These images use a simple technique that shows what locations are above and below a certain elevation. While this approach can offer a guide to the places that might be impacted by a certain sea level rise, projecting sea level change is difficult regionally and locally because there will be regional differences that are in part determined by local ocean temperature and currents, and impacted by regional and local wind patterns. As such these images were created to inform and alert Western Australian's to the consequences of sea level rise that will inevitably occur if we fail to act to limit global warming.
In the last Century years, sea levels have risen by 18.5 cm with recent scientific assessments showing sea level rise is accelerating.
Sea level rise of up to one metre by the end of this century is well within the bounds of scientifically-based predictions, and indeed this is what has been forecast by Prof Will Steffan from the Australian National University and Dr John Church of the CSIRO.
With those sorts of rises, much of the low lying areas around areas like Perth, Fremantle, Mandurah, Busselton/Margaret River and Broome are under threat, before the end of this century within the lifetime of a child born today.
Research to better understand the regional impacts of climate change on Western Australia is a critical step. Research will give us a better understanding of the areas at greatest risk so we can start informing the community and preparing the State for the effects of global warming. A key area of research must include understanding the physical changes that will occur along our coast.
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|Rockingham at 1 metre sea level rise |
|Rockingham at 7 metres sea level rise |
|Mandurah at 1 metre sea level rise |
|Mandurah at 7 metres sea level rise |
|Graphics produced by David Gifford using data provided by Geoscience Australia for the Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc (WA SEA). |
New coverage on sea level has been released 15 Dec 2010 over 4 years after SEA first released the images above. Climate Change Minister Greg Combet has released a series of maps prepared for the Federal Government detailing the vulnerability of coastal cities under low, medium and high sea-level rise scenarios over the next 90 years. http://www.ozcoasts.org.au/climate/sd_visual.jsp
An interactive map can be obtained at http://www.globalwarmingart.com/sealevel?lat=-32.11&lng=115.768&zoom=9