New Zealand is facing an imminent danger of a rise in sea levels putting its two largest cities at risk. There is a global sea-level rise due to the thermal expansion of the ocean. It is caused by the melting of land-based glaciers and ice sheets in Antarctica. This rise in sea levels due to climate change poses a significant risk to New Zealand according to scientists.
There has been extensive ongoing research in this country for approximately five years with government-backed funds called the NZ SeaRise. This combined work of several local and international scientists has found that the country’s coastline has been sinking 3-4mm every year.
The Future Of New Zealand
The prognosis by NZ SeaRise indicates that there is much less time for New Zealand to introduce and enforce climate adaptation plans or relocate coastal communities.
According to Tim Naish, the co-leader at NZ SeaRise, there will be a 0.5-meter global sea-level rise by the year 2100, but in certain parts of New Zealand, it might be closer to 1 meter as the land is sinking as well. This means that residents have little time left to act. The impacts of sea-level rise can be devastating and may happen sooner than anticipated.
Auckland, which is New Zealand’s largest city with 1.7 million residents, is especially vulnerable to the rising sea levels in this country. The sea level is going to rise 50% faster here on the city’s downtown waterfront, affecting housing prices and insurance rates.
Actions Of The New Zealand Government
According to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, an adaptation plan in New Zealand is already underway. This includes the relocation of vulnerable communities and infrastructure as well.
They have been working with the local government and insurers to bear the cost of relocation. So, no single party is entirely responsible for it. The citizens have also been advised to reduce emissions to help diminish the effects of climate change.