Wellington City Council has unofficially ditched an optimistic sea-level rise scenario in favour of one that could see much of the central city and low-lying suburbs under water.It can now be confirmed the council has all-but ditched that optimistic figure in favour of about 1.5m leading to an exponentially-different outcome as the best-case.
It comes as a yet-to-be-released vulnerability assessment has been commissioned by Wellington’s councils, outside Wellington city, looking at how sea-level rise will affect the entire region.
But Wellington City Council – itself expected to suffer billions of dollars worth of damage and thousands of people displaced – commissioned its own report in 2013 which had a best-case scenario of 0.6 metres of sea-level rise this century.
WCC has chosen to ignore the consensus science on this issue, and instead have politicians choose a semi-hysterical option.
The IPCC has five scenarios for mean sea level rise by 2100 depending on GG emissions. The five scenarios in order from best to worst are:
- 44 cm
- 53 cm
- 55 cm
- 60 cm
- 74 cm
So the 60 cm they were using was a mainstream consensus. The 1.5 metres they have now chosen is well beyond the scientific consensus. If you even go to the top of the confidence intervals for the five scenarios, the ranges are:
- 28 to 61 cm
- 36 to 71 cm
- 38 to 73 cm
- 42 to 80 cm
- 52 to 98 cm
So the WCC figure of 1.50 metres is 50% higher than the top of the confidence interval for the most pessimistic scenario of the IPCC.
It is a shame they have chosen hysteria over science.