Almost half of the world’s sandy beaches will have retreated significantly by the end of the century as a result of climate-driven coastal flooding and human interference, according to new research.
The sand erosion will endanger wildlife and could inflict a heavy toll on coastal settlements that will no longer have buffer zones to protect them from rising sea levels and storm surges. In addition, measures by governments to mitigate against the damage are predicted to become increasingly expensive and in some cases unsustainable.
In 30 years, erosion will have destroyed 36,097km (22,430 miles) or 13.6% of sandy coastlines identified from satellite images by scientists for the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European commission. They predict the situation will worsen in the second half of the century, washing away a further 95,061km or 25.7% of Earth’s beaches.
These estimates are far from the most catastrophic; they rely on an optimistic forecast of international action to fight climate breakdown, a scenario known as RCP4.5. In this scenario of reduced ice-cap melting and lower thermal expansion of water, oceans will only have risen by 50cm by 2100.
Note that this is climate plus human interference. Yet at no point are we told how much is climate, how much the idiots sticking up flood defences, or dredging, or whatever, that changes the currents and thus the beach.
Three is also the obvious point that whatever is depositing sand at its current location will almost certainly be depositing it 50 cm further up after climate change as well. Not so much vanishing beaches as moved a couple of feet that is…..