Shared from the 3/3/2020 The Denver Post eEdition
BERLIN » Scientists say that half of the world’s sandy beaches could disappear by the end of the century if climate change continues unchecked.
Researchers at the European Union’s Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy, used satellite images to track the way beaches have changed over the past 30 years and simulated how global warming might affect them in the future.
“What we find is that by the end of the century around half of the beaches in the world will experience erosion that is more than 100 meters,” Michalis Vousdoukas said. “It’s likely that they will be lost.”
The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that the extent to which beaches are at risk depends on how much average global temperatures increase by the year 2100. Greater temperature increases mean more sea level rise and more violent storms in some regions, causing more beaches to vanish beneath the waves.
Gambia and Guinea-Bissau in West Africa could lose more than 60% of their beaches, while predictions for Pakistan, the island of Jersey in the English Channel and the Comoros islands are similarly dire.
Australia would be hardest hit in terms of total beach coastline lost, with more than 7,080 miles at risk. The United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Russia, Argentina and Chile would also lose thousands of miles of beach, according to the study. — The Associated Press