Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Western Australia coastal towns among most at risk in the world

Courtney Trenwith in the Sydney Morning Herald: Towns along Western Australia's coastline are among the most susceptible to climate change in the world with the areas of Mandurah, Busselton, Rockingham and Bunbury under particular threat of flooding and coastal erosion, a new Climate Commission report reveals. The report estimates between 18,700 and 28,900 residential buildings – worth up to $7.7 billion - are at risk of inundation due to rising sea levels.

A further 2100 commercial buildings – more than in all other states – and up to 9100 kilometres of roadway along the coast of the state are also under threat. "A sea-level rise of 50 centimetres will lead to very large increases in the frequency of coastal flooding; flooding that is currently considered a one-in-100 year event would occur every year in most parts of WA and even more frequently in Perth," the report says.

"Flooding events are likely to damage cities, towns and the supporting infrastructure in low-lying coastal areas and will lead to erosion of sandy beaches." Sea levels along the WA west coast have been rising about double the global average since 1990, at between 7.1 millimetres and 7.4 millimetres per year, according to the commission....

Northern suburbs of Perth on the western Australia coast, from NASA

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