Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sea level rise to alter economics of California beaches

29.02.2012
Rising sea levels are likely to change Southern California beaches in the coming century, but not in ways you might expect.
While some beaches may shrink or possibly disappear, others are poised to remain relatively large -- leaving an uneven distribution of economic gains and losses for coastal beach towns, according to a study by researchers at Duke University and five other institutions.

"Some beaches actually stand to benefit economically from sea level rise, creating winners and losers among California beach towns," said Linwood Pendleton, director of ocean and coastal policy at Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. "We found, as relatively small beaches shrink more due to sea level rise, people will stop visiting them, opting for wider beaches."

The study "Estimating the Potential Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Southern California Beaches," is featured in a special edition of the peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change.

Through the use of several models, the authors simulated the effects of climate change on beach size, beach attendance and beach-goer spending at 51 public beaches in Los Angeles and Orange counties. The data were run for two scenarios: long-term losses in beach size caused by a 1-meter rise in sea level over the next 100 years; or short-lived beach erosion resulting from a year of severe winter storms and high tides associated with sea level rise.

Slow and steady sea level rise will reduce the width of all beaches in the two counties, the researchers found, causing some visitors to drive farther to reach wider shores. Small beaches like Laguna Beach would lose as much as $14 million yearly in beach-related expenditures while larger beaches, like Huntington, would see an annual gain near $16 million annually.

In the second scenario, researchers examined a year characterized by severe winter storms and higher tides -- the El Niño winter of 1982-83. In this year, faster-paced erosion occurred that deposited lost sand at other beaches. The impact of a single, extremely stormy year on revenue created upward and downward swings in beach revenue in the model, nearing $25 million annually. Those benefiting as a result of the changes would be much different than in the first scenario, with Laguna now the biggest winner under the stormy conditions.
The authors said that bringing in more sand through nourishment projects could help offset the losses, but the costs would be great -- roughly $436 million to keep pace with slow, steady sea level rise and near $382 million to repair the effects of a single stormy year.

"While offsetting the effects of long-term sea level rise through nourishment might make economic sense, the costs of fixing the short-term impacts of more damaging winter storms is much higher than any benefits that could be gained," Pendleton said. "Faced with this scenario, most beach towns would be forced to wait for natural processes to slowly replace the sand taken by big storms."

Though the models indicated beach size had a significant influence on whether residents chose a beach, the study found other amenities did too. Adding lifeguards, convenient parking and improving water quality could help make up for some of the lost sand.

"While the focus is often on battling nature to protect sand, it may be far easier and cheaper for beach towns to look to other amenities that are within their control," Pendleton added.

Pendleton is lead author of the study funded by the California Energy Commission's PIER Program. His co-authors include Phillip King, San Francisco State University; Craig Mohn, Cascade Econometrics; D.G. Webster, Dartmouth College; Ryan Vaughn, University of California, Los Angeles; and Peter N. Adams, University of Florida.

To read the article in Climatic Change, visit: http://www.springerlink.com/content/446287535w50p275/

Erin McKenzie | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.duke.edu

Further reports about: Beach Laguna Pendleton sea level sea level rise sea snails winter storm

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Mars’ atmosphere well protected from the solar wind
08.12.2017 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

nachricht Study reveals significant role of dust in mountain ecosystems
07.12.2017 | University of Wyoming

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

Im Focus: A transistor of graphene nanoribbons

Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making fuel out of thick air

08.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>