21 UK Landmarks At Risk from Sea Level Rise

Photo by Benjamin Elliott on Unsplash

Article originally appeared in greenmatch.co.uk written by Ramona Gosheva.

New studies suggests that the oceans are trapping more heat than previous estimations, and our planet is warming up at a faster rate. Warmer temperatures will lead to faster sea level rise, linked to factors such as thermal expansion and melting glaciers.

Sea level and extreme weather conditions – such as storms and heavy precipitation will impact coastal cities and will speed up coastal erosion. In the UK, the South East and East are particularly at risk of rising seas, as those lands are flat and with low altitudes.

GreenMatch created an interactive map illustrating 21 UK landmarks at risk from the rising seas. The map evaluates the threat of sea level rise by 2050, and by the year 2100.


Created by GreenMatch

Key Findings: Landmarks at Most Risk from Sea Level Rise

In London, landmarks in close proximity to the tidal River Thames are at particular risk from being submerged. The royal palace and castle, Tower of London — located in Central London — is at risk of rising seas already by 2050. Further damage to buildings and roads in close proximity to the tower is likely to occur.

The iconic London Eye, which is also situated on the River Thames, may reveal less scenic views in the near future. GreenMatch’s findings place the landmark at a serious risk of being destroyed, in both 2050 and 2100.

Brighton Pier, one of the oldest piers in the UK, is at severe risk of being submerged by 2050. The Victorian feature has suffered damage from multiple storms throughout the years, but future high tide levels and storm surges may be fatal for the pier.

The Needles on the Isle of Wight is one of the most famous groups of rocks in Southern England. The landmark is at severe risk, equally impacted in 2050 and 2100.

The White Cliffs of Dover on the coast of Kent are a natural wonder made out of white chalk. At present, the cliffs are threatened by coastal erosion and they shrink by roughly 1cm each year. The study finds that the rising seas put the landmark at risk by 2050, but more serious damage may occur in 2100.

Landisfarne, a little tidal island just miles away from the Northumberland coast has a rich history, referred to as an important centre of English Christianity. The causeway that is linking the island to the mainland is often submerged by strong tides. Findings on possible sea level risk show that Landisfarne will be likely affected by 2050, and projections for 2100 put most of the island at risk.

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