A first-of-its-kind survey of the world’s sandy shorelines with satellite data found that they have increased slightly on a global scale over the past three decades but decreased in protected marine areas, where many beaches are eroding.
Erosion in protected marine areas could threaten plant and animal species and cultural heritage sites. Worldwide, the study found that 24 percent of Earth’s sandy beaches are eroding, a coastline distance of almost 50,000 miles.
The view from space provided researchers with a more accurate picture of just how much of Earth’s shorelines are beaches. They found that about a third (31 percent) of all ice-free shorelines are sandy or gravelly. Africa has the highest proportion of sandy beaches (66 percent) and Europe has the lowest (22 percent).
>> Read the Full Article