Professor Maria Attard, director of the University of Malta’s Institute for Climate Change, has warned that parts of the Maltese islands are at risk of disappearing unless urgent action is made to conserve areas of the shore.
According to Attard, the Mediterranean Sea will experience a 70cm rise in sea levels by the end of the century. She explained that sea level rises varies depending on where you are in the world. The Mediterranean is a contained sea, and unless the models are updated, the end-of-century sea level increase is expected to be less than a metre.
She explained that the issue here isn’t Malta drowning beneath the waves; it’s the infrastructure that will be impacted by this rise in sea level, particularly essential infrastructure like port areas.
This follows the latest statistics from the Meteorological Office at Malta International Airport which show that Malta’s average annual air temperature has increased by approximately 1.4°C since the mid-1940’s.
Referring to this, Professor Attard said that an increase beyond 1.4 and 2 degrees Celsius may see an acceleration of the expected repercussions, such as more droughts and occurrences like severe temperatures and heavier flooding, adding that such events are already commonplace.
For the world’s primary biological systems, a worldwide increase of 1.4 degrees Celsius represents a point of no return.