Global Warming Will Submerge Ocean Beach at Little Cost to San Francisco

Categories: Environment
ocean beach.jpg
CosmoPolitician via Flickr
First, the bad news: Ocean Beach will likely sink, thanks to global warming. But the good news is, it won't suck nearly as bad as it will for our neighbors down in Southern California.

The reason for this is that our beach is kinda lame, according to a new study. Therefore, San Francisco won't lose nearly as much recreational value when seas eventually rise. According to SF State economist Philip King, who just issued a report called "The Economic Cost of Sea Level Rise to California Beach Communities":

The  air  temperature  at  Ocean  Beach  is  generally  cooler  than  other   areas  of  San  Francisco  and  often  windy.  Ocean  Beach  is  also  subject  to  many  foggy  days,   particularly  in  the  summer.  Hazardous  rip  currents  throughout  the  year,  coupled  with  cold   nearshore  waters  due  to  upwelling,  provide  unsafe  and  unpleasant  swimming  conditions.

The bottom line is this: San Francisco will lose $8.4 million in recreational value by 2050 under the  worst case scenario where sea levels rise above two meters.
To put that into context, the Southern California town of Cerpinteria, which has a much gnarlier, warmer beach, would lose some $20 million in recreational value, the study said. Zuma Beach, even gnarlier still, would lose $60 million and Venice Beach, meanwhile, will suffer a total bummer, losing $75 million in recreational value.

Here are the numbers:

Global warming scenario at a not-so-gnarly beach (click image to enlarge)

Global warming scenario at a very gnarly beach (click image to enlarge)
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     I find it hard to believe that the sea level is rising. Head on down to fisherman's wharf and find out how many times they have moved inland or how much the bay has risen in the last one hundred years.

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