PROJECT 2.10: Coastal hazards in a variable and changing climate
As sea levels rise, coastal areas are likely to experience increased erosion and inundation, which poses a threat to communities, infrastructure and coastal ecosystems. The effect of storm surges and waves will amplify these impacts, which vary from place to place. Planning and preparing for current and future coastal erosion and flooding depends on the availability of regional data linking coastal extreme events to their impacts, but these datasets are not readily available.
We’re improving our understanding of past sea level, storm surges and waves to develop projections for the future, so we can determine the physical impact these changes might have. Our research is examining these stressors individually and in combination. We’re drawing on recent observations and climate models, as well as historical tide charts and records that we’re digitising to allow their analysis.
This research will result in new information about how extreme sea levels are changing and improved regional sea-level projections for the 21st century, as well as projections for coastal extremes. The datasets developed in this project will support national coastal planning, protection of the coastal environment, and investment and development decisions in coastal areas.
For more information
Dr Kathleen McInnes, CSIRO
This project is contributing to meeting the following climate challenge:
The sea level projections and analysis of extreme events and wave conditions developed in this project are critical inputs to improved coastal planning.
Publications and papers
- Chen X, Zhang X, Church JA, King MA, Watson CS, Monselesan D, Legresy B, Harig C. 2017. The increasing rate of global mean sea-level rise during 1993–2014. Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate3325 | Pre-print version | Abstract
- Le Cozannet G, Nicholls RJ, Hinkel J, Sweet WV, McInnes KL, Van de Wal RSW, Slangen ABA, Lowe JA, White KD. 2017. Sea level change and coastal climate services: the way forward. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 5(4), 49, doi:10.3390/jmse5040049 | Full paper
- Lyu K, Zhang X, Church JA, Hu J, Yu J-Y. 2017. Distinguishing basin-scale modes of the quasi-decadal and multi-decadal sea level variations in the Pacific, Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0004.1 | Full paper
- Marshall AG, Hemer MA, Hendon HH, McInnes KL. 2018. Southern annular mode impacts on global ocean surface waves. Ocean Modelling, 129, 58-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ocemod.2018.07.007 | Full paper
- McInnes KL, White CJ, Haigh ID, Hemer MA, Hoeke RK, Holbrook NJ, Kiem AS, Oliver ECJ, Ranasinghe R, Walsh KJE, Westra S, Cox R. 2016. Natural hazards in Australia: sea level and coastal extremes, Climatic Change, 139, 1 pp 69-83, doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1647-8 | Abstract
- Wu Q, Zhang X, Church JA, Hu J. 2017 Changes and variability of sea level and its components in the Indo-Pacific during the altimeter era, Journal of Geophysical Research, doi:10.1002/2016JC012345 | Pre-print version. An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2017 American Geophysical Union | Abstract
- Wu Q, Zhang X, Church JA, Hu J. 2018. ENSO-related Global Ocean Heat Content Variations, Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0861.1 | Abstract
- Zhang X, Church JA, Monselesan D, McInnes KL. 2017. High Resolution Sea Level Projections for Australian Coasts in the 21st Century. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, doi:10.1002/2017GL074176 | Full paper