We face a real challenge along our coastline as climate change increases the risk of flooding and coastal erosion. These impacts are well documented and include sea level rise and the potential increase in intensity, severity and frequency of coastal storms. In addition to the expected changes in sea level due to climate change, the Southern UK will see additional rises in sea level due to gradual geological decline, called ‘isostatic rebound'.
We have used defra guidance on sea level rise allowances in our strategy. This guidance is based on evidence of climate change effects to date and modelling to predict the future. There are uncertainties about what will happen in the future and the sea level rise allowances are amended as new information becomes available.
Current predictions for the South East of England estimate a relative rise in sea levels of 4.8mm per year in 2009, rising to 15.8mm per year by 2085. This equates to almost 1 metre of sea level rise over the 100-year life of the Eastern Yar flood and erosion management strategy. NB the term “relative” is used to include for the land going down as well as the sea going up