Scientists say there’s a good chance that rising temperatures could increase sea levels by a meter before the end of the century. That recipe is likely to spell disaster for America’s seven national seashores along the Atlantic coast.

A report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization says rising seas and temperatures caused by heat-trapping pollution threaten not just the natural environments of the areas around the Atlantic seashores, but also their economies. These seven regions — Cape Cod, Mass.; Fire Island, N.Y.; Assateague Island in Md. and Va.; Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout in N.C.; Cumberland Island in Ga.; and Canaveral in Fla. — draw about 11 million visitors a year, supporting 8,000 jobs and generating more than half a billion dollars in spending.

The report says a potential effect of climate change is that rising temperatures could discourage summertime visitors to these summer havens. New climate projections included in the report show, for example, that the late-century summer temperatures averages at Fire Island could rise by 6.5 degrees. That’s about as hot as summers are today in Atlantic Beach, N.C. The report predicts that temperatures at Cumberland Island could rise 6.3 degrees, which would put the weather there on par with the current climate in parts of the New Mexican desert. With both air and sea temperatures rising, beach-goers will over the years feel less and less refreshed by a dip in the water in some of these locales.

The report also notes that a record number of extreme weather events last year caused $1 billion in damage to the islands, dunes and shorelines in these seven regions that serve as the first line of defense against high winds, surging waves and tropical storms.

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