Saturday, June 13, 2020

Coral reef islands can accrete vertically in response to sea level rise

Coral reef islands can accrete vertically in response to sea level rise. Gerd Masselink, Eddie Beetham, Paul Kench. Science Advances, Jun 10 2020, Vol. 6, no. 24, eaay3656. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay3656

Abstract: Increased flooding due to sea level rise (SLR) is expected to render reef islands, defined as sandy or gravel islands on top of coral reef platforms, uninhabitable within decades. Such projections generally assume that reef islands are geologically inert landforms unable to adjust morphologically. We present numerical modeling results that show reef islands composed of gravel material are morphodynamically resilient landforms that evolve under SLR by accreting to maintain positive freeboard while retreating lagoonward. Such island adjustment is driven by wave overtopping processes transferring sediment from the beachface to the island surface. Our results indicate that such natural adaptation of reef islands may provide an alternative future trajectory that can potentially support near-term habitability on some islands, albeit with additional management challenges. Full characterization of SLR vulnerability at a given reef island should combine morphodynamic models with assessments of climate-related impacts on freshwater supplies, carbonate sediment supply, and future wave regimes.

Our numerical model simulations, validated against small-scale physical model tests, indicate that reef islands will undergo physical transformations in response to SLR and can maintain island surfaces above sea level. Notably, we present the first process-based numerical model simulations of future island change that highlight lateral displacement of shorelines and vertical building of the island crest and island surface. These adjustments are mediated through island rollover, driven by overtopping and overwash processes, and a tentative threshold separating these two regimes for our modeled gravel barrier subjected to wave conditions of Hs = 2–4 m is a mean overwash discharge across the island crest of 0.01 m3 m−1 s−1 associated with maximum overwash depths of 0.2 to 0.4 m. Our results further indicate that the magnitude and pace of change will be dependent on both the rate of SLR and changing wave regimes. These modeled trajectories of island dynamics are consistent with modes of island change observed in recent studies throughout the Indo-Pacific (17, 19, 20–22).

The morphological modeling approach adopted here considers coral reef island response to climate change only as a result of rising sea level. However, increased ocean water temperature is expected to increase the intensity of tropical storms, resulting in enhanced coastal flooding (31), thereby accelerating the rollover process identified in this study, and also has substantial adverse effects on the health of coral reef systems that may modify carbonate sediment production regimes that contribute to island building and maintenance (32). In addition, island habitability is not only a function of island freeboard it also depends on the island planform area, which, without sediment input from the reef structure, may reduce as a result of rollover. Storlazzi et al.(4) have demonstrated that enhanced coastal flooding due to SLR is expected to lead to increased contamination of the freshwater aquifer, where they occur, a process not accounted for in the present numerical modeling approach. It is also important to emphasize that the reef island modeled here is made of gravel, and because of the reduced mobility and increased hydraulic conductivity of gravel compared with that of sand, it could be argued that gravel islands may be particularly responsive and able to keep up with rising sea level. Notwithstanding a modeling approach that only considers the morphodynamic impacts of SLR and the complex set of factors that influence island habitability (33–35), our results confirm recent assertions that the physical foundations for island communities may persist (21). Compared with a static reef island model, the vertical buildup of island elevation by overwash processes modeled here can also offset the increase in future flood risk due to SLR. However, our results also indicate that communities are likely to be confronted with ongoing and escalating rates of island physical change that will stress populations and require careful consideration of the full spectrum of adaptation strategies.

Our analysis provides an empirical basis to help inform appropriate adaptation pathways in island nations, with continued habitation of islands underpinning the majority of these approaches (Fig. 4). The simulated morphodynamic trajectories suggest a cascade of responses is likely, beginning with island keep-up and marginal island narrowing under slower rates of SLR and dominant overtopping regimes. Faster-paced lateral migration of islands and increased reduction in freeboard are projected under faster rates (and greater magnitudes) of SLR and higher wave regimes, producing dominant overwash regimes (Fig. 4). In the most extreme cases, dominant overwashing forces loss of freeboard and rapid rollover of island sediment reservoirs. This cascade of morphological changes supports recent studies (21, 36) that indicate that physical responses are likely to vary between islands, reflecting differences in antecedent condition (e.g., sedimentary fabric and abundance, island size, and presence/absence of conglomerate platform) and environmental boundary conditions (storm wave climate and rate of SLR). Such differences in morphodynamic behavior present the opportunity to develop nuanced adaptation solutions in different island settings, rather than adopt a one-solution approach that ultimately results in island abandonment and relocation (10). Islands with artificial shoreline defenses compromise the ability of shorelines to undergo natural adjustment to changes in the process regime and lock communities into hard structural solutions and a maladaptive dependency. Under extreme scenarios of change, islands may become uninhabitable, and community relocation and structural solutions may become the only alternatives. However, between the binary outcomes—hold the line and community migration—exist a suite of alternate solutions that reflect the dynamic nature of island change and allow planning and soft engineering strategies. Furthermore, given the progressive nature of island transformations, the suite of options provide opportunities for adaptive planning pathways to be developed at the island scale (37), which allows resources to be deployed in a more efficient manner and avoid maladaptive interventions (38).

[Fig. 4 Conceptual diagram of reef island morphological adjustment to future SLR under different environmental and management scenarios.]

Island response is driven by extrinsic factors (rate of SLR, storm characteristics, and overtopping/overwashing balance) and controlled by intrinsic factors (presence/absence of conglomerate platform beneath the island, reef growth, size of the island, and sediment supply). The most appropriate adaptation strategy (managed realignment, nourishment, coastal defense, and relocation) to deal with island change is strongly determined by the type of island response to SLR. For example, an island that is narrowing, but maintaining freeboard, could benefit more from nourishment than coastal defense. If an island is already completely defended, preventing overtopping and overwashing, the only way to maintain habitation is upgrading the coastal defenses (or relocation). The width of the black bars represents the magnitude/importance/relevance of the factor in question.

The pursuit of alternate adaptation pathways does not negate the need to pursue ongoing mitigation action to curtail future SLR and climatic changes on small island nations. However, morphodynamic modeling provides a basis to resolve island-specific trajectories of change to underpin the development of adaptation strategies that may extend the duration of habitation of these islands to at least more than several decades. Future morphodynamic modeling of reef island response to SLR must not only explore further SLR and wave conditions but also need to incorporate the different environmental factors, such as island morphology, reef platform adjustment, and sediment supply.

From 2018... Women’s Pornography. In Pornographies: Critical Positions

Attwood, F. ‘Women’s Pornography’. In Katherine Harrison and Cassandra A. Ogden (Editors) Pornographies: Critical Positions, 2018. ISBN 978-1-908258-32-8. Chester: University of Chester Press.

Pornography has often been presented as a form of violence against women or an expression of patriarchy, and more recently, as the source of the sexualization of mainstream culture with significant negative impacts on women. At the same time the development of feminist porn studies (see for example, Penley et al., 2013; Maina, 2014) and ‘The ‘Fifty Shades phenomenon’ in which EL James’ book trilogy (2011-2013) became a worldwide bestseller, followed by a widely publicized film (2015), has made women more visible than ever as producers and consumers of pornography.

In this chapter I provide an introduction and brief overview of some of the developments in pornographies that are produced and consumed by women. This is necessarily highly partial given both the timescale I am interested in (1970s to the present day), the wide range of pornographies and other varieties of sexually explicit material that are available, and the relative scarcity of academic work on the production, content and reception of pornographies for women. My aim here is to introduce some of the key contributions to academic literature in the area, chart some of the most well-known areas of production and consumption during the period, and consider three key themes - characterizing women’s porn, authenticity, and participation.


Porn comics have also been a popular site for women’s pornography. Little academic attention has been paid to Anglophone porn comics for women produced within the US market (Roberts, 2015) but the development of a Japanese tradition has been quite widely researched. Originating in shojo-manga (girls comics), originally dominated by male mangaka, shonen-ai– a genre of male-male romance was developed by female mangaka during the 1970s, focusing on intense, eroticized relationships between bishonen or ‘beautiful boys’ (Madill, forthcoming; see also McLelland, 2000; Levi, McHarry and Pagliassotti, 2010; Nagaike and Suganuma, 2013). A related genre - ‘ladies comics’ (see Shamoon, 2004, p. 82) - portrayed ‘real (or at least realistic) women actively pursuing their own sexual pleasureand ‘taking the initiative in sexual experimentation(Shamoon, 2004, p. 79; see also Jones, 2005), the comic format allowing for the portrayal of female pleasure and orgasm in a way that is not possible on film. Whereas ladies comics virtually excluded the male body, putting the female body on display (2004, p. 83) - as Anglophone comics for women have also tended to do (Roberts, 2015) - boyslove manga focused on men’s bodies and sex between men.

Based on the shonen-ai of the 1970s a wider range of BoysLove (BL) media, often focusing on uke (‘bottom) and seme (‘top) pairings (see Sihombing, 2011), featuring a range of sexual themes including rape, non-consensual sex, BDSM, incest, and underage sex, with a mainly female fan-base and mostly created by women (Mizoguchi, 2003), has gained increasingly wide circulation. Through the mid- to late-1990s Boys’ Love (often called yaoi outside Japan and with a corresponding genre in China called ‘danmei’, see Chao, forthcoming) developed a global market and transnational fandom (Nagaike & Suganuma, 2013; Wood, 2006; Wood, 2013), becoming the site of many amateur online productions.

A focus on men’s bodies has continued to be a popular one for many female consumers of porn. As Alexandra Hambleton (forthcoming) notes, the female-friendly porn films produced by Silk Labo draw on aspects of popular Japanese media culture such as tv dramas with their focus on ‘stressed career women, lonely women who have given up on men, university students looking for love, young couples dating in fashionable or exotic locations’ and J pop ‘idols’ who provide the style template for Silk Labo’s ‘eromen’ performers. Lucy Neville (in press) suggests that women’s pleasures in m/m (male/male) porn are partly explained by the lack of pressure to identify with any of the performers. Participants in her research reported feeling less anxious about the enjoyment of watching male performers, and appreciating what they viewed as the better production values and acting, more experimental and interesting performances, and wider range of body types in m/m porn.

Men holding cats were viewed as less masculine; more neurotic, agreeable, and open; and less dateable

Not the Cat’s Meow? The Impact of Posing with Cats on Female Perceptions of Male Dateability. Lori Kogan and Shelly Volsche. Animals 2020, 10(6), 1007; June 9 2020,

Simple Summary: People use dating sites to look for both long-term and short-term potential partners. Previous research suggests that the presence of a pet may add to women’s perceptions of male attractiveness and dateability. This study sought to understand to what degree, if any, the presence of a cat has on women’s perceptions of men. Women responded to an online survey and rated photos of men alone and men holding cats on measures of masculinity and personality. Men holding cats were viewed as less masculine; more neurotic, agreeable, and open; and less dateable. These results varied slightly depending whether the women self-identified as a “dog person” or a “cat person.” This study suggests that a closer look at the effects of different companion species on perceived masculinity and dateability is warranted.

Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate whether men were considered more attractive when posing for a photo alone or holding a cat. Prior research suggests that women view pet owners as more attractive and dateable than non-pet owners; however, this effect was strongest with dog owners. We hypothesized that men posing with cats would be more attractive than those posing alone. Using an online survey, women viewed images of a man posing alone or with a cat and rated the men on the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) and the Big Five Inventory. Women viewed men as less masculine when holding the cat; higher in neuroticism, agreeableness, and openness; and less dateable. These findings suggest that pets continue to play a role in women’s mate choices and dating preferences, but that a closer look at the effects of different species of pets is warranted. View Full-Text

Keywords: dating; cats; personality; sex roles; human–animal interactions

To be or to appear to be: Evidence that authentic people seek to appear authentic rather than be authentic

To be or to appear to be: Evidence that authentic people seek to appear authentic rather than be authentic. William Hart et al. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 166, 1 November 2020, 110165.

Abstract: Self-presentation theory suggests that all people strategically self-present, so it struggles to account for self-proclaimed “authentic” people who are apparently unaware or unconcerned with the impressions they make. But, we addressed whether self-proclaimed authentic people create authentic identities via strategic displays that communicate authentic images but are inconsistent with the self's objective experiences. Participants (N = 240) completed a (bogus) color-gazing task under the presumption that authentic people see colors become more (more-intense condition) or less intense (less-intense condition) while gazing at them. Participants reported perceiving color as more intense in the more-intense condition, but this biased responding—consistent with appearing authentic—was enhanced by trait-authenticity indicators. This biased responding was not open to awareness. Also, participants higher in trait-authenticity indicators reported possessing more authentic characteristics, and mediation evidence traced these reports to their more biased responding on the task. Self-presentation is fundamental to human nature, and this includes “authentic” people.

Keywords: Impression managementSelf-presentationAuthenticitySelf-verification

The Cost of Torture: Evidence from the Spanish Inquisition

The Cost of Torture: Evidence from the Spanish Inquisition. Ron E. Hassner. Security Studies, May 13 2020.

Abstract: Empirical evidence on contemporary torture is sparse. The archives of the Spanish Inquisition provide a detailed historical source of quantitative and qualitative information about interrogational torture. The inquisition tortured brutally and systematically, willing to torment all who it deemed as withholding evidence. This torture yielded information that was often reliable: witnesses in the torture chamber and witnesses that were not tortured provided corresponding information about collaborators, locations, events, and practices. Nonetheless, inquisitors treated the results of interrogations in the torture chamber with skepticism. This bureaucratized torture stands in stark contrast to the “ticking bomb” philosophy that has motivated US torture policy in the aftermath of 9/11. Evidence from the archives of the Spanish Inquisition suggests torture affords no middle ground: one cannot improvise quick, amateurish, and half-hearted torture sessions, motivated by anger and fear, and hope to extract reliable intelligence.