Giant Waves Consuming Ancient UK Coastal Landmarks
February 8, 2014
Climate Change is a key factor in the storms that have battered parts of Britain this winter, according to the Met Office’s chief scientist, who also warned that the country should prepare itself for similar events in the future.
Dame Julia Slingo said while there was not yet “definitive proof”, “all the evidence” pointed to Climate Change, and suggested that detecting when and how storms develop would become increasingly important.
“Is it consistent with what we might expect from climate change?
“Of course, as yet there can be no definitive answer on the particular events that we have seen this winter, but if we look at the broader base of evidence then we see things that support the premise that climate change has been making a contribution.”
Dame Julia said while none of the individual storms had been exceptional, the “clustering and persistence” were extremely unusual.
It’s one thing to see man made structures swallowed by the gigantic waves and relentless jet-stream driven storms that have hit the UK this winter – but when geological features that have stood for hundreds, if not thousands of years, are erased, one has to pause.
The accelerated re-arrangement of coastlines due to climate change and sea level rise is underway, but we haven’t seen anything yet.
Hate to give traffic to the Daily Mail, but there is this:
A huge ancient formation known as Pom Pom Rock has been destroyed after constant pounding by ferocious waves on the South coast.(below)The rock off Portland, Dorset, was said to have weighed hundreds of tonnes and dates back 150 million years to the Jurassic age.
It comes as a landmark rock arch that has stood for centuries in Cornwall was reduced to rubble by towering waves and 70mph winds. Porthcothan Bay is famed for its picture-postcard beach and caves – but its massive stone archway has now collapsed into the sea.(above)
The towering outcrop once resembled a giant rocky doughnut. Now, though, it looks like someone has taken a huge bite out of it.
David Petley in AGU Blogosphere:
The recent UK storms have brought exceptionally wild coastal weather, in particular to southern and western England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This has had a profound impact on the geomorphology of the British coast. The Met Office has a nice summary of these storms. The combination of strong winds, high tides, large waves and saturated ground has greatly accelerated coastal processes, promoting failure of large rock masses. The BBC has a nice article that highlights some of these changes.
I suspect more than a few Brits are having a “You’re going to need a bigger boat..” moment.