Global Warming To Destroy California Beaches

One year with unusual erosion proves a trend.

2009 winter coastal erosion linked to climate change

Oakland Tribune
Posted: 07/18/2011 01:43:09 AM PDT
Updated: 07/18/2011 01:43:10 AM PDT

The storms that battered the West Coast during the winter of 2009-10 eroded record chunks of shoreline, and more will likely disappear as the changing climate brings more such powerful storm seasons, scientists warn in a new study.

Pacific waves were 20 percent stronger on average than any year since 1997 and higher-than-usual sea levels drove them further inland, tearing away on average one-third m ore land in California.

The state’s beaches were “eroded to often unprecedented levels,” said Patrick Barnard, a coastal geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey who led the research.

“It’s the kind of winter we may experience more frequently” as global temperatures rise, he said.

He acknowledged that the study encompassed five to 13 years of data, depending upon the beach. The researchers studied sections of the coastline, using GPS, buoys and airborne laser mapping between Seattle and San Diego.

But given what he called a startling lack of coastline studies, Barnard said the data they gathered “is the best we have. There’s nothing like it, and it covers a really broad area.”

Barnard was the lead author of the study, published by the American Geophysical Union on July 9 in Geophysical Research Letters. Researchers with five other institutions participated.

With little more than a decade of data, “we couldn’t unequivocally” say this portends the future, he said.

“But there’s no indication that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel anytime soon, given the current trends that we’re observing.”


About stevengoddard

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4 Responses to Global Warming To Destroy California Beaches

  1. suyts says:

    lol, ok, that was 2009 what’s happening today? These people are afraid of their own shadow. What, Cali won’t have a coastline? Dolts.

    • I was at the beach in California a few weeks ago and it seemed to be just fine, other than the cold temperatures caused by global warming.

      • Grumpy Grampy ;) says:

        10 to 15 years represent a transition from one phase of the PDO to the current state. The ocean atmosphere pattern changed so comparisons need to be made to periods before their study began.
        It seems this study was done by the school of MSU! (Make Stuff Up)

  2. gator69 says:

    “We first discovered beach erosion when we started to build houses on the beach in the 1830’s through 50’s (Jordan). Scientists in the 1830’s started to realize beach erosion but they didn’t do much until the 1960’s (Nieson). Residents of beach areas started to discover some of their beach was disappearing. When communities started to do something about these local problems, most of the permanent damage was already done.”

    I guess they stopped teaching history a few decades ago.

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