Monday, 10 November 2008


I read recently on the BBC news website that both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are melting three times faster than previously thought. If both of these ice sheets melted completely, sea levels would rise by around 70 metres !

Hopefully we are not in any immediate danger of this happening but it set me wondering what Britain would look like if sea levels rose by 70m.

I dug out some old Trailgauge code that I had and some elevation data that I had and generated a map.

Surprisingly, most of Scotland and Wales escape with minimal land loss. The effect for southern England, however, would be rather more catastrophic. You can see the full map here.

The good news for us northerners is that Manchester is transformed into an elegant seaside resort - perhaps it might be elegant if it wasn't overpopulated from all the refugees from the completely submerged Merseyside and Cheshire.

If you want to see what happens to your town or you want to model different sea levels rises, you can download the utility that I created and try it yourself. It's a Windows command-line utility that generates the map and lists any towns that match your search and gives you their new elevation above sea level, e.g. :-

C:\Data\sealevel>sealevel 70 manchester
Rendering "sealevel.bmp" for sea level = 70m.

Manchester Ship Canal (13500, 8821) submerged
Manchester (13856, 9004) = 5m
Godmanchester (15249, 7703) submerged

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