Countryfile: Village may be evacuated due to coastal flooding
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Flood warnings and alerts are currently in force across parts of England and Wales with showers expected to hit more areas of the country overnight and throughout the rest of the week. River flooding is expected in parts of York after heavy rainfall and there is a possibility of further coastal, river and surface water flooding across the country over the weekend. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to explain which areas are at the greatest risk of flooding and why you might be at more risk than you realise.
One in six properties in England is at risk of flooding from rivers, sea and surface waters, according to The Flood Hub.
This is likely to increase over time, due to the ongoing effects of climate change.
In 2020, global sea levels reached a record high of 3.6 inches above 1993 levels, according to a study by climate.gov.
This indicates the sea levels are rising at a rate which has more than doubled throughout the 20th century – from 0.06 inches per year to 0.14 inches per year.
A new climate map published earlier this year revealed several parts of the British coast could be completely submerged by 2050.
Coastal and low-lying areas are particularly vulnerable to flooding, and could be entirely overwhelmed by rising water levels in fewer than 30 years if direct action is not taken, climate change experts warned.
Parts of North Wales and eastern England are likely to be hardest hit by the warning, with railways and holiday resorts most likely to be severely affected.
Many areas close to the M4 motorway, near to the Severn Bridge, could be badly hit by flooding.
Climate Central, a non-profit organisation focused on climate science, revealed the severity of this threat and produced a searchable map you can adjust depending on the sea level rise expected here.
The climate.gov study found the top 10 areas at risk to be underwater by 2050 are Portsmouth, East Riding of Yorkshire, Arun in West Sussex, Merton in London, Chichester in West Sussex, Kensington and Chelsea in London, Conwy in Wales, Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, West Berkshire and Worthing.
Several other regions are likely to be badly impacted including Bolton and Lincolnshire’s South Holland.
The eastern coast will be hit particularly hard, impacting areas such as Hull, Lincoln and Spalding – with the western Lancashire coast also predicted to be badly impacted.
Parts of the capital, including Fulham, Greenwich, Stratford and Walthamstow, are also likely to fare poorly if nothing is done to counteract the impacts of rising water levels.
Experts claim even Buckingham Palace could be flooded up to its second floor, even under the best-case scenario, prompting the need to move the capital from London.
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The Environment Agency has also compiled a flood risk map indicating places around the country which are at a higher risk of being submerged.
High-risk flooding areas mean each year the area has a chance of flooding which is greater than 3.3 percent.
The map compiled by the Environment Agency identifies several areas’ flood depth is likely to reach more than 35.4 inches (900mm).
These areas include places around and near Freckleton, Maghull, Axminster, Chilcombe, Weymouth, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sedlescombe, Robertsbridge, Epping, Lincolnshire, Wickford, Badingham and Halesworth.
The effects of climate change have been evident across Britain for several years – particularly obvious during recent storms.
In February 2020, storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge impacted the nation, making it the wettest month on record.
If the world continues to create its current levels of GHG, by the year 2100, global sea levels are predicted to climb by at least 12 inches above levels recorded in 2000.
Since 1993, sea level growth has been accelerating to an average of 0.12 to 0.14 inches a year, roughly twice as fast as the long-term trend.
Why are sea levels rising?
According to NASA, the ocean absorbs more than 90 percent of the heat trapped by the planet due to increasing concentrations of GHG in the atmosphere.
As seawater warms, the volume increases and causes sea levels to rise.
Warmer oceans lead to increased rainfall and stronger, more frequent storms – with melting ice sheets also adding to sea levels.
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