PROJECT 2.10: Coastal hazards in a variable and changing climate
This project ran from 1 July 2016 until 30 June 2019
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 have not been readily available.
We’ve improved 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 has examined these stressors individually and in combination. We have drawn on recent observations and climate models, as well as historical tide charts and records that we’ve digitised to allow their analysis.
Our research has resulted 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 we have developed will support national coastal planning, protection of the coastal environment, and investment and development decisions in coastal areas.
Outcomes from this project will be used in the current Hub Project 5.8 – Marine and coastal climate services for extremes information.
Key project achievements include:
- Improved understanding of how sea level rise, extreme sea level impacts, changes to ocean waves and future projections of mean and extreme sea levels
- Provision of high quality coastal hazards information tailored to stakeholder needs through the development of web-based portals and tools and direct provision of data to stakeholders
- Increased availability of data and improved understanding of processes and change, including collation and analysis of new data sources such as satellite and digitised tide gauge
For more information
Dr Kathleen McInnes, CSIRO
Watch the Project 2.10 summary video
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
- Colberg F, McInnes KL, O’Grady J, Hoeke R. 2019. Atmospheric circulation changes and their impact on extreme sea levels around Australia. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 1067–1086, doi:10.5194/nhess-19-1067-2019 | Full paper
- Echevarria ER, Hemer MA, Holbrook NJ. 2019. Seasonal Variability of the Global Spectral Wind Wave Climate, Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans, doi:10.1029/2018JC014620 | Full paper
- Hinkel J, Church JA, Gregory JM, Lambert E, Le Cozannet G, Lowe J, McInnes KL, Nicholls RJ, van der Pol T, van de Wal R. 2019. Meeting User Needs for Sea Level Rise Information: A Decision Analysis Perspective, Earth’s Future, doi: 10.1029/2018EF001071 | Full paper
- 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
- Marshall AG, Hemer MA, McInnes KL, 2019. Australian blocking impacts on ocean surface waves, Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-019-05058-8 | Abstract
- 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 | Full paper
- Morim J, Hemer, MA, Cartwright N, Strauss D, Andutta F. 2018. On the concordance of 21st century wind-wave climate projections. Global and Planetary Change, doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2018.05.005 | Full paper
- Morim J, Hemer, M, Wang XL, Cartwright N, Trenham C, Semedo A, Young I, Bricheno L, Camus P, Casas-Prat M, Erikson L, Mentaschi L, Mori N, Shimura T, Timmermans B, Aarnes O, Breivik O, Behrens A, Dobrynin M, Menendez M, Staneva J, Wehner M, Wolf J, Kamranzad B, Webb A, Stopa J, Andutta F. 2019. Robustness and uncertainties in multivariate wind-wave climate projections, Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/s41558-019-0542-5 | Full paper
- O’Grady JO, McInnes KL, Hemer MA, Hoeke RK, Stephenso A, Colberg F, 2019. Extreme water levels for Australian beaches using empirical equations for shoreline wave setup, Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans, doi:10.1029/2018JC014871 | Full paper
- 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 | Full paper
- Wu W, McInnes KL, O’Grady J, Hoeke RK, Leonard M, Westra S. 2018. Mapping dependence between extreme rainfall and storm surge, Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2017JC013472 | Full paper
- 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
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.
Projections of future climate from ACCESS will enhance our ability to project changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme climate conditions, which will better inform infrastructure planning.