Sea levels around the United Kingdom are rising at a rapid rate as a result of climate change, making British coastlines more vulnerable, the British Met Office said on Thursday.
Since the 1900s, sea levels in the United Kingdom have risen by 16.5 centimeters, and the annual rate of rise has doubled in a century: from 1.5 millimeters to 3-5.3 millimeters. According to the agency, as sea levels rise, storms will cause more damage. Among others, the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and glaciers may account for the rise.
Being an island nation, the UK is particularly vulnerable to coastal erosion. According to a recent report by the UK Environment Agency, one in six people in the country are at risk of flooding due to rainfall or sea level rise, and a million people will be directly affected by sea level rise by the end of the century.
Recent decades in the UK have been warmer, wetter and sunnier than the 20th century, the report says. The climate in the British Isles has been rising slightly faster than the global average, with the last decade being 1°C warmer than the period between 1961 and 1990.
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