Save our Studland!
The Studland peninsula and its marine biome are threatened by sea level rise due to the climate emergency that the world is now facing. This nationally and internationally significant habitat which is also a beloved recreation area, will be destroyed by accelerated coastal erosion if atmospheric carbon levels are not reduced significantly over the next 30 years.
This action has been organised by Extinction Rebellion. It is part of a nationwide series of local protests called Make the Wave that are leading up to the G7 meeting in Cornwall 11th – 13th June. From John O’Groats to Lands End, coastal communities at risk from sea level rise are doing similar actions to raise awareness in their area. We are calling on world leaders to take decisive actions to tackle the Climate and Ecological Emergency by eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and other activities that threaten the health of our planet and its biodiversity.
We have placed HIGH TIDE ‘signposts’ at the points along Ferry Rd that climate change modeling suggests high tides would reach in 2040, 2060, 2080 and 2100. Why we placed the signposts is explained in How Did We Choose Where To Place Our Sign Posts?
What You Can Do
JOIN OR SUPPORT EXTINCTION REBELLION
Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a politically non-partisan international movement that uses non-violent direct action to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency. XR is a non- hierarchical movement; it has no leaders or members. If you believe in and act in accordance with its values and principles, you are a rebel and can act under the XR banner. Only a few of XR’s actions involve illegality, most, like this one, are completely legal. Care is taken to ensure the health and safety of our people and the general public in the design of our actions. To achieve our aim of steering the countries of the world away from our current disastrous course, we need all those who agree with us to become ‘rebels’ or support XR in other ways.
If you want to join us, find your local group and read XR’s three core demands. We look forward to welcoming you. , Alternatively, you can support XR in other ways, through social media, lobbying your MP or Donating to Extinction Rebellion UK.
FIVE SIMPLE THINGS
If you don’t want to join XR or email your MP, but want to make a difference, there are many simple things you can do to help the planet. Below are five examples of changes to your lifestyle that can help reduce your impact on the environment:
- Eat less meat, dairy, and fish
- Fly less
- Get power from a 100% renewables supplier
- Avoid buying stuff, especially plastics, you will just use once or don’t really need
- Use public transport or human-powered vehicles whenever possible
These are not sufficient on their own to reverse the crisis but they are necessary if we are to save the planet.
Who Was Involved in the action
This is a collaboration by:
XR Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
Facebook: EXTINCTION REBELLION PURBECK
Facebook: Extinction Rebellion Wantage
How Did We Choose Where To Place Our SignPosts?
Modeling the future impact of rising sea levels on Studland is of course complex and open to many variables. We have used the coastal.climatecentral.org (CC) Coastal Risk Screening Tool to determine the location of HIGH TIDE ‘signposts’ at the points along Ferry Rd that CC’s model suggests high tides would reach in 2040, 2060, 2080 and 2100. The Coastal Risk Screening Tool (Climate Central | Land projected to be below tideline in 2040) allows users to adjust variables to look at the differing impact of various possible futures based on the following assumptions:
Projection type: The tool offers the ability to choose the level of flood risk as well as sea level rise in the projection. We have used sea level rise only because CC acknowledges the weakness of their model for predicting flood levels and as these are infrequent in Poole Harbour and Bay they can be excluded.
Pollution scenario: This is the level of cuts in carbon emissions: Deep and rapid cuts, Moderate cuts, Unchecked pollution. We have used the last of these because this reflects the current global position.
Luck: Sea level models provide a range of possible outcomes. The selection of ‘medium’ is taking a middle course between the worst and best scenarios.
Sea level projection source: We have opted for Kopp et al (2017) because though the 2014 study is more widely cited its source data was collected up to 2013. In the intervening years the majority of research has shown increasing risk from natural sources such as more rapid shrinkage of ice sheets and glaciers than previous estimates, new sources of emissions from natural sources such as Arctic methane emissions, as well as accelerating human caused emissions. Further, we now have a better understanding of natural mechanisms of carbon sequestration in marine environments that are known to be under threat from industrial fishing and pollution of the seas.
This seems a reasonable worst case scenario, to highlight the risk to the Studland peninsula if our government and those of other G7 countries do not start to make drastic changes to energy generation, production of goods, agriculture and fishing.
There is a good explanation of how to use the tool on YouTube.
Climate Central (Wikipedia) is a US based not for profit organisation with a diverse range of funding sources including NASA, National Science Foundation, Sustainable Markets Foundation, and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
Suggested Text for an Email to Your MP
Dear [MPs name],
Save Our Studland and The G7 Summit
Make the Wave was a UK wide action by more than 50 coastal communities over the four days leading up to the G7 summit conference in Cornwall. By interacting together, we wanted to send a clear signal to our Prime Minister, World Leaders, and other Delegates at the G7 Conference that people in communities vulnerable to sea level rise and flooding demand more action to tackle the climate emergency.
Coastal areas in the UK will continue to see an increase in ‘compound flooding’ in the coming decades. This happens when storm surges and heavy rainfall combine, which will be more common thanks to rising global temperatures. These events are now happening more than once every six years.
Here are a few uncomfortable truths about sea level rise and flooding in the UK.
– 1 in 6 properties are located in significant flood risk areas
– 1.4 million people are living in flood risk areas
– Over 7,000 properties are at risk of being destroyed by the sea
– 40% of businesses do not reopen after suffering from the effects of flooding
– £100K is how much the UK economy spends per hour per major road affected by flooding
– £5.2 billion in flood and coastal defence spending in the next 6 years
As you are aware:
Sea Level Rise is the term used to describe the increasing level of the world’s oceans due to the effects of global warming. As you are also aware, this happens when carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases are released into the atmosphere, from things like burning fossil fuels and deforestation. The oceans then absorb the majority of this heat, and as water becomes warmer, it expands. This causes ocean levels worldwide to rise.
The mass melting of land-based ice, such as glaciers and ice sheets, contributes to sea level rise too. With year-around global temperatures on the rise, reserves of ice in places like Greenland and Antarctica which usually melt in the warmer months and replenish in the winter, are experiencing a disproportionate amount melting at an accelerated rate.
For many years NASA has warned that one of the most powerful ‘tipping points’, will be when the Arctic Ocean is virtually free of sea ice, and that this would occur in the 2060s. In February 2020 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) brought this date forward to 2034, warning it could happen sooner. This is very strong evidence that either runaway climate change has begun, or we are now on the very cusp of it (https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/arctic-ice-study).
Another element of this is coastal erosion. Homes in the UK are going to flood on a more regular basis. But we are at a point where we can slow this process down, if we have the will.
It can be seen that we do need to try harder. The 2020 UK Climate Change Committee (CCC) Progress Report demonstrated that the UK is not on track to meet its (already inadequate) emissions reduction targets, while the 2019 CCC adaptation progress report showed that the government is not even taking elementary steps to protect its citizens from 2 degrees of warming.
With this in mind, to help avert the worst effects of global heating, I am asking you to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill. This Bill has been prepared by the CEE Bill Alliance, which is a team of scientists, academics, lawyers and campaigners working together—and guided by current science—to call for urgent, far-reaching and necessary actions from the UK Government to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.