FEATURE-New land, but also costs, as Nordic nations rise from sea

Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:01am EST
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* Rebound after Ice Age brings new farmland, also costs

* Lulea port needs deepening to offset land rise

* Global sea level rise set to slow local land rise

* Concerns opposite of those of many nations facing sea level rise

By Environment Correspondent Alister Doyle

LULEA, Sweden, Nov 27 (Reuters) - A Stone Age camp that used to be by the shore is now 200 km (125 miles) from the Baltic Sea. Sheep graze on what was the seabed in the 15th century. And Sweden's port of Lulea risks getting too shallow for ships.

In contrast to worries from the Maldives to Manhattan of storm surges and higher ocean levels caused by climate change, the entire northern part of the Nordic region is rising and, as a result, the Baltic Sea is receding.

"In a way we're lucky," said Lena Bengten, environmental strategist at the Lulea Municipality in Sweden, pointing to damage from Superstorm Sandy that killed more than 200 people from Haiti to the United States.

The uplift of almost a centimetre (0.4 inch) a year, one of the highest rates in the world, is part of a continuing geological rebound since the end of the Ice Age removed a vast ice sheet from regions around the Arctic Circle.   Continued...