The major threat of rising sea levels : the consequences (2/2)


After my post on the scientific research behind rising sea levels and the one on their dramatic consequences worldwide, I would like to conclude this series with my home country, France.

Even if it won’t be the most stricken by the phenomenon, it would suffer from dire consequences of rising sea levels provoked by a full scale climate change.

You will find below an overview of the main cities, regions and economic activities that will be the most hit. The list is quite impressive.

  • Dunkerque (Dunkirk) is the third commercial and industrial harbor of the country. It also comprises important petrochemical and metallurgical activities. Its average elevation is of four meters.
  • The Gravelines nuclear power plant is the largest in Europe and produces nearly ten percent of the country’s electricity with its six reactors. It would have to be relocated on higher grounds.
  • Le Havre has a very low average elevation as it was built on ancient marshlands. The large industrial zone and petrochemical area would also be in danger.
  • The island of Noirmoutier, as well as many other like Ré or the île d’Yeu, would also be at risk. This is a problem as their patrimony is of important value.
  • Bordeaux and its region. The marshlands would suffer in an important way by rising sea levels, as well as some parts of the old town located at an average elevation of one meter.
  • Arles and the Camargue are already at risk because of the Rhone’s sediments. The Mediterranean sea could thus enter the region much more easily.
  • Marseille, the third French city, was built on hills but would nonetheless suffer from rising sea levels, especially its Vieux Port and the Borely Park.
  • Last but not least, Nice would also face issues with most notably its airport and its famous Promenade des Anglais.

As you can see all major economic activities of the country would be at risk. From tourism to the industrial sector, rising sea levels would cause serious harm.

To conclude : All this can be avoided if climate change is tackled seriously and greenhouse gases emissions are cut to the levels recommended by the IPCC specialists.

The data from this article and the two previous ones comes from the French Magazine Science et Vie and their July 2008 issue (cover pictured right)

Starting next Monday, I will present you the main conclusions of their most interesting article on Antarctica.

So for this and for much more, stay tuned !

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