24 May 2011 –Sea level rises in Adelaide could be as high as one metre according to coastal maps highlighting the potential impact of sea level rises on the Adelaide region from climate change released by the federal government last week.
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet said the maps complement ones released previously for Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Hunter and Central Coast, and south east Queensland.
Mr Combet said the maps had been developed by the federal government in partnership with the Co-operative Research Centre for Spatial Information to help communities prepare for the impacts of rising sea levels.
The maps illustrate three sea level rise scenarios for the Adelaide region: low (0.5 metres) sea level rise that is likely to be unavoidable; medium (0.8 metres ) in line with current trends in global carbon pollution and observations of sea level rise, and high (1.1 metres) which is the possible high end risk based on more recent science.
Mr Combet said the maps illustrated the type of event that could occur at least once a year and possibly more frequently, by 2100.
“Even under the low sea level rise scenario of 0.5 metres, the centre of Port Adelaide is likely to experience frequent flooding,” Mr Combet said.
“These maps show that Adelaide, like other coastal communities around Australia, is vulnerable to rising sea levels with impacts like erosion, sea inundation and flooding.”
“This shows how important it is to take action to tackle climate change and to start early planning for its unavoidable impacts.”
“The scientific advice is that we can avoid the worst of these potential impacts if we reduce our carbon pollution. That is why the government is committed to putting a price on carbon,” Mr Combet said.