July 11, 2022
When storms like last year’s Hurricane Ida come barreling toward the mainland U.S., the first thing they often strike are barrier islands: wisps of land that run parallel to the shore, shielding the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Around the world, they can be found protecting some 10 percent of the planet’s shores, from the Venetian Lagoon to Brisbane’s Moreton Bay. But a new study suggests they will start retreating faster toward the mainland as a delayed effect of sea level rise — diminishing their ability to protect coastlines from storms.
Read more: Study: Rising seas are weakening nature’s storm shields