Cli­mate change to see water lev­els rise

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Daniel Bate­man

flood­ing has been pre­dicted to be wide­spread in Cairns by the end of the cen­tury, but by that time, the Far North will ap­par­ently only lose a small frac­tion of its tourists.

A re­port by the Cli­mate Coun­cil paints a grim pic­ture of the im­pact cli­mate change could have upon Aus­tralia’s nat­u­ral won­ders, in­clud­ing the Great Bar­rier Reef.

The re­port, which pools data, sur­veys and stud­ies from many sources, sug­gests Cairns, Syd­ney, Mel­bourne, Ho­bart, Dar­win, Fre­man­tle and Ade­laide are pro­jected to have “at least a 100 times fold in­crease” in the fre­quency of coastal flood­ing events with a 0.5m sea level rise by the year 2100.

How­ever, the same re­port also states that only 17-23 per cent of sur­veyed tourists would re­spond to these coastal dam­age sce­nar­ios by switch­ing their hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions.

The coun­cil’s Pro­fes­sor Les­ley Hughes said tourists trav­elled across the globe to see Queens­land’s nat­u­ral won­ders, but these icons were in the fir­ing line as ex­treme weather events wors­ened and sea lev­els con­tin­ued to rise.

“The back-to-back mass co­ral bleach­ing of the Great Bar­rier Reef should serve as a se­ri­ous warn­ing to the fed­eral and Queens­land gov­ern­ments that tack­ling cli­mate change through cut­ting pol­lu­tion is es­sen­tial to pro­tect this bil­lon­dol­lar as­set,” she said. “BandAid so­lu­tions won’t cut it.”

Tourism Trop­i­cal North Queens­land chief ex­ec­u­tive Pip Close said the lo­cal in­dusCOASTAL try was sup­port­ing the Cit­i­zens of the Great Bar­rier Reef pro­gram to raise aware­ness.

“Cli­mate change is a global is­sue af­fect­ing tourism around the world,” she said.

“Trop­i­cal North Queens­land tour op­er­a­tors, Reef work­ers, farm­ers, school chil­dren and many in­di­vid­u­als are do­ing what they can do to pos­i­tively im­pact the fu­ture of the Great Bar­rier Reef.”

Div­ing at Agin­court Reef: will tourism sur­vive cli­mate change?

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