Around half of world’s sandy beaches might be gone by the end of this century if climate change is not drastically slowed down according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
The researchers created models that used 35 years of satellite coastal observations along with over 80 years of climate and sea-level rise projections and discovered that half of our coastal beaches may disappear by 3000.
Driving the drastic loss, is the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing our polar ice caps to melt, causing sea levels to rise and wiping out beaches.
The researchers also looked short term and explained that by 2050, around 14% of sandy beaches would be gone at the current rate.
To avoid this situation, we must drastically cut carbon emissions to ensure climate change is slowed and our oceans discontinue warming up. According to the report, just a moderate mitigation policy to reduce greenhouse gases and ensure their peak would be no later than 2040, would prevent up to 40% of the erosion.
Different countries and parts of the world would be impacted differently depending on multiple factors including average rise of tides, geography of the coastlines on shore and offshore.
Dr Suzana Ilic, ofLancaster Environment Centre of Lancaster University, explained that, “While some parts of sandy coastlines will grow, many countries will have 80 percent of their sandy coastlines affected by erosion. The latter countries where sandy beaches are important tourist attractions will face the major negative socio-economic impacts. Countries like Australia and the USA have a large proportion of sandy beaches and will see large changes.”