Research says climate change could vanish half of world's beaches by 2100 - GulfToday

Research says climate change could wipe out half of world's beaches by 2100

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Beach chairs are lined up before sunrise in Timmendorfer Strand at the Baltic Sea, northern Germany.

Climate change is real and everything around the world is rapidly changing.


There’s a lot that needs to be done to save what we have and what we have taken for granted as mother earth has started sending us alarming signals.


One of the most recent warning by researchers is that half the world's sandy beaches might be wiped out by 2100.


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The main beach at Caladesi Island State Park is seen with a barrier island along the Gulf of Mexico.


Even if humanity sharply reduces the fossil fuel pollution that drives global warming, more than a third of the planet's sandy shorelines could disappear by then, crippling coastal tourism in countries large and small, they reported in the journal Nature Climate Change.


"Apart from tourism, sandy beaches often act as the first line of defence from coastal storms and flooding, and without them impacts of extreme weather events will probably be higher," lead author Michalis Vousdoukas, a researcher at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, told a section of the media.


"We have to prepare."


Some countries, such as the United States, are already planning extensive defence systems, but in most nations such massive engineering schemes will not be unfeasible, unaffordable or both.


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People stroll along the steep coast at the beach at Johannistal nearby Heiligenhafen at the Baltic Sea, northern Germany.


Australia could be hit hardest, according to the findings, with nearly 15,000 kilometres (more than 9,000 miles) of white-beach coastline washed away over the next 80 years, followed by Canada, Chile and the United States.


The 10 countries that stand to lose the most sandy shoreline also include Mexico, China, Russia, Argentina, India and Brazil.


'A landmark advance'


A less dire scenario, called RCP4.5, would see humanity cap global warming at about three degrees Celsius, which is still far more than the "well below 2C" limit called for in the 2015 Paris Agreement.


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People enjoy the popular beach of Navagio, or Shipwreck Beach, on the western island of Zakynthos, Greece.


Under RCP8.5, the world will lose 49.5 percent of its sandy beaches by 2100 -- nearly 132,000 kilometres of coastline.


Even by mid-century, the loss would be more than 40,000 kilometres.


The increasingly likely RCP4.5 outlook would still see 95,000 kilometres of coastline shorn of its sand by 2100, most of it within the next 30 years.



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The UN's science advisory group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), projected in a major report last September a sea level rise of a half metre by 2100 under the more optimistic scenario, and 84cm under RCP8.5.


Many climate scientists, however, say these estimates are too conservative, and have predicted in peer-reviewed work that the ocean watermark will rise twice as much.

Experts not involved in the new findings said they should sound an alarm.




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