Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sea level changes in Australia 'underestimated'

The Australian: The speed at which the climate is changing has been significantly underestimated, with thousands of Australian homes potentially at risk from rising sea levels, a conference has heard. More than 80 per cent of Australians live in the coastal zone, with about 700,000 homes located within 3km of the coast and less than six metres above sea level.

Ports, harbours and airports situated near the ocean are also vulnerable to the immediate effects of climate change, said keynote speaker Jo Mummery. Speaking on the first day of the Coast to Coast 2008 Conference in Darwin, Dr Mummery said there were "major information gaps'' in Australia.

Preliminary modelling has found that if there is a rise in sea levels, 269,505 houses could be at risk in NSW and 2,875 houses in the NT. Dr Mummery - from the federal government's Department of Climate Change - said a rise of only one metre could put a number of Gold Coast properties at risk and impact on canal development….

London Arch (also known as London Bridge), on th eGreat Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia. Shot by Jon Hurd from Boulder, Colorado, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

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