Monday 26 April 2021

East Anglia sea level rise timelines update

Community Engagement  1, ... 12, 13, 14 & 15

[ Update 3: the next installment updates the infrastructure aspects of this for East Anglia

Update 2: Cambridge could be completely underwater by 2100, warns Emoov report

Update 1: added slide deck at bottom, to summarize the last two years of work on this ]

After a hiatus focusing on Coronavirus and story maps on East Anglia and other mapping topics, let's revisit that moving target of sea level rise timing. 

When creating an Extinction Rebellion campaign map last fall, we outlined how the sea level rise values and timing were revised in light of then-recent publications (document). The accelerated sea level rise time table not only reflected the accelerated ice-melt observations, but also came with a caveat that "temperatures increases are far better constrained than time frames in climate change studies".

click to enlarge

A recent article brought further scientific updates confirming the numbers above:

As oceans heat up the water rises in part because warm water expands but also because the warmer waters have initiated major melt of polar ice sheets. As a result, average sea levels around the world are now all but certain to rise by at least 20 to 30 feet. That’s enough to put large parts of many coastal cities, home to hundreds of millions of people, under water. (The Guardian Tue 13 Apr 2021 11.00 BST)

These are tabulated here together with the previous results (document) in blue tones, as a video will follow of sea level spreading across the land w lighter shades of blue as it progresses. Original rainbow coloured version is here and are also linked below.

click to enlarge (rainbow colourssource data)

Note that settlements and population are most affected in the near-term (0.5 m SLR / 2050 @ 12%), but areas are affected mostly in the mid-term (2 m SLR / 2100  @ 12%)... with a long term total 36% increase in affected areas!

This resulted in this revised map of inundation from the sea, modelled for elevation surface above sea level, with inundation extents calculated with respect to Ordnance Survey topography:
click to enlarge (full size and rainbow)

Explore further the introductions to the original mapmaking, the derived one incl. timing issues, and a 3D derivation using these new sea level rise values. Also from my story map portfolio: East Anglia Fenlands Coastal InundationMaps that tell a Story, Tale of two Scenes, Flood Alert, and East Anglia Flood Response. And finally web apps like East Anglia coast below the Wash.

Here is a short video showing the progressive inundation from sea level rise in East Anglia and Cambridge North:

Note: if video fails to show, grab East Anglia sea level rise from YouTube directly!

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Addendum: here is a slide deck summarizing the above:

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