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New climate report warns of London flooding risk

The report predicts the Thames Barrier would not stop the flooding. Photo: John Walton/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The risk of London flooding by 2100 will be significantly higher than current projections, according to climate scientists.

A new report “From Ice to High Seas”, which was co-ordinated by the British Antarctic Survey, claims melting polar ice will lead to sea level rises of up to 69cm, with a 5% chance it could rise as much as three feet. In the worst case scenario, that would see the Thames Barrier breached every 12 years.

“Today, as the glaciers and ice sheets lose their ice, the water that they once held has melted and flowed in to rivers and seas, increasing their volume and raising global sea-levels. Current rates of sea-level rise are already having impacts on the most vulnerable communities and ecosystems.

“It is likely that some future ice-loss and sea-level rise is now unavoidable. But nevertheless, understanding why changes are occurring today and how they could increase in the future is the first step in maintaining the security of our coastal regions for future generations.”

– Professor David Vaughan, British Antarctic Survey

Previous projections published in 2007 estimated rises of up to 59cm, that’s 10cm lower than the latest projection. If either of these two findings come true, the Environment Agency predicts we could see one-in-a-thousand-year storms occurring every decade.