Scaremonger photos of inundation abound in our national news this week. Famous foreshore parks are gone, islands disappear, houses, picnic areas, racecourses, golf courses — all submerged. The water rolls in over Sydney’s Circular Quay, Melbourne’s Docklands, Brisbane Airport, Hindmarsh Island — swamped.
The water rolls in over Sydney’s Circular Quay, Melbourne’s Docklands, Brisbane Airport, Hindmarsh Island — swamped. Rooned.
Today it’s the satellite photo, tomorrow it’ll be computer generated streetscapes; Coming soon: the underwater documentary ‘Swimming in the Opera House.’
If you live in these future washed-out zones, email me. I’ll buy your house.
Compare the forecast two-metre rise, to actual Tide Gauge Data for Fremantle since 1900 (Fremantle has the second longest record of sea level change in the Southern Hemisphere):
So there has been a 20cm rise or so in 100 years. But 200cm is coming. Yeah. (For details of the way Sea Levels around Perth Coastline change, see Chris Gillham’s work.)
This slow rate of sea level rise is not just a west coast thing: Sydney’s sea levels are rising at just 6.5cm per century.
The model projections future rate of change is off the scale.
Here’s that current Fremantle trend with a projected 2-metre rise to 2100 added in:
A 20cm rise in one hundred years is 2mm per annum [year]. If the forecasts are right that rate must rise immediately to 22mm per year, a tenfold increase.
As it happens, the tide gauge is sinking 2 – 4mm each year (20 -40cm a century).
PARTS of Perth are sinking because too much water is being extracted from the Perth Basin, making those areas more vulnerable to sea level rises.
Professor Will Featherstone said the gauge was sinking at about 2-4mm a year due to groundwater being extracted at a faster rate than it can be replenished, causing the land to subside.
Naturally, Featherstone goes on to put in the politically correct caveat, which allows his inconvenient research to be published, but if taken literally, makes no sense at all.
“If the land is subsiding, then the rate of sea level rise measured by a tide gauge appears to be larger than it actually is, which seems to be the case at Fremantle,” he said.
“However this doesn’t mean that we are at a decreased risk of sea level rise, instead we could be at an increased risk because the land itself is sinking.”
Obviously, if the seas were rising due to CO2 then subsidence is “extra-bad”. But if most of the rise so far is due to something else, who cares, the cause and effect link is busted, no disaster is coming?
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