Council says new sea level data shows importance of planning for change
Published 2 May 2022
New national sea-level rise data released today shows the importance of communities planning for coastal changes and supports the science behind the Council’s Takutai Kāpiti coastal adaptation project, says Kāpiti Coast District Council coastal manager Lyndsey Craig.
“Council has been doing extensive work over the past couple of years to understand the potential physical impacts of sea-level rise on our community over the next 30, 50 and 100 years.
“We need to understand where, when and how big the impacts of sea-level rise will be on our coast over time so we can plan responsibly for investing in expensive infrastructure, and for homeowners and buyers to understand the risks to their properties,” Ms Craig said. “Communities that plan for change are more resilient and ready when a response is needed.”
The NZ SeaRise: Te Tai Pari O Aotearoa programme has released location specific sea level rise projections out to the year 2300 for every 2 km of the coast of Aotearoa New Zealand.
“The new data from the NZ SeaRise programme supports the projections produced for Kāpiti by coastal environmental and engineering consultancy Jacobs New Zealand Ltd in their recent report.
“The further out we look, the greater the uncertainty we face. This is because of the complex ‘feedback loops’ contributing to sea-level rise, such as degrees of ocean warming and the rate of polar ice melt as well as unpredictability around vertical land movement, which can be slow and steady, or sudden and dramatic such as we saw after the Kaikoura earthquake.”
“The Jacobs report gives us an indication of the full range of possible scenarios from likely to worst-case. Consideration of options for adapting to sea-level rise is under way with the input of the new Coastal Advisory Panel.
“The panel still has a lot of work ahead of it, reviewing and understanding the potential social, cultural, economic and ecological impacts of sea-level rise on our district and will be working with the community to consider how our district needs to adapt. We look forward to supporting the panel’s engagement with the community over the coming year,” Ms Craig said.
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