, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 13–28 | Cite as

Megacities and Large Urban Agglomerations in the Coastal Zone: Interactions Between Atmosphere, Land, and Marine Ecosystems

  • Roland von GlasowEmail author
  • Tim D. Jickells
  • Alexander Baklanov
  • Gregory R. Carmichael
  • Tom M. Church
  • Laura Gallardo
  • Claire Hughes
  • Maria Kanakidou
  • Peter S. Liss
  • Laurence Mee
  • Robin Raine
  • Purvaja Ramachandran
  • R. Ramesh
  • Kyrre Sundseth
  • Urumu Tsunogai
  • Mitsuo Uematsu
  • Tong Zhu


Megacities are not only important drivers for socio-economic development but also sources of environmental challenges. Many megacities and large urban agglomerations are located in the coastal zone where land, atmosphere, and ocean meet, posing multiple environmental challenges which we consider here. The atmospheric flow around megacities is complicated by urban heat island effects and topographic flows and sea breezes and influences air pollution and human health. The outflow of polluted air over the ocean perturbs biogeochemical processes. Contaminant inputs can damage downstream coastal zone ecosystem function and resources including fisheries, induce harmful algal blooms and feedback to the atmosphere via marine emissions. The scale of influence of megacities in the coastal zone is hundreds to thousands of kilometers in the atmosphere and tens to hundreds of kilometers in the ocean. We list research needs to further our understanding of coastal megacities with the ultimate aim to improve their environmental management.


Air pollution Marine pollution Coastal zone management Deposition Ozone Harmful algal blooms 



We thank the International Geosphere–Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), The Surface Ocean and Lower Atmosphere Studies programme (SOLAS), and the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry proect (IGAC) for funding an expert workshop.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roland von Glasow
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tim D. Jickells
    • 1
  • Alexander Baklanov
    • 2
  • Gregory R. Carmichael
    • 3
  • Tom M. Church
    • 4
  • Laura Gallardo
    • 5
  • Claire Hughes
    • 6
  • Maria Kanakidou
    • 7
  • Peter S. Liss
    • 1
  • Laurence Mee
    • 8
  • Robin Raine
    • 9
  • Purvaja Ramachandran
    • 10
  • R. Ramesh
    • 10
  • Kyrre Sundseth
    • 11
  • Urumu Tsunogai
    • 12
  • Mitsuo Uematsu
    • 13
  • Tong Zhu
    • 14
  1. 1.School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  2. 2.Danish Meteorological InstituteCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Chemical & Biochemical EngineeringThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA
  4. 4.School of Marine Science and PolicyUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  5. 5.Departamento de Geofísica & Centro de Modelamiento MatemáticoUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  6. 6.Environment DepartmentUniversity of York YorkUK
  7. 7.Environmental Chemical Processes Laboratory, Department of ChemistryUniversity of CreteHeraklionGreece
  8. 8.Scottish Marine Institute, Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS)Oban, ArgyllUK
  9. 9.The Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy ResearchNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland
  10. 10.Institute for Ocean ManagementAnna UniversityChennaiIndia
  11. 11.Center for Ecology and Economics (CEE)NILU-Norwegian Institute for Air ResearchKjellerNorway
  12. 12.Graduate School of Environmental StudiesNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  13. 13.Center for International Collaboration, Atmosphere and Ocean Research InstituteThe University of TokyoKashiwaJapan
  14. 14.State Key Laboratory for Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and EngineeringPeking UniversityBeijingChina

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