Coastwide
REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

World - This is how climate change could drastically change coastlines

A new report looks at the impacts of rising ocean temperatures on the size of waves.Rising ocean levels and stronger waves could have devastating consequences for coastal communities.But reducing greenhouse emissions and helping communities to adapt can help to reverse these effects.

  • A new report looks at the impacts of rising ocean temperatures on the size of waves.
  • Rising ocean levels and stronger waves could have devastating consequences for coastal communities.
  • But reducing greenhouse emissions and helping communities to adapt can help to reverse these effects.

Sea level rise isn’t the only way climate change will devastate the coast. Our research, published today, found it is also making waves more powerful, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere.

We plotted the trajectory of these stronger waves and found the coasts of South Australia and Western Australia, Pacific and Caribbean Islands, East Indonesia and Japan, and South Africa are already experiencing more powerful waves because of global warming.

This will compound the effects of sea level rise, putting low-lying island nations in the Pacific — such as Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands — in further danger, and changing how we manage coasts worldwide.

But it’s not too late to stop the worst effects — that is, if we drastically and urgently cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more.