I’m in a reflective mood after attending the @fromtheashesfilm documentary premier yesterday – discussions on how climate change is influencing the planet and lives across the world. It made me think about being back at #GiantsCauseway in #Ireland – a place I’ve seen change over my few years of visiting.
The province's only World Heritage site is threatened by rising water levels and coastal erosion says a report by the National Trust, which is the guardian of the site.
A report, by Queen's University and the University of Ulster, warned that part of Middle and Little Causeway could be under water for much of the winter by the end of the century.
The Giants Causeway could also suffer serious erosion by 2080 and new approach routes for visitors would probably have to be built, it said. In the shorter term, predicted stormier weather at the site over the next decade would require greater safety measures to be introduced to stop people falling from the cliff next to the famous octagonal basalt stones. In the medium term – from 2050 to 2080 – many more of the stones will be under the waves.
The National Trust director for Northern Ireland, Hilary McGrady, called for government help to protect the coastline: "Our planning system and, in particular, development plans and planning policy statements must take predicted coastal change into account to ensure coastal landscapes are adequately protected in the future," Professor Julian Orford, from Queen's University, who led the research, said: "Northern Ireland's coastline is changing, and indeed a challenging environment in the 21st century. The National Trust and many other bodies must prepare now to meet the uncertain challenges ahead." When I last visited, large sections of the coastal path were no longer accessible due to coastal erosion, landslides and sea levels covering previously accessible paths. (For information about this #beautiful site and its formation, please flick back a couple of weeks on my profile for a full description!)