Ac­tion needed to pro­tect coastal ar­eas

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - Uk And World News -

Ur­gent ac­tion is needed to pro­tect Corn­wall’s coastal com­mu­ni­ties, ac­cord­ing to a re­port pub­lished last month.

The Com­mit­tee on Cli­mate Change (CCC) says that the cur­rent ap­proach to pro­tect­ing Eng­land’s coast from flood­ing and ero­sion is not fit for pur­pose as the world warms.

En­vi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tist An­gela Terry ex­plores the im­pli­ca­tions of the re­port and what it means for Corn­wall.

She writes: “The sub­ject of flood­ing is not a new one for Corn­wall. Peo­ple who live in Cor­nish coastal towns and vil­lages have al­ways lived with the threat – in­deed this week we were be­ing warned of Storm Diana, which brought strong winds and heavy rain to Devon and Corn­wall.

“But a new re­port by the Com­mit­tee for Cli­mate Change, the Govern­ment’s in­de­pen­dent ad­vi­sors on cli­mate change, shows that the sit­u­a­tion is get­ting worse and a long-term ap­proach to tack­ling the prob­lem is needed.

“Cli­mate change is ac­cel­er­at­ing what is al­ready a big prob­lem. Not only is it caus­ing more ex­treme weather events bring­ing higher rain­fall but it is also re­sult­ing in ris­ing sea lev­els.

“The lat­est pre­dic­tions pub­lished by the En­vi­ron­ment Agency and the Met Of­fice only this week say that sea lev­els around the UK will in­crease by 1.15 me­tres or more as early as 2100 – within the life­times of to­day’s chil­dren.

“As the world warms, ice is melt­ing in Antarc­tica, Green­land and else­where, caus­ing ex­tra wa­ter to flow into the oceans. Ther­mal ex­pan­sion is also con­tribut­ing to the sea level in­crease, which is hap­pen­ing at a rate of 3mm a year and ac­cel­er­at­ing as global tem­per­a­tures rise.

“Con­tin­u­ing to build ever higher flood de­fences, such as the re-build­ing of the sea wall at Portreath that be­gun ear­lier this month, is not go­ing to be a sus­tain­able or af­ford­able long term so­lu­tion...”

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