Sea Level Rise

Time and Tide Bells make a comment on sea level rise that is allusive, metaphorical. This page will deal with some of the more quantitative or existential aspects of the subject.

For the absolute avoidance of doubt, we hope it is crystal clear that as the years and decades pass rising sea level is going to have a dramatic impact on our coast, and the people who live there.
Some facts

Sea level is rising. First of all, the context.  Since the last ice age maximum (about 20,000 years ago) the sea has risen by about 100 meters, as ice sheets and glaciers world-wide melted. But for about the last 7,000 years the level has been pretty stable. This is illustrated in more local history: at […]

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Forecasting future sea levels

This is an enormously complex subject. The expected behaviour of ice sheets in response to increased atmospheric temperatures is inevitably imperfectly understood; modelling of future temperatures over Greenland and the Antarctic is also far from perfect; there is huge variability in expected emissions pathways; and much more. These are all issues far too involved to […]

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Case Study: Fairbourne

Fairbourne, a coastal village in Gwynedd, Wales, exemplifies the legal, organisational, planning and financial challenges of coastal settlements that are too costly to defend. Opinions will differ on whether or not Fairbourne qualifies for that description. But it is inescapable that as the years and decades pass other places will fall into that category. There […]

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The impact of sea level rise

Anyone familiar with flooding in its various forms needs little reminder of the impact this has on lives and livelihoods. The Committee on Climate Change has done its best to shed light on the problem - and the action needed to remedy it - in an extensive report Managing the coast in a changing climate, […]

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A sighting of 'Managed Retreat'

Managed Retreat - the idea of abandoning sections of coastline that cannot be economically defended in a 'managed' way - is a deeply contentious topic. Like most aspects of climate change it moves at a very slow pace, offering many opportunities to change the subject or sweep it under the carpet. Politicians are frightened of […]

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Where in the world is water?

There is not much more to say about this striking graphic from the World Bank.

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New sea level rise satellite

Nasa has just launched a new satellite to measure sea level rise, charmingly named after a recently deceased scientist, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich. Long story short, here's Nasa's graph of sea level rise as measured by satellites to date: It's rather a challenge to know how to feel about this.....

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The Feb 2023 New Zealand Cyclone

It isn't strictly about sea level rise, but the current (at the time of writing) cyclone causing havoc in the North Island of New Zealand has prompted this very impassioned speech by James Shaw, co-leader of the Green Party.

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