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 Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland
15.11.2018 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht The unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs
14.11.2018 | Uppsala University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>