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Studies show that a large part of Stinson Beach near San Francisco will be under a foot of water in less than 20 years. Many think the 21st Century is the first time we faced this kind of event, but it is not.
Sea levels started to rise nearly 15,000 years ago with the end of the last ice age. With the possibility of a global sea-level rise of 3ft (1m) by 2050, researchers are looking at ancient stories that can convey a collective memory about land lost to the sea.
Geologists realise that there's factual information in some of the oldest traditions and stories. Many of the tales can provide insight into what might have happened thousands of years ago when the ice sheets melted and give us an understanding that may save lives in the future.
Researchers that set out to find actual events or people behind popular myths are known as geomythologists. These ancient stories are seen as possible observations of phenomena by pre-literate people.
Most Aboriginal Australian stories about the changes in landscape and way of life caused by post-glacial sea-level rise are divided into two groups.
The ancient stories of fighting a losing battle against the sea are concentrated along the coast of Brittany, the Channel Islands, Cornwall and Wales.
The lesson we can learn is that sea-level rise cannot be stopped easily.
Ultimately, geomythology challenges our thinking about the past and the future. The geomyths provide information and details that would otherwise be easily missed.
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