From: Harriet Jarlett, Planet Earth Online
Published August 1, 2014 09:12 AM

Defending against sea level rise could make the problem worse

A combination of coastal defences and rising sea levels could change typical UK tidal ranges, potentially leading to a higher risk of flooding, say scientists.

The researchers wanted to find out how tides around the UK might respond to changes in sea level over the next century depending on the level of coastal defences in place.

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The study, published in Continental Shelf Research, shows for the first time that local coastal defences, such as sea walls, could cause tides to change dramatically. It suggests flood defences need to be reassessed on an international scale as they may lead to an increased risk of flooding.

'We wanted to see how sea level rise would affect the tidal range- the difference between high water and low water - and to see if it would cause any potential changes in the time of high water and tidal velocities,' explains Dr Holly Pelling of Bangor University, lead researcher on the study.

The Sea Wall at Teignmouth in Winter Sun image via Shutterstock.

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