Rising sea threatens coastline

Jan 23, 2009
St Peter's Church: theatened by climate change

(PhysOrg.com) -- Experts at The University of Manchester are to produce a detailed picture of the public’s views on the uncertain future of a 250-mile-stretch of coastline.

Large parts of the coast between Anglesey and Carlisle are likely to be adversely affected by rising sea levels and erosion over the next hundred years.

The area is home to some of Britain’s most celebrated wildlife, important transport links, densely populated coastal towns and cities and the nuclear reactor at Sellafield.

Drs Richard Kingston and Adam Barker from the University’s School of Environment and Development have launched a website which allows the public to add their views to an online coastal map.

“The Lancashire, Cumbrian and Welsh coastlines contain a number of low lying or vulnerable sections which are particularly at risk from the adverse impacts of climate change.

“If local agencies are forced to abandon sections of our coast to the advancing sea, then this can only be effectively done with the knowledge and understanding of local communities,” said Dr Barker.

“Clearly it’s a pressing issue: large parts of the coastline - some of which are highly populated - are likely to recede. At the same time however, local authorities are under pressure to release more land for development.

“Something needs to be done to manage this transition as effectively as possible and to involve the people who live in these areas in the decision-making process."

According to the UK Climate Change Impacts Programme which helps coastal communities adapt to rising sea levels, tidal highs around Britain's coast are expected to rise by between 10 and 34 inches by 2080.

Dr Barker added: “The policy options communities have to face are either abandoning the coast to the advancing sea, managed retreat, investing in measures which will hold the existing line or in some cases, advancement of the existing line."

Threatened areas include Morecambe Bay where the historic St Peters Church in Heysham is under attack from coastal erosion. The nuclear reactor at Sellafield in Cumbria is also vulnerable.

And Formby Sands in Lancashire -home to endangered red squirrels and the rare Natterjack toad could recede by more than 400 meters in 100 years according to research carried out by the National Trust last year.

Also at risk is Cemlyn bay and lagoon in Anglesey. The beauty spot is known for its population of terns and other wildlife which may not be able to adapt to changing salinity levels caused by sea flooding.

Now the public will be able to have their say using interactive maps stored on Google and using geographic information system (GIS) technology.

Anyone will be able to click on the area where they live and add their view on what should be done.

Dr Kingston said: “This project is about utilising new technology to make it easier for the public to engage with proposals to manage the changing coastline.

“It will provide invaluable help to the North West England and North Wales Coastal Group who are currently preparing a Shoreline Management Plan.

“The plan is the means by which the Coastal Group will determine the best way to look after the coast in a sustainable way for the next 100 years.

“It is essential that it adequately deals with the issues and concerns of the communities and businesses by using the best information available to them.

”If you don’t properly involve the public, then poorly developed and unpopular planning decisions will result.”

Blackpool, which is one of the lead local authorities on the consultation, has recently invested £65 million on improving and replacing its sea wall and flood defences.

Councilor Maxine Callow, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Tourism, said: “The development of our sea wall is essential to protect the homes of our residents and our visitor economy. The investment made has protected around 1,500 homes and businesses from flood.”

Provided by University of Manchester

Explore further: First large-scale carbon capture goes online in Canada

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA ocean data shows 'climate dance' of plankton

Sep 30, 2014

The greens and blues of the ocean color from NASA satellite data have provided new insights into how climate and ecosystem processes affect the growth cycles of phytoplankton—microscopic aquatic plants ...

Researcher reports on urban "heat islands"

Sep 26, 2014

With longer and hotter heat waves in the offing, a Harvard professor has put the urban "heat island" under the microscope, finding smaller heat islands—mainly occupied by the poor—within city limits, ...

US releases enhanced shuttle land elevation data

Sep 24, 2014

High-resolution topographic data generated from NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) in 2000, previously only available for the United States, will be released globally over the next year, the White ...

Cape Cod saltmarsh recovery looks good, falls short

Sep 17, 2014

After decades of decline, grasses have returned to some once-denuded patches of Cape Cod's saltmarshes. To the eye, the marsh in those places seems healthy again, but a new study makes clear that a key service ...

Recommended for you

Report IDs 'major weaknesses' at nuclear-arms lab

1 hour ago

One of the nation's premier nuclear weapons laboratories is being called out by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Energy for "major weaknesses" in the way it packaged contaminated waste before shipping it to ...

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

GrayMouser
3.3 / 5 (7) Jan 23, 2009
Next month's title: "Falling sea endanger littoral waters!"
RAL
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 24, 2009
The Headline: "Rising sea threatens coastline"

The Story: Lobbyists develop new tool to encourage buy in by local residents to scare stories by those in search of higher taxes, more research funds, and carbon credit fraud.

Anyone who thinks that major land use decisions are going to be made by local residents adding comments to a web site deserves to be given a sign to wear on their back saying: "I'm a naive patsy, kick me".

Once again PhysOrg insults the intelligence of its readers with this kind of pap.
barkster
4.4 / 5 (5) Jan 25, 2009
Let's break this down:
... to produce a detailed picture of the public's views on the uncertain future of...
Just what the hell does that mean?! A DETAILED picture of OPINION on UNCERTAINTY?? Mindblowing, really.

Well the one bright spot in this article is that it highlights what humans have been doing to the environment all along.... ADAPTING to it.
THEY
5 / 5 (3) Jan 26, 2009
Lets don't forget the extremely wealthy that have multi million dollar homes on the coastlines around the world that are even closer to sea level. WE MUST SAVE THEM! The homes of the incredibly rich must be protected from nature!

Donate NOW to save a billionaire near you!
Velanarris
5 / 5 (2) Jan 27, 2009
Well think about it this way:

This is a public works program to lower real estate prices on waterfront property. Hopefully the site will scare enough of those billionaires into selling their property on the cheap which will then be built into lovely housing complexes for the poor and huddled masses.

Or


No one will care and the site will shut down in short order.