Report warns of coastal erosion



SEVERAL NSW coastal communities are under threat from coastal erosion triggered by climate change, according to a preliminary report from the NSW Greenhouse Office. Belongil Spit at Byron Bay and Wooli near Grafton could be affected. Premier Bob Carr requested the report after the United Kingdom's chief scientist, Sir David King, said a significant sea-level rise would submerge cities such as London, New York and New Orleans. The NSW Greenhouse Office said the risk of NSW towns and cities being swamped by a major sea-level rise by 2100 had not been specifically assessed. But a modest sea-level rise and more frequent storms caused by climate change were expected to increase the risk of coastal erosion. The CSIRO has assessed the impact of climate change on snow conditions in the Snowy Mountains, finding that a modest warming by 2050 would reduce the area with more than 30 days of snow cover a year, by 27 per cent. Under the worst-case scenario, the area would be reduced by 93 per cent. Late next month, the CSIRO will advise the Greenhouse Office on predicted changes in the frequency of storm tides due to rising sea levels and extreme weather. Recent CSIRO research on climate change also pointed to more frequent and severe droughts, increased risk of natural disasters such as bushfires, more erratic weather conditions and hotter weather. - AAP



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