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A week-long caravan holiday in the UK can actually be more expensive than a four-star all-inclusive trip to Greece, according to a study.

Which? Travel investigated the prices of a week’s stay in six different UK holiday hotspots in June 2022, comparing different accommodation types using Airbnb, Booking.com and Pitch Up. It found a static caravan holiday in Scotland costing £1,086, a higher tariff than a deal it discovered for a week in Halkidiki, Greece, for the same dates.

The study also found that staying in a bell tent in Cornwall can be more than £200 more expensive than checking in to a four-star hotel in the same town, while holidaying in a treehouse on the Isle of Wight can be more than double the price of a three-star hotel stay nearby.

A week-long static caravan holiday in the UK can actually be more expensive than a four-star all-inclusive trip to Greece, according to a new Which? Travel study (stock photo)

A week-long static caravan holiday in the UK can actually be more expensive than a four-star all-inclusive trip to Greece, according to a new Which? Travel study (stock photo)

Which? Travel's study found a static caravan holiday in Scotland costing £1,086, a higher tariff than a deal it discovered for a week in Halkidiki (pictured), for the same dates

Which? Travel’s study found a static caravan holiday in Scotland costing £1,086, a higher tariff than a deal it discovered for a week in Halkidiki (pictured), for the same dates

According to Which? Travel, in Newton Abbot, Devon, a week’s stay in a tent in June costs £140, a caravan pitch £210, a static caravan £525, self-catering accommodation is priced at £425, and a yurt is £840. Which? Travel points out that while a yurt is a ‘glorified tent’ and ‘you have to trudge across the field for the loo’, it’s £7 more expensive than a week in a three-star hotel (£833) with a heated indoor pool ‘on the banks of the River Teign estuary’.

It notes that both the yurt and the self-catering accommodation have cooking facilities – which saves on eating out. However, the latter is half the price of the yurt and sleeps four – working out at just £106 per person.

Which? Travel’s Scottish pricing revelation came after analysing accommodation options in Annan in Dumfries and Galloway. As well as discovering that a static caravan can set you back £1,086, the magazine discovered that both a tent and a caravan pitch are priced at £157.50, a three-star hotel £378, self-catering accommodation ‘set in an old sandstone farmhouse’ with a hot tub £505, and a converted barn £1,023.

HOTEL, CARAVAN, SELF-CATERING OR YURT: THE COSTS REVEALED

NEWTON ABBOT, DEVON

Tent £140, caravan pitch £210, static caravan £525, three-star hotel £833, self-catering £425, yurt £840

HELSTON, CORNWALL

Tent £122.50, caravan pitch £122.50, static caravan £700, four-star hotel and breakfast £770, self-catering £396, bell tent £980

HAVERFORDWEST, PEMBROKESHIRE

Tent £159.25, caravan pitch £159.25, static caravan £485, three-star hotel £465, self-catering £485, pod and hot tub £1,436

 

ANNAN, DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY

Tent £157.50, caravan pitch £157.50, static caravan £1,086, three-star hotel £378, self-catering and hot tub £505, barn £1,023

PICKERING, NORTH YORKSHIRE

Tent £175, caravan pitch £210, static caravan £490, four-star hotel £525, self-catering £446, shepherd’s hut £417

SHANKLIN & SANDOWN, ISLE OF WIGHT

Tent £147, caravan pitch £161, static caravan £490, three-star hotel and breakfast £525, self-catering £509, treehouse £1,093

 Source: Which? Travel 

According to Which? Travel, a three-star hotel stay in Annan, Scotland, can cost £378 (stock photo), considerably less than the static caravan break it found

According to Which? Travel, a three-star hotel stay in Annan, Scotland, can cost £378 (stock photo), considerably less than the static caravan break it found

While the static caravan has access to a private beach, the lower-priced holiday in Greece includes a superior room in a four-star hotel ‘among the olive groves’, with buffet meals and alcoholic drinks as part of the package.

It adds that instead of a caravan stay, you could ‘slash costs’ by spending a week in the hotel (£378), a seven-minute drive down the road.

Booking site Pitch Up told Which? Travel that static caravans had seen the biggest boom of all holiday park accommodation in recent years, with prices up by a quarter since 2019.

Which? Travel analysed prices in Helston, Cornwall (pictured), and found that both a tent and a caravan pitch cost £122.50, while a bell tent cost £980

Which? Travel analysed prices in Helston, Cornwall (pictured), and found that both a tent and a caravan pitch cost £122.50, while a bell tent cost £980

Which? Travel also analysed prices in Helston, Cornwall, and found that both a tent and a caravan pitch cost £122.50, a static caravan £700, a four-star hotel and breakfast £770, self-catering accommodation £396, and a bell tent £980. 

It says that those staying in the static caravan, despite paying an ‘assault on the wallet’ £100 a night, are still expected to bring their own bed linen, pillows and towels.

Which? Travel notes that the hotel (£770) – which is £200 cheaper than the bell tent that’s ‘down the road’ – has a four-poster bed and includes a full English breakfast every morning. However, it points out that holidaymakers could save 84 per cent in Cornwall if they trade in their hotel room for a regular tent (£122.50).

Pitch Up told Which? Travel that there were tent pitches available for less than £10 per person per night in the UK

Pitch Up told Which? Travel that there were tent pitches available for less than £10 per person per night in the UK

Pitch Up told Which? Travel that there were tent pitches available for less than £10 per person per night in the UK – and the study found that ‘surprisingly’, Cornwall turned out to be the cheapest camping location overall in Which? Travel’s research.

The study, meanwhile, revealed that you could save £285 on a hotel stay by ‘going against the crowd’ and holidaying in a less popular location like Pembrokeshire, with its ‘craggy clifftops, secret coves and wide sandy beaches’ that are ‘reminiscent of Cornwall – minus the crowds’.

In this region Which? Travel’s researchers homed in on Haverfordwest, discovering that both a tent and a caravan pitch are £159.25, a static caravan £485, a three-star hotel £465, self-catering accommodation £485, and a pod with a hot-tub £1,436 – surmising that unless you splash out on the ‘luxury twin-pod with a king-size bed and hot tub’, most accommodation in the area is relatively affordable.

Guests at a £417 shepherd's hut in Pickering, North Yorkshire, can enjoy views of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park (pictured). Or check into a four-star hotel for £525

Guests at a £417 shepherd’s hut in Pickering, North Yorkshire, can enjoy views of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park (pictured). Or check into a four-star hotel for £525

Which? Travel discovered that a treehouse in Shanklin and Sandown on the Isle of Wight costs £1,093 (stock photo)

Which? Travel discovered that a treehouse in Shanklin and Sandown on the Isle of Wight costs £1,093 (stock photo)

WHICH? TRAVEL’S TIPS ON SAVING ON UK HOLIDAYS 

Book six months in advance: Which? Travel says that now is the time to book your summer holiday, and advises that you look for places ‘with flexible booking terms or free cancellation’.

Choose a less popular destination: ‘You can save a fortune by going against the crowd,’ Which? Travel says.

Stay three miles down the road: Instead of staying in a ‘honeypot resort’, Which? Travel recommends choosing somewhere cheaper that’s ‘down the road’.

Join a caravan club: Gain access to exclusive holiday parks and nab a discount with a membership scheme, Which? Travel suggests.

Try a shepherd’s hut: A stay in a shepherd hut ‘won’t break the bank’, according to Which? Travel – which lists Inshriach House in the Scottish Highlands as a worthwhile option.

Source: Which? Travel 

In Pickering, North Yorkshire, Which? Travel found that a tent costs £175, a caravan pitch £210, a static caravan £490, a four-star hotel is priced at £525, self-catering accommodation at £446, and a shepherd’s hut £417 – concluding that this hotspot is ‘one of the most affordable’.

It notes that the self-catering cottage sleeps three people, working out as £149 per person, and that guests at the shepherd’s hut can enjoy a wood-burning stove and views of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

Which? Travel’s final study, looking at Shanklin and Sandown on the Isle of Wight, discovered that a tent is £147, a caravan pitch £161, a static caravan £490, a three-star hotel with breakfast £525, self-catering accommodation is priced at £509, and a treehouse £1,093.

Which? Travel notes that while the treehouse, set in a ‘peaceful woodland 2km (1.2miles) from the beach’, is more than double the price of the hotel (£525) and self-catering accommodation (£509), it offers a ‘unique experience’ and features an outdoor deck, a fire pit and barbecue facilities.

Rory Boland, Which? Travel Editor, said of the study’s findings: ‘Holidaymakers may feel priced out of a break this year with some accommodation providers appearing to cash in on the boom in popularity of UK holidays. It is extraordinary that a sunny all-inclusive holiday overseas in a four-star hotel can be cheaper than renting a static caravan at home.

‘The good news is there are plenty of ways to make significant savings on the cost of a trip in the UK, from booking well in advance, to avoiding popular locations during peak season or staying just a few miles down the road.’ 

For more information visit which.co.uk/l/travel.

Which? Travel found that a treehouse on the Isle of Wight can be more than double the price of a three-star hotel (stock photo)

Which? Travel found that a treehouse on the Isle of Wight can be more than double the price of a three-star hotel (stock photo)


Ancient Japanese tombs are aligned so they all face the arc of the rising sun, according to a new study involving satellite images.   

Hundreds of ancient burial mounds can be found dotted across the Japanese Islands, the largest of which are known as Kofun, and shaped like a keyhole.  

Few details are known about the monuments, some of which are up to 1,600ft in length, because there are no written records, excavations are rare and limited to the smaller ones, and access is strictly restricted or even forbidden. 

High-resolution satellite imagery allowed the team from the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy to discover more about the mysterious monuments. 

The satellite imagery revealed the relationship between the monuments, the landscape and the sky – finding they orientate to the arc of the rising sun. 

This isn’t by chance, according to the researchers, who say it is in agreement with the Japanese imperial tradition, and the mythical origin of the dynasty, which considers them direct descendants of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu.

Ancient Japanese tombs are aligned so they all face the arc of the rising sun, according to a new study involving satellite images

Ancient Japanese tombs are aligned so they all face the arc of the rising sun, according to a new study involving satellite images

Hundreds of ancient burial mounds can be found dotted across the Japanese Islands, the largest of which are known as Kofun, and shaped like a keyhole

Hundreds of ancient burial mounds can be found dotted across the Japanese Islands, the largest of which are known as Kofun, and shaped like a keyhole

ABOUT THE TOMBS 

The funerary mounds, built between the third and seventh century CE, were found to contain items made of iron, weapons and the remains of people.

They have been attributed to the semi-legendary first emperors of Japan, with the smaller tombs dedicated to members of the royal family and aids. 

The Daisen Kofun mound is approximately 1,600 ft long and 980 ft across at its widest point, rising 118ft above the surrounding terrain.

It is off-limits and protected by the Imperial Household Agency in the centre of Sakai City. 

It is completely overgrown by vegetation, with the moat a haven for fish species. 

Studies using satellite imagery revealed the entrance to all of the tombs face the arc of the rising sun.

They were built between the third and seventh century CE, with the most imposing of the monuments dedicated to the semi-legendary first emperors of Japan. 

The smaller moments probably belonged to court officers, serving those first emperors, as well as to members of the royal family. 

Among them is the Daisen Kofun, one of the largest monuments ever built on Earth, measuring 1,600ft long by 118ft height. 

It is traditionally attributed to Emperor Nintoku, the sixteenth emperor of Japan, and belongs to a group of tombs recently given UNESCO world heritage status.

There are no written sources on these tombs, which makes uncovering their origins and details much harder, according to the Italian team.

Further adding to the problem for historians is the fact excavations of the tombs are rare, and limited to the smaller monuments.

This is because the largest tombs are considered being of the first semi-legendary emperors and, as such, are strictly protected by law. 

Protection also extends to the outside, with many monuments fenced – which means archaeologists can’t even enter the perimeter of the grounds.  

For these reasons, it is impossible to obtain accurate measurements of size, height and orientation, the team explained.

They were built between the third and seventh century CE, with the most imposing of the monuments dedicated to the semi-legendary first emperors of Japan

They were built between the third and seventh century CE, with the most imposing of the monuments dedicated to the semi-legendary first emperors of Japan

The satellite imagery revealed the relationship between the monuments, the landscape and the sky - finding they orientate to the arc of the rising sun

The satellite imagery revealed the relationship between the monuments, the landscape and the sky – finding they orientate to the arc of the rising sun

Furthermore, their sheer number of monuments further discourages any on field investigation – as the cost would be prohibitive. 

This is why the team turned to high-resolution satellite images – which are described as a ‘powerful tool for remote sensing investigations’. 

Study authors, Norma Baratta, Arianna Picotti and Giulio Magli of the Politecnico di Milano set out to deepen the knowledge of the relationships between these monuments and the landscape, in particular, with the sky. 

The team measured the orientation of more than 100 Kofuns over the course of their satellite investigations.

Study authors, Norma Baratta, Arianna Picotti and Giulio Magli of the Politecnico di Milano set out to deepen the knowledge of the relationships between these monuments and the landscape, in particular, with the sky

Study authors, Norma Baratta, Arianna Picotti and Giulio Magli of the Politecnico di Milano set out to deepen the knowledge of the relationships between these monuments and the landscape, in particular, with the sky

This isn't by chance, according to the researchers, who say it is in agreement with the Japanese imperial tradition, and the mythical origin of the dynasty, which considers them direct descendants of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu

This isn’t by chance, according to the researchers, who say it is in agreement with the Japanese imperial tradition, and the mythical origin of the dynasty, which considers them direct descendants of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu

Few details are known about the monuments, some of which are up to 1,600ft in length, because there are no written records, excavations are rare and limited to the smaller ones, and access is strictly restricted or even forbidden

Few details are known about the monuments, some of which are up to 1,600ft in length, because there are no written records, excavations are rare and limited to the smaller ones, and access is strictly restricted or even forbidden

They found a strong connection of the Kofun entrance corridors with the arc in the sky where the Sun and the Moon are visible every day of the year.

They show that the orientation of the hugest keyhole-shaped Kofuns to the arc of the Sun rising/shining, in particular, the Daisen Kofun is oriented towards the Sun rising at the winter solstice. 

The findings have been published in the journal Remote Sensing. 

Sun Goddess Amaterasu: A major deity of the Shinto religion 

The Sun Goddess Amaterasu is one of the major deities in the Japanese Shinto religion, portrayed in the earliest Japanese texts, the Kojiki, dating to 712 CE.

She was the ruler of the heavenly realm Takamagahara and the mythical ancestress of the Imperial House of Japan via her grandson Ninigi. 

Alongside siblings Tsukuyomi, the moon god, and the storm god Susanoo, Amaterasu is considered to be one of the “Three Precious Children’ – or the most important children of creator god Izanagi. 

The mythical origin of the dynasty of the Japanese Emperors considers them as direct descendants of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu.  


People of ancient Mesopotamia created a super-strength hybrid animal by crossing domestic donkeys with wild asses, a new genome sequencing study reveals. 

Researchers in Paris have studied genomes from equid skeletons found at a 4,500-year-old burial site at Umm el-Marra in northern Syria.  

Results suggest the skeletons once belonged to a domesticated hybrid animal called a ‘kunga’ – a cross between female donkeys and male Syrian wild asses – and therefore provide the earliest known evidence of hybrid animal breeding. 

Humans didn’t ride on top of kungas, according to the experts; rather, the animals were likely used to transport goods and equipment and pull chariots in battle.

The size and speed of kungas made these hybrid animals a better option than asses for the towing of four-wheeled war wagons. 

Kungas were produced by societies in Mesopotamia – the historical region of Western Asia – 500 years before the arrival of domesticated horses in the region.    

It’s already known that sumerians – people of southern Mesopotamia – had been using equid-drawn four-wheeled war wagons on the battlefield for centuries, as evidenced by the famous ‘Standard of Ur’, a 4,500-year-old Sumerian mosaic. 

Umm el-Marra (northern Syria) is a 4,500-year-old princely burial complex. Several equids have been found on the site, buried in their own installations

Umm el-Marra (northern Syria) is a 4,500-year-old princely burial complex. Several equids have been found on the site, buried in their own installations

Sumerians – the people of southern Mesopotamia – had already been using equid-drawn four-wheeled war wagons on the battlefield for centuries, as evidenced by the famous 'Standard of Ur', a 4,500-year-old Sumerian mosaic.

Sumerians – the people of southern Mesopotamia – had already been using equid-drawn four-wheeled war wagons on the battlefield for centuries, as evidenced by the famous ‘Standard of Ur’, a 4,500-year-old Sumerian mosaic.

WHAT WERE KUNGAS? 

Kungas were ‘highly valued’ domesticated hybrid animals used in ancient Mesopotamia for diplomacy, ceremony and warfare.

They were a cross between female donkeys and male Syrian wild asses, new genome analysis shows. They cost up to six times the price of a donkey. 

Large-sized male kungas were used to pull the vehicles of ‘nobility and gods’. 

Researchers say: ‘The precise taxonomical determination of the kunga and its identification in the archaeological record have been uncertain until now.’ 

The new study was conducted by palaeogeneticists at the Institut Jacques Monod in Paris, France. 

‘Kungas were F1 hybrids between female domestic donkeys and male hemippes [Syrian wild ass], thus documenting the earliest evidence of hybrid animal breeding,’ they say. 

‘Large-sized male kungas were used to pull the vehicles of “nobility and gods”, and their size and speed made them more desirable than asses for the towing of four-wheeled war wagons.’  

Mesopotamia was a historical area of the Middle-East that spans most of what is now known as Iraq but also stretched to include parts of Syria and Turkey. 

Domestic horses in the region date back to 4,000 years ago, according to previous finding of the same research group published in 2020, while the new finding dates kungas in the region date back 4,500 years ago. 

Clay tablets from 4,500 years ago featuring a syllabic writing system called cuneiform are already known to mention prestigious equids with a high market value as ‘kunga’.

Ancient tablets and seals document that kungas, which cost up to six times the price of a donkey, were intentionally bred in Mesopotamia during the Early Bronze Age. 

However, although it was thought one kunga parent was likely a donkey, the other parent’s identity had remained unclear.  

Ancient panel 'hunting wild asses' (British Museum, London) showing Asiatic wild ass being captured

Ancient panel ‘hunting wild asses’ (British Museum, London) showing Asiatic wild ass being captured

Mesopotamia was a historical area of the Middle-East that spans most of what is now known as Iraq but also stretched to include parts of Syria and Turkey

Mesopotamia was a historical area of the Middle-East that spans most of what is now known as Iraq but also stretched to include parts of Syria and Turkey

SHOTGUN SEQUENCING 

Experts combined shotgun nuclear DNA sequencing with highly sensitive polymerase chain reactions (PCR

Shotgun sequencing involves breaking the genome into a collection of small DNA fragments that are sequenced individually. 

A computer program looks for overlaps in the DNA sequences and uses them to place the individual fragments in their correct order to reconstitute the genome. 

Source: genome.gov

To learn more, researchers analysed the genomes of complete skeletons of 25 male hybrid equids from Umm el-Marra to determine whether the equids were kungas and investigate their taxonomic origins. 

Because the DNA was extremely poorly preserved due to the hot Syrian climate, the researchers combined shotgun nuclear DNA sequencing with polymerase chain reactions (PCR), targeting mitochondrial DNA (to investigate the mother) and the Y chromosome (to investigate the father).  

Although degraded, the genome of kungas could be compared to those of other equids – horses, domestic donkeys and wild asses of the hemione family. 

The latter includes the remains of an 11,000-year-old equid from the oldest known temple, Göbekli Tepe (south-east of present-day Turkey), and two of the last surviving Syrian wild asses that disappeared in the early 20th century, which are conserved in the Natural History Museum of Vienna. 

Results confirm an earlier hypothesis that the burial site equids were hybrids and uncover the kungas’ parentage. 

According to the analyses, the equids of Umm el-Marra are first generation hybrids resulting from the cross of a domestic donkey and a male hemione. 

Enclosure D with T-shaped pillars at Göbekli Tepe, south-east of present-day Turkey. This archaeological site includes the world's oldest known temple

Enclosure D with T-shaped pillars at Göbekli Tepe, south-east of present-day Turkey. This archaeological site includes the world’s oldest known temple

As kungas were sterile and the hemiones were wild, it was necessary each time to cross a domestic female with a previously captured hemione. 

Rather than domesticating the wild horses that populated the region, the Sumerians produced and used hybrids, combining the qualities of the two parents to produce offspring that were stronger and faster than donkeys (and much faster than horses).

Kungas were eventually supplanted by the arrival of the domestic horse, which was easier to reproduce, when it was imported to the region from the Pontic Steppe.

The researchers say their study, published in Science Advances, may help clarify the scale of hybrid breeding in third millennium BC Mesopotamian societies.     

Mesopotamia is known as the ‘cradle of civilization’, but what made it so great?

A historical area of the Middle-East that spans most of what is now known as Iraq but also stretched to include parts of Syria and Turkey.

The term ‘Mesopotamia’ comes from Greek, meaning ‘between two rivers’.

The two rivers that the name refers to are the Tigris river and the Euphrates.

Unlike many other empires (such as the Greeks and the Romans) Mesopotamia consisted of several different cultures and groups. 

Mesopotamia should be more properly understood as a region that produced multiple empires and civilizations rather than any single civilization. 

Mesopotamia is known as the ‘cradle of civilization’ primarily because of two developments: the invention of the ‘city’ as we know it today and the invention of writing.

Mesopotamia is an ancient region of the Middle-East that is most of modern-day Iraq and parts of other countries. They invented cities, the wheel and farming and gave women almost equal rights 

Mesopotamia is an ancient region of the Middle-East that is most of modern-day Iraq and parts of other countries. They invented cities, the wheel and farming and gave women almost equal rights 

Thought to be responsible for many early developments, it is also credited with the invention of the wheel. 

They also gave the world the first mass domestication of animals, cultivated great swathes of land and invented tools and weaponry. 

As well as these practical developments, the region saw the birth of wine, beer and demarcation of time into hours, minutes, and seconds.

It is thought that the fertile land between the two rivers allowed hunter-gathers a a comfortable existence which led to the agricultural revolution. 

A common thread throughout the area was the equal treatment of women. 

Women enjoyed nearly equal rights and could own land, file for divorce, own their own businesses, and make contracts in trade. 


It’s the go-to destination for many party-loving sunseekers every summer, but a new study will fill Ibiza fans with dread. 

Scientists have warned that up to 65 per cent of all beaches in the Balearic Islands will be permanently lost by the end of the century – and climate change is to blame.

A model was created to look at sea level changes under current climate change projections by researchers from the Oceanographic Centre of the Balearic Islands.

While the impact of the climate crisis on coastal areas has been widely studied, this is the first to show the impact specifically on popular tourist spots in the Balearics.

More than a quarter of the economy of the Balearic Islands comes from beach and sun tourism, so losing the beaches to climate change would be devastating. 

‘Here we show that climate change will lead to the permanent loss of more than 50 per cent of the beach surface, rising up to more than 80 per cent during storm conditions,’ said study author Miguel Agulles.

These predictions are based on the worst case scenario of climate change, but efforts to cut carbon emissions could see a significant reduction in sea level rises around the world, the team said.

They also call on local and national governments to enact measures to reduce the risk of climate change on beaches, including by planting more seagrass.

Up to 65 per cent of all beaches in the Balearic Islands will be permanently lost by the end of the century, according to a new study, and climate change is to blame

Up to 65 per cent of all beaches in the Balearic Islands will be permanently lost by the end of the century, according to a new study, and climate change is to blame

The findings show that climate change will lead to the permanent loss of more than 50% of the beach surface, rising up to more than 80% during storm conditions

The findings show that climate change will lead to the permanent loss of more than 50% of the beach surface, rising up to more than 80% during storm conditions

WHAT IS THE PARIS AGREEMENT?

The Paris Agreement, which was first signed in 2015, is an international agreement to control and limit climate change.

It hopes to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2°C (3.6ºF) ‘and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C (2.7°F)’.

It seems the more ambitious goal of restricting global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) may be more important than ever, according to previous research which claims 25 per cent of the world could see a significant increase in drier conditions. 

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has four main goals with regards to reducing emissions:

A long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels

To aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C, since this would significantly reduce risks and the impacts of climate change

Governments agreed on the need for global emissions to peak as soon as possible, recognising that this will take longer for developing countries

To undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with the best available science

Source: European Commission 

Even under the most extreme climate change models, sea levels are not expected to rise everywhere on Earth to the same extent.

There will be differences caused by winds and ocean currents, according to researchers. 

Earlier studies have predicted that around the Balearic islands, sea levels will increase by up to 26 inches, under the highest level of warming. 

However, it isn’t just sea levels that will impact the quality of beaches for tourism.

Flood levels, rather than constant sea level rises, depend on tides and waves, and are more of an important indicator of the future shape of beaches, the team behind this study explained.

They created a new, cost-efficient and accurate method to model future flood levels along the coastlines of the Balearic islands.

They considered the shape and slope of each beach, how grainy the sand is on the beach, the extent of seagrass meadows and used it to predict coastal flooding. 

‘A detailed analysis of the evolution of each beach in the Balearic archipelago is very demanding on computer power,’ Agulles told Frontiers. 

‘We have therefore devoted considerable effort in our study to develop methodologies for the analysis and to optimise the computation.’

They discovered that it isn’t all bad news, with extreme events less extreme than previously thought.

Wave heights will be up to six inches lower than the current maximum heigh of up to 13ft, they predict. 

Despite this, Agulles and colleagues warn there will still be ‘devastating inroads on the coastline’, leading to a reduction in the number of beaches.

They say this will be mainly due to the overall rise in sea level, with at least 56 per cent of beaches in the region permanently lost to the sea.

This, combined with regional projections of sea level and wave changes over the next 100 years, allowed them to predict the future total water level.

They applied their new model to 869 beaches across the Balearic Islands, and looked at what is most likely to happen for the next few decades. 

Under the most pessimistic climate change scenario, 66 per cent of current beaches will be flooded, and lost to the sea by the end of this century. 

This is under average conditions, but under the most extreme conditions it will increase to a loss of 86 per cent of beaches during a storm. 

While the impact of the climate crisis on coastal areas has been widely studied, this is the first to show the impact specifically on popular tourist spots in the Balearics

While the impact of the climate crisis on coastal areas has been widely studied, this is the first to show the impact specifically on popular tourist spots in the Balearics

In total, 72 of the 869 beaches of the region would permanently disappear, while 314 would be completely flooded during storm episodes. 

Under a moderate scenario of emissions, considered the most likely under current climate change scenarios, 37 beaches would permanently disappear while 254 would disappear only during storm episodes. 

In both cases, the average permanent loss of beach surface area by the end of the century will still be over 50 per cent, and could reach 80 per cent. 

In total, 72 of the 869 beaches of the region would permanently disappear while 314 would be completely flooded during storm episodes

In total, 72 of the 869 beaches of the region would permanently disappear while 314 would be completely flooded during storm episodes

Co-author Dr Gabriel Jordà said the results show climate change is a serious threat to tourism in the islands, and beaches will be seriously impacted.

He said national and regional governments should make plans to minimise hte impact of storms by preserving seagrass – a natural protection against storms.

‘These projections indicate that adaptation plans for beach areas should be put in place as soon as possible.’

The findings have been published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science. 

SEA LEVELS COULD RISE BY UP TO 4 FEET BY THE YEAR 2300

Global sea levels could rise as much as 1.2 metres (4 feet) by 2300 even if we meet the 2015 Paris climate goals, scientists have warned.

The long-term change will be driven by a thaw of ice from Greenland to Antarctica that is set to re-draw global coastlines.

Sea level rise threatens cities from Shanghai to London, to low-lying swathes of Florida or Bangladesh, and to entire nations such as the Maldives.

It is vital that we curb emissions as soon as possible to avoid an even greater rise, a German-led team of researchers said in a new report.

By 2300, the report projected that sea levels would gain by 0.7-1.2 metres, even if almost 200 nations fully meet goals under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Targets set by the accords include cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero in the second half of this century.

Ocean levels will rise inexorably because heat-trapping industrial gases already emitted will linger in the atmosphere, melting more ice, it said.

In addition, water naturally expands as it warms above four degrees Celsius (39.2°F).

Every five years of delay beyond 2020 in peaking global emissions would mean an extra 20 centimetres (8 inches) of sea level rise by 2300.

‘Sea level is often communicated as a really slow process that you can’t do much about … but the next 30 years really matter,’ said lead author Dr Matthias Mengel, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in Potsdam, Germany.

None of the nearly 200 governments to sign the Paris Accords are on track to meet its pledges.