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A leading coastal scientist has warned that some of the world's best known beach resorts may not survive projected sea level rises and that problems caused by changing sea levels are compounded by a lack of political will and short-term coastal management initiatives.
The Coleraine-based academic said that while the most pervasive driver of coastal change at present is global sea level rise, rising sea levels alone do not necessarily threaten beaches – the problem arises when beaches are artificially hemmed in and not given room to move. "Beaches have survived 120 m of sea level rise over the last ten thousand years. Problems only arise if we don't give beaches room to move and to adjust to the changing sea level," he said.