Even if nations around the world honour pledges to cut carbon emissions, scientists estimate that it is likely that the world’s temperature is set to rise to 3°C above what was normal before the industrial age began. Sea level rise will drastically alter the shape of the Maltese coastline, with the Northern and Harbour areas being hit especially hard, simulations of a 6m sea level rise show.
What our simulation assumes and how we made it
Our simulation uses a better case scenario than this, and assumes that the world will be able to stand by its pledge negotiated at the Paris climate agreement to keep global warming to only 2°C by 2100.
However, according to a scientific paper co-written by some of the world’s leading earth scientists, even a 2°C increase in temperature at the poles would melt enough ice to raise the sea level by 6 metres.
Using Google Earth, we then visualised what a 6m rise in sea level would look like – we decided on a semi-transparent layer so you can see what gets submerged and what remains. Of course, this is only a cosmetic estimate of what will happen, with this scenario’s implications being much greater than the loss of land. Aquifers and subterranean infrastructure will for instance be seriously jeopardised.
Anything below the Valletta Bastions will be underwater
Msida, and the Msida valley will both reflood
Which is hardly surprising considering that parts of Msida were reclaimed from the sea as a way to use up debris at the end of WW2.
A great stretch of Ta’ Xbiex will be lost
And so will be half of Manoel Island… while Gzira will resemble Venice
Sliema and St. Julians will both be radically altered
As will the three cities, the drydocks and parts of Marsa
Marsascala will be transformed into a peninsula
Marsaxlokk Bay will expand to include part of the town, the present harbour and some of the surrounding fields
The industry around the South East will be hit hard
With the Freeport finding itself mostly under the surface, and the current Enemalta facilities at Delimara only managing to stay above the water by a hair.
Xemxija will be totally overrun, while the Salini Marshlands creep inward
Half of St. Paul’s island will also be lost.
Ċirkewwa will be totally flooded, and Għadira will come close to splitting the main island in two…
…with the distance across the narrowest point of the island shrinking to only 450m.
Gozo will fare better…
With only a handful of bays being affected. The inland sea in Dwejra will expand inwards.
And Ramla Bay will be reshaped entirely.
Comino will lose it’s blue lagoon, and both Santa Marija and San Niklaw bays will expand inwards.