November 12, 2019 1.45 pm This story is over 48 months old

Rising sea expected to swallow much of Lincolnshire by 2050

Time to invest in that boat

Large parts of Lincolnshire land could be at risk of coastal flooding from climate-driven sea level rise by 2050, according to new research.

A new digital elevation model produced by Climate Central, called CoastalDEM, shows that many of the world’s coastlines are far lower than has been generally known. Sea level rise could affect hundreds of millions of more people in the coming decades than previously understood.

Areas in and around Lincoln, as well as in towns including Boston, Spalding and Holbeach, are among the areas with land predicted to be at risk by 2050.

Climate Central’s report shows that by midcentury frequent coastal flooding will rise higher than areas currently home to 300 million people. By 2100, areas now home to 200 million people could fall permanently below the high tide line.

The report is based on a peer-reviewed scientific paper by Scott Kulp and Benjamin Strauss, which was published in Nature Communications.

Threat to Lincolnshire

Sections of Lincolnshire are projected to be below annual flood level in 2050.

Lincolnshire has already been devastated by floods this year, most notably in Wainfleet and Ruskington.

The situation is predicted to get worse and the areas shaded in red on the below maps reflect land at risk. This means places that are lower than the selected local sea-level and/or coastal flood projection.

Photo: Climate Central

Photo: Climate Central

Photo: Climate Central

According to the research, as sea levels continue to rise throughout the century chronic flooding will spread and more land will be permanently lost to the ocean.

China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand are home to the greatest number of people, who today live on land that could be threatened by permanent inundation by 2100 – 151 million in total and 43 million in China alone.

The danger of permanent inundation is by no means limited to Asia. In 19 countries, from Nigeria and Brazil to Egypt and the United Kingdom, land now home to at least one million people could fall permanently below the high tide line at the end of the century. It could become permanently inundated in the absence of coastal defences.

There could also be economic losses from sea level rise, depending on various factors including the amount of climate pollution and subsequent rise projected.