The level of the sea around the Balearics will rise between 20 centimetres and one metre over the next century, leading to the loss of beaches. This was the gloomy prediction made yesterday at the presentation of an exhibition, Sea Levels in the Balearics, which was opened at the Sa Riera building of the University in the Calle miquel dels Sants Oliver. The effects of the change in climate will have major repercussions in the Balearic economy which is sustained largely by tourism, attracted by the beaches. This was the forecast of Damià Gomis of the university's physics department and a member of the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies (IMEDEA). He was accompanied by Ananda Pascual, of the university and IMEDEA, Patricia Trapero, head of the university's cultural services department and Barbara Obrador, its co-ordinator. Gomis stressed that it was difficult to be more precise than the margin of 20 centimetres to a metre, but “the sea level is already rising and in the last decade it has been doing so very quickly.” He added that if the sea level rises one metre, the consequences will be notable on beaches and low-lying coastal areas. “The problem is not so much the rise as the speed at which it is taking place,” he said. Gomis went on to say “on a planetary level the sea is rising in some areas and dropping in others, but the Mediterranean is an area where it is clearly rising.” He added “in other circumstances, the beaches would not disappear, as they would simply move back, but if it is a beach that has been developed, then its destiny is to disappear.”