Predicting the Future (using historic sea level data)

Our tide gauge data has been used to validate models that predict future sea level rise and storminess, such as those used by Defra. Increasing the amount of data available for analyses and extending records back chronologically helps scientists to improve their predictions.

The BBC Radio 4 programme Material World, broadcast on 26 July 2012, contained a section discussing the possibility of tsunamis, specifically those caused by underwater landslides, affecting the UK. Predicting the degree to which a tsunami could inundate the UK coastline in the future relies on predictions of future sea levels.

Seven Dials Sundial Pillar

Seven Dials Sundial Pillar, photograph by Julian Andrews.

Data predicting future changes in sea level can also be of interest outside the science community. Earlier this year, the artist Michael Pinsky transformed three monuments in central London, using a ring of blue light to illustrate where sea level could be 1000 years into the future.