Speed Reading — Vanishing Beaches - Level 6 — 200 wpm

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Rising sea levels could see the demise of half of the world's beaches by the end of this century. Climate scientists predict that 50 per cent of sandy beaches along the world's coastlines could vanish over the next eight decades if climate change continues on its current path. The scientists are from the European Commission's Joint Research Centre. They warned that the shorelines of many highly-populated areas and tourist hot-spots are threatened by erosion from climate change and surging sea levels. Areas at risk of disappearing forever include well-known, popular beaches in Australia's Surfers' Paradise, the islands of Hawaii, Brazil's Copacabana Beach, and the Costa del Sol in Spain.

The scientists reported that countries like The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau in Africa are predicted to lose over 60% of their beaches. The country to be worst affected is Australia, where 12,000km of coastline could end up underwater forever. The researchers wrote that: "A substantial proportion of the world's sandy coastline is already eroding, a situation that could be exacerbated by climate change. [This]...could result in the near extinction of the world's sandy beaches by the end of the century." Research co-author Dr Michalis Vousdoukas said there were two important ways we could reduce this trend and save the beaches. He said we had to, "reduce emissions and manage our coastline in a more sustainable way".

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