Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A 'king tide' in Australia gives a glimpse of possible climate future

Global Surf News: Large seas and hazardous ocean conditions caused by a king tide have generated both concern and excitement across Australia over the last few days. The king tide has given Australians glimpses of what the coast may look like in the future as a result of global warming. The king tide peaked at just over 2.05 metres, at 9.50am AEDT+11 on eastern shores. The swell slowly increased over the weekend, with bigger sets by Monday morning.

…Phil Watson, the Team Leader of the Department of Environment and Climate Change’s (DECC) Coastal Unit, has launched a program to document the flooding impacts of the highest tide visible during daylight hours, “It will allow everybody to get a glimpse into the future when mean sea level will be higher than today,” Watson says.

“But”, says Watson, “if sea level rise continues to increase at current measured rates due to climate change then scientists project sea level along the NSW coastline could be 90 centimetres higher than today by the end of the century.”

…The Gold Coast City Council is proactively trying to protect their beaches from erosion, and their efforts were successful as sandy beached were still visible during the king tide.

A public domain image (around 1939) of Burleigh Heads, Queensland, Australia

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