Last year’s El Niño may not have brought much downpour to southern parts of California, but it took a significant toll on the state’s beautiful beaches.
A new study of the coastal changes at more than two dozen beaches across the state of California, Oregon and Washington revealed that the 2015-16 El Niño caused unmatched erosion across most of the West Coast.
Lead researcher Patrick Barnard, a coastal geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Santa Cruz, said the level of degradation from El Nino might not be able to recover, and that it could have far-reaching environmental as well as economic impacts.
Barnard cautioned that the regional coasts could face further erosion from more powerful El Ninos in the future.
El Niño, a multiyear weather pattern, was being eagerly waited by drought-hit Californians who believed that it would revive the Golden State’s wilting landscape. While northern part of the state did get a good soaking, Southern Californians were left to wonder whether El Niño really came. But, the multiyear phenomenon hit Southern California costs really hard.
The degradation of beaches by El Nino was detailed in the Wednesday (Feb.14th) edition of the journal Nature Communications.