Wellington sea level

The Dom Post reports:

Parts of coastal could be drowned if doomsday predictions from a new study pan out over the next 100 years.

Two reports issued yesterday by Greater Wellington regional council show Wellington’s sea level is the fastest rising in New Zealand – made worse by seismic rumblings causing the city to sink 1.7mm a year since 2000.

Worst-case scenarios coupling massive sea level rise with intense storm floods show low-lying coastal parts of the Eastbourne bays, Petone, Pauatahanui, as well as the river mouths at Otaki, Hutt, Whakataki (near Castlepoint), and Waikanae and the lower Wairarapa valley, could be forever swamped if sea levels rose 1.5m by 2115.

The scenario of 1.5m in 100 years is rather detached from reality. It would be sea level rise 10 times faster than what is actually happening. A 1.7mm rise a year is 17cm over 100 years if the rate stayed the same. Now sure it may increase – but it is not going to be 10 times as fast.

A reminder that the latest IPCC forecast is that on average over 100 years sea levels will rise between 19 and 59 cm. A 1.5m increase is three times greater than the “maximum” forecast by the last IPCC report.

On the plus side, the doomsday map shows that my apartment block will become a beachfront property, which would be great. So I’m all in favour.

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