Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland in Australia, is home to over 2.5 million people and an important economic center for the region.
Unfortunately, like many coastal cities worldwide, Brisbane is increasingly vulnerable to climate change, including effects like sea-level rise and extreme weather events.
Though there are fewer chances that Brisbane will go underwater, scientists warn that rising sea levels could put the city at risk of flooding and coastal erosion.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global sea levels are projected to rise by at least one meter by this century’s end, potentially devastating for low-lying areas like Brisbane.
This could result in increased storm surges and flooding and saltwater intrusion into freshwater sources affecting both city infrastructure and residents’ quality of life.
Sea Level Rise Projection Map – Brisbane
The Sea Level Rise Projection Map for Brisbane is developed to highlight the potential impact of rising sea levels on the city.
According to the map, a sea level rise of 1 meter by the end of this century could lead to frequent flooding in the city, particularly during high tides.
This projection is based on Climate Central Coastal Risk Screening Tool data and considers local coastal flood levels that could be up to 2.8 meters above Mean Higher-High Water (MHHW) at extreme forecasts.
The map reveals that a sea level rise of 0.74 meters would flood the centre of the runway of the Brisbane Airport during high tides, while a rise of 0.8 meters would flood numerous places in Brisbane.
At higher levels of sea level rise, the map shows that large parts of Brisbane, particularly its coastal areas, could be underwater, leading to significant population displacement and damage to infrastructure.
It is worth noting that the projection of a sea level rise by the end of the century is based on a “business as usual” scenario, where major emission-curbing efforts are not undertaken.
Recent research indicates that the IPCC forecast may be an underestimation of the sea level rise that could occur due to the acceleration of ice sheet melt in Greenland and Antarctica.
The Sea Level Rise Projection Map for Brisbane serves as a call to action for policymakers and residents to reduce climate change risks.
It emphasizes the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and take measures to adapt to sea level rise impacts, such as building sea walls or elevating infrastructure in vulnerable areas.
Furthermore, this map emphasizes the significance of investing in research and innovation to develop new technologies and solutions to help cities like Brisbane build resilience in an uncertain future.
Impact Of Rising Sea Level In Brisbane
Sea-level rise is predicted to profoundly affect Brisbane, affecting various aspects of life such as infrastructure, the economy, and the environment.
Here are some of the potential impacts of sea-level rise in Brisbane:
Infrastructure Damage and Flooding
Sea level rise poses a danger to Brisbane’s infrastructure. Flooding could become frequent during high tide, damaging bridges, roads and buildings with enormous economic costs.
The projected sea-level rise of 0.8 metres by 2100 has already affected numerous places in Brisbane–including Albion in the Northeast suburb.
Recent studies suggest the IPCC forecast may be underestimated, and actual sea-level rise may be much greater–resulting in even more severe infrastructure destruction.
Rising sea levels in Brisbane would have a profound economic effect. Floods and infrastructure damage would cause billions of dollars’ worth of damages.
At the same time, Brisbane’s tourism industry – heavily dependent on its beaches and waterways – could suffer further economic setbacks as a result.
Rising sea levels could have significant environmental consequences in Brisbane. Coastal erosion, saltwater intrusion and habitat destruction are potential outcomes.
Flooding caused by sea-level rise could result in more pollution and hazardous waste runoff into Brisbane River and Moreton Bay, endangering the region’s delicate ecosystems.
Several measures need to be taken to mitigate the potential impacts of sea-level rise in Brisbane.
These include investing in sustainable infrastructure like sea walls and elevating critical infrastructure.
Additionally, taking action against climate change by cutting carbon emissions could mitigate its effects and result in less severe sea-level rise.
Planning for potential flooding and disaster response is also critical in preparing for the impact of sea-level rise.
What Are The Projected Climatic Conditions For Brisbane?
At present, the average summer temperature in this region is 24°C. However, projections indicate that this number could rise significantly by 2030 to over 25°C and 27°C by 2070. These changes may also be accompanied by an abrupt rise in temperatures on hot days and an increase in both the frequency and duration of heat waves.
These changes could profoundly affect the region, including public health, energy consumption and natural systems. They may also increase the likelihood of bushfires and heatwaves.
Therefore, it is imperative to implement suitable mitigation and adaptation measures in Brisbane to combat climate change’s effects.
What Are The Potential Consequences Of Sea Level Rise On Australia?
Australia will experience severe consequences from sea level rise. Many of Australia’s sandy beaches will recede and erode, creating dramatic changes along the coastline.
The coastal regions of New South Wales, in particular, are at risk of inundation and erosion due to sea level rise, posing a significant threat to the large number of people who live in these areas.
Nearly 80% of the population in New South Wales resides within 50 km of the coast.
With these projections in mind, urgent measures need to be taken now to mitigate against sea level rise in Australia.
How Much Percentages Of Australia’s Beaches Will Go Underwater?
Recent research indicates Australia could potentially lose up to 40% of its beaches due to rising sea levels caused by climate change in the next 80 years.
This erosion and inundation will devastate Australia’s economy, tourism industry, and the lifestyles of millions who live along its coastlines.
It is an issue of great concern for Australia since it boasts some of the world’s most beautiful and iconic beaches.
The situation highlights the importance of taking immediate and effective action to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the impact on Australia’s coastlines.