Australian news, and some related international items

Sea level rise threatening Australia’s East Coast holiday beaches

South Coast 2100: what sea level rise could do to Canberra’s beach getaways  Stephen Jeffery   Canberra holidaymakers at the end of this century could drive down the Kings Highway to find the villas and waterfront homes of Batemans Bay below the high tide line.

Updated mapping from Coastal Risk Australia has estimated the effect of plausible sea level rises on the south coast by 2100.

Earlier this year, the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this year lifted the “plausible” sea level rise to as high as between 2 and 2.7 metres by 2100 if emissions remained at their current levels.

The map showed the highest risk scenario, a two metre rise during the highest tides, would engulf most beachfront properties and promenades in Batemans Bay and Batehaven.

    • Further north, the Shoalhaven River would claim much of the low-lying farmland between Nowra and the ocean, stranding Shoalhaven Heads, Greenwell Point and Culbarra Beach.

      The canal properties that front Sussex Inlet would go underwater, while the Princes Highway would be cut at Dolphin Point and on either side of Moruya.

    • Merimbula Airport would be inundated, according to the forecast, as would the marina and Market Street bridge over Boggy Creek.

      The worst effects of the sea level rise would be felt elsewhere in the state, including in the Illawarra, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Ballina and Byron Bay.

Parts of Sydney, including two airport runways, would also be adversely affected, based on the estimates.

NOAA estimated sea levels rose 0.65 millimetres per year between 1886 and 2010 in Sydney, with a global mean rise of about 3.2 millimetres per year between 1993 and 2014.

NGIS, which developed the mapping tool, used Google technology and local tide measurements to create Coastal Risk Australia.

The NOAA report, published in January, was developed through analysis of the expected melting rate of Greenland’s and Antarctica’s ice sheets.

“Recent results regarding Antarctic icesheet instability indicate that such outcomes [higher sea level rises] may be more likely than previously thought,” the report said.

“There has been continued and growing evidence that both Antarctica and Greenland are losing mass at an accelerated rate.”

Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla councils developed a south coast regional sea level rise policy in 2014.

Shoalhaven adopted a projected 36 centimetre sea level rise by 2100 in 2015, but agreed to conduct revised projections every seven years.

Eurobodalla has adopted a 50-year planning period for residential development and 23 centimetre sea level rise by 2050, but will also revise the guidelines every five to seven years.

Bega Valley Shire Council’s climate change strategy warned of a rise of up to 91 centimetres by 2100.

The strategy recommended future risk assessments, a coastal strategy and the incorporation of sea level rise consideration into environmental planning, infrastructure development and emergency management.

May 29, 2017 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, New South Wales

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