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The Tourist Beaches Predicted to Shrink the Most

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The Tourist Beaches Predicted to Shrink the Most

The Tourist Beaches Predicted to Shrink the Most

Sandy beaches comprise more than one-third of the world’s coastline —but nearly half of this could be gone by 2100.

This graphic by HawaiianIslands.com uses European Commission data that estimates how shorelines worldwide will change over the next decades.

How this Graphic Works

The source conducted an analysis using European Commission data, estimating global shoreline changes by 2100.

Utilizing this data, they calculated the average decrease or increase (in meters) for the shorelines of the 10 most-reviewed beaches in each country on TripAdvisor.

Subsequently, they identified the top 20 tourist beaches projected to experience the most significant reduction in size. The beach boundaries were delineated using the Google Maps API.

Beaches Shrinking by 2100

According to various research, climate change is the main cause of sea levels rising across the globe. In the 20th century alone, it’s estimated that the mean global sea level rose by 11-16 cm.

Typically, beaches might naturally shift inland in response to higher water levels. However, over the last few decades, beaches, caught between rising seas and structures such as buildings and roads, have found themselves with nowhere to go.

Landmark Beach in Lagos, Nigeria, is expected to be the worst hit by 2100, losing 918.3 m of shoreline due to rising sea levels.

Lagos is already suffering the severe impact of rising seas through increased flooding, water-borne disease, and declining water quality.

Beach Country Shoreline Shrinkage (2100P)
Landmark 🇳🇬 Nigeria918.3m
Mackenzie 🇨🇾 Cyprus660.9m
Spiaggia La Cinta 🇮🇹 Italy 514.2m
Costa do Sol 🇲🇿 Mozambique 453.4m
Kuakata Sea 🇧🇩 Bangladesh361.2m
Kabyar Wa🇲🇲 Myanmar351.7m
Entry of Elegushi🇳🇬 Nigeria 338.0m
Royal Comission Yanbu🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia 336.2m
Simaisma North 🇶🇦 Qatar298.6m
Al Thakeera🇶🇦 Qatar278.9m
Akumal 🇲🇽 Mexico265.9m
Ngapali🇲🇲 Myanmar249.5m
Patenga Sea🇧🇩 Bangladesh245.8m
Morro Branco🇧🇷 Brazil224.6m
St. Brelade's Bay🇯🇪 Jersey213.6m
Cape Henlopen🇺🇸 U.S.204.7m
Veracruz🇵🇦 Panama202.4m
Dado🇮🇱 Israel 201.4m
Clearwater🇺🇸 U.S.193.4m
Blåvand🇩🇰 Denmark183.1m

Playa Akumal in Cancún, Mexico, is the North American tourist beach that is expected to shrink the most (265.9 m). Parts of the Quintana Roo coast, where Akumal is found, are already losing up to 4.9 m a year.

Meanwhile, Clearwater Beach in Longboat Key, Florida, is the American beach that is anticipated to shrink the most (193.4 m). Rising sea levels in Clearwater pose an additional concern since the local aquifers, critical for the water supply of millions, are vulnerable to saltwater intrusion.

What’s Causing Sea Levels to Rise?

Since the 1970s, the world has experienced an average temperature increase of 0.15 to 0.20°C per decade, as indicated by NASA research.

This global warming phenomenon has triggered the melting of polar ice caps, resulting in the loss of approximately 28 trillion tonnes of ice within a little over two decades.

Concurrently, global sea levels have escalated by an average of 34.6 mm during the same period.

In the face of the challenge, solutions such as creating dunes along the backshore of beaches, increasing shoreline setbacks, and planting submerged aquatic vegetation to reduce erosion have been studied to mitigate the impact of rising sea levels.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Automotive

How People Get Around in America, Europe, and Asia

Examining how people get around using cars, public transit, and walking or biking, and the regional differences in usage.

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A chart with the popularity of different transportation types in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, calculated by modal share.

How People Get Around in America, Europe, and Asia

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

This chart highlights the popularity of different transportation types in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, calculated by modal share.

Data for this article and visualization is sourced from ‘The ABC of Mobility’, a research paper by Rafael Prieto-Curiel (Complexity Science Hub) and Juan P. Ospina (EAFIT University), accessed through ScienceDirect.

The authors gathered their modal share data through travel surveys, which focused on the primary mode of transportation a person employs for each weekday trip. Information from 800 cities across 61 countries was collected for this study.

North American Car Culture Contrasts with the Rest of the World

In the U.S. and Canada, people heavily rely on cars to get around, no matter the size of the city. There are a few exceptions of course, such as New York, Toronto, and smaller college towns across the United States.

Region🚗 Cars🚌 Public Transport🚶 Walking/Biking
North America*92%5%4%
Central America23%42%35%
South America29%40%31%
Northern Europe48%29%24%
Western Europe43%24%34%
Southern Europe50%24%25%
Eastern Europe35%40%25%
Southeastern Asia44%43%13%
Western Asia43%28%29%
Southern Asia22%39%39%
Eastern Asia19%46%35%
World51%26%22%

Note: *Excluding Mexico. Percentages are rounded.

As a result, North America’s share of public transport and active mobility (walking and biking) is the lowest amongst all surveyed regions by a significant amount.

On the other hand, public transport reigns supreme in South and Central America as well as Southern and Eastern Asia. It ties with cars in Southeastern Asia, and is eclipsed by cars in Western Asia.

As outlined in the paper, Europe sees more city-level differences in transport popularity.

For example, Utrecht, Netherlands prefers walking and biking. People in Paris and London like using their extensive transit systems. And in Manchester and Rome, roughly two out of three journeys are by car.

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Visualizing Asia's Water Dilemma

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