The scourge of ocean microplastics

Tiny particles of plastic (less than 1 mm diameter) are now entering the human food-chain through our consumption of seafood. The issue of plastics reaching the ocean is not new, but over the past few years our understanding of the impacts has increased dramatically. A 2014 study showed that Europeans consume approximately 11,000 microplastic particles

The use of drones to protect mangrove coastline

Mangroves are a type of forest-like ecosystem that occur on sheltered tropical coastlines around the world. They typically consist of shrubs or trees in brackish coastal waters, and create a vital form of protection for the coastlines on which they exist. They have suffered from systematic deforestation over the past few decades, typically for timber

Brits show a staggering lack of understanding when it comes to rip currents – do you know better?

Beaches form one of the British holidaymaker’s favourite destinations. Kids often ask to spend their days paddling, building sandcastles, and eating ice cream. They are also an extremely dangerous place if you don’t know (or don’t understand) the hazards. The RNLI is the UK body responsible for the provision of lifeguarding services on beaches, and

Climate change and coastal flooding: the current state of the art

There are many hundreds of publications in the scientific literature each year detailing the proposed impacts of climate change on the coastal zone, however, last week, the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) published a new synopsis on UK coastal flooding impacts. The coastal flooding report, authored by SurgeWatch founders Ivan Haigh and Robert Nicholls is available here. Concern about

SurgeWatch – A database of UK Coastal Flood Events

The UK Government and National Agencies such as councils are notoriously bad at documenting flood impacts, and there is certainly no consistency in the manner with which they approach the task. A project I am now collaborating on is SurgeWatch, which aims to establish a comprehensive database of UK Coastal Flood events. If you have

New paper: New understanding of rip currents that could save lives

Here follows a press release for our recent paper on wave breaking patterns and the link to rip current risk.   Research by the Universities of Southampton and Plymouth has found a new link between breaking waves and the hazard posed by rip currents. The research provides a better understanding why some surf zone conditions

The currents that will ‘rip’ your trunks off: why don’t people see the risk?

Rip currents are a dangerous coastal hazard. A simple statement that most casual beach users would tend to agree with. Why, then, are so many of those same people ignorant of the risks posed by rip current currents? Why do many beach users, excepting perhaps experienced surfers, fail to spot the dangers and still end

Keep calm and carry on: Immunity from integration for Blighty’s Armed Forces?

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) controls in excess of 250 miles of coastline in the United Kingdom, spread across some 48 coastal sites, making them a key stakeholder in the Coastal Zone Management equation. Since WWI the MOD has acted with relative immunity regarding its use of the coast; Countless chemical and conventional munitions have