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Articles on Coastal erosion

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One of Australia’s most famous beaches is disappearing, and storms aren’t to blame. So what’s the problem?

Over the past six months, tourists and locals have been shocked to see Byron's famous Main Beach literally disappearing. Satellite imagery and local knowledge has revealed what's going on.
Aerial imagery revealing the extent of storm damage in Dee Why on Sydney’s Northern Beaches in 2016 following wild weather. NEARMAP/AAP

A landmark report confirms Australia is girt by hotter, higher seas. But there’s still time to act

The IPCC report says extreme sea level events that used to hit once a century will occur once a year in many places by 2050. This situation is inevitable, even if emissions are dramatically curbed.
The San Pedro Mezquital River is the last free-flowing river in Mexico’s western Sierra Madre. Octavio Aburto

Hydropower dams can harm coastal areas far downstream

Thousands of hydropower dams are under construction around the world. New research shows that by cutting off sediment flow, these dams can have big ecological effects on far-off bays and deltas.
How much should a council pay to protect private beachfront properties? AAP Image/Nearmap

Building sea walls is a small bandaid on a gaping wound

How far will we go to protect high-risk beachfront property? New research suggests local councils are too willing to spend public money to protect private landowners from coastal climate change.
King tides now regularly breach seawalls meant to protect Torres Strait Island communities, and it happened again last week. Suzanne Long/AAP

King tides and rising seas are predictable, and we’re not doing enough about it

King tides and rising seas are an increasing and predictable threat, but adaptation plans to limit the damage to coastal property are still not managing the political obstacles.
The original conflict between development and preservation of natural assets is broadening as the risks of climate change become ever more obvious. Crystal Ja/AAP

Contested spaces: conflict behind the sand dunes takes a new turn

Conflicts over coastal areas have largely been between development and preserving what makes these attractive places to live. Rising sea levels are now complicating our relationship with the coast.

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