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Energy, Climate change, Environment

Map of the week – Coastal migration (satellite data)

News article |

Young people around the world are making the headlines, protesting and speaking aloud to address the climate crisis. The “Fridays for future” movement urges decision makers and business leaders to put climate change on the top of the agenda and to act now to meet their climate goals in order to ensure a liveable planet for current and future generations.

The data related to climate change dramatically highlights the burden inherited by today’s children and the need to act urgently. Damian Carrington, Environment editor at The Guardian, stated that “children born today will have to live their lives with drastically smaller carbon footprints than their grandparents if climate change is to be controlled.”[1]

Greta Thunberg, leading figure of the “Fridays for future” movement, mentioned on several forums that it is now time to listen to scientists: “I think we have reached a tipping point where enough scientists are telling it like it is and not being so afraid of being alarmist.”[2] Visualizing data and information on our earth system – from the ocean, land and atmosphere - is crucial to show how our planet is being affected.

Our “Map of the week”, powered by satellite data, provides a birds-eye view on how Europe’s coastlines have been changing over the last 10 years. In this new map, users can visualise pan-European coastal behaviour for 2007-2017 and distinguish areas of landward migration (erosion or submergence), stability, and seaward migration (accretion or emergence).

The coastline is the interface between land and sea, providing important services such as ecology, flood protection and recreation. It is also highly dynamic, constantly modified by wind, waves and tides and impacted by human activity such as coastal development and, ultimately, climate change.

Climatic-driven changes such as sea level rise, higher waves and changes in wind direction put increasing pressure on many of Europe’s shorelines. Knowing how, and at what rate, our coasts are changing with this kind of map is the first step to successfully managing them.


Data displayed in this map were provided by EMODnet Geology