UQ identifies coastline most at risk of rising sea levels
COUNCILS on Australia's coastline could soon be able to predict the impacts of expected sea level rises to help improve planning of regional coastal towns.
New research from the University of Queensland, published in the PLOS One journal, has created a new technique of mapping sea level rises.
The research has helped identify the specific parts of Australia's coastline most at risk of a "probable" one-metre sea level rise by 2100.
It comes after the Climate Council quantified the likely cost of such a sea level rise in the next 100 years at about $226 billion nationwide on coastal homes, roads and infrastructure.
UQ Global Change Institute researcher Dr Javier Patino Leon said the university was already in talks with some councils about how to apply the new mapping methods.
"Rising sea levels could cause devastating flooding and erosion in coastal communities, and damage worth billions of dollars," Dr Leon said.
"This research will help protect existing developments, such as beachside towns, and will help plan more appropriately for future development."
Specifically, the new mapping research will let councils predict flooding impacts at less than the current 20cm "margin of error".
Dr Leon said working from such imprecise models could give coastal communities a "false sense of security" and there could be "significant implications" for real estate values and planning.
- APN NEWSDESK