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California Rising Sea Levels Threaten Southern California Beaches (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

03/01/2012 02:46 pm ET

A new study finds that rising sea levels due to climate change will remove sand from some Southern California beaches and distribute it to others.

The change will either shrink or eliminate some beaches altogether in Southern California, according to the study conducted by Duke and five other institutions.

It could take 100 years before the erosion is complete, notes the Los Angeles Times. Over the course of a century, the sea level is expected to rise by 1 meter, which would lead to severe winter storms and high tides that could make some beaches disappear.

The beaches at risk tend to be smaller ones, like those in Laguna Beach, for example. Dr. Linwood Pendleton of Duke University explained the predicted outcome: "People are going to leave those small beaches and go to beaches that are already fairly large, like Huntington Beach or Will Rogers (State) Beach, Venice Beach," ABC reports.

The study was done on 51 public beach in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Although small beaches stand to lose tourist money, it would cost more -- $436 million for both counties -- to try to recover the damage by redistributing sand.

Click below to see which beaches are the top five winners and top five losers of rising sea levels. Is your favorite beach disappearing?

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