Rising sea levels a threat to coastal communities

PUBLISHED: 16:00 27 November 2018

Flooded fields near Earl Stonham. Could this be the norm for the future as rising sea levels are predicted over the coming years? Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Flooded fields near Earl Stonham. Could this be the norm for the future as rising sea levels are predicted over the coming years? Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN


Large areas of land stretching as far as Lowestoft in north Suffolk down to Clacton, Walton-on-the-Naze and Mersea Island on the Essex coast are set to be destroyed as rising seas levels flood homes and devastate coastal communities, a chastening Met Office report has concluded.

The UK Climate Projections (UKCP) 2018 report has found UK sea levels are likely to increase by 3-4ft by 2100 and 10ft by 2300 due to greenhouse gas emissions warming the earth.

By mid century, summers as hot as this year’s weeks-long heatwave will be the norm, the researchers said. Rainfall could fall by almost half (47%) in summer by 2070, while rain could be up by more than a third (35%) in winter.

The change will not only impact coastal communities but could spread inland also - with the majority of farmland facing the North Sea falling below sea level and turning to marshes.

Felixstowe Ferry could disappear, while farmland between Aldeburgh and Bawdsey is likely to be overun with flood water.

A range of scenarios are included in the report depending on the different rates of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

Each year around 50bn tonnes of CO2 emissions are released into the atmosphere, of which the UK is responsible for 1bn tonnes.

The Met Office warns if these emissions continue the earth will warm by around four degrees centigrade, heating the sea and melting the ice-caps.

And while the high emission projection sees summer temperatures up to 5.4 degrees hotter by 2017 sea levels are projected to rise under all emission scenarios.

Environment secretary Michael Gove believes the findings illustrate the work which needs to avoid potential devastation.

He said: “This cutting-edge science opens our eyes to the extent of the challenge we face, and shows us a future we want to avoid.

“The UK is already a global leader in tackling climate change, cutting emissions by more than 40pc since 1990 – but we must go further.

“By having this detailed picture of our changing climate, we can ensure we have the right infrastructure to cope with weather extremes, homes and businesses can adapt, and we can make decisions for the future accordingly.”

The projections were commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) - with the aim to help policymakers prepare appropriately environmental changes around the globe.

Defra’s Chief Scientific Adviser Ian Boyd added: “Climate change will affect everybody. UKCP18 is designed to help everybody make better decisions, from those buying a house to people making large investments in infrastructure. It has been produced using state-of-the-art methods.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Bury Mercury visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Bury Mercury staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Bury Mercury account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other popular content

Get ready to feel the love as a Brit award-winning band is set to perform at Newmarket Nights in 2019.

A Suffolk authority promoting campaigns to stop smoking has reduced its pension investments in tobacco firms – but says it still will not disinvest in cigarette firms entirely.

A fresh purge of Suffolk’s potholes with an innovative road repair machine is set to kick off this week, thanks to cash from the Chancellor’s Budget.

Yesterday, 19:51

Two people have been killed in a collision on a road near Newmarket.

Local weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: -0°C

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Bury Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24