A NEW report warns that the sea level along the coast of Murcia could rise 15 centimetres in less than 10 years.
According to the Institute of Environmental Hydraulics of the University of Cantabria increased temperatures caused by climate change, could lead to sea level rises in the Murcia region of 55 centimetres by the end of the century in the worst-case scenario.
Presenting the report Acting Minister for Ecological Transition Teresa Ribera warned of the “very important effects” this will have on Spanish coasts.
Generally, Spanish coasts could see an average rise in sea levels of between 17 to 35 centimetres by 2028, while along the Costa Calida and parts of the Costa Blanca the projected range is 10 to 15 centimetres.
By the end of the century levels in this part of the Mediterranean are projected to have risen between 40 and 55 centimetres on the coasts of Cartagena, La Union, Aguilas, Mazarron, San Javier, Los Alcazares and San Pedro del Pinatar.
The predictions of this project, based on a more accurate methodology that focuses on applying general models to specific regions, are being made taking into account different greenhouse emission scenarios.
The objective of the work carried out by the Institute is “to limit the uncertainty associated with the projection of environmental impacts” such as erosion of beaches in order to improve management and make more efficient use of the available resources.
It includes projections of variables such as waves, tides, sea level and sea surface temperature along the coast. “We already know that there will be displacements of marine species, with a high risk of loss of wetlands and vulnerable areas,” said Ribera.
She added it is necessary to plan now to ensure proper coastal management is put in place to deal with the environmental changes both on land and in the marine environment.
Researcher Íñigo Losada, from the Institute, said that due to both temperature rises and changes in wave patterns, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, the Spanish Levant and the western façade of the Cantabrian Sea will be the areas where, “the most important changes” will take place.