Climate Change a Threat to NZ Coastal Communities According to Experts
Severe // Epidemic
WELLINGTON – Climate change is becoming a threat worldwide. In New Zealand, government scientists warned Tuesday the country needs to plan around the threats of more severe floods as sea levels rise with climate change.
The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said storm surge flooding was starting to occur more frequently on king tides.
Scientists said that as sea-levels rose, low-lying coastal areas would face an increasing risk from sea flooding, with a present-day 100-year flood event occurring every year if the sea level rose by half a meter. Higher storm surges could damage beaches, seawalls, buildings, roads and other infrastructure, and affect drinking-water supplies in lowland rivers and groundwater.
Planners and engineers here in New Zealand need sound guidance on what sea-level rises are expected along the shores, working around the key uncertainty about how quickly the polar ice sheets may melt in future.