Climate change to see water levels rise
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.”
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