Week 8

We were asked in one section of week 8 to consider how a rising sea level might affect us. I chose to take this personally, and it elicited a couple of responses, so I thought I’d post the lot.

From my window, I look down on a tidal river estuary, the River Camel. Rising sea levels will drown the meadow on the near side of the river and the boatyards on the far side. The Camel Trail, a decommissioned railway now much loved by walkers and cyclists, will be submerged. The streets running alongside the river in the town centre will go under, and maybe the old bridge dating from 1468. My town will consist of two or three high settlements and a lot of water.

Marion Malcher replied:
Kevin, your post hits to my heart. Cornwall is a place that I’ve loved and visited over many years. I know the Camel estuary well and remember the steam trains, which dates me!
You may guess that I rarely fly abroad for holidays. It is saddening to think how climate change will change the places we live in and those we cherish.

Karen Mellor replied:
We have enjoyed cycling the Camel trail as a family several times. It will be such a loss. As John says above, there will be an emotional cost too. I’ll say it again, as Bruce Nixon said “7bn people need to feel their anger”.

Wadebridge used to flood regularly. Then defences were built and they have kept the town dry since, even through three severe flood warnings this year. The defences could probably cope with a few more centimetres rise in sea levels, but get to half a metre or more, and we’ll have water in the streets again. To be honest, it would take several metres to drown the town to the level I described, but if the Greenland ice sheet melts, who knows..?

Overall

It’s been good to get the facts on climate change, and even though my poor old brain has taken on sieve-like characteristics and I don’t remember all the information, I do know the sorts of things to look for and where to find them.

Thanks to Professor Tim Lenton and the team at Exeter.

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