In several places, water can threaten over 100 times a year in the future

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Copenhagen. At the end of this century, several places in Denmark may be threatened by water more than 100 times a year.

This is predicted by the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) in an update of its climate atlas, which comes with DMI’s best bid for the climate of the future.

It has been updated with new figures for how often the current flood warning level will be exceeded in the future. This is stated by DMI in a press release.

When there is an elevated water level, there is a risk of storm surge and damage where water can destroy, for example, houses.

Today, it is typically alerted between zero and twice a year in most places along the coast. It can therefore increase significantly.

It can affect the local area, Mark Payne explains. He is a climate researcher and professional leader of DMI’s climate atlas.

– Local areas have a high risk of flooding due to high water levels from the sea and storm surges, he says.

It is especially the coastal areas in the southern Kattegat and the Little Belt that will be able to experience that the water frequently exceeds the critical level.

On Funen by the Little Belt, it can happen 120 times a year. This corresponds to every third day.

The projection is based on the fact that the high global emissions of greenhouse gases will continue in the future.

In that scenario, emissions give an expected global warming of 4.3 degrees at the end of the century compared to the period 1850-1900.

But how much will be emitted in the future is not known. It is, according to Mark Payne, the biggest source of uncertainty about the projections.

– If we reduce our emissions or achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, we can actually expect significantly fewer warnings about high water levels than we would otherwise have seen, he says.

In the Paris Agreement, 200 countries have agreed that global warming should be limited to 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial levels. It was concluded in 2015.

With continued high global emissions, the mean water level is estimated to rise by about half a meter towards the end of this century.

This will mean that storm surges in the future may hit more violently, as a storm in a climate with a higher mean water level can push the water even higher above the terrain.

According to Environment Minister Lea Wermelin (S), the new climate atlas puts a thick line under that the coastlines can be challenged.

– It is a serious problem and it can create insecurity for people living on the exposed coastlines, she says in a comment.

She points out that DKK 350 million was therefore set aside for coastal protection in last year’s Finance Act.

DMI’s climate atlas is made in collaboration with municipalities and a number of actors involved in climate adaptation.

/ ritzau /

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