Climate change will force some UK communities to relocate, says an official – Low Calorie Diets Tips

Houses on the east coast of England photographed in 2020. On Tuesday, the chief executive of Britain’s Environment Agency said climate change meant some coastal communities would have to relocate.

Owen Humphreys | PA Pictures | Getty Images

The chief executive of the UK Environment Agency has issued a strong warning to coastal communities, acknowledging that the effects of climate change will force people – both in the UK and abroad – to relocate due to rising sea levels and coastal erosion.

Referring to what he called “the hardest of all inconvenient truths,” James Bevan said that in the long run, climate change means that “some of our communities, both in this country and around the world, can’t stay where they are they are”.

“That’s because after most river floods we can safely come back and rebuild better, but there is no coming back for land that coastal erosion has simply taken away or that rising sea levels have permanently or frequently submerged,” he said.

Rising sea levels pose a threat to many coastal communities around the world, including the Pacific and Indian Ocean island nations.

Speaking at last year’s COP26 climate summit, the President of the Maldives sought to highlight the danger his country, an archipelago of 1,192 islands, faces.

“Our islands are slowly being submerged by the sea one by one,” said Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. “Unless we reverse this trend, the Maldives will no longer exist by the end of this century.”

Meanwhile, in the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned in February that sea levels along the country’s coasts are expected to rise by an average of about a foot by 2050. That’s as much as the increase measured over the past 100 years.

Briton Bevan, speaking at a conference in Telford, Shropshire on Tuesday, argued that “in some places the right response – economically, strategically and humanely – has to be to move communities away from danger, rather than try to protect them from the inevitable effects of rising sea levels.”

In additional comments published on the UK government’s website, Bevan said the effects of climate change would “continue to get worse”. He added it is “inevitable that at some point some of our communities will have to move away from the coast”.

In May, the World Meteorological Organization said global mean sea level “hit a new record high in 2021, rising an average of 4.5 mm per year over the period 2013-2021.”

This, according to the WMO, is “more than twice as fast as between 1993 and 2002” and “is mainly due to the accelerated loss of ice mass from the ice sheets”.

It will likely have “major impacts on hundreds of millions of coastal residents” in addition to increasing “vulnerability to tropical cyclones”.

The British plan

Bevan spoke on the same day his agency released its strategy roadmap for flood and coastal erosion risk management.

The roadmap covers the period up to 2026 and includes plans to ensure “the country is resilient and ready to respond and adapt to flooding and coastal changes.”

The plan includes, among other things:

  • Developing a “new national flood risk assessment” with a focus on sea, rivers and surface water.
  • Work to improve the Environment Agency’s digital tools so people can see their flood risk and sign up for flood alerts.
  • Work with the Town and Country Planning Association to compile training materials with the goal of promoting “skills and abilities” related to development planning and flood risk.

This 2018 image shows properties on the edge of a cliff on the Norfolk coast, England. Rising sea levels and coastal erosion pose a threat to many coastal communities around the world.

Joe Giddens | PA Pictures | Getty Images

In his speech, Bevan admitted that any type of community move would be controversial, but tried to allay fears that such moves were imminent.

The goal, he stressed, should focus on ensuring that coastal communities stay and thrive wherever possible.

“I think that with the right actions in the years to come, we can achieve this for most of the coastal communities in this country as far in advance as any of us can reasonably foresee,” he said.

Bevan added it was “far too early to say which communities are likely to need to move, let alone make any decisions, at any given time”.

In addition, any decision would have to take into account the views of the people living in the vulnerable areas.

“No one should be forced out of their homeland against their will,” he said. “But – and there is a but – we need to start the conversation about all of this now.”

“Honest Conversations”

Among those who reacted to the UK Environment Agency’s announcement and Bevan’s message was Jim Hall, a professor of climate and environmental risks at Oxford University.

“Even if the Environment Agency could afford to put up coastal defenses everywhere – which they can’t – the things that many people value on the coast, like beaches and sand dunes, will eventually be flooded unless we start planning now.” , like the coast, it can adapt to rising sea levels,” he said.

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“It takes honest conversations within coastal communities about what the future holds and a strategic approach to deciding how to sustainably manage the coast in the future,” Hall said.

Elsewhere, Natasha Barlow, associate professor at the University of Leeds’ School of Earth and Environment, said that the “rate and magnitude of future sea level rise” “could be limited by capping global temperatures”.

“However, we are already facing some sea-level rise and coastal erosion due to long-term melting of the ice sheets as a result of climate change,” she said.

“A number of adaptation strategies are therefore required, which in some cases result in coastal communities having to relocate as land is lost to the sea.”

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