According to statements to Lusa by the scientist, who heads the estuarine and coastal modelling group at the Center for Environmental and Sea Studies (CESAM), the numerical models developed for the Aveiro area point to an increase in the average water level in the 70 centimetres in 2100 and only 10 centimetres in 2030, which will have little impact.
"The coast of Aveiro has a particularity in that the Ria that is flanked by banks with a very reduced topography, which means that a rise in the level of sea water could have an impact on these areas", he explains, but refuses that the scenario is worrisome.
João Miguel Dias contradicts “very alarmist maps that make Aveiro one of the areas in danger, as early as 2030”.
"What is circulating are the results of very basic American models, which do not take into account the physics of the system: they do not consider friction, do not consider tidal propagation, do not consider the existing natural barriers and means of protection that man has already built”, he explains.
For the researcher, these maps are based on a “very primary model, which simply says that the mean sea level will rise and that if there is a level below that level it will be flooded, and that makes for very alarmist maps”.
“In my research group we work with state-of-the-art numerical models, developed for the Aveiro area in particular, with the Ria very well defined, with all the protection measures that already exist, from a good part of the Baixo Vouga Lagunar dyke to protection zones in Murtosa, considering all this”, he explains.
João Miguel Dias denies the thesis that in 2030 Aveiro will be submerged and counters: "in 2030 Aveiro will be exactly as it is now, because in 2030 the average sea level is to rise about 10 centimetres, which will have practically no impact".
The group of researchers from the University of Aveiro has been working on a projection model for the year 2100 and indicates that, “in the most pessimistic scenario”, the flood line, which occurs at high tide with spring tides, could increase by approximately 30%".
If the city is to remain as it is, the beaches may lose sand, but above all, this is due to coastal erosion and not to rising sea levels.
“We have a coast that is subject to erosion problems, but this is a problem that has been going on for many years. Erosion problems have been known for several decades in Vagueira, or in the Furadouro, Cortegaça, Esmoriz and so on, but they are a result of the sedimentary deficit that exists on the coast, due to the construction of dams in most rivers, which retain sediment upstream”, he concluded.