Mandurah vulnerable to rising sea levels

This map shows the predicted highest tide for Mandurah in 2100.
This map shows the predicted highest tide for Mandurah in 2100.

MANDURAH is one of the coastal towns most at risk from rising sea levels, according to a world first website.

The aim of the Coastal Risk Australia mapping is to raise awareness for coastal communities, so residents can take action.

The website allows residents to see how their homes, neighbourhoods and favourite coastal spots could be vulnerable to rising sea levels driven by climate change.

The Coastal Risk Australia website incorporates cutting-edge Google technology and local tidal data to map how rising sea levels could encroach on cities, towns and beaches under three scientific scenarios.

The website shows how tourism drawcards like Mandurah will be vulnerable to rising sea levels.

More than 80 percent of Australians live near the coast and a Climate Council report has warned future sea level rises could put more than $200 billion of infrastructure at risk.

National Groundwater Information System Australia principal consultant Nathan Eaton said it was difficult for people to appreciate what rising sea levels in decades to come could mean for their homes, community and places they love.

“Maps are a universal language that everyone can understand,” he said.

“This website allows every West Australian to visualise our climate change future with pinpoint accuracy, and gain a better understanding of how rising sea levels will affect our coastline, neighbourhoods and favourite places.

“We felt we were in a unique position as we had access to high-resolution data and cutting-edge Google technology as well as experience in modelling sea-level rise under climate change.

“Our main goal is to raise awareness of how sea-level rise will affect the places we live, but this will also help all Australians prepare for change, from all levels of government, in policy, conservation and community engagement.”

Across the globe, sea levels rose an average of 17cm over the course of the 20th century.

Average sea-level rise around Australia has been at a similar level.

Scientists are forecasting sea levels will rise between 0.4m–1.1m over the remainder of this century depending on how rapidly the world reduces emissions of greenhouse gases.

The frequency of coastal flooding trebles with every 10cm of sea-level rise.

In both Fremantle and Sydney, flooding events became three times more frequent during the 20th century because of sea-level rise.

Coastal Risk Australia mapping shows that if sea-levels around Australia rise by 0.74m by the end of this century, Mandurah will be vulnerable, as well as Cottesloe Beach and Busselton.

Visit Coastal risk.