How will rising sea level impact Australia’s iconic coastal cities?
Climate Central’s new Surging Seas online tool demonstrates how long-term sea level rise will threaten coastal cities around the world, driven by global warming of up to 4°C above pre-industrial levels.
To see how sea level rise will impact your city, use the search button in the map below, or head to the Climate Central website. Change the temperature slider to see the sea level rise associated with different levels of global warming.
How to use the map
The map is searchable by city, state, postal code, and other location names. Map areas threatened by sea level rise are displayed in blue – indicating vulnerability to flooding from combined sea level rise, storm surge, and tides; or to permanent submergence by long-term sea level rise. Map areas above sea level are shown in white and grey.
Global temperature rise – what’s a likely scenario?
The Paris Climate Agreement, which came into force last week, requires signatories to do everything possible to limit global warming to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, with an aspirational target of 1.5°C.
But according to UNEP, the national pledges put forward by each country in Paris will likely lead to 2.9-3.4°C warming by 2100. And if the rest of the world adopted a level of ambition equivalent to Australia’s climate targets and policies, we’d be on track for warming of 3-4°C or more by the end of the century. Yikes.
Sea level rise in Australia
According to the Climate Central tool, large parts of Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast would be hit
by rising sea-level, along with east coast cities and towns surrounding Melbourne,
Sydney and the state of Tasmania.
Check out maps of other cities on the Surging Seas website, and images of other global icons threatened by rising sea level in this Climate Central article.
The online tool has been released alongside Leonardo DiCaprio’s hugely successful climate change documentary Before the Flood, which you can stream online here.