A new study suggests that sea level rise and coastal flooding will affect three times more people and thus, puts hundreds of millions of people around the world at risk and the UK. The rising of our seas is caused due to the fast melting of glaciers and heat being absorbed by the oceans. Those changes are consistent with the warming up of our atmosphere.
In Britain, the South East and East regions will be specifically vulnerable to extreme weather events and coastal erosion.
GreenMatch created a study and mapped down 21 landmarks that are threatened by sea level rise within two time periods — 2050 and 2100. The map below suggests that in the near 2050, some of the world-famous historical and cultural UK landmarks may be submerged.
Created by GreenMatch
Most affected British landmarks
London and and regions in the South are most vulnerable to extreme flooding for geological reasons. The capital is a slowly sinking mass, and in combination with heavy storm surges, whole ecosystems may be lost in coastal areas. The rising seas will also impact the state of other landmarks across the country.
Situated on the South Bank of the River Thames, the London Eye reveals the urban scenery of London and without doubt, is one of the most visited attractions. Unfortunately, in 30 years time, the landmark is at serious risk of being destroyed. It’s one of the many tourist and residential premises in close proximity to the banks of the river, and with projections of heavy tides, London is vulnerable to flooding.
Considered one of the symbols of London, Tower Bridge is one of the most photographed suspension bridges in the country. By 2050, the landmark is at risk of damages attributed to rising sea level. Rising seas and risk of flooding in the Thames Estuary from the North Sea and the River Thames.
The Victorian-style pier is one of the oldest piers and it contains rich history and cultural value to the city of Brighton. The Palace Pier has suffered multiple damages from heavy storms, but future projections for even heavier storm surges and extreme weather conditions put the seaside landmark at severe risk in both time periods — 2050 and 2100.
The White Cliffs of Dover
The Kentish coastline is surrounded by high white cliffs, made of rare limestone chalk. The White Cliffs, standing on the sea’s edge, are recognised as a British icon and a sign of hope during the Great Wars. The natural feature is continuously affected by coastal erosion, which results in shrinking of 1cm per year. With future sea level rise projections, those processes will increase at a faster pace, with higher risk by 2100.
The Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth
The Emirates Spinnaker Tower is overlooking the Portsmouth’s historic harbour. The popular attraction opened in 2005, and it quickly became a popular destination and a defining landmark for Portsmouth. However, the city is threatened by heavy rainfall and storms and the Spinnaker Tower is at risk by sea level rise by 2050.
Windermere lake is the largest natural lake in the Lake District, surrounded by picturesque mountain peaks. The study shows that consequences from climate change although not severe, will change the surrounding landscape. Sea level rise may affect the landmark and surrounding ecosystems as early as the year 2050.
The most well-known peak in the Scottish Highlands, Ben Nevis, was once an active volcano million years ago. Decreased snowfall and milder winters will likely affect the 1,345m peak and change the flora surrounding the feature. Changes in the weather, associated with climate change, may lead to catastrophic impacts to the land below Ben Nevis. The impact of rising sea level will be more drastic in 2100, compared to 2050.