Thursday, May 3, 2007

Thames River Threatens London

No, this is not an episode of Dr. Who. But a portent on what could happen to London if the global warming trend continues.

By: Vanessa Uy

The Thames Flood Control Barrier, the Jewel of the British Crown when it comes to flood defence is quite an engineering marvel. Ever since her Christening by Queen Elizabeth II back in 1982, this flood control barrier was once believed not to require any upgrades until 2030. But the various threats brought about by climate change had now called that into question.

As far back as recorded history can remember, the Thames River had brought prosperity to London. The river made possible for England to achieve superpower status in the last 200 years by providing easy access to all of the world’s oceans. But if climate change has its way, the Thames could turn London into an underwater city.

Back in January 21, 1953, a terrible flood caused by the North Sea storm surge wreaked havoc on the village of Jaywick. Many people lost their lives as a result not to mention the property damage. This terrible disaster was the Thames Flood Control Barrier’s raison d’ĂȘtre.

But many experts have criticized the British Government’s reactive approach to disaster mitigation. These experts are suggesting to the policy makers to adapt a more proactive approach to disaster mitigation. Like upgrading the Thames Flood Control Barrier in response to the projected trend of climate change. Even then, this didn’t stop the on going housing development on the Thames Gateway Region and being earmarked as a prime real estate location. Even though this area is designated as a flood plain during storm surges, and the expected sea level rise will probably ruin every homeowner’s property value.

No comments: