Updated climate change sea level risk map shows large parts of Wales flooded by 2050
A special map has been produced to show the effect of climate change on the world of predicted rises in sea levels by 2050 – and it shows many Welsh cities and communities underwater.
The findings are based on a predicted global temperature rise of two degrees, and follow the IPCC report earlier this week which showed that a rise of 1.5C was now almost inevitable.
According to the recently updated map by Climate Central, a US-based climate science news and analysis firm, large parts of Cardiff, Newport and lower-lying parts of Swansea, Port Talbot could be hit by catastrophic flooding within the next 29 years.
In the north of Wales, Llandudno, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Shotton and Queensferry are vulnerable. Low-lying Borth and Ynyslas on the Ceredigion coast are also in danger, as well as Llandudno.
Llanbedr airfield could find itself submerged, and communities such as Machynlleth and Harlech could find the coast becoming much nearer. Pwllheli and coastal communities on Anglesey’s west coast are also set to find themselves in much greater danger of flooding.
Parts of Porthmadog and much of the land to the north, which was previously underwater before the building of the Cob, could also be reclaimed by the sea.
Climate Central say they created an interactive map to show what areas are particularly under threat. The map allows users to explore coastal flood risk and sea level rise projections by decade for anywhere in the world.
The data is based on a scenario of moderate cuts to pollution, with even more areas covered in red if climate change continues unchecked. Climate Central said that they collated peer-reviewed data from scientific journals and plots it on an interactive world map.
They then combined this with additional datasets for elevation, tidal activity and the likelihood of coastal flooding.
The map comes after a Welsh Government commissioned poll published yesterday showed that only 15% of people in Wales believe that climate change will affect their local area ‘a great deal’.
According to results from a Welsh Government survey of 1,149 participants, fewer than half (42%) recognised that climate change could impact their local area to ‘some extent’.
However, an overwhelming majority (84%) believed that the way they lived their lives needed to substantially change to tackle the climate emergency, and 86% admitted they are concerned about climate change.
The results of the survey were published after a report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that a 1.5C rise in global temperatures was likely whatever efforts were now made to cut carbon emissions.
That would lead to extreme heatwaves, droughts, flooding and sea level rises, they said. UN Secretary General António Guterres said the repport was “code red” for humanity.