EXPERTS in Southampton are leading a project to help save communities that could be in jeopardy because of the devastating effects of climate change.

Researchers at the University of Southampton are at the forefront of an international £13m project to understand the effects of climate change on people living in deltas in South Asia and Africa.

It comes after a devastating United Nations report raised the threat of climate change to a whole new level and warned of the sweeping consequences to life and livelihood.

The study will look at the Nile delta in Egypt and the Ganges-Brahmaputra in Bangladesh and India, the Mahanadi in India and Volta in Ghana.

The deltas were identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as being vulnerable to climate change and rising sea levels.

The five-year Deltas, Vulnerability and Climate Change: Migration and Adaption project (DECCMA) will look at how people adapt to the physical effects of climate change, like rising sea levels.

It will also look at the economic effects and how farming land has been affected by climate change – and what pressure this puts on a collective population of around 200 million people.

The DECCMA project aims to develop methods to predict how the deltas could change over the next 50 to 100 years.

The study aims to be a tool that will help governments of countries in the deltas to shape their policies on fighting back against the effects of climate change.

Robert Nicholls, professor of coastal engineering at the University of Southampton, is leading the project.

He said: “Deltas are vulnerable areas and we need to act quickly to make more informed choices about how best to live with and thrive in conditions of climate stress.

“We are working with the governments and people of these regions to understand the challenges.”