Shrinking Britain; How Global Warming Could Leave Many of Our Big Cities Submerged

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Byline: SUZANNE FINNEY

THIS astonishing image shows how Britain could be transformed into a series of different islands if nothing is done to stem global warming.

Scientists believe central London and many cities and coastal towns face being submerged because of melting of the polar ice caps and rising sea levels.

Increasingly erratic weather patterns, such as the flash floods and sweltering heat of recent weeks, are already prompting fears about the damage caused to our planet.

And leading environment expert Professor Bill McGuire says there is at least a one in 20 chance that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet - the size of France and Italy combined - could melt in 200 years, causing chaos across the country.

This would lead to a rise of 19 to 23ft in sea levels that would drown the centre of London and leave many cities and coastal towns including Edinburgh, Newcastle, Scunthorpe, Bristol, Plymouth, Norwich, Peterborough and Bournemouth waterlogged.

If nothing at all is done to halt carbon gas emissions, leading to a runaway greenhouse effect, and the Greenland, West Antarctic and East Antarctic Ice Sheets all melt, we would see a massive 275ft rise.

The eastern sheet is five times as big as its western counterpart.

If all three were to melt, little beyond the hills and mountains making up Wales, Scotland, the South-West and the spine of England would remain above the waves.

Scotland would be separated from England by a narrow channel while Wales would be connected to the rest of Britain by just a narrow land bridge.

Most of Sussex would be under water, leaving only the South Downs and the High Weald forming a series of unfamiliar-looking islands and peninsulas. …