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Japans beach loss due to climate change

Japan's beach loss due to climate change

As the 2017 G20 Summit drew to a close, the issue of climate change still divided the world. 19 out of the 20 world leaders agreed on all points made in the declaration – all except the US Present, Donald Trump.

However, leaving politics to the side, climate change has caused a range of effects on coastal environments. Some of the effects relate to erosional processes such as a decrease in sediment supply, variations in the intensity and frequency of extreme events (for example, storms and cyclones) and changes in sea levels and in the wave climate.

Those most concerned are the Japanese who are surrounded by seas with around 73% of Japan being forested, mountainous and/or incompatible for residential use, with the result being that the most habitable areas are located in or near the coastal areas.

This has prompted the Japanese government to set up an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) who will to undertake a study on climate change, providing projections of future coastal erosion. Thus far, the study has indicated that rising sea levels (SLR) and the increase of maximum wave heights due to climate change will lead to shoreline retreat.

The authors of the study have stated that beach loss due to SLR is an serious issue which must be addressed through the development of better coastal management policies to reduce beach loss.

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