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What If We Took a Trip to the Beach & It Wasn't There?

A family trip to the seaside may become an antiquated custom, thanks to global warming. In North Carolina alone, the ocean is expected to rise one foot in the next 25 to 75 years, which would erode 2,000 to 10,000 feet of the beaches there.

In LiveScience.com, Andrea Thompson quotes geologist Orrin Pilkey as saying, "We have no way of predicting what sea level rise will do to erosion rates, except to say that they will increase." Hurricanes, which are on the increase due to climate change, can also destroy beaches.

When you finally GET to the beach, should you cover up? For years, the official word on tanning has been: don't. Health organizations have driven home the message that the sun exposure needed to get a tan increases your chances of getting skin cancer. But recently researchers have conducted a series of experiments that put tanning in a different light. A suntan, they say, is the body's best effort to fend off the known cancerous effects of ultraviolet (UV) light, the invisible portion of the light spectrum that penetrates the skin and mutates DNA. So if tans are protective, should we toss our SPF 45 and become sun worshippers? No. The researchers say we should stick with our sunscreen and avoid excessive sun exposure. But they're also looking for ways to give fair-skinned people the protective benefits of having a tan without going through the hazards of getting one.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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