200,000 properties in England could be underwater by 2050 due to rising sea levels | Totally Vegan Buzz

200,000 properties in England could be underwater by 2050 due to rising sea levels

Climate change has cost US billions of dollars in flood damage, study finds
Image: narongpon chaibot / shutterstock.com

The country could face around 14 inches (35cm) of sea level rise compared to historic levels within 30 years and an almost certain level rise of 1m by the end of the century, researchers report.

Rising sea levels around the English coast will wash away nearly 200000 homes and businesses by 2050, estimates a new study.

The research published in the peer-review journal Oceans and Coastal Management comes from researchers at the Tyndall Centre, in the University of East Anglia.

It compared the increasing threat coastal flooding is posing to communities with existing policies for managing regions by the sea.

 Study findings

According to the researchers the country could face around 14 inches (35cm) of sea level rise compared to historic levels within 30 years and an almost certain level rise of 1m by the end of the century. In addition, raised sea levels will also increase coastal erosion leading to higher waves, especially when there are storms.

The report listed the South West, the North West and East Anglia among parts of England with the highest number of properties at risk of flooding.

The findings noted that the current “hold the line” policy against wave erosion in place for a 1,600 to 1,900 kilometres of English coast may need to be reconsidered as it could become unfeasible due to rising costs, or technically impossible, the authors of the study noted.

Communities will have to relocate

“Significant sea level rise is now inevitable. For many of our larger cities at the coast, protection will continue to be provided, but for some coastal communities this may not be possible,” Paul Sayers, the lead author of the paper, said.

“We need a serious national debate about the scale of the threat to these communities and what represents a fair and sustainable response, including how to help people to relocate.”

Last week the head of the Environment Agency, Sir James Bevan warned that given the increasing pace of climate breakdown many homes would be impossible or uneconomic to save, and whole communities would have to move inland, which he called “the hardest of all inconvenient truths”.

Addressing a conference, he said: “In the long run, climate change implies that some of our communities – both in our nation and around the world – will be unable to stay where they are.

“That’s because, while we can safely rebuild after most river flooding, there’s no going back for territory that has been eroded away by coastal erosion or that has been permanently or repeatedly submerged by rising sea levels.”

Reviewing the study, Jim Hall, Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks at the University of Oxford, said: “We need to have honest conversations with coastal communities, that it will simply not be possible to protect every house and business from sea level rise. These changes are coming sooner than we might think and we need to plan now for how we can adjust, including a nationwide strategic approach to deciding how to manage the coast sustainably in the future.”

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