment.

Eco-Innovator is a sustainability-focused social enterprise seeking to empower global students to make the world more sustainable. More specifically, we are creating a web-based accredited program in eco-innovation and sustainability for global students. The program would enable students to solve REAL-LIFE sustainability challenges provided by industry, cities, research and other organizations that are looking for solutions to reduce environmental footprint and make a transit to the circular economy. In addition, students would work on changing their own (as consumers) behavior to reduce their personal environmental impact. The program would be powered by SOLVE software platform to be developed by Eco-Innovator. SOLVE would integrate three technologies: (1) Virtual Innovation Lab Technology that facilitates and automates student innovation process; (2) Performance Assessment Algorithm Technology that translates innovation data to standardized student innovation metrics/score; and (3) AI/Deep Learning-enabled Technology that speeds up Eco-Innovation Process. In addition to seed funds, we are currently seeking for strategic partners within University of Cambridge (in co-creating the program).

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# Weak and wobbly or strong and stable?: Salt marshes as buffers against coastal erosion

As the UK prepares for climate change impacts at the coastal zone, research from Cambridge Coastal Research Unit (CCRU) determines the resistance of coastal salt marshes to extreme storms.

Salt marshes fringe much of the world's low-lying coasts. They act as a first line of defence against storm surge waves, reducing storm water levels and the run up of waves on landward sea defences. As a result, vulnerable shorelines and engineered coastal defences are at lower risk of suffering under the impact of climate change, for example through sea level rise and intense storms. Little is known, however, of the resistance of these natural buffers to the continued battering by waves and tides and even less is known about what kind of storm it takes to erode these protective fringes, and thus leaving the coast and the populations living alongside it considerably more vulnerable.

This short film explains how a team of Geographers and Geologists is planning to shed light on what makes salt marshes resistant to storm waves, using the latest remote sensing and soil scanning technologies alongside one of the world's largest indoor wave flumes.

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# Salt marsh could be the best defence against coastal erosion

A new article in the Guardian discusses work by Department lecturer Dr Iris Moeller and the RESIST project, exploring how salt marshes can provide resistance to extreme weather events.

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# Sea Change: how Cambridge Geography is working to protect East Anglian coasts

Featured in the latest Research Horizons, the work of Tom Spencer, Iris Moeller and the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit, explores how coastal communities can work with nature, rather than against it, to protect them from flooding, while collaborating with local authorities in the East of England, the Environment Agency, stakeholders including the National Trust, and the Universities of East Anglia (UEA) and Essex, to develop and test more sustainable approaches to flood defence.

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# Rising seas: to keep humans safe, let nature shape the coast

Writing in The Conversation, Department Lecturer Dr Iris Moeller argues that rising sea levels won't be solved by trying to keep the coast in place, instead, for a defence from coastal flooding, we need to take a step back and let nature decide.

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# Cambridge Geography helps Copernicus flood-proof coasts

A major EU research project, including key contributions from the Department of Geography's Coastal Research Unit, has been selected as one of 99 stories from European public authorities to highlight how we are all benefiting from the European Copernicus Programme, the most ambitious Earth Observation programme to date. Launched on the 26th November 2018 at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, The Ever Growing Use of Copernicus across Europe's Regions offers a glimpse into how Copernicus supports a broad range of public policies.

The Cambridge Coastal Research Unit's (CCRU) contribution to the FAST ('Foreshore Assessment using Space Technology') project was led by Dr Iris Möller. The CCRUs contribution allowed the project team from a total of five leading European research establishments to use state of the art field measurements of waves over flooded wetland surfaces across Europe. This in turn enabled the team to explore how remote sensing can be used as a tool to allow coastal wetlands to be incorporated into coastal protection schemes as natural wave buffers.

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# Is sea level rise accelerating and what are the implications for coastal flooding?

Dr Ivan Haigh, Associated Professor in Ocean and Earth Science at the prestigious National Oceanography Centre, Southampton is at the Coastal Research Unit to present his latest work on sea-level rise and its impacts. He describes a novel approach developed to project sea-level rise out to 2300 to accurately assess our 'commitment to sea-level rise' and how sea level rise will impact coastal flooding around the UK.

Rising sea level is one of the most certain and costliest impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement committed signatories to 'Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change'. However, while reducing human emissions of greenhouse gases will stabilise temperature and other climate factors, sea-level rise will continue for many centuries. This is due to the long timescale of cryospheric adjustment to elevated air temperatures (especially the large ice sheets), and the long timescale of the deep ocean temperature warming to surface warming.

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# New paper: The interactive relationship between coastal erosion and flood risk

James Pollard

A new article by CCRU's James Pollard, Professor Tom Spencer, and Dr Sue Brooks establishes that coastal flooding and erosion interact in complex ways that must be addressed for effective risk management.

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