Do our unsustainable lifestyle mean that Birmingham could become the new capital of Britain?
According to this map, produced by London’s Benfield Hazard Research Centre, a sea level rise of 84 metres from global warming could see London swimming with the fishes – giving Birmingham a chance to ditch the Second City title.
What is more likely is our carbon dioxide emissions could lead to devastating flooding of many of the UK’s coastal and riverside towns and cities.
Across the world, oceans rose by around 20 centimetres during the 20th century – a rate higher than at any time during the past one thousand years.
But sea levels could rise far faster.
The Benfield study, published in March this year, looked at what would happen if major ice sheets – such as the Greenland and West Antarctic (WAIS) ice sheets – were to melt.
The research produced three maps showing how the UK would look if sea levels rose by seven metres, 13 metres and 84 metres.
The 7-metre map shows what would happen if either the Greenland or the WAIS ice sheet melted. Although it may take 3,000 years for the Greenland ice sheet to melt, Benfield study suggests the West Antarctic ice sheet, which is becoming increasingly unstable, has a one in 20 chance of melting within the next 200 years.
This would leave many towns and cities, including Edinburgh, Newcastle, Bristol, Plymouth, Norwich, Peterborough and Bournemouth, waterlogged, with well over two million people displaced.
In the London area, much of Southwark, Lewisham, Greenwich, Tower Hamlets, Bexley and Barking and Dagenham would be under water, along with large areas of south Essex and north Kent earmarked for the Thames Gateway Development.
The 13-metre map shows the effects of both the Greenland and WAIS melting and the 84-metre map is the "doomsday" scenario - what would happen if the East Antarctic ice sheet also disintegrated.