The ODT reports:
A Dunedin academic has warned parts of South Dunedin and the city could have just 17 years before sea-level rise makes them uninhabitable.
Prof Jim Flynn told the Dunedin City Council yesterday Australian insurance companies were already excluding sea-level rise as a risk covered in their policies.
That could make homes uninsurable in the area in the next five years, he said. …
A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) formula showed sea rise for 2014 was 7.2mm and 8.5mm in 2015.
If the rate continued to increase, a 25cm increase could occur before 2034.
By 2090, South Dunedin would be under 5m of water, along with Forsyth Barr Stadium, the Otago Polytechnic and other low-lying areas.
Jim Flynn is an academic, but not in any climate field. He is a professor of political science. He should stick to that.
Unlike the ODT that just repeated his hysteria, Newshub did some actual research:
Prof Flynn said sea level rise is increasing over time and is almost at 1cm a year, with 2015 rising by 0.86cm and 2014 by 0.75cm, citing NASA data.
However Newshub was unable to verify this claim, with NASA’s website citing the current rise is at a rate of 3.4mm a year – significantly less than Prof Flynn says.
They also interviewed actual climate scientists:
Dr James Renwick and Professor Tim Naish, both from Victoria University and specialising in climate change, aren’t particularly confident in Prof Flynn’s predictions.
“He’s right to be raising the issue as a real concern but I have a little bit of concern that his numbers are slightly on the high side, or very much on the high side,” Prof Naish told Newshub.
Instead he said the 30cm rise globally would be more likely to be reached by 2050-60 – still near enough to be concerned, but not as frantic as Prof Flynn said.
The rising sea level is a problem, and it is mainly caused by human activity. But it isn’t going to be 25 cm in 17 years. I’d be willing to make a large bet on it.
On current trends, it is likely to be 5 to 7 cms.