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Global climate change impacts on coastal ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico: considerations for integrated coastal management

January 1, 2013

Global climate change is important in considerations of integrated coastal management in the Gulf of Mexico. This is true for a number of reasons. Climate in the Gulf spans the range from tropical to the lower part of the temperate zone. Thus, as climate warms, the tropical temperate interface, which is currently mostly offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, will increasingly move over the coastal zone of the northern and eastern parts of the Gulf. Currently, this interface is located in South Florida and around the US-Mexico border in the Texas-Tamaulipas region. Maintaining healthy coastal ecosystems is important because they will be more resistant to climate change.