Global warming and the sea level rise that’s coming with it could wash away over almost half of the world’s sandy beaches by 2100. That’s according to a study published this week on Nature Climate Change.
The loss of the beaches would have enormous economic implications. Beaches provide a barrier that protects real estate and whole cities from storm surge. They also create recreational opportunities that fuel tourism.
Scientists say stronger storms and manmade alterations, such as the construction of jetties and seawalls, are speeding up erosion. Add sea level rise to the mix and the situation becomes even more dire.
The outlook isn’t hopeless, however. The researchers say if humans cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, sea level rise could slow and shoreline retreat could be reduced by nearly 40 percent.
Buyers purchasing beachfront real estate need to consider beach erosion and how it could impact their property before they submit an offer.