Technology & Science

Global Warming and the Loss of Sandy Beaches

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Over a third of the world’s beaches are sandy beaches. Because of their beauty, sandy beaches have very high economic value. Just think about the number of people who go to beaches for vacation. There are resorts, hotels, and entire industries built around beach life. However, with increasing global temperatures and erosion, a study published in Nature recently predicted that over half the sandy beaches of the world will be gone by the end of the century.

Loss of Beaches = Loss in Revenue

The good news is that if the world decreases greenhouse gas emissions, even moderately, we can reduce the loss by 40%. Even if you’re not a scientist or have a vested interest in global warming, it’s important to remember that the loss of sandy beaches is a problem for everyone. Why? Because of the money.

From Beachfront Property to In-Ocean Property

What would happen if resorts and hotels lost all their business because they were no longer “beachfront” hotels? What about all those million dollar houses that sit on the beach? What happens when the value of those houses depreciates? What happens, when a storm like Sandy, destroys most of the properties and in the process, destroys the beach? Not only are the houses lost, but they can never be rebuilt.

Beach Towns to Ghost Towns

Of course, if there are houses, there are towns. What happens to beach towns when they lose tourism and thus, revenue? Where do the people go and how are they going to find other jobs? It’s one thing to relocate someone, it’s much more difficult to help every person who was uprooted by global warming re-establish themselves and their careers somewhere else. 

Losing the world’s sandy beaches might seem like another trivial problem that comes with global warming, but since we live in a deeply connected society, eventually we’ll all feel the ripple effect.

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