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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bye-bye beaches

Frenchman's Bay, Maine - looking northeast
Do you have a favorite ocean beach?  Well pretty soon it will be a memory only.

My extended family has a cabin on Frenchman’s Bay in “Downeast Maine”.  It is a stone’s throw from the beach with a spectacular view of the bay.  In the center of the image below is Mt. Cadillac (the hill in the center) which is the easternmost point of the continental United States where the sun first strikes the continent.


Beach on Frenchman's Bay, Maine looking southeast toward Bar Harbor


This is my sanctuary, the place where I go with my wife to rejuvenate and shut out the world for a while.  As beaches go it is not exactly your tropical island paradise, but the rocks are endlessly interesting and the tide moves so quickly you can actually watch it as it changes over 10 feet two times per day.  Watching the tide rising inexorably is a portent of things to come.

I am sharing this as a reminder to everyone who has a favorite beach somewhere in the world that most of these beaches will be permanently underwater before the end of the century.

Climatologists estimates of how high the ocean level will rise by 2100 continue to escalate, at present they are saying 6 to 13 feet but I suspect it may be more by the time they factor in all of the other feedbacks.  Take a moment to fully process this concept - the beaches will be gone, period.  This means that within your lifetime you will lose what cherished memories you have because we have so thoroughly screwed up the planet that the oceans will inevitably rise and take away many of our favorite places.

If this is not enough of a wake-up call, I do not know what is.

edited and re-printed from my earlier June 10,2014 post