A study has revealed the areas of Somerset at risk of being underwater by the end of the decade.

The research was carried out by an independent organisation of leading scientists and journalists, collectively known as Climate Central, who investigate climate change and its impact on the public.

Using current projections, they have produced a map showing which areas of the country would be submerged by 2030.

Somerset locations at risk from rising sea levels

Yeovil Express: Large swathes of Somerset is at risk of rising sea levels. Picture: Climate CentralLarge swathes of Somerset is at risk of rising sea levels. Picture: Climate Central

The Climate Central map reveals large areas of Somerset at risk of losing land to the rising sea levels within less than a decade.

The results of the research make grim reading for people in Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, Glastonbury and Weston-super-Mare showing most land in these areas stand the chance of being lost to the sea.

The risk stretches to towns as far inland as Langport, Muchelney and Ilchester

Elsewhere in Somerset, tourist destinations including significant sections of Minehead, Blue Anchor, Bossington Beach and Porlock Weir are also in the 'red zone'

Towns including Taunton, Wellington, Ilminster, Chard, Yeovil, Castle Cary and Shepton Mallet all fall outside of the 'at risk' locations.

Datasets include "some error"

Climate Central does admit the calculations that have led to fears of a nightmare scenario include "some error".

It says: "These maps incorporate big datasets, which always include some error. These maps should be regarded as screening tools to identify places that may require deeper investigation of risk."

The maps have been based on "global-scale datasets for elevation, tides and coastal flood likelihoods" and "imperfect data is used".

Somewhat comfortingly, Climate Central adds: "Our approach makes it easy to map any scenario quickly and reflects threats from permanent future sea-level rise well.

"However, the accuracy of these maps drops when assessing risks from extreme flood events.

"Our maps are not based on physical storm and flood simulations and do not take into account factors such as erosion, future changes in the frequency or intensity of storms, inland flooding, or contributions from rainfall or rivers."

But it adds: "Improved elevation data indicate far greater global threats from sea level rise and coastal flooding than previously thought, and thus greater benefits from reducing their causes."