New Zealand's sea level is rising faster than expected, Wellington and Auckland at risk

New Zealand’s sea level is rising faster than expected, Wellington and Auckland at risk

A study published on Monday (May 2) shows that sea levels are rising twice as fast as expected in parts of New Zealand, threatening the country’s two largest cities. Data collected along the country’s coastal strip showed that some areas are already sinking by three to four millimeters per year, accelerating the frightening danger.

The outlook is the result of an intensive five-year research program – called NZ SeaRise – It was carried out by dozens of local and international scholars and funded by the government. According to their predictions, the authorities have less time than expected to plan how to adapt to the consequences of climate change, in particular, to resettle the population living along the coasts.

sequel after the announcement

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According to Tim Naish, a professor at Wellington University in Victoria who co-led the program, if the global sea level rises by about half a meter by 2100, that rise should be about one meter in large parts of the archipelago because the land is sinking at the same time .

This would be particularly catastrophic for the capital, Wellington, which could see a sea level rise of 30 cm by 2040, which was not expected before 2060. The residents of Wellington could thus be victims each year of floods causing damage.

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‘We have less time to work’Believing that, Tim Naish said “It’s a little terrifying.”. The data show that the more populated southeast coast of the North Island is the most exposed. Auckland, with a population of 1.7 million, is the country’s largest city, is particularly vulnerable.

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Sea levels are expected to rise 50% faster on the downtown waterfront and in many suburbs, which will have a major impact on home prices and insurance premiums.

sequel after the announcement

Online Tool

NZ SeaRise has developed an online tool for residents and authorities to check the forecast for their area, so they can assess flood and erosion risks.

“We still have time, but we no longer have time to sit idly by.”, said Tim Naish, calling on elected officials and real estate developers to consider how best to adapt to this sea level rise. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said planning was already underway, including budgeting to resettle some residents and infrastructure, away from vulnerable coasts. .

“The first thing is not to abdicate because there are a series of choices that can be made.”She told Radio New Zealand.

We work with local authorities and insurance companies to determine who should bear the costs of some of these options because it should not fall to one party. »Macron II: Big environmental explosion, finally?

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Jacinda Ardern called on New Zealanders to do everything they can to reduce emissions and limit the consequences of climate change.

sequel after the announcement

Sea level rise is due to the thermal expansion of the oceans – water takes up more space when its temperature rises – and the melting of glaciers in the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

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