Environment

A Brazilian beach paradise is being swallowed up by the ocean

Experts have already raised the alarm about rising ocean levels. The town of Atafona is a perfect example of what could go wrong

Located in a delta in the state of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, this small town of sand is being swallowed by the ocean as rising temperatures speed up the process of erosion. Photo: Cavan Images/Alamy

Every year, residents of the beach town of Atafona, in the north of Rio de Janeiro state, haven’t been able to relax when they look out at the shore. On average, the tide is getting three meters closer to the town each year, according to a remote sensing report from Swedish company Spacept, which uses artificial intelligence for space data analytics.

A 2019 Nature study forecasted that areas currently home to 1.4 million Brazilians will begin suffering from constant flooding by 2050, while areas occupied by another 1 million people could be permanently submerged as ocean levels continue to...

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