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A55 could fall victim to rising sea levels say Welsh ocean scientists

01 Jun 2021 2 minutes Read
Jonathan Wilkins / A55 Expressway / CC BY-SA 2.0

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.”

‘Inevitable’

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.”

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
3 months ago

The irony about the village just south of Barmouth, or Fairbourne as it’s known as locally, is that whereas many towns north and south of it were affected by storms in recent years, Fairbourne per se was not.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
3 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

It is also, due to the drop in house values resulting from the announcement, the only place on the coast one can find affordable property, perhaps this the way forward…

David Russell
David Russell
3 months ago

All guess work of course. No evidence at all. In fact we are more likely to be facing a period of colder weather.

Hannergylch
Hannergylch
3 months ago
Reply to  David Russell

Global warming could, as you suggest, have local cooling effects in some parts of the world — including Britain, since we owe our mild climate to ocean currents that might get diverted upon melting of the polar icecaps. But localised cooling isn’t going to stop sea-levels from rising if the world is warming on average. I have no quarrel with your open-mindedness though. Since climate changed fast at the end of the last glacial maximum, we know that climate is a tempermental beast with which we meddle at our peril. There were fewer humans needing to adapt 10000 years ago… Read more »

Josh Foster
Josh Foster
3 months ago
Reply to  Hannergylch

It’s all nonsense. Just the latest iteration of the enviroscams that perpetually strike fear into people, but never actually materialise. Climate fearmongers have an enormous god complex.

Hannergylch
Hannergylch
3 months ago
Reply to  Josh Foster

There’s ample evidence of climate change in prehistory — ice cores, peat cores and the many glacial features in the Welsh landscape. For decades, the oil industry has been studying the evidence of even-more-ancient climate changes, so they can figure out which places had the best climate for oil deposits to form. Are you seriously suggesting that God has recently switched off all those pre-existing (& incompletely understood) climate change mechanisms as a special favour to humanity? And that the ‘climate fearmongers’ aren’t showing enough gratitude?

j humphrys
j humphrys
3 months ago

Push the narrative for all its worth. Wales is crap and soon to be flooded monthly, with coal tips leaching cancerous substances, rivers are polluted…………..house prices are thus inflated due to this, with subsidence due to old mine works………

j humphrys
j humphrys
3 months ago
Reply to  j humphrys

Dear foreigner, that bungalow you think a bargain will be worthless in the near future. Buy it at your peril!

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
3 months ago
Reply to  j humphrys

And that beach you were hoping to make use of — more micro-plastic than grains of sand.

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