Coastal areas around the pacific will be at increased risk of erosion and flooding if a projected increase in extreme El Niño and La Niña events occurs, according to a new study.

Researchers found that observed coastal erosion across the Pacific varies closely with El Niño events, independent of changes in sea-level rise. The researchers gathered data from 48 beaches between 1979 and 2012, eight of which were in the Pacific Northwest, including British Columbia.

Original research paper published in Nature Geoscience on September 21, 2015.

Names and affiliations of selected author

Ian J. Walker, Coastal Erosion and Dune Dynamics (CEDD) Laboratory, University of Victoria, British Columbia