The image appears behind the Environment Agency’s warnings about UK floods.
As the UK faces increased flooding threats, a stunning picture has appeared online showing how close London is to a major flood.
A photo shared on Twitter by Plymouth University professor of marine biology, Martin Attrill, shows how the Thames Barrier holds back a large body of water when it is closed.
But how in danger is London really?
How accurate is this picture?
The caption attached to the photo read: “Nowadays the only obstacle is out.”
But this photo is not believed to have been taken in recent months.
It can be found on a gov.uk website The page which was last updated in February 2021. The image is described as: “An aerial view of the Thames Barrier with the gates closed.”
The most recent that the barrier gates were completely closed was between mid-2019 and mid-2020, meaning the image could have been taken then.
The Thames Barrier was also important to protect the city from flooding and a projected high tide during a period of particularly difficult weather in 2016.
The image has been credited to the National Police Air Service, but the exact date is unknown.
Why does the Thames Barrier matter?
It protects 125 square kilometers of London from tidal floods and storms, which means that 1.25 million people in that area of the city can be protected.
It spans 520 meters across the Thames by Woolwich in the south east end of the city.
The barrier closes when the tide is high but is opened to restore flow to the Sea of Thames at low tide.
However, as the climate crisis continues, the Thames Barrier may not be able to hold back significant bodies of water from London.
As the gov.uk website explains: “The rate at which the number of closures increase is likely to accelerate in line with rapid sea level rise.”
The website also says the UK will have to “reduce reliance” on barriers to manage future floods “to help keep relations within manageable limits”.
What does this have to do with the warnings from the Environment Agency?
Although the exact time and place of taking the photo is unclear, it appears to support the Environment Agency’s warning on Tuesday.
The government branch claims the UK must “adapt or die” to our changing weather patterns, as the climate crisis means the country faces more floods and droughts due to rising sea levels and greater demands on water supplies Will have to
The report says that by 2050, public water supplies will not only require 3.4 billion additional liters of water as population grows – and our drinking water supplies become polluted – but hotter summers will mean a drop in rainfall over the next 30 years. will decrease by 15%. hot month.
However, according to the report, winter precipitation will increase by 6%, and so London’s sea level could rise between 23 cm and 29 cm by 2050, meaning that wet days could become even more intense.
Previous London Floods
London is already at risk of flooding, as was seen by extraordinary waves that hit some underground tube stations in July.
In August, a NASA map also circulated showing which parts of London could be regularly underwater by 2030 as the Thames broke its banks.
In keeping with warnings from the Environment Agency, it is likely that the Thames Barrier will come under pressure in the coming years unless the UK takes action.