Erosion of beaches will get worse: researchers warn
Portraying a gloomy picture of the future, the 2015-16 El Niño eroded an unprecedented amount of the West Coast’s beaches across the states of California, Oregon and Washington.
A new study revealed that unusually powerful waves brought by the last El Niño, together with lack of new sediment flushed down onto beaches, eroded 76 per cent more sand than usual from at least 29 beaches in the three states.
David Hubbard, UC Santa Barbara marine ecologist and one of the co-authors of the study, blamed climate change for the devastating El Niño.
Commenting on the findings of the study, Hubbard said, “It looks like climate change will bring us more El Niño events, possibly twice as many, at twice the frequency as in the past. So, this is a taste of what's coming.”
Scientists expect that erosion, a normal process, will get worse as sea levels rise and climate change makes extreme weather events more extreme.
The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, highlighted that erosion of coastlines is a major environmental issue that needs bipartisan agreement in Congress to be fixed.