A55 could fall victim to rising sea levels say Welsh ocean scientists
Rising sea levels and storm surges caused by climate change could cut the main A55 road link across the north of Wales, according to two leading ocean scientists.
Oceanographers Dr Yueng Dern Lenn and Dr Mattias Green from Bangor University warned that the sea could wash away railways and flood holiday resorts along the coast by the end of the century.
They have just published a major new work on the future of the world’s seas, 30 Second Oceans, before Jjune 8 – World Oceans Day.
The book focuses on 50 topics about the world’s oceans, their weather and climate and the challenges faced by the communities which live on their shores, including those in Wales.
Dr Yueng Dern Lenn said: “We have already seen a community just south of Barmouth where the local council have decided they can’t defend it from the sea.
“It’s like the proverb about not buying a house built on sand because living by the sea is all well and good but the challenge for the UK is the effect of more extreme weather on where we live and where the sea starts.”
Dr Mattias Green said that both the A55 and rail links across the north of Wales coast were likely to be at risk.
“The railway line would go first, between Bangor and Llandudno would be the first section affected, and there are places along the north Wales coast that will flood, particularly in the north west of Wales,” he said.
“There and along the Dee estuary there are thousands of static caravans and a major industrial area at Deeside which could be affected.
“We have already seen the Conwy Valley railway line, which runs four or five trains a day, closed several times in recent years and the track has been washed away by flooding.
“Add in a rise in sea level and it will be worse so it is inevitable that flood defences will have to be put in place at very high cost.
“In the UK we can probably afford that but elsewhere in the world, India, Bangladesh and the Maldives, for example, many low-lying countries simply can’t afford those kinds of defences.”