Dealing with sea level rise: retreat, defend, or attack?

As a handy follow-up to Bryan’s post yesterday about calls to plan for sea level rise of about two metres over the coming century, a new report, Facing up to rising sea levels [PDF], examines how two British coastal cities, Portsmouth and Hull, might cope. According to the Guardian coverage, Hull could become a “Venice-like waterworld” (which is a considerable challenge to my imagination) and Portsmouth a new Amalfi (ditto). Set aside the hyperbole, however, and the report — a joint effort by the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Institution of Civil Engineers — is an examination of how the cities could respond to sea level rise by building defences, managing a planned retreat, or by building out and over the sea as it rises. The results are a fascinating look at how ingenuity in the face of a severe challenge can create interesting environments — if not, perhaps, a new Venice in northeast England.

3 thoughts on “Dealing with sea level rise: retreat, defend, or attack?”

  1. Dr. Nils-Axel M̦rner has studied sea level and its effects on coastal areas for some 35 years. Recently retired as director of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics Department at Stockholm University, M̦rner is past president (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, and leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project. The uncompromising verdict of Dr M̦rner is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story РSea Levels Are Not Rising! Read more at

    1. Mörner is a crank. His “report” on the Maldives was rebutted comprehensively by Church et al and others, and his continued insistence that the sea is not rising flies in the face of the evidence. More here.

      He is also noted for his wacky views on dowsing.

      Note: I don’t mind links to sites that carry alternative views, but turning up here for the sole purpose of delivering those links counts as spam. You won’t be getting added to my blogroll.

  2. A dishonest crank (is that a tautology?), what’s more. If you do some more work, ClimateJournal, you’ll find that INQUA have emphatically disassociated themselves from this views although he claimed to represent them.

Leave a Reply