Coastal Erosion Could Devastate Southern California Beaches
The Associated Press reports the findings of a new prediction model produced by the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) that predicts dramatic impacts for the coastal beaches of Southern California. The new study says that sea level rise could erode between 31 and 67 percent of beaches—erosion back to the point of coastal infrastructure or the sea cliffs that make up much of the coast.
The USGS released the study, which has also been accepted by the American Geophysical Union's Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface. The USGS website provides additional information on the study. The percentages listed above only tell part of the story: "future predictions indicate that nearly all of the beaches will experience erosion (will get smaller) due to accelerated sea-level rise."
The USGS website also notes the critical role of beaches in the Southern California economy. USGS geologist and study co-author Patrick Barnard is quoted saying, "we will have to perform massive and costly interventions to preserve these beaches in the future under the erosive pressures of anticipated sea level rise, or risk losing many of the economic and protective benefits beaches provide."