Terminal Beaches

One thing I rarely see addressed even in the most pedestrian near-future novels will be the sad, extreme lack of nice sandy beaches in our immediate future. Even before the global sea level rise, we were already seeing beaches receding widely because we have interrupted the natural flow of eroded particles from the interior to the coast. Some of the oldest beaches are around 5,000 years old (dating from after the last extreme phase of ocean level rise) and would take minor geological timescales to re-establish naturally. Together with the rapid destruction of coral, within a couple of centuries, except for stinky river deltas, the only sandy beaches could likely be small enclaves created only through expensive, limited engineering. And much of the coastline could itself be a toxic mess due to the rising sea levels overwhelming and eroding all the waste storage buildings/vats/lagoons.

So all those seaside novels? Anything where ordinary people casually promenade along a seaside? Could become historical fiction as alien to our descendents as tales of balmy Hyperboreans.

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