Climate Council Report

The Climate Council has recently released a report ‘Counting the Costs’ focused on the social and economic risks of climate change and coastal flooding.This report explores two of the most serious consequences of rising sea level—the large increase in the frequency of coastal inundation and the recession of ‘soft’ shorelines. The report describes how scientific understanding of sea-level rise has improved significantly over the last decade, and also explores the challenge of making better decisions
about future coastal development. Finally, the report discusses the urgent need to stabilise the climate to reduce the level of risks from coastal flooding in the future.  Read the report 

Key Findings:

1. Sea level has already risen and continues to rise due to climate change. Climate change exacerbates coastal flooding from a storm surge as the storm rides on higher sea levels.

2. Australia is highly vulnerable to increasing coastal flooding because our cities, towns and critical infrastructure are mainly located on the coast. Australia’s infrastructure has been built for the climate of the 20th century and is unprepared for rising sea level.

3. Coastal flooding is a sleeping giant. If the threat of sea level rise is ignored, the projected increases in economic damage caused by coastal flooding are massive.

4. Rising sea levels pose risks for many of Australia’s species and iconic natural places, such as Kakadu National Park and the Great Barrier Reef.

5. Rising sea level is eroding the viability of coastal communities on islands in the Torres Strait and the Pacific, and in low-lying areas of Asia, increasing the likelihood of migration and resettlement.

6. We need deep and urgent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions this decade and beyond if we are to avoid the most serious risks from rising sea levels and coastal flooding


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