Original article from Kent Live
The devastating impact of COVID-19 may be at the forefront of everybody's minds, but other global crises also continue to develop.
While a large focus may be on the battle against the pandemic, climate change is accelerating and action has never been more urgent.
The year 2020 was one of the three warmest on record, according to a report released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in April last year.
Climate Central, a non-profit news organisation focused on climate science, has revealed the severity of this threat locally.
Signing up to the KentLive newsletter means you'll get the latest news direct to your inbox twice a day.
It couldn't be simpler and it takes seconds – simply press here, enter your email address and follow the instructions. You can also enter your email address in the box below the picture on most desktop and mobile platforms.
You can also sign up to our website and comment on our stories by pressing here and signing in.
According to the organization, large parts of Kent are expected to regularly fall below sea level by the year 2050.
Climate Central claims the risk of flooding could be three times higher than previously forecast.
There are three main reasons why the sea rises in hotter temperatures.
Huge ice sheets at the poles melt faster than they form from snowfall loading more water around the earth, ice at high altitude melts at higher points and heat makes the oceans expand.
Experts say causes of global warming by humans include burning fossil fuels – coal, gas and oil – factory farming and increasing livestock production and deforestation.
Although these will be gradual changes that could take some years before they reach the levels shown on the map, once they are noticeable it will be too late to stop them.
Climate Central also predicts huge parts of Kent will be hit by annual coastal floods in the next 30 years.
The map shows the majority of the coastline will be underwater, with Romney Marsh, Sandwich Bay and large parts of the Hoo Peninsula entirely submerged.
It should be noted that these images are based on predictions if we make no cuts to emissions.
The areas of Kent set to be underwater by 2050
Large parts of Dover seafront are due to be underwater – including the Port, town centre and old cruise terminal.
Large parts of Deal will also be submerged, including Betteshanger Park.
The seafront stretching from Kingsdown all the way to Ramsgate could disappear.
The Royal St George Golf Club and a huge radius surrounding it in Sandwich will be underwater, according to these predictions.
Pretty but low-level villages around Canterbury could also be underwater, including Wingham, Wickhambreax, Stodmarsh and Fordwich.
While the majority of Thanet is likely to remain rather dry, the isle itself could become an island again.
Climate change could bring the return of the Wantsum Channel, splitting Thanet from mainland Britain once again.
Seafronts in Margate, Ramsgate, Botany Bay and Pegwell Bay will also face some flooding.
"Areas shaded red reflect places that are lower than the selected local sea-level and/or coastal flood projection Aaccording to the selected elevation dataset.
"Red areas must also meet hydrologic connectivity criteria. This refined "bathtub approach" makes mapping numerous scenarios fast and efficient and reproduces potential future sea-level threats well.
"However, when coastal floods are added, the bathtub approach becomes less accurate the higher the flood
"Maps take neither engineered coastal defenses nor long-term dynamic changes into account.
"Due to the error always present in wide-area elevation datasets, as well as the other limitations described here, this map should be regarded as a screening tool to identify places that may require deeper investigation of risk."
Herne Bay, Swalecliffe, Hampton and parts of the Thanet Way could be submerged.
Whitstable, Seasalter and Graveney all look set to be underwater when The Swale rises.
In fact The Swale looks set to rise so much it will cover a huge amount of the coastline – stretching right into Faversham.
The rocky heights of the Leas will seemingly protect most of Folkestone, but the seafront is set to submerge.
The majority of the Romney Marsh is due to disappear, stretching all the way from Hythe, to Camber and up to Woodchurch.
Large parts of Sittingbourne stretching down to Iwade would be underwater.
Huge parts of Dartford could be submerged.
The Thames would rise and submerge much of Swanscombe.
The River Medway could become much wider, taking most of Aylesford, Forstal and Larkfield with it.
The growing River Medway could also take Holborough, Ham Hill and the surrounding
The Medway City Estate could be lost to the river thanks to climate change.
It would see much of Rochester and Gillingham also submerged.
The Hoo Peninsula
Much of the Hoo Peninsula would be underwater, especially the east and west coastlines.
Isle of Sheppey
Around three quarters of the Isle of Sheppey would also disappear.