LARGE parts of Lancashire’s coast could be permanently underwater within the next 30 years, a climate change study has predicted.
The study has been conducted by Climate Central, an independent organisation of leading scientists and journalists who research climate change and its impact on the public.
The organisation has produced an interactive map which uses scientific journals and predictions to show which areas across the world could be lost to rising sea levels by 2050.
It says: “Climate Central’s sea level rise and coastal flood maps are based on peer-reviewed science in leading journals.
“As these maps incorporate big datasets, which always include some error, these maps should be regarded as screening tools to identify places that may require deeper investigation of risk.
“Outside of the United States, maps are based on global-scale datasets for elevation, tides, and coastal flood likelihoods.
“Areas lower than the selected water level and with an unobstructed path to the ocean are shaded red.
“By default, areas below the water level but that appear to be protected by ridges are not shaded.
“Our approach makes it easy to map any scenario quickly and reflects threats from permanent future sea level rise well.”
On the map, at risk areas lying below the predicted future water level are shaded in red.
This includes several parts of the Lancashire and Fylde coast.
Huge parts of Blackpool and Lytham could be lost to sea, as well as the majoirty of Fleetwood, with parts of Morecambe, Heysham and Lancaster all at risk.
The study also suggests that sea levels could rise so much by 2050, that areas further inland could be affected, with towns west of Garstang shaded red, as well as parts of Preston close to the River Ribble.
Further south, shaded red areas cover parts of Hesketh Bank and Croston, close to Southport.
Luckily, no areas in East Lancashire look to be at risk, Climate Central estimates.
The study went on to say: “However, the accuracy of these maps drops when assessing risks from extreme flood events.
“Our maps are not based on physical storm and flood simulations and do not take into account factors such as erosion, future changes in the frequency or intensity of storms, inland flooding, or contributions from rainfall or rivers.”