Sunday, February 17, 2008


The Sun Sets Over Flooded Coastal Wetlands
The Sun Sets Over Flooded Coastal Wetlands

To be protected from the elements we seek shelter. Over the years we have created elaborate shelters but how do we view our shelter in preparation for changes created by global warming and unpredictable weatherpatterns. The 2 factors presented in many cases are flooding caused by flashfloods and higher temperatures which may cause drought.

Berry Cottage was situated on a bank protected from one side by a cliff of sandstone. 20 yards below, a small brook runs alongside the road and although very pretty has the ability to flood when heavy downpours occurred. Berry Cottage was in no danger of flooding, but 50% of the cottages in the hamlet were and are. The risks of flooding are not simply the flooding of your shelter, but also being cut off from the main road. The speed of flood waters is also a consideration.

Moving to higher ground is an answer and easier to do currently than when and if waterlevels rise in your area.

To find out where you are positioned with regards to possible flooding, the environment agency provides a searchfacility called what is in your backyard; this will give you a small map showing areas that will flood when sea or river levels rise. Such knowledge will enable you to decide whether you want to live with that risk factor or whether you do not and you can act accordingly.

The position of the shop and our house does not pose a risk on the floodlevel scale neither by rising sea levels or river beds but within 2 miles there are hamlets and farmland that will be affected. At worst these would be cut off, have powercuts etc and if a garden were created which provided a large proportion of food supply, that too would be lost.

It is for those reasons that deciding where you live will have an impact on your ability to work with the uncertainty that climate change may present.

The opportunities here are to try and capture rainfall so that it is available during drought seasons and also to prevent damage caused by flooding.

The second opportunity is to look at how you can stay cool when temperatures rise above levels that are comfortable.

I am making an assumption that temperatures will be more extreme at times and to find ways to respond to that.

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