A group of European scientists has created two ‘scenarios’ to show what could happen to the world’s beaches within the next 80 years.
In the ‘worst case’ model, climate change investigators discovered that 50% of coastal destinations could disappear by the end of the century. For Portugal this would translate into almost 40% of its beaches, says Portuguese publication Público. The ‘worst case scenario’ involved an increase in average global temperatures of 4ºC.
The ‘better case scenario’ – involving an increase in average global temperatures of 2 ºC, which is much more in line with climate-change targets – still sees beach losses across the board in the region of 40% – translating into losses for beaches in Portugal of 30%.
Theocharis Plomaritis, one of the researchers involved, and a member of the University of Algarve’s centre for marine and environmental investigation, said that Portugal is “among countries that will be affected but it isn’t among those worst affected” by accelerating global warming.
Lead investigator Michalis Vousdoukas, of the European Commission’s Common Centre of Investigation, warned however that the study’s findings “are quite cautious”. In other words, beach extinctions throughout the world “could be greater” than even these forecast, according to the report by Público.