Millennium Energy Project


A new study by Spanish scientists warns that if current climate change trends continue, sea levels in the Mediterranean could rise by up to half a metre in less than 50 years' time, with catastrophic consequences for the coastline and particularly islands such as Malta. The study, published by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, argues that even a smaller increase would have very serious consequences, whereas a rise of half a metre would be "catastrophic" for coastal areas. "The Mediterranean Sea level has been increasing between 2.5 and 10 millimetres per year since the 1990s and, if the trend continues, the level of the sea will rise between 12.5 centimetres and a half a metre in the next 50 years," the study says. Entitled “Climate Change In The Spanish Mediterranean”, the study focuses on the evolution of the temperature, level and salinity of the Mediterranean between 1948 and today and was conducted over two distinctive periods: From 1948 to the mid-1970s, and from the mid-1970s until today.

Stacks Image 38

Time series of global mean sea level (deviation from the 1980-1999 mean) in the past and as projected for the future.
Beyond 2100, the projections are increasingly dependent on the emissions scenario.
Over many centuries or millennia, sea level could rise by several metres.
Source: IPCC 2007 p. 409 Climate Change 2007 : The Pysical Science Basis ISBN 978-0-521-70596-7.

According to the Spanish scientists, during the first period, declines in both, air temperature and the superficial layer of the sea, were observed, whereas since the mid-1970s there have been significant increases in temperature, with the rate of increase growing in recent years.