With more than 80% of Australians living within 50 kilometers of the coast, rising sea levels due to the effects of global warming. Coastal capital cities including Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, and Sydney are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels. Consider the beach during high tide. How far do the waves extend up the beach? What about when the waves are a little higher? What if the sea level rose by one meter? Will they slam against the dunes or the seawall?
Causes of sea-level increase
Sea levels are rising due to two primary mechanisms:
Melting land ice, such as mountain glaciers and polar ice sheets, increases water in the oceans.
When the temperature of the ocean rises, the warmer water expands. Local land is sinking in certain regions of the world, particularly in low-lying river deltas, raising sea levels.
What are the effects of increasing sea level ?
1.Dangers to coastal communities.
Rising sea levels endanger millions of lives and billions in buildings and infrastructures. High tides and severe storms are becoming increasingly harmful to humans and coastal infrastructure as sea levels rise. Natural protection from destructive storm surges is under threat. Sea-level rise exacerbates erosion of stranded beaches, wetlands, and manmade buildings in these locations.
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2.Rising sea levels increase the risk of coastal flooding and erosion.
Rising sea levels cause severe sea levels of a certain height to be exceeded more frequently during storm surges. This occurred three times more frequently on Australia’s east and west coastlines in the second half of the twentieth century than in the first half.
As sea levels rise, saltwater will infiltrate groundwater, the most important water source of Australia, pollute irrigation supplies, and overrun agricultural areas. Low-lying coastal regions are especially prone to freshwater pollution.
However, if we persist with normal business activities and sea levels rise by a meter during the next 80 years, the number of Australian beaches destroyed increases by more than 3,000 kilometers to about 15,439 kilometers. To avert rising sea levels, we must act quickly and develop both short-term and long-term strategies.