Some of Malta’s most famous landmarks and tourist attractions could be destroyed by rising sea levels, it has been claimed.
Much of Msida, Marsalforn and Xemxija could all be submerged by 2050 if sea levels continue to rise due to climate change.
The environmental shifts taking place are so rapid that catastrophe could hit in just 30 years unless urgent action is taken, it has been claimed.
And it isn’t only individual landmarks that are under threat from sea water which is expanding as its temperature rises – scientists are warning entire towns could be submerge.
Among the areas most at risk are the seafronts in Xlendi and Marsalforn in Gozo as well as Cirkewwa, Xemxija, the entire Pwales Valley, St Paul’s Bay, Spinola Bay, Balluta, Msida, Marsaxlokk and Birzebbuga.
One sea level prediction even shows that Mellieha would become an island in its own right, completely cut off from St Paul’s Bay.
You can measure the effects of the various projections on this simulator.
The map produced by Climate Central, an independent organisation of leading scientists, predicted the impact climate change would have across Europe by 2050.
It warned that sea defences could be rendered useless, within the lifetimes of most people alive today.
The report from Climate Central read: ‘Sea level rise is one of the best known of climate change’s many dangers.
‘As humanity pollutes the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, the planet warms.
‘And as it does, warming sea water expands, increasing the volume of the world’s oceans.’
It added: ‘The consequences range from near-term increases in coastal flooding that can damage infrastructure and crops to the permanent displacement of coastal communities.
‘This will happen not just in the distant future, but also within the lifetimes of most people alive today.’
Warnings of the catastrophic impact of rising sea levels in Malta come after Italy’s government declared a state of emergency in flood-ravaged Venice.
More than 80 per cent of the city, a Unesco world heritage site, was under water when tides were at their highest.
Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte described the flooding as ‘a blow to the heart of our country’.