Saturday, December 19, 2020

Islands of Global Warming

In February 1287 a massive flood destroyed the town of Winchelsea on the English coast. In response the townspeople decided to move the whole town one mile inland to a nearby hill. They chose the location of the new Winchelsea well - because in 30 years from now the town may be the only local land which isn't under water.

According to Climate Central's 2050 Annual Flood Level map due to global heating the town of Winchelsea is likely to become almost completely cut off from mainland Britain. It won't be alone. Nearby the towns of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate could also find themselves surviving on their own small off-shore island.

According to Climate Central's map my own house in East London is likely to be below water level in 2050 (unless the Thames Barrier is massively improved). Which is partly why I've been searching Climate Central's map to find areas in southern England which are unlikely to be hit by rising sea levels in the next thirty years.

The 2050 Annual Flood Level map is a global map of projected sea level rise. The map uses global data on elevation, tides, and coastal flood likelihoods to predict which areas are likely to be flooded under different climate heating scenarios. The map doesn't take into account the dangers of inland flooding, coastal erosion or the dangers from increased rainfall or swollen rivers. Therefore if, like me, you use the map to search for a future place to live you will still need to carry out your own research into local flooding history, nearby flood plains and the locations of nearby rivers.

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