Speed Reading — Vanishing Beaches - Level 5 — 200 wpm

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Rising sea levels could see the end of half the world's beaches by the end of the century. Scientists predict that half our sandy beaches could vanish over the next eight decades if climate change continues. The scientists are from the European Commission. They warned that the shorelines of highly-populated areas and tourist hot-spots are threatened by erosion from increasing sea levels. Areas at risk of disappearing forever include well-known beaches in Australia's Surfers' Paradise, the islands of Hawaii, Brazil's Copacabana Beach, and the Costa del Sol in Spain.

The scientists predicted that countries like The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau in Africa could lose 60% of their beaches. The worst affected country will be Australia, where 12,000km of coastline could end up underwater. The researchers said: "A substantial proportion of the world's sandy coastline is already eroding." They added that we could see, "the near extinction of the world's sandy beaches by the end of the century". A researcher said there were two important ways we could save the beaches. He said we had to, "reduce emissions and manage our coastline in a more sustainable way".

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