Much has been said about sea level rise, and I don't intend to give a full account here. But quite apart from the risk of flooding, rising seas mean coastal erosion. I had not grasped how significant this could be. A rule of thumb used by some researchers is that, roughly speaking, for each centimetre of sea level rise, coasts will erode by one metre. When we are looking at a likely sea level rise between 50 and 200 centimetres by 2100 (and continuing thereafter for some time), you quickly get a sense of the scale of this particular issue. Sea defences can be built to minimise this impact, but they are only partially or temporarily effective (or extremely expensive), especially against the scale of change we are looking at.
Where the public at large are likely to particularly notice this, especially in Australia, is in its effect on beaches, many of which are likely to be progressively stripped of sand over the coming decades. The processes involved are complex and only partially understood, and there may be much local variation in how sea level rise affects coastal areas. Nonetheless, loss of sand is already a major (and costly) headache for many beaches and the best estimates are that this will generally get worse.
Many of us are likely to live to see a world virtually free of summer Arctic sea ice; our children may see the last of the great coral reefs die; our grandchildren may need an explanation of what a sandy beach was.