Striking map predicts how rising sea levels will impact Norfolk

A map created by Climate Central, which shows which areas of Norfolk are likely to be below the annual flood level by 2030.

A map created by Climate Central, which shows which areas of Norwich are likely to be below the annual flood level by 2030. - Credit: Climate Central / Google

Vast swathes of Norwich and Norfolk will face regular flooding by 2030, a map showing how rising sea levels will impact the county reveals.

But the Environment Agency says the predictions are "inaccurate and unsuitable to inform local coastal flood risk."

The striking visualisation has been created by Climate Central, an independent group that researches and reports on the climate crisis and how it affects people’s lives.

A map created by Climate Central, which shows which areas of Norfolk are likely to be below the annual flood level by 2030.

A map created by Climate Central, which shows which areas of Norfolk are likely to be below the annual flood level by 2030. - Credit: Climate Central / Google Maps

The map predicts the banks of the Wensum will be regularly breached, the Norfolk Broads will frequently flood as will stretches of the North Norfolk coast by 2030.

It uses data from peer-reviewed scientific papers and can be changed to show flood risks and rising sea levels over different time scales.

A map created by Climate Central, which shows which areas of Norfolk are likely to be below the annual flood level by 2030.

A map created by Climate Central, which shows which areas of Norfolk are likely to be below the annual flood level by 2030. - Credit: Climate Central / Google Maps

Flooding is increasingly becoming an issue across Norfolk and the county is known to be susceptible to rising sea levels and coastal erosion.

Just last month parts of Norwich and Thetford were hit by flash floods caused by torrential rain.

While in North Norfolk communities on the coast spent the first few months of 2021 unable to use groundfloor toilets and contending with flooded gardens and fields.

When asked how the county was preparing for the flooding risk posed by rising sea levels a spokesperson for the Environment Agency said while "useful to prompt discussion around the impacts of sea-level rise" and the "need to adapt to climate change" the predictions made by Climate Central around the future flooding in the area is "inaccurate and unsuitable to inform local coastal flood risk."

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They said: "The prediction does not take into account extensive efforts taken to prevent such severe incidents in the future, including the presence of sea defences, which protect communities from flooding.

“There may also be discrepancies between the climate change scenarios shown on the maps and those we currently advocate as being the most appropriate, based on the climate science contained in UK Climate Projections 18.”

In its information about its map Climate Central states: "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."

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