Perhaps we are taking beaches for granted.
Since the late 1800s average sea levels have risen 20cm. They are expected to rise a further half-meter in the next 80 years. Propelled by storms and coastal flooding the number could go up by twice as much, whilst failure to curb emissions could push them a further 30-40cm. This implies that by 2050 Kiribati may be permanently submerged, China’s Pear river delta could find itself underwater. Meanwhile Jakarta is already sinking by 25cm a year and California’s coastline is in deep peril.
One in seven of Earth’s population live less than ten meters above sea level. Entire coastal cities would have to invest in coastal protection, entire low-laying nations are requesting climate-refugee status in other countries.
Investing in climate resilience today will be imperative if the world still wants to enjoy beaches in the coming century.
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