Understanding coastal hazard risk with the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise is the first step in talking about how we adapt to these challenges.
Communities in low-lying inland and coastal areas around New Zealand and the world are facing challenges with the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise.
Here in Ōtautahi Christchurch and Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū Banks Peninsula, the future is expected to bring warmer weather across all four seasons, more days of extreme wind, and more intense rainfalls. Climate change is slowly raising the level of the sea. Water expands with heat, so warmer temperatures are causing our oceans to expand. At the same time, these higher temperatures are melting ice sheets and glaciers adding more water to the oceans.
The result is a rise in sea level that will not only affect the open coast but also allow high tides and the effects of storms to reach further inland. This means that more land may be affected by coastal flooding, erosion and rising groundwater in the future, and the severity of those impacts would likely be greater
The first step in adapting to these challenges is understanding the risks.
We have updated our assessment of coastal hazards for the entire Ōtautahi Christchurch district. This assessment was completed by Tonkin + Taylor and has been independently peer-reviewed by Jacobs. We have also involved representatives from community groups with interests in technical hazard information and/or environmental issues in helping to develop the assessment’s communications and supporting information.